New and Emerging Technology News part 223 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Friday, 21 March 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 223

ShopBot's Handibot portable CNC machine
North Carolina-based ShopBot Tools has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring its Handibot prototype to market. Handibot is a CNC machine which, being computer-controlled, can be used to cut materials to size and shape with very high accuracy. Unlike most CNC machines, Handibot is portable, the idea being that you take it to your materials rather than your materials to it. And in that spirit, Handibot can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet rather than full-blown computer (if there's a distinction these days), and users will pay to download individual designs and functions in the form of apps.  Read More
British Airways is testing an electronic luggage tag that travelers can update with a smar...
Most people would probably agree that air travel still has plenty of room for improvement, particularly when it comes to actually checking in and getting on the plane. For its part, British Airways is now taking steps to speed up the whole process on its end and is even testing a digital alternative to the traditional paper luggage tag. The airline recently produced an electronic luggage tag that travelers can update themselves with a smartphone and re-use over and over.  Read More
The Scout satellite is light to act as a solar sail
Launching more than one satellite at a time is common practice these days, but what about packing thousands of satellites into a rocket and shooting them at the Moon? As part of a Kickstarter campaign, Pocket Spacecraft is offering the public the chance to send small disc satellites into space. These will then either flutter back to Earth from orbit or impact on the lunar surface. Based in Bristol, UK, Pocket Spacecraft plans to create thousands of tiny customized “Scout” satellites to be launched in a cubesat as a way of promoting low cost, mass space exploration.  Read More
The GlassTesla app allows users to remotely secure their Model S using Google Glass
Voice commands via programs like Ford’s Sync are so 2010. A newly-released app called "GlassTesla" uses the interactive capabilities of Google Glass to connect wirelessly with Tesla's Model S. Once connected, owners have a variety of Glass activated commands at their beck and call and information in front of their eyeballs.  Read More
Gizmag reviews the Microsoft Surface Pro that combines the power of a laptop with the form...
What is a PC? When you're reviewing the Microsoft Surface Pro, asking yourself that question is practically obligatory. After all, when the device launched nearly five months ago, Windows 8 was still new, and the idea of a tablet that's every bit as productivity-oriented as a high-end laptop was still a novelty. But today, I don't think there's any question. Devices like the Surface Pro are not only the future of the Windows PC, they're already delivering some exciting possibilities in the present. Is this a cruise worth departing on now? Or is it better to give them a few years to better flesh themselves out? Let Gizmag lend a hand, as we review the Microsoft Surface Pro.  Read More
BMW announces updates to its ConnectedDrive infotainment suite
In addition to fuel efficiency, one of the key battlegrounds in the current auto-tech wars is in-vehicle telematics and infotainment. Automakers are tripping all over each other to safely and functionally integrate connected features like Internet radio, social networking and Web browsing into their dashboards. BMW recently outlined its own strategy, announcing a number of key upgrades to its ConnectedDrive suite that will start hitting vehicles for the 2014 model year.  Read More
Jake Evill's Cortex concept uses 3D printing technology to create a bespoke exoskeletal ca...
The only thing worse than breaking a bone is waiting for it to heal. During the healing process itself, wearing a fiberglass and plaster cast can be a stinky, itchy endeavor that is uncomfortable and inconvenient; all for an injury that is completely internal. Enter Jake Evill's Cortex concept. Beyond having an awesome last name, Jake Evill, a media design graduate of the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, has managed to modernize the ancient concept of a splint using 3D printing technology.  Read More
Fraunhofer's prototype propulsion system
Along with their writhing tentacles, octopi and squid sport another interesting feature – they swim not by swishing a tail, but by expelling a jet of water. This allows them to move very quickly and quietly. Scientists from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation have now copied this system, in a propulsion system that could ultimately find use in boats, recreational watercraft, or submarines.  Read More
The prototype soft exosuit in action
Powered exoskeletons show great promise both for augmenting the abilities of able-bodied users, and for rehabilitating the disabled. That said, they also tend to be hard-bodied contraptions that don’t look particularly comfortable (or light) to wear. Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute recently demonstrated what they hope will be a more user-friendly alternative – a “soft exosuit.”  Read More
Ford's Electronic Brake Light system alerts drivers to other vehicles that are braking in ... The Ford Motor Company recently tested its experimental “Electronic Brake Light” system, as part of the 4-year Safe Intelligent Mobility - Testfield Germany (simTD) joint industry research project. The technology causes a dashboard light to illuminate in your car, when a vehicle in front of you applies its brakes.  Read More
ShopBot's Handibot portable CNC machine
North Carolina-based ShopBot Tools has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring its Handibot prototype to market. Handibot is a CNC machine which, being computer-controlled, can be used to cut materials to size and shape with very high accuracy. Unlike most CNC machines, Handibot is portable, the idea being that you take it to your materials rather than your materials to it. And in that spirit, Handibot can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet rather than full-blown computer (if there's a distinction these days), and users will pay to download individual designs and functions in the form of apps.  Read More
British Airways is testing an electronic luggage tag that travelers can update with a smar...
