Category Archives: Technologies

How Does GPS Work?

Global Positioning System (GPS) – a system of global positioning through satellite navigation – today is one of the most evolving technologies that finds application in various fields. GPS technology is now used in business, production, and by ordinary people for common purposes.


Developed in the 1950s by the U.S. Department of Defense, the GPS system is a very complex structure, which can be understood only by a specialist in this field. Nevertheless, we will explain the general principles of work in simple terms.

GPS is based on three main segments:

  • – space;
  • – control;
  • – custom.

The space segment is currently represented by 32 satellites located in medium earth orbit. Satellites broadcast a radio signal, which is intercepted by transmitters on Earth. The signal allows you to determine in real-time the location of an object equipped with a GPS-receiver (custom segment).

The control segment includes monitoring stations, the main control station and antennas, which are integrated into a common network on the Earth.



Although the project was originally developed for military purposes, today the vast majority of users are civilians. Almost any modern mobile device is equipped with a GPS-navigator, not to mention the professional equipment of sailors, pilots, rescuers, doctors, scientists and, of course, the military.


  • Cartography. With the help of GPS, detailed maps and plans of terrain with landform of any complexity are drawn up. These maps can also be used in a variety of ways – from tourism to the elaboration of military strategies;
  • Geodesy. The precise boundaries of land plots and the coordinates of any specific objects are marked off;
  • Transport monitoring. Everyone knows the “map of traffic jams”. Without the help of GPS, tracking traffic flow would be an unaffordable luxury with the use of air tracking;
  • Cellular communication. It is used to determine the exact location of the subscriber calling the rescue service, because the victim cannot always accurately indicate his coordinates or simply does not have time to do it;
  • Tectonics. GPS helps to observe the movements of tectonic plates. This allows to predict earthquakes and volcanic eruptions;
  • Computer games. There is a whole game genre that uses the location of the player in real time;
  • Weather forecast. Hundreds of meteorological stations around the world transmit data on weather conditions and at the same time connect them to their location;
  • Aviation and Sailing. GPS transmitters allow to track aircraft or vessel directions in real time and, if necessary, respond quickly to a distress signal;
  • Geo targeting. Often used by social networks visitors;
  •  Navigation. Perhaps the most common application of GPS for today. Everyone can easily determine his location in an unfamiliar place and quickly find a route to desired address. In addition, the coordinates of cafes, restaurants and hotels are loaded into the maps. So, the search for the right place with the development of GPS takes a few seconds.



The technology of global positioning is firmly established in everyday life due to its advantages:

  • Simplicity for users. You do not need to be an expert to start using the application for a smartphone with GPS support;
  • Cheapness. All that you need today is to purchase a device with a GPS receiver, the cost of which is extremely low. They are built into computers and ATMs, phones and even cameras;
  • Worldwide coverage. The entire globe, except for poles, is covered by the GPS network;
  • High accuracy. Today, advanced technologies allow to determine the location of the receiver or transmitter to within one meter. The quality of GPS functioning is practically independent of weather conditions.

Who Created Wi-Fi Technology

Hedy Lamarr. Yes, we should thank that same actress for using the Internet Wi-Fi and GPS. How did it happen?

Hedy was born in Austria in 1913. Being a Jew, she hid her origins in every way. In 1933, Hedy starred in the film “Ecstasy”.  It was the first time in the history of cinema when a completely naked actress was shown. In many countries the film was banned. The parents of the actress worried about their daughter’s reputation. Therefore, they married her to the arms tycoon Fritz Mandl. He was also a Jew. In addition, most importantly, it was Fritz who produced grenades and cartridges for Hitler.


Her husband was very jealous, and Hedy had to leave the movie. But she accompanied her husband to military laboratories and quickly figured out the principle of the action of anti-ship weapons and guidance systems.

Lamarr was not happy with her husband. Once Hedy escaped. The girl ran first to London, and then to the USA. In Hollywood, she was noticed by Louis Mayer, the founder of Metro Golden Mayer.

When radio-guided missiles were adopted, a serious problem arose. Opponents easily violated the guidance of the torpedo, revealing its frequency. Then Hedy Lamarr, together with George Antheil, whom she had met in London, came up with how to protect the torpedo control over the radio (she also assisted with the creation of controlled torpedoes).

Here’s how it worked: a random code was used on the transmitter that would change the transmission channel. At the same time, frequency transitions were synchronized on the receiver. The invention of Lamarr and Antheil became the basis of Spread Spectrum – the connection with the extended spectrum, which is used everywhere. These are GPS and Wi-Fi.


