In the July issue of the IEEE Spectrum Magazine, read about human-powered wearable batteries, building a drone to fly on Mars, what’s in the bag, updating the airship, the future of the power grid, and more.

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Energized by Sweat

Admit it-you love your smart watch and all the amazing things you can do with it. But the task of keeping it charged can be annoying. A longer battery life would be great—but with batteries, the amount of energy stored correlates with volume, and bigger batteries add bulk and weight…

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Building a Drone to Fly on Mars

If ever there was life on Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover should be able to find signs of it. The rover, scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, in late July or early August, is designed to drill through rocks in an ancient lake bed and examine them for biosignatures, extract…

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What’s in the Bag?

SOME YEARS AGO, the three of us found ourselves together in a very long security line at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. Maybe, we joked, Superman could use his X-ray vision to help out the beleaguered Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees and the…

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Updating the Airship

On a cold March night last year in Portsmouth, England, an entirely new type of aircraft flew for the first time, along a dimly lit 120-meter corridor in a cavernous building once used to build minesweepers for the Royal Navy. • This is the Phoenix, an uncrewed blimp that has no engines but…

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The Future of the Power Grid

BALANCING ACT: Electricity demand and generation near Onslow, in Western Australia, are continuously balanced thanks to a software-based microgrid controller. It monitors grid conditions at the millisecond scale, allowing efficient use of a 1-megawatt solar farm [left] and a 2.5-MW…

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