Most people would probably agree that air travel still has plenty of room for improvement, particularly when it comes to actually checking in and getting on the plane. For its part, British Airways is now taking steps to speed up the whole process on its end and is even testing a digital alternative to the traditional paper luggage tag. The airline recently produced an electronic luggage tag that travelers can update themselves with a smartphone and re-use over and over.  Read More
The Scout satellite is light to act as a solar sail
Launching more than one satellite at a time is common practice these days, but what about packing thousands of satellites into a rocket and shooting them at the Moon? As part of a Kickstarter campaign, Pocket Spacecraft is offering the public the chance to send small disc satellites into space. These will then either flutter back to Earth from orbit or impact on the lunar surface. Based in Bristol, UK, Pocket Spacecraft plans to create thousands of tiny customized “Scout” satellites to be launched in a cubesat as a way of promoting low cost, mass space exploration.  Read More
The GlassTesla app allows users to remotely secure their Model S using Google Glass
Voice commands via programs like Ford’s Sync are so 2010. A newly-released app called "GlassTesla" uses the interactive capabilities of Google Glass to connect wirelessly with Tesla's Model S. Once connected, owners have a variety of Glass activated commands at their beck and call and information in front of their eyeballs.  Read More
Gizmag reviews the Microsoft Surface Pro that combines the power of a laptop with the form...
What is a PC? When you're reviewing the Microsoft Surface Pro, asking yourself that question is practically obligatory. After all, when the device launched nearly five months ago, Windows 8 was still new, and the idea of a tablet that's every bit as productivity-oriented as a high-end laptop was still a novelty. But today, I don't think there's any question. Devices like the Surface Pro are not only the future of the Windows PC, they're already delivering some exciting possibilities in the present. Is this a cruise worth departing on now? Or is it better to give them a few years to better flesh themselves out? Let Gizmag lend a hand, as we review the Microsoft Surface Pro.  Read More
BMW announces updates to its ConnectedDrive infotainment suite
In addition to fuel efficiency, one of the key battlegrounds in the current auto-tech wars is in-vehicle telematics and infotainment. Automakers are tripping all over each other to safely and functionally integrate connected features like Internet radio, social networking and Web browsing into their dashboards. BMW recently outlined its own strategy, announcing a number of key upgrades to its ConnectedDrive suite that will start hitting vehicles for the 2014 model year.  Read More
Jake Evill's Cortex concept uses 3D printing technology to create a bespoke exoskeletal ca...
The only thing worse than breaking a bone is waiting for it to heal. During the healing process itself, wearing a fiberglass and plaster cast can be a stinky, itchy endeavor that is uncomfortable and inconvenient; all for an injury that is completely internal. Enter Jake Evill's Cortex concept. Beyond having an awesome last name, Jake Evill, a media design graduate of the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, has managed to modernize the ancient concept of a splint using 3D printing technology.  Read More
Fraunhofer's prototype propulsion system
Along with their writhing tentacles, octopi and squid sport another interesting feature – they swim not by swishing a tail, but by expelling a jet of water. This allows them to move very quickly and quietly. Scientists from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation have now copied this system, in a propulsion system that could ultimately find use in boats, recreational watercraft, or submarines.  Read More
The prototype soft exosuit in action
Powered exoskeletons show great promise both for augmenting the abilities of able-bodied users, and for rehabilitating the disabled. That said, they also tend to be hard-bodied contraptions that don’t look particularly comfortable (or light) to wear. Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute recently demonstrated what they hope will be a more user-friendly alternative – a “soft exosuit.”  Read More
Ford's Electronic Brake Light system alerts drivers to other vehicles that are braking in ... The Ford Motor Company recently tested its experimental “Electronic Brake Light” system, as part of the 4-year Safe Intelligent Mobility - Testfield Germany (simTD) joint industry research project. The technology causes a dashboard light to illuminate in your car, when a vehicle in front of you applies its brakes.  Read More

NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge is aimed at protecting the Earth while exploiting asteroid...
