Saturday, July 21, 2018

Stealth Saga #76

Sixth Generation Fighter:

France and Germany are planning their nextgen (sixth gen?) fighter.

Since Britain has been excluded from the Franco-German next gen fighter, they are planning what to do for their next gen.

The British government has given BAe a 12 month contract for their FCAS.

The Brits have started talks with the Swedes on the next gen fighter.

The Brits have come out to call their next gen fighter concept, called the Tempest.  At this point, the aircraft shown is only a concept, not necessarily what it will end up being.  The Italians are involved with the new fighter (Leonardo) making the avionics and EW suite.  Why BAe wants to do away with the traditional cockpit in the Tempest concept. Interestingly, no American companies or Japanese: Boeing is interested in helping though.  Nor does it include the Germans or French.  The program does hinge on international cooperation though.  The announcement has been met with more than a little skepticism.  And here's a USAF POV.   Dassault was a bit snarky over the Tempest.

Airbus has since come out to say that there isn't room in Europe for two sixth gen fighters and has started discussions with the Brits to include them in the project at a later date.  Some are not sure either way.  Airbus wants a collaborative approach to the FCAS project.  How will this new set of projects, the Franco-German and British, for the next gen fighter play out?

Eurofighter expects to demo a lot of the technologies for the next gen european fighter(s).  Eurofighter is also predicting one of the two programs will be discarded.

Is the Chinese Dark Sword Fighter UCAV the world's first sixth gen fighter?

GE received a contract for the 6th gen fighter engine prototype for the US.  This engine type will support lasers and other new weapons through increased electrical output (amongst other ways).

What's going on with the USAF and USN sixth gen fighters?

The Russians are claiming the are developing a dual LIDAR/RADAR sensor to find stealth aircraft for their 6th gen fighter.

The Russians are claiming they are testing 6th gen fighter systems on the Su-57.  They stated their baseline sixth gen fighter will be unmanned, but can be flown by a pilot.

J-15 Replacement:

China has stated they are developing a replacement for the J-15.  The FC-31/J-31 has been suggested, but not likely as the start of the next gen aircraft.

Chinese VSTOL Fighter:

Could China build a VSTOL fighter like the F-35B?

A Rolls Royce engineer has been busted for trying to sell F-35 secrets to the Chinese.


The Russians claim to have a new "stealthy" flying wing UCAV with a gross takeoff weight of 25klbs.  Flight tests are supposed to start in 2019.  Or this year...

5th Gen Aerial Target:

Sierra Nevada completed the CDR for a 5th gen aerial target using carbon fibre and two afterburning jet engines.  It is intended to simulate a J-20, Su-57 or some other stealthy aircraft for target practice by fighters or surface to air weaponry.


South Korea wants the CDR for the KFX to be completed by September 2019.

South Korea wants a "Taurus" missile for its KFX.

South Korea released updated images for their KFX design.

Indonesia is wondering whether to continue with the KFX program.


The Anglo-Turkish deal to work on the TF-X fighter project appears to be in trouble.

Turkey is considering which engine to put in the TFX.


Northrop Grumman wants a big part of the Japanese F-3 5th generation fighter.

The Lockheed F-22/F-35 hybrid is being offered to Japan at $177M per plane.  This is more than the $133M/plane they want for the F-3 program.


What killed the Russo-Indian FGFA?

And there are rumors it might be brought back from the dead.


Russia has still not signed the contract for the Su-57.  It would be a challenge, to say the least, to deliver all 12 Su-57s by the end of 2019 at this point.

Now, supposedly, they have inked the contract.  It should be noted, the Russians have stated the new engine will not be installed until 2023 at the earliest.

Russia is claiming the Su-57 is going to be far cheaper than the F-35.  The F-35 is now at the same price (for the A model) as F/A-18s, Rafales and Eurofighters.  The price will continue to drop through the initiation of full rate production.

The Russians have stated they developed a new G suit for the Su-57.

The Su-57 project isn't dead, yet, but its not healthy either.

There is also a report running around that the Su-57 is going to never be mass produced.


The Air Force Research Lab is talking about a stealthy tanker.


The Russians are stating the PAK-DA will have multiple roles beyond bomber including recon and command center.

The PAK-DA will be stealthy.  If it ever gets built.


China's H-20 might be the world's first manned aircraft using the cranked kite bauplan.


The B-21 program could complete its Critical Design Review by the end of the year.

As the B-21's come online, the B-1s will be retired.

100 B-21s may not be enough.


The B-2 has undergone B61-12 nuclear bomb qualifications.