Lamarr was forgotten in the last years of her life. She lived poorly. Moreover, Hedy was engaged in litigation about slander and unauthorized use of her name. For example, in 1998 Corel Draw, a program for graphic design, used a portrait of an actress. Hedy immediately filed a lawsuit, but her claim was dismissed.


MicroTUM – a Magnetic Microbot Inside Human

If one day the micro robots will start travelling inside our bodies, they should be able to deal with obstacles. Scientists from Purdue University created a new magnetic robot called microTUM. It moves overturning and can overcome hollows and mounts in wet or dry environment.


Key features of device

Having dimensions of 800 microns in length and 400 in width, the magnetic robot looks very similar to the micro robots of the Max Planck Institute engineers. Both prototypes have elongated magnetic tips, which allow them to control the magnetic field. The robot is available for carrying medicines or other loads. It can carry them right to the organ where they are needed.

The human body is a diverse and inimical environment. Frictional forces can impede the movement of the bot. Moreover, biological fluids increase resistance. The engineers report that overturning is crucial for μTUM mobility. This requires a strong magnetic field. However, the minibot always keeps one side on the surface and can handle even steep slopes.

Robot tests

Having checked the device in various environments, the developers assured that the μTUM works well under any conditions. For instance, the oil slows it down. On the contrary, it allows to climb mounts and slopes with an angle of up to 60 degrees. Moreover, the micro bot moves faster outside due to the ability of rock climbing.

In future, μTUM can finally become an application for medicine delivery. Prior to this, the team is planning to give it a new management system based on machine vision, for more accurate movement and development of a non-magnetic mode of motion.



CES18: Mercedes Smart Vision EQ – Two-Seater Autonomous Vehicle

Smart-Vision EQ from Mercedes-Benz demonstrated its unique opportunities at the recent CES 2018 show in Las Vegas. It was first shown at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Engineers have completed autonomous control systems and connectivity options. The result was a car built on the platform Smart Fortwo, which is capable of winking at pedestrians. Moreover, it has the fifth autonomy level and welcomes passengers by their names.

Talking car

Thanks to the fifth autonomy level, the car does not have a steering wheel and pedals in the cabin. Mercedes says that the concept is not intended for sale to private individuals. Instead, it will be a part of the fleet of autonomous cars of the future. The company sees that in a few years such cars will come to the destination and greet their passengers by their names. They will get to know all the information needed through to the connection service between cars-taxi data and photos.


As soon as the passenger has been taken to the destination, Smart Vision EQ politely bids him farewell. An interesting feature is the car’s equipment with hygiene products. Therefore, people can, while in the salon, for example, clean their hands or have lunch.

Mercedes has updated the front display with the image of the Las Vegas Strip Boulevard, which was installed by default. During the show, he made several short trips at a distance of about 500 metres. For passengers it was absolutely new and exciting experience riding a car with the fifth autonomy level.

However, the trip was not absolutely autonomous. A technician controlled the car through the remote control. The manufacturer has not risked the safety of people in such a crowded place yet. However, the experiment gave a clear idea of what the traffic would be in the near future.


CES 18: Furrion Prosthesis – the World’s First Giant Exoskeleton for Racing

At CES 2018, Furrion introduced quite a bizarre machine. Guests of the event took her for a fighting robot. Nevertheless, in fact, the machine is not intended for combat. This is a huge exoskeleton, which a person must control within the cabin. The movements of the machine will depend entirely on the human commands. It is known that it is almost 4.5 m in height, 5.4 m in width. Prothesis weighs about 3600 kg. Co-founders Furrion Matt and Aaron Fiedler told CES that the name of the mechanism was Prosthesis. Moreover, they are sure the mech race is going to be a real kind of sport in the nearer future.

A New Kind of Robotsport

They was mulling over the opinion of analysts that the future of sports depends largely on robots for a long time. They are sure that nowadays such giant objects are exactly relevant. So far, the mechanism does not move too fast – less than 36 km / h. Moreover, it depends on how the operator sets the limits. The founders explained that the moves come from the reinforcement of the pilot’s movements, without any control panels or joysticks. The frame is made of chrome steel – a highly effective alloy used in the aerospace industry.


Engineers said they were inspired by the projects of Jonathan Tippett, who had already tried to make a 4,000-kilogram machine move with the human inside it. Then there was no issue of racing. Furrion decided that the next step would be to build the improved mech to run the first trial race.

Furrion is going to continue innovating with the creation of smaller and more flexible mechanisms. The inventors also said that the team would produce a model that could be bought for racing.