On June 18, the NASA Asteroid Grand Challenge was announced to a flood of media inattention. This was probably to be expected, as NASA actually said very little about it. Maybe so as to not attract the ire of forces in the US Congress that are trying to shut down the largest portion of this Grand Challenge; namely the capture and relocation of a seven-meter (23 ft) asteroid to a stable lunar orbit for study and as a practice site for asteroid exploration and exploitation. We've dug up the formal Request for Information (RFI) associated with the Grand Challenge, which gives a better idea of where NASA wants to put its money.  Read More
A fingerprint obtained from a stainless steel surface, using the new technique
Here’s something that they don’t tell you in the TV cop shows: although fingerprints may be present at a crime scene, only about 10 percent of the prints found are of good enough quality for use in court. A group of scientists are working on boosting that percentage, however, through the use of a color-changing film.  Read More
Ultrasonic sensors could help detect air leaks on the ISS (Photo: NASA)
In space, no one can hear you scream, but you can hear an air leak. In old science fiction movies, air leaks on spaceships and stations reveal themselves as convenient holes to slap a patch on, but on the complex International Space Station (ISS), it isn't that simple. NASA is working on a new system for detecting the ultrasonic noise of an air leak quickly before it turns into a dangerous race against time.  Read More
The upcoming Moto X will reportedly let you customize its colors (and it won't look much l...
We've been hearing rumors of the Moto X smartphone since late last year. It was originally described as Google's superphone that would do battle with the iPhone and Galaxy S series. Imaginations quickly ran wild, envisioning what Google could do to change the game. Well, we're now getting a clearer picture of that, and it might not be quite what we originally expected.  Read More
Inventor Tomás Henriques' son Tristan, playing the Sonik Spring
Not long ago, Buffalo State University music professor Tomás Henriques set out to develop a digital accordion. While that in itself would have been newsworthy, what he ended up creating could ultimately have a lot more significance. Known as the Sonik Spring, Henriques’ device may find use not only in the field of music, but also as a means of physical rehabilitation.  Read More
The Defiant Big Easy provides grit and power over sand and snow
Two big trends that have stormed the bicycle industry over the past few years are pedal-assisted electric drivetrains and fat tires. These two trends converge in Defiant Bicycles' Big Easy. Unlike other electric bikes that stop at the edge of the street, the Big Easy keeps rolling over some of the toughest, most sluggish terrain on Earth – everything from hot sand to cold, mushy snow.  Read More
Panasonic's SC-MAX650 Extra-Large Audio System
Panasonic has announced a big and colorful music system that can deliver 2,300 watts of crystal clear RMS oomph. The SC-MAX650 Extra-Large Audio System certainly lives up to its name, featuring huge 4-way floor-standing speakers with a prism color light show that moves and swirls in time with the music, and a rather chunky main unit built around full digital amplification in a tri-amp configuration.  Read More
Caterpillar House is located on a hillside just outside Chile's capital city Santiago (Pho...
The use of shipping containers in residential builds is quite popular nowadays, and with good reason: there are untold numbers of the waterproof and durable metal boxes available, so why not put a few to good use? With this in mind, the latest such dwelling to grab our attention is Casa Oruga, or Caterpillar House, by Chilean architect Sebastián Irarrázaval, which also features passive cooling.  Read More
The Recordura electronic door lock runs purely on electricity generated by users pushing o...
Smartphone-enabled electronic door locks such as the Unikey, Lockitron and Goji do have advantages over their traditional counterparts – digital “keys” can be sent to multiple users’ phones, access to locked rooms can be limited to specific dates and/or times for certain users, and keys stored on lost phones can simply be deactivated. However, as with just about any electronic version of a purely-mechanical device, they do introduce one complicating factor: they require a power supply. The Recordura lock, however, generates its own electricity when users push on its handle.  Read More
A MacBook's electromagnetic field brought to life (Video still: Luke Sturgeon and Shamik R...