The USAF is not yet willing to publicly discuss how it will retire the B-2 bomber when the B-21 comes online.

The B-2 is getting a battle management software upgrade.

There are some cool shots of the B-2.


The EA-18G Growler has been used as the aggressor for the F-22A for training.

The GAO is recommending changes to the F-22 organization for better availability and utilization.


The House HAC-D wants the US to buy another 93 F-35s in FY2019.  The Senate only wants to pay for 72.  The Senate is now pushing 89.

The USAF is comparing the close air support capabilities of the F-35 and the A-10.  Some are very, very unhappy with the tests.

Negotiations for Lot 11 are not going well.  It was hoped for a big announcement, but, unfortunately, it does not look like that will happen soon.  It may be the government imposes a price again.  The expected price if $89M all inclusive for the F-35A, down from $94M.  Then again, AvWeek is reporting the opposite.  Now Jane's is as well.

The F-35 program is talking about adding the ability add more capabilities to the F-35 rapidly.

The US and its allies are mapping out a larger role for the F-35 than just a traditional strike fighter.

The USMC is fatigue testing the F-35Bs.

The USMC is striking its first F-35B from inventory.

The USS Essex LHD-2 deployed with F-35Bs aboard.

British efforts to introduce the F-35B seem to be going well with IOC expected in December.

In Britain, the F-35B flew by the Farnborough air show, but few others did.

The British RAF is going through a significant change and the F-35 is part of that.

Canada is highly unlikely to buy the F-35: they are planning on making it very difficult to have countries that have hurt it economically to win the competition.

China may be attempting to acquire F-35B tech.

Three more F-35Is have been delivered to Israel.

Israel is asking the US not to sell the F-35 to Turkey.

Israel hosted a delegation from the UAE to review F-35 operations.  The UAE is interested in the fighter.  The US also had a delegation present to observe what was observed.  The Israelis are now claiming they did no such thing.

Italy is assembling the first Dutch F-35 built in Europe.

Italy deployed four F-35As on their first 'operational' mission.

Italy announced they are not ordering more F-35s and may cut their existing orders.  If this happens, Italy will probably lose a lot of the work they've been getting for the project once their orders are complete.  Considering they are the major European center for maintenance and assembly, this could...hurt.

Japanese final assembly and check out capacity could be maxed out next year.

Singapore is going to announce its replacement for the F-16 shortly.  The F-35, whether the A or B model, is likely.

The Swiss have asked Lockheed amongst other Western companies to place a bid for its Air2030 fighter procurement.  Lockheed is supposed to offer the F-35A.

Turkey is taking delivery of its first F-35.  Congress is stepping up the campaign to prevent delivery.  The spending bill in the Senate would halt further transfers.  The US State Department has warned Turkey over the S-400 missile deal and threatened the loss of the F-35s.

Turkey's rollout ceremony for its first F-35 was rather different than the norm.

Turkey has stated Trump has guaranteed their F-35 deliveries.

Even with everything up in the air, Turkish F-35 pilots have started their training in the US.

The US DOD opposes removing Turkey from the F-35 program.

The United Arab Emirates are seeking to buy the F-35.

General Electric has been awarded $437M contract to develop advanced engines for the F-35 and beyond.

Lockheed will soon implement Auto-GCAS on the F-35.

Lockheed has delivered the 300th F-35.

Lockheed received a $735M contract mod for the F-35 and another $503M.

Lockheed got another $173M contract for the F-35.

Lockheed also got another $73M contract for the F-35.

Lockheed is targeting sustainability and reliability for the F-35 now.

Northrop Grumman withdrew from providing a sensor for the F-35.  Lockheed has Raytheon working on its replacement: Raytheon's new DAS sensor is lighter and uses less power than Northrop's.  Supposedly, it will save a fair amount of money on sustainment.  Britain is unsure of the change in suppliers.

Northrop has entered full rate production for the F-35 fuselages.

Pratt & Whitney is proposing upgrades to the F-35's engine.

Raytheon is waiting to see whether or not its StormBreaker bomb will be integrated on the F-35.


With Russia's SU-57 woes and China and the USA producing 5th gen fighters, where does that leave the balance of air power?

Friday, July 20, 2018

India Successfully Tested a Pad Abort for its Developing Space Capsule

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday successfully conducted a pad abort test (PAT) on its experimental crew escape system (CES).

The successful test on the technology demonstrator brought ISRO a step closer to its ambitious and yet-to-be-named future manned mission – the Human Spaceflight Programme (HSP).

