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Antonio Pasolini

Pets

Petzi Pet Cam enables video links – and treats – with pets left at home

Pet parents have a range of devices these days to keep their furry children fed and entertained consistently in their absence. Now a new addition to the remote pet care market adds images and sounds to the fun. The Petzi Treat Cam taps the power of internet-enabled devices not only to dispense food remotely, but also see, speak to and take pictures of their four-legged children when away from home.Read More

Hybrid road sweeper keeps air cleaner, too

A Swiss joint venture has developed a hybrid-electric powertrain for road sweepers that's said to consume half the energy of diesel-hydraulic vehicles and reduce emissions by more than 60 percent. The modular system can also be adapted to cleaner fuel types such as hydrogen. Read More

New study shows Peek eye test app works like a pro

Peek, the smartphone eye test app designed to improve eyecare in remote areas, has been found to be as accurate as traditional methods. According to a study published last week, tests with the app carried out between December 2013 and March 2014 produced levels of accuracy that were on a par with paper-based charts and expensive illuminated vision boxes found in clinics.Read More

Good Thinking

WINKpen: have your wine and write with it, too

If you're into handwriting, drawing, keeping diaries the old fashioned way and sipping wine, you may soon be able to merge all those activities into one. A new device created by Portland-based designer Jessica Chan adds a bohemian touch to the old fountain pen, by allowing it to be charged with any type of raw liquid with a staining property, including – you guessed it – wine. Called WINKpen, it also uses tea, beer, and anything else that tickles the user's fancy.Read More

Researchers try to improve smartwatch typing with two new keyboard concepts

Wearable devices are becoming more prominent, but, apart from voice control, they don't usually offer many ways of entering text. We have seen the ZoomBoard keyboard as one possible solution, as well as large, curved screens that use smartphone-like keyboards. Now a team of researchers from the Universitat Politècnica de València and the University of Stuttgart have developed two tiny QWERTY soft keyboard prototypes that supposedly allow users to enter text more easily into their wearables.Read More

Electronics

MirrorMirror reflects you and your digital info

Doing your hair and brushing your teeth are chores that may become a little more interesting and fun with a new mirror that, besides reflecting, can also display emails, news threads, tweets, public transport times and all kinds of online data. That's because a student team from the College of Science and College of Engineering at Purdue University has created a mirror that doubles as an information interface. Keeping up-to-date with bus schedules inspired the team to come up with the info-mirror.Read More

iFetch Too takes aim at big dogs

In response to the success of the iFetch device that allows small and medium-sized dogs to enjoy a game of fetch by themselves, the iFetch team has upsized things for the imaginatively named iFetch Too, which lets bigger dogs get in on the fun.

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Environment

ReFlow reuses grey water, saves fresh water

"Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink." The famous line from the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge rings increasingly true, as all over the world water shortages threaten the way of life people have grown used to. Climate change and overpopulation have compromised water sources, a threat that calls for ingenious solutions to reduce demand. One of these is the ReFlow G2RSystem (or Re-Flow for short), a system that recycles grey water from the shower or bath to the toilet tank to flush waste. Read More

Robotics

Automated kitchen features robot chef

It may sound like the stuff of futuristic science fiction, but a high-tech kitchen featuring a robot is set to become a commercial reality. The Automated Kitchen was recently unveiled to the public at Hanover Messe in Germany, a leading industrial products trade show. Created by UK-based Moley Robotics, the company claims the robot – the key component of the ensemble – can cook like a seasoned chef. Read More

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