By rigging an Android smartphone as an electromagnetic field indicator, interaction designers Luke Sturgeon and Shamik Ray have visualized the fields around everyday electronics using long-exposure photography and stop-motion animation. The results are fascinating and beautiful.  Read More
NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge is aimed at protecting the Earth while exploiting asteroid...
On June 18, the NASA Asteroid Grand Challenge was announced to a flood of media inattention. This was probably to be expected, as NASA actually said very little about it. Maybe so as to not attract the ire of forces in the US Congress that are trying to shut down the largest portion of this Grand Challenge; namely the capture and relocation of a seven-meter (23 ft) asteroid to a stable lunar orbit for study and as a practice site for asteroid exploration and exploitation. We've dug up the formal Request for Information (RFI) associated with the Grand Challenge, which gives a better idea of where NASA wants to put its money.  Read More
A fingerprint obtained from a stainless steel surface, using the new technique
Here’s something that they don’t tell you in the TV cop shows: although fingerprints may be present at a crime scene, only about 10 percent of the prints found are of good enough quality for use in court. A group of scientists are working on boosting that percentage, however, through the use of a color-changing film.  Read More
Ultrasonic sensors could help detect air leaks on the ISS (Photo: NASA)
In space, no one can hear you scream, but you can hear an air leak. In old science fiction movies, air leaks on spaceships and stations reveal themselves as convenient holes to slap a patch on, but on the complex International Space Station (ISS), it isn't that simple. NASA is working on a new system for detecting the ultrasonic noise of an air leak quickly before it turns into a dangerous race against time.  Read More
The upcoming Moto X will reportedly let you customize its colors (and it won't look much l...
We've been hearing rumors of the Moto X smartphone since late last year. It was originally described as Google's superphone that would do battle with the iPhone and Galaxy S series. Imaginations quickly ran wild, envisioning what Google could do to change the game. Well, we're now getting a clearer picture of that, and it might not be quite what we originally expected.  Read More
Inventor Tomás Henriques' son Tristan, playing the Sonik Spring
Not long ago, Buffalo State University music professor Tomás Henriques set out to develop a digital accordion. While that in itself would have been newsworthy, what he ended up creating could ultimately have a lot more significance. Known as the Sonik Spring, Henriques’ device may find use not only in the field of music, but also as a means of physical rehabilitation.  Read More
The Defiant Big Easy provides grit and power over sand and snow
Two big trends that have stormed the bicycle industry over the past few years are pedal-assisted electric drivetrains and fat tires. These two trends converge in Defiant Bicycles' Big Easy. Unlike other electric bikes that stop at the edge of the street, the Big Easy keeps rolling over some of the toughest, most sluggish terrain on Earth – everything from hot sand to cold, mushy snow.  Read More
Panasonic's SC-MAX650 Extra-Large Audio System
Panasonic has announced a big and colorful music system that can deliver 2,300 watts of crystal clear RMS oomph. The SC-MAX650 Extra-Large Audio System certainly lives up to its name, featuring huge 4-way floor-standing speakers with a prism color light show that moves and swirls in time with the music, and a rather chunky main unit built around full digital amplification in a tri-amp configuration.  Read More
Caterpillar House is located on a hillside just outside Chile's capital city Santiago (Pho...
The use of shipping containers in residential builds is quite popular nowadays, and with good reason: there are untold numbers of the waterproof and durable metal boxes available, so why not put a few to good use? With this in mind, the latest such dwelling to grab our attention is Casa Oruga, or Caterpillar House, by Chilean architect Sebastián Irarrázaval, which also features passive cooling.  Read More
The Recordura electronic door lock runs purely on electricity generated by users pushing o...
Smartphone-enabled electronic door locks such as the Unikey, Lockitron and Goji do have advantages over their traditional counterparts – digital “keys” can be sent to multiple users’ phones, access to locked rooms can be limited to specific dates and/or times for certain users, and keys stored on lost phones can simply be deactivated. However, as with just about any electronic version of a purely-mechanical device, they do introduce one complicating factor: they require a power supply. The Recordura lock, however, generates its own electricity when users push on its handle.  Read More
A MacBook's electromagnetic field brought to life (Video still: Luke Sturgeon and Shamik R...