ISRO said PAT was the first in a series of tests to qualify the CES, which is an ‘emergency measure to pull the crew module along with the astronauts to a safe distance from the launch vehicle, in the event of a launch anomaly.’


2nd link.

Older Background Info:
India will take another step forward with its human spaceflight program Thursday, when ISRO tests the crew escape system for its crew capsule in an emergency pad abort situation. The test will last about 220 seconds, beginning during a two-hour window that opens at 06:00 local time (00:30 UTC).

While the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has not made manned space missions one of their highest priorities, the agency has been quietly proceeding with work on a capsule that would launch atop the GSLV Mk.III rocket and carry a crew of two into orbit.

The project’s most high-profile test came three and a half years ago, when the Crew Module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment (CARE) successfully demonstrated that the spacecraft could withstand the rigors of atmospheric reentry.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

China has Launched two new Type 055 Destroyers Simultaneously

Two 10,000-tonne Type 055 destroyers were launched simultaneously by the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC) on 3 July in a move that reflects the rapid pace at which China is building this new class of warship. The latest ships are the third and fourth to be launched, with all four entering the water in a little over a year.

These are far closer in role and capability to our Ticonderoga class cruisers rather than the Burke class destroyers.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Robopocalyse Report #105


Aergility is moving its cargo carrying UAV work to the full scale prototype stage.

Amazon patented 'hack proof' delivery drones.

Aspen, Colorado swapped its fireworks display for a drone show for the 4th of July.

AT&T and Verizon are testing using drones as emergency cell towers.

The British Drones Bill may finally be working its way through Parliament.  At least to the public consultation stage.

British researchers have a pothole filling drone.

Bularia has developed a cargo drone.

Are cargo drones the way to go for the shipping industry?

Colombia is planning on using drones to wipe out the coca plant.

One Colorado lawmaker wants to make it a felony to fly a drone over a wild fire.

The Commercial Drone Alliance will meet with the House of Representative's Subcommittee on Aviation.

Delft Dynamics is developing a tugboat towline delivery drone.

DJI has partnered with a South Korean telecom to stream drone video.

Drone photography from the POV of architect.

Drones can be used to detect butterfly mines after wars.

Drones are learning to fly themselves.

Drones launching fireworks is a bad idea.

Drones are being used to survey African wild life.

Drone Harmony has an app that automates inspections of cell phone towers.

Dropcopter's drones can improve pollination 60% in 'bad' bee years.

Two drug dealers who were delivering by drone have pled guilty.

Exyn is going to release a drone in a South American mine to map it...without using GPS.

The FAA's new program, LAANC, will cut the time to getting a commercial permit for drones.

The FAA has banned drone flights above prisons and US Coast Guard stations.

Green Peace crashed a superman shaped (yes, superman) into a French nuclear reactor building to 'prove a point.'

An Idaho Falls police officer has been tapped to create a roster of all Idaho state agencies using drones.

Indiana's first responders are increasingly using drones.

Intel's Shooting Star drones were used at Travis AFB in California for a 4th of July celebration.

The International Drone Racing Association has selected the drone for this year.

KT Telecom has unveiled an airship drone for search and rescue.

Medical supply drone delivery company Matternet just got a $16M investment from Boeing.

MIT has developed a chip for micro drones.

Mystic is a bot powered drone that follows you and recognizes gestures.

NASA has flown one of its drones in public air space in a solo flight.

New Zealand is seeking stricter rules for hobbyist drone users.

NOAA is using drones in the Arctic to monitor the environment.

Ohio is testing using drones to monitor traffic.

Pilsner Urquell used a drone to inspect its beer bottling plant.

Reykjavik residents will see drone delivery of goods expand soon.

A Swedish woman encountered a peeping drone.

Switzerland is seeing a disturbing increase for the number of drone-aircraft incidents.

UNICEF is calling on companies to deliver vaccines via drone in the South Pacific.

The University of Tokyo has created the Dragon drone that can autonomously decide what shape it needs to navigate through terrain.

The USGS is using drones to monitor the craters of the active volcanoes in Hawaii.

Vicksburg, MS' police department got permission from the FAA to use drones.

Volvo is using Luminar's lidar.

Wisconsin police used a drone to save a man from self harm.

Hundreds of drones are on display at the 2018 World Drone Congress.

Wichita police bought a drone for search and rescue, but some are skeptical.

World Economic Forum has launched a drone policy group.

Self Driving Cars:

The gov has blocked a device that can fool the Tesla Autopilot.

