science
Hidden Pyramid Among Thousands of Ancient Maya Structures Revealed by New Aerial Survey

Using an airborne laser mapping technique called lidar, an international team of archaeologists has uncovered an astounding number of previously undetected structures belonging to the ancient Maya civilisation – a discovery that’s changing what we know of this remarkable society. Read More >>

watch this
A Giant Version of Pong Played With Feet Should Be the Next Olympic Sport

The most entertaining part of watching the modern Olympics is hoping you catch some kind of drama, scandal, or debacle. And while the IOC has hoped that the addition of new sports like mixed doubles curling will breathe new life into the games, the Olympics should instead introduce sports like mixed doubles interactive Pong—now that I’d stay up late to watch. Read More >>

cars
My First Ride in a Self-Driving Car Was Harrowing as Hell

The future of city driving—at least in theory—sounds amazing. We’ll have digital assistants in our vehicles to book last-minute restaurant reservations, and we’ll never have to touch a steering wheel again because our cars will drive themselves. At CES, I got a glimpse of how this technology is coming along, and though it was in the context of a carefully designed demo rather than a real-life experience on the city streets, I walked away thinking that a driverless society is a long, long time away. Read More >>

cars
Ford’s Testing its Autonomous Cars in the Dark

If you don’t enjoy driving in the dark, Ford’s latest autonomous car tests might cheer you up. The company’s announced that it’s been successfully testing its cars at nighttime, a scenario that brings its own set of fairly obvious challenges for self-driving vehicles. Read More >>

history
Archaeologists Have Discovered Long-Lost Roman Roads Using LIDAR

For years, the Environment Agency has been using Lidar to study flooding and coastal changes. Since 1998, it’s had an unexpected use: discovering long-lost roads left by the Romans, helping to uncover new details of our country’s past. Read More >>

cars
Ford is Testing its Autonomous Cars in the Snow (and That’s Pretty Damn Tough)

Adverse weather conditions have long been considered one of the biggest barriers in the development of self-driving vehicles. Now, Ford has announced that it’s been testing its autonomous cars in the snow. Read More >>

maps
Government Makes 3D Models of England Free on Minecrafters’ Request

Laser scanning has helped us do everything from discovering new things about Stonehenge to planning better flood infrastructure. Now, our government has made the entirety of its massive trove of scans available for free—in part because of requests from everyone from researchers to Minecraft players. Read More >>

security
A £40 Hack Can Fool the LIDAR Sensors Used on Most Self-Driving Cars

Many autonomous cars use LIDAR — a kind of laser-based radar — to sense the world around them. But now a researcher has developed a simple system that can fool the devices into seeing objects where really none exist. Read More >>

cars
Tiny Lasers on Microchips Could Help Self-Driving Cars “See” The Road

Since self-driving cars don’t have drivers, the cars have to perceive their surroundings themselves. Lidar is a great option — it’s like radar but with lasers instead of radio waves — but it’s big and pricy. However, a new kind of lidar from DARPA could change that. Read More >>

environment
Researchers are Scanning Forests With Lasers to Check Their Health

It looks like a work of art, but the image shown above is the 3D structure of an actual forest, reconstructed from sophisticated laser scans that scientists now hope can be used to quickly check a forest’s vital signs. Read More >>

monster machines
The ISS is About to Get a Shipment of Laser CATS

It may not leave a trail of destruction and pew-pews in its wake but NASA's newest atmospheric sensor, the laser-beaming CATS module, could afford researchers a fuller understanding of how our reliance on non-renewable energy fuels climate change. Read More >>

history
Laser and Radar Let Researchers Peer Deep Inside Ancient Roman Bridges

Ancient stone bridges dot the Spanish hills. Some are still in use, and all play a part in defining the region's landscape and heritage. Now, researchers at Spain's University of Vigo can examine the inner structures of these bridges without disturbing a single stone, thanks to some incredibly powerful imaging technology. Read More >>

photography
This Stealth Camera Captures Images in Almost Complete Darkness

If you thought low-light photography was coming on in leaps and bounds, you ain't seen nothin' yet. This new camera, developed by researchers at MIT, can capture ultra-sharp images of objects even when they're illuminated by just a handful of photons. Read More >>

science
Airborne Laser Scans Just Uncovered a City Lost for a Millenium

Forget trowels and tiny little brushes. The new must-have tool for archaeology is lasers. Just last month, researchers in the Honduran rainforest used them to find a lost city of gold, and now archaeologists in Cambodia have found a forgotten city that's even older. Welcome to Mahendraparvata, a metropolis unknown for the past millenium. Read More >>