By rigging an Android smartphone as an electromagnetic field indicator, interaction designers Luke Sturgeon and Shamik Ray have visualized the fields around everyday electronics using long-exposure photography and stop-motion animation. The results are fascinating and beautiful.  Read More

 
A rendering of how the final product may look
Ever since moviegoers watched in awe as Marty McFly sped along on a hoverboard in Back To The Future Part II, many of us have dreamed of having a real-life hoverboard of our own. Sadly no such product exists, but that hasn't stopped someone from dreaming of making it happen. To do so, they're asking for US$1 million on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.  Read More
Robugtix's T8 is an 8-legged robot that will scare the bejeezus out of unsuspecting victim...
Legged robot kits aren't anything new, but unlike its competition, the T8 octopod comes with a disturbingly realistic 3D-printed exoskeleton that is sure to make an unforgettable first impression. Robugtix (a robotics company based in Hong Kong) is living up to its name with the lifelike robot tarantula, and it can be yours later this year for an introductory price of US$1,350.  Read More
The Canon EOS 70D features Wi-Fi capabilities and a new Dual Pixel CMOS AF system
DSLRs can shoot amazing quality video. But their autofocus is primarily designed for shooting stills and can result in stuttering movie footage, which is why most filmmakers don't use it. However, Canon thinks this could change with the launch of the EOS 70D. The new AF system in the Wi-Fi-toting 20.2-megapixel DSLR is said to offer much faster focusing during Live View, to the point that it can shoot almost camcorder-rivaling video.  Read More
The DALE micro-home is the work of a collaboration between SCI-Arc and Caltech students
Students from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), and California Institute of Technology (Caltech), have joined forces to produce a net-zero micro-home concept for 2013's Solar Decathlon competition. Dubbed "DALE," the futuristic dwelling is able to expand in size, for those situations in which you don't want your micro-home to be quite so micro.  Read More
The Ringtool comes with tons of options and is easy to carry Ringtool from Reductivist might just be the smallest multitool we've ever seen. The creator came up with the idea because he wanted a tool small enough to carry with him on his bicycle commute, but reasoned that it could be used by almost anyone.  Read More
KIOST's Crabster, about the size and weight of a Smart car, will explore shallow seas desp...
The Japanese spider crab is about to lose its title as the world's largest crustacean thanks to a new robot developed in South Korea. For the past two years researchers at the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) have been working on a giant robot crab that is about the size and weight of a Smart car. This summer it will help scientists explore wrecks below the sea, weathering harsh tidal currents rushing over one and a half meters per second.  Read More
Atlas is Ministry of Supply new range of socks made with carbonized coffee
Traditional dress socks are not very gentle to the feet, what with all the heat and sweat they can generate. But new technology can provide new levels of comfort that were not possible until now. From the makers of the high-tech Apollo Shirt, Ministry of Supply once again evokes Greek mythology to launch another sartorial innovation in the shape Atlas, high tech socks that come with a promise of cool and comfortable feet.  Read More
Fact: no one is driving this car (Photo: Gizmag)
Gizmag took a trip to Gothenburg to see six pieces of autonomous driving technology demonstrated by Volvo on Tuesday. A self-parking car and a car that drives itself (albeit under certain conditions) were among the tech on display, rounded out by new detection systems for animals, pedestrians at night, road edges and barriers, as well as a behind-the-scenes car-to-car communication system. All are positioned as pieces of safety technology, Volvo's goal being that no one will die or be seriously injured in a new Volvo come 2020. But it's also clear that Volvo is deadly serious about full autonomy, and given that some of the tech Gizmag saw will be on the market next year, a driverless future feels closer today than it did when the week began. But it's a future that will take some getting used to …  Read More
Researchers have found that a layer of graphene can keep electronic component hotspots up ...
For a two-dimensional material, graphene is certainly punching above its weight in terms of potential applications. Already set to enable faster, stronger and foldable electronic devices, researchers claim that the single layer lattice of carbon atoms can also help keep electronic components up to 25 percent cooler, giving it the potential to significantly extend the working life of computers and other electronic devices.  Read More
The TurtleCell iPhone case features retractable earbuds so you always have a tangle-free s...