Members of the self driving industry have created a group to study the impacts of the technology on society.

A societal impact for self driving cars might be the massive loss of parking fees.

How much could a family potentially save by giving up its car to use a driverless car sharing service?

There are calls for the gov to get the regulations for self driving cars, and autonomous vehicles in general, right.

Some experts believe self driving cars are much further away than people think.

Self driving cars can have issues telling if people are going to cross the road.  Or not.

Is the hype holiday over for self driving cars?

Apple has hired an ex Waymo engineer for its self driving car development.

An ex Apple Employee was charged with trying to steal Apple data for its self driving car project.  The employee bought a last second plane ticket to China and was attempting to go work for a startup there.  XMotors, the company the employee was hired by, claims no secrets were passed along.

Baidu has built its 100th Apolong self driving bus.

Baidu will be testing 10 of its self driving buses in Japan., George Hotz's latest insanity, has released its Level 2 autonomy software to retrofit Honda Civics to become self driving cars.

Two of Cruise's self driving Bolts bumped each other, possibly providing the first case of self driving cars having an accident with each other.

Daimler has received permission to test its self driving car tech on the streets of Beijing.

Einride has developed an electric, self driving logging truck.

A 1965 Ford Mustang has been modified to be self driving.

Georgia Tech is using scale RC cars to test self driving tech.

Google's Loon and Wings UAVs have been spun off into their own separate companies like Waymo was. is a new, secretive startup that may be getting into self driving semis.  The funky part?  They hired Levandowksi, the engineer in the middle of the self driving car IP theft from Google and Uber.  This is the same Levandowski who started a church stating AI was going to be our Messiah.  Not kidding.

Mercedes will launch its self driving taxis in California next year.  They will be using nvidia's chips and tested somewhere in Silicon Valley.

When will Nissan EVs drive themselves?

nuro and the grocery store Kruger are planning a driverless delivery system.

nuTonomy can now test its self driving cars throughout all of Boston.  Previously, it had been restricted to a single area.

Perceptiva automata is trying to make self driving cars safer for pedestrians.

roborace will attempt its first self driving climb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

StreetDrone announced an open source self driving car software stack.

Tesla Model S and X's will be able to park themselves with the Summon feature.  There may be some confusion as it is also being said this is coming to the Model 3.

Uber has started increasing its simulations for its "drivionics" for self driving cars since the accident.

The Uber 'driver' behind the wheel of the self driving car was streaming Hulu at the time of the crash.

Uber is going to restart testing its self driving cars this summer.

Uber has laid off 100 of its employees in the self driving division.

Voyage has selected Enterprise to manage its fleet of self driving cars.

One of Waymo's self driving car testbeds was hit by a red light runner in Arizona.

Waymo has added Jaguar I-Pace's to its self driving car fleet.

British startup Wayve claims to have an algorithm that can learn how to drive in 20 minutes.


Say hello to Disney's stuntbot.

Inside the not Boston Dynamics lab, the Caltech AmberLab, making mad robots, too.

China has new UUVs.

fuRo has an awesome mashup of a bot that will follow you and a scooter.  Replace the scooters in SF with these.  geez.  Much better.  Just keep them off the sidewalk.

An autonomous electric ferry is starting service in Norway.

Harvard has developed a cockroach-like bot that can walk on land or water.

Honda has ceased developing the Asimo robot.

KLM has a bot to carry your luggage to the right gate.

A maker created a iphone controlled robot to act as a tug for his Cessna.

MIT's Cheetah bot can now climb stairs with obstacles.

The first MRI guided surgery robot.

Ovis has a self driving suitcase.

Robots have an improved method of picking things up.

Robots still have issues picking up objects.  You can help improve their abilities.

Roboticists are delving into biomimicry a lot.

SmokeBot is a robot for firefighters.

Tesla is touting a new type of factory.

An unmanned underwater vehicle was used by search and rescue to find bodies after a tragedy with an Indonesian ferry.

Volvos wants self parking tech for yachts.

3d Printing:

3d printing photosensitive materials is now possible.

3d printing will radically change factories.  For real this time.

Prellis Biologics has a way of 3d printing tissue with capillaries.

Rice University is working on 3d printed graphene foam.

The Russians have found a new way to 3d print tissue.

The US Army has applied for a patent on a new 3d printable concrete composition.

Researchers have come up with a way to create custom 3d printed polymers.

Data files for 3d printed weapons are protected as free speech.  This is gonna get weird.

