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— Electronics

World's highest-performance single-molecule diode created

By - August 3, 2015 3 Pictures

As electronics miniaturization heads towards a theoretical physical limit in the tens of nanometers, new methods of manufacturing are required to produce transistors, diodes, and other fundamental electronic components. In this vein, a new range of molecule-sized devices have been created in the laboratory, though with varying results in terms of efficiency and practicality. Now a group of researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University claims to have created the highest-performing, single-molecule diode ever made, which is said to be 50 times better in performance and efficiency than anything previously produced.

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— Automotive

Swincar tilting 4-wheel-drive "spider car" makes light work of bizarre terrain

By - August 3, 2015 20 Pictures

We love our tilting vehicles here at Gizmag, but we’ve never seen anything quite like the Swincar Spider before. It's a remarkable tilting 4-wheeler concept that boasts absolutely ridiculous rough terrain capabilities. Each wheel has its own electric hub motor and is independently suspended on a spider-like limb. The result is a vehicle that leans into fast turns like a motorcycle, but can also happily go up or down a 70-percent gradient, ride across a 50-percent gradient that puts the left wheels a couple of feet higher than the right ones, or ride diagonally through ditches that send the wheels going up and down all over the place like a spider doing leg stretches. It looks absolutely bonkers.

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— Around The Home

Knocki taps into the Internet of Things

By - August 3, 2015 14 Pictures

Can you knock on your kitchen countertop to dim the lights, turn on your favorite music or send your partner a text message? You can if you have a "Knocki" stuck to it. Developed by Texas-based Swan Solutions, Knocki is a disc-shaped device that turns solid surfaces, such as walls, doors or tables, into remote control switches for internet-connected devices. All you have to do is knock.

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— Home Entertainment Review

Review: Plantronics' feature-filled BackBeat Sense headphones

By - August 3, 2015 13 Pictures

Plantronics, well known for communication headsets and Bluetooth earpieces, has been showing more of its casual, active lifestyle side over the past year. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro, BackBeat Fit, and BackBeat Go 2 have been targeted at consumers looking for portable audio gear. But with the market so saturated these days, it takes more than Bluetooth wireless to turn heads. We get some quality time with Plantronics’ latest BackBeat Sense headphones to see if the added features truly make a meaningful difference.

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— Robotics

GE atomic swimmer robot keeps tabs on nuclear reactors

By - August 3, 2015 2 Pictures

One truism of nuclear reactors is that you really don't want to be next to one. Unfortunately, reactor cores need to be inspected and maintained, which means teams of workers going inside the containment vessel. It's an operation that's not only hazardous, but expensive and time consuming. In an effort to make such inspections safer, cheaper, and faster, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has developed the Stinger; a free-swimming, remote-controlled robot that replaces humans for cleaning and inspecting reactor vessels.

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