Most people never forget their smartphone when they leave the house, but an accompanying set of earbuds can be a different story. Unfortunately, even when people do remember to bring them along, the cords tend to end up a twisted bundle at the bottom of their pocket or bag. A pair of designers may have a simple solution however with the TurtleCell iPhone case, which features retractable earbuds so you always have a tangle-free set of headphones handy.  Read More

VŪHL 05s top speed of 245 km/h (152 mph) isn't special compared to supercars but its handl...
With their enigmatic new VŪHL 05, brothers Iker and Guillermo Echeverria are threatening to stamp Mexico on the supercar map. Unveiled to a select audience at England’s Royal Automobile Club, the lightweight track-racer debuted a week earlier than predicted.  Read More
Stafier's PV roof tile system recesses into the roof If aesthetic concerns are keeping you from buying some solar panels to stick on your roof, Stafier's expansion into photovoltaics may be of interest.  Read More
Carson Optical's binocular adaptor for iPhone 5 Carson Optical has released an adaptor that straps a pair of binoculars to your iPhone as a makeshift telephoto lens.  Read More
Drivetrain updates and weight loss program push Audi’s Lamborgated R8 further than ever in...
Honda had already proved you could build a so-called “everyday supercar” in the NSX. Fifteen years later, Audi set off down the same route with its efforts resulting in the introduction of the R8 in 2006. Leveraging its Lambo connection, the company dropped a retuned Gallardo V10 into the R8 bodyshell for model year 2009. MY13 brought a model overhaul with the arrival of the faster, lighter R8 V10 plus, which we had the pleasure of putting through its paces.  Read More
CAD model of the FluzCrawler robot inspecting a wire cable (Image: Fraunhofer IZFP)
The important task of inspecting cables on bridges, elevators, ski lifts and cable cars for signs of strain, wear and corrosion is commonly carried out by a device that clasps around the cable and exposes it to a magnetic field, looking for disruptions in the field. The problem is that the diameter of the cables and their jackets can vary considerably, limiting the use of such devices. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing have come up with a one-size-fits-all approach in the form of a robot they’ve dubbed the FluxCrawler.  Read More
Douglass Engelbart gives his revolutionary presentation in 1968 that saw the first public ...
Douglas Engelbart, the man who made point and click possible with his invention of the mouse, has died aged 88. When he first demonstrated his invention to a computer conference in San Francisco, California in 1968, it was basically a wooden shell with two metal wheels for registering movement along the X- and Y-axes. Ahead of its time, the mouse wasn’t popularized until the release of the Apple Macintosh in 1984.  Read More
The DFP (Dive-Fish-Paddle) kayak, with its pontoons extended
Compared to human-powered watercraft such as canoes or rowboats, kayaks are certainly fast, plus they’re easy to paddle. Should you try to stand up and fish or scuba dive from one, however, it’s quite likely to capsize. With that in mind, California-based TrueRec has designed the DFP (Dive-Fish-Paddle) sit-on-top kayak. It features spring-loaded pontoons that fold out to the sides and lock in place for added stability when stopped, but that otherwise stay tucked in and out of the way.  Read More
The prototype 'water chip'
Although various alternative technologies are being developed, the large-scale desalination of seawater typically involves forcing it through a membrane that allows the water to pass through, but that traps the salt. These membranes can be costly, they can get fouled, and powerful pumps are required to push the water through. Now, however, scientists from the University of Texas at Austin and Germany’s University of Marburg are taking another approach. They’ve developed a chip that separates salt from water.  Read More
Renault has ripped out the passenger seat and modified the rear end cut-out to make a Carg...
Since first being presented at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault's Twizy has gone from concept to production model, and like many small young things, has also dreamed of becoming a firefighter and a F1 racer. For its latest party trick, the French auto giant really means business. The battery electric roofed quad bike has sacrificed its passenger seat and had its rear end cut-out modified to make room for a small amount of storage space. The result of this collaborative effort from Renault's Tech and Sports divisions is the new Twizy Cargo.  Read More
The Laser Gatling Gun features six burning lasers, and one aiming beam  Patrick Priebe, the German laser weapons hobbyist who previously brought us such creations as the Iron Man Gauntlet and the Plasma Cutter, has gone and made something else. This time around, he’s built a proof-of-concept Laser Gatling Gun.  Read More

André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard celebrate the completion of the Solar Impulse's Miss...