USAF is now 3d printing its toilet seats.

Estonian researchers have created a peat mixture to 3d print houses.

Austin based Icon can now 3d print houses up to 800 sq ft in 24 hours.


MIT has an interface that uses brain control and gestures to control rockets.

There is prosthetic skin that can perceive pain and touch.

There is also a prosthetic ankle that can handle rough terrain.

Software Bots:

Adobe is developing a bot that detects shopped images.

Amazon has launched a version of Alexa for hotels, starting with Marriots.

Amazon's Alexa for IoS can now use voice commands.

Amazon's Alexa is losing market share in an amazingly horrible way.

Apple has snatched Google's former head of 'AI.'

Baidu has also developed a software bot to detect tumors.

A British judge has suggested using software bots to review social media data.

The British NHS is asking Google to explain its business model for DeepMind Health.

DARPA is funding development of bots that can design computer chips.

Facebook has acquired Bloombury, a software bot for natural language processing.

Facebook has been sending bots into a virtual NYC to improve.

Fuel3d has started testing its facial recognition software.

Google's Cloud TPU's are online for paying users.

Google is attempting to train bots to be able to predict if and when a patient will die.

Google has trained a bot to create 3d models from 2D pictures.

Google Assistant has an upgrade.

Google Home and Chromecast went down for some users.

Google has started publicly testing its Duplex software bot.

Could Google's voice assistant actually handle your next insurance claim?

If a Google bot decides your use of the cloud for your business should be banned, what do you do?

Google's DeepMind can now play Quake III like a person.

Guess has created a store where Alibaba bots can help you put together outfit combinations.

Hinge is using bots to match people for dates.

IBM developed a version of a bot to debate and present unbiased arguments.  hmm.

IBM is laying off a lot of people at its Watson Health unit.

An Instagram Influencer is nothing more than a software bot: she doesn't even exist.

The IRS wants a software bot to secure its data.

Could the first machine learning algorithm able to correctly project extrapolations been found?

Microsoft's Azure face recognition software now works on more than just caucasians.

Microsoft's software bots may help predict natural disasters.  Sort of.

MIT has developed a software bot to help with medical image analysis.

MIT also has a software bot that can identify and isolate individual instruments in music.

NVidia has released new tools for software bot developers.

Nvidia has added more containers full of computers for software bots.

Nvidia's bot fixes bad photos by looked at other bad photos.

OpenAI entered its bots into a DOTA 2 competition.

Software bots could be a nightmare for the pharmaceutical industry.

Software bots are being used to create phishing links for hacking your computer.

Software bot generated deep fakes can be detected, for now, by the fact they don't get blinking right.

A software bot is getting predictive for food choices.

Software bots are needed to map roads in real time.

A Software bot has built the largest to date library of intercelluar interactions.

Software bots are being used to help study the brain.

Software bots are being used to ID different types of volcanic ash.

Software bots are being used for ecological studies, IDing, counting, etc. animals.

A software bot has been developed to help predict outcomes for schizophrenia treatments.

Software bots have been developed to help spot protein crystals under a microscope.

Should sports switch to bot referees?

Stanford has a software bot that helps predict the side effects of drugs.

Uber has applied for a patent for a software bot that can tell if a passenger is drunk.


Automated systems, including access control, can have drawbacks.

Microsoft is trying to compete with Amazon for personless stores.

The University of Haifa has developed an autonomous system for detecting schools of fish.

Momentum Machines has opened its first burger restaurant in San Francisco.

Why you ought to let a bot make your next meal.


The Robopocalypse might not take your job, but it might make it boring.

One of the potential answers to the robopocalypse has been suggested to be the guaranteed income or universal basic income.  Ontario, Canada is conducting an experiment on what happens when a UBI is used.

A call for creating AI to serve humanity rather than replacing it.

The US House of Representatives wants to know when the robopocalypse is coming.

Can AI have values, but not conscience?

Some economists are getting worried because too much time is being spent on discussing whether or not automation will take what jobs rather than planning for what comes after jobs are taken.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Russian Space Program Could be in for a Dark Ages

These are not the best of times for the Russian space industry. Due to budgetary reasons, Roscosmos has reduced the number of cosmonauts on the International Space Station from three to two. Because of technical problems with its rockets and cost pressure from SpaceX, the country's once-lucrative commercial launch industry is fading. And soon, conditions may worsen.

As soon as next year, the United States plans to stop paying hundreds of millions of dollars a year to Russia for Soyuz seats, because it is developing its own transport to the space station. And the European Space Agency has signaled that it will stop launching Russian Soyuz rockets from its French Guiana-based spaceport in the early 2020s.

Russian space editor Andrei Borisov has captured the fading zeitgeist of the Russian space program in a lengthy article on the new leader of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, and the changes he has proposed. "The 'Russian Space' Rogozin is trying to create reminds one of the Dark Ages in Europe," Borisov writes on Lenta.Ru, where he serves as editor of science and technology. "In it, there is no place for modernization, there is only the mission of survival."

As a symptom, the next gen crewed Russian Federatsiya space capsule has been making glacial progress at best:
The Russian Federatsiya project – which is preparing the path for the launch of a new crewed spacecraft – passed a major milestone when it recently entered aerodynamic testing. The tests involved a model of the future spaceship and its Launch Abort System (LAS) fitted with numerous pressure sensors. Another milestone was achieved when work on the interior of the spacecraft was conducted, as noted by Roscosmos in recent days.

The development path for this new spacecraft – which is also referenced as “Federation” in its English translation – began in February 2009, when Roscosmos issued a solicitation for a spaceship intended for Lunar manned missions.

They called it PPTS (Prospective Piloted Transport System), which was also known as the Future Manned Transportation System.

Two companies participated in the tender: GKNPTs Khrunichev, the builder of the Proton launcher, and RKK Energiya, which has provided Soyuz spaceships for almost fifty years.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

New Russian Sub Launched Nuclear Missile has Entered Service

Russian press quotes a source in the industry as saying that the Bulava SLBM has been finally accepted for service. That was a long wait.

The work on the Bulava program started almost exactly 20 years ago. It was included in the plan that was approved in 1998, when Russia was struggling to find the way to maintain its strategic forces not much below the START II levels of 3500 warheads - at that point it was expected that START II will come into force. It wasn't an easy process and the MITT emerged with two projects in its portfolio - the Topol-M (which will later become Yars) ICBM and the Bulava SLBM. The R-39UTTH Bark SLBM project - a follow-up to R-39/SS-N-20 - was cancelled after three failed flight tests. Part of MITT's argument was that Bulava will use Topol-M technologies and therefore will be cheaper to produce.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Paleolithic Papers #21

Genus Homo:

Why are human brains so large?  What genes make our brains grow so much larger than most other animals in relative terms?  Does the size come at a cost?

H. sapiens:

Who were the Nataruk people?

The Zhoukoudian Cave's human habitation is 35 thousand years old.

Mesolithic Mediterranean people's diet has been discovered via analysis of their teeth.

More evidence suggests modern humans colonized the Americas via the coastal route.

Paleogenetic evidence also suggests two different lineages did the colonization.

Mesolithic intestinal parasites have been found in Sweden.

Diets of the Niah Cave residents might be detectable from their mandibles.

The Clovis tech and skeletal remains from the Anzick site are, in fact, from the same time frame at the Holocene/Pleistocene boundary.

The interaction between modern humans and the archaic populations it replaced in Africa as it evolved needs to be examined.

Late Pleistocene tools in Sri Lanka show what plants the locals were eating at the time.

H. neanderthalensis:

How DID Neandertals hunt?  By not throwing, it appears, but by close-quarters thrusts and stabs.

New insights into the Neandertal thorax.


Stone tools from the Denisovan cave were used to butcher animals.

H. erectus:

How H. erectus may have interacted with a lake margin ecology.

H. naledi:

Based on studying the teeth of H. naledi, it definitely appears to be a member of the genus Homo.

H. habilis:

The biomechanics of the OH 8 foot get examined.

Genus Australopithecus:

The cranial thickness of the StW 578 hominin (A. africanus, iirc) gets examined and similarities to modern humans are found, while differences from Paranthropus are uncovered as well.

The DIK-1-1f A. afarensis child has finally been described.  Among the interesting features is the child had ankles and feet that would help it climb trees, unlike the adults of the same species.  The big toe, as a child, was far, far more mobile than as an adult.  This would allow for grasping while climbing.  However, the child would lose this as it grew up.  Even as a child though, the Dikka hominin was definitely bipedal.


The environment of 2 million years ago where hominins lived was wetter than previously thought.

Muscles thought to be uniquely human have been found in great apes.

How hominins leading to humans carved out their unique niche and how it differed from apes.

Studying breakage patterns on bones could have been produced by hominins.

Caution with studying collagen from prehistoric hominin fossils is warranted.

Large size might have evolved already by the time of the last common ancestor of humans and chimps.