Solar Impulse – the solar-powered airplane of Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg – has successfully landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. In so doing, it begins a new era in the history of aviation: for the first time, a plane capable of flying day and night powered exclusively by solar energy has crossed the USA from the west to the east coasts, without using a single drop of fuel.  Read More
The VTech InnoTab 3 could help keep little fingers away from your tablet
The InnoTab 3 is the latest in the series of child-friendly tablets from VTech. Designed to be a portable and affordable introduction to tablet computing, it features a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a 2-megapixel rotating camera and 2 GB of onboard memory. As with many other kids tablets, the InnoTab 3 can also be used as an eBook reader, MP3 music player, photo viewer and video player.  Read More
The Altair 8800 Clone reproduces the functions and flaws of the original
Owning a piece of computer history can be expensive and not much fun. You can buy a vintage MITS Altair 8800, one of the world’s first successful desktop computers, on eBay, but a good one will cost you over US$4,000. That’s why computer enthusiast Mike Douglas developed the Altair 8800 Clone. It’s a modern, inexpensive, functional reproduction of the historic Altair 8800 computer that uses 21st century technology to recreate a bit of computer history for hobbyists and educators.  Read More
A closeup of the wood fibers used by the researchers in their sodium-ion battery (Image: U...
Li-ion batteries may be ok for your smartphone, but when it comes to large-scale energy storage, the priorities suddenly shift from compactness and cycling performance (at which Li-ion batteries excel) to low cost and environmental feasibility (in which Li-ion batteries still have much room for improvement). A new "wood battery" could allow the emerging sodium-ion battery technology to fit the bill as a long-lasting, efficient and environmentally friendly battery for large-scale energy storage.  Read More
The Function Flashlight is designed to be a do-it-all portable light source
If you’re anything like me, you own a flashlight, a bike light, and a videography light. While they all emit the same sort of white(ish) LED light, their form factor can make it difficult to use one of them for another’s purpose. Vancouver-based mechanical engineer Ronald Chan, however, is hoping that his Function Flashlight will become the one and only go-to portable light source for its owners.  Read More
A sample piece of hull material painted with (bottom) and without the ivermectin-laced pai...
Barnacles may look nice and nautical on things like rocks, but they’re a major problem for watercraft of all sorts. On the hulls of ships, for example, they can drastically decrease the vessel’s hydrodynamics, causing it to burn more fuel and emit more emissions in order to maintain its cruising speed. The most common way of keeping barnacles off those hulls involves the use of environmentally-unfriendly paints. Now, however, a scientist from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg has developed what could be a less harmful alternative.  Read More
Aaron Sebens and his class of fourth-graders from the Central Park School for Children in ...
Aaron Sebens and his class of fourth-graders from the Central Park School for Children in Durham, North Carolina hit Kickstarter back in March to try and raise enough money for their classroom to go off-grid. A rather modest target of US$800 was smashed within a day by the kindness of the international community and, at campaign end, the kids found themselves with the handsome sum of $5,817 to spend on the purchase and installation of a roof-mounted solar energy harvesting system. A wind turbine was added to the shopping list, and just two months later, the 208ers threw a huge "Flip the Switch" party to celebrate leaving the grid. Sebens reports that the classroom has been running on renewables ever since.  Read More
The Peleton bike in use
If people can just exercise at home on stationary bikes, why does anyone even bother going to spin classes? Well, for two main reasons: they get guided through the workout by a fitness expert, and (perhaps more importantly) they receive motivation by being part of a group that’s sharing the same experience at the same time. Now, a New York-based team is developing a product that combines the best of both worlds. The Peleton Bike lets users ride in their own homes, while taking part in a spin class that’s being streamed live to a built-in Android tablet.  Read More
Emporia shopping center by Wingårdh Arkitektkontor
It's that time of year again; the 2013 World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards shortlist has been announced. The event will feature over 300 projects, spread over 29 individual categories and three groups: Completed Buildings, Landscape Projects, and Future Projects.  Read More
Nike's Making app gives users access to its Materials Sustainability Index Nike has launched an app to make sustainability data more readily available to apparel makers. Called Making, the app is targeted at designers to provide them with information on the environmental implications of the materials they work with.  Read More

 

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