Computational creativity and the future of AI

Ben Coxworth

Ben Coxworth
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
Top Articles by Ben Coxworth
The Kadalock mounts on existing bottle cages – although you should check for compatibility...

The keyless Bluetooth bike locks are now coming thick and fast ... relatively speaking. In just the past couple of years, we've heard about the Skylock, Bitlock, Lock8, Ulock and Noke U-lock. Now, the Kadalock has appeared on our radar. It differs from the others in that it's a cable lock, and it mounts on the user's existing water bottle cage.  Read More

Antifreeze can be deadly, but perhaps not for much longer (Photo: Shutterstock)

Because of its sweet flavor and aroma, thousands of wild animals, pets and children are poisoned by drinking automotive antifreeze/coolant every year. Its particularly nasty ingredient is ethylene glycol, which affects the central nervous system, heart and kidneys to the point that it can ultimately prove lethal. Now, however, scientists from Colorado-based ACTA Technology, Inc. have replaced the ethylene glycol with another compound that's not only safe, but that also improves the performance of the antifreeze.  Read More

The new material utilizes the same protein that squids use to change color (Photo: Shutter...

We've already heard about two different studies in which scientists are developing camouflage systems inspired by squids' color-changing skin. If they're successful, the result could be military clothing that can change its coloration to match the environment. It's an intriguing idea, although it presumably still wouldn't allow soldiers to avoid detection by infrared cameras at night. Now, however, researchers from the University of California at Irvine are developed a stick-on covering that could let them do so.  Read More

The Laser Drone on the prowl The ability to view real-time video from a quadcopter's onboard camera is certainly a handy feature, but let's be honest – there are probably a lot of people who just think, "Wouldn't be great if I could use this to shoot at stuff?". Well, German cyberpunk weapons tinkerer Patrick Priebe has adapted an off-the-shelf drone so it can do just that – using a laser.  Read More

While gecko feet utilize hair-like fibers, the new material uses similar manmade microscop...

In various types of manufacturing, parts are robotically picked and placed using graspers or suction cups. The former can damage fragile items, however, while the latter won't work in vacuums or on rough surfaces. That's why scientists from Germany's Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM) have developed – well, a new material. It utilizes the same principle as sticky gecko feet, but its gripping quality can be switched on and off as needed.  Read More

Intelligent Speed Limiter won't let drivers unknowingly exceed posted speed limits

While there certainly are drivers who knowingly exceed the speed limit, many others aren't even aware that they're doing so. Given that using cruise control isn't all that practical when driving around town, Ford has instead introduced the Intelligent Speed Limiter. The technology will debut on the newest incarnation of the automaker's S-Max vehicle.  Read More

Yamaha's Root motorcycle concept

In its recent Ah A May exercise, Yamaha both spelled its own name backwards, and got two groups of its designers to trade places – musical instrument designers from Yamaha Corp were tasked with creating motorcycles, while motorcycle designers from Yamaha Motor Company had to create instruments. We've already seen the interesting musical devices that resulted, but now here's the pair of two-wheelers.  Read More

Team member Filomena Simone with the prototype hand (Photo: Oliver Dietze)

Whether they're on robots or amputees, artificial hands tend to be rather complex mechanisms, incorporating numerous motor-driven cables. Engineers from Germany's Saarland University, however, have taken a different approach with their hand. It moves its fingers via shape-memory nickel-titanium alloy wires, bundled together to perform intricate tasks by working like natural muscle fibers.  Read More

There's gold – and lead, apparently – in them thar biosolids (Photo: Heather Lowers, USGS ...

Mining operations tend not be very good for the environment, nor does the disposal of treated solid waste that still contains potentially-toxic metals. Now, however, scientists are looking into taking that waste and harvesting its trace amounts of metals such as gold, silver and platinum. Doing so could ultimately reduce the need for mining and decrease the amount of metals entering the environment, while also turning sewage into a source of revenue.  Read More

Packing peanuts may be good for more than just ... packing  (Photo: Shutterstock)

When a new lab was recently being set up at Purdue University in Indiana, a lot of the equipment arrived in boxes full of protective packing "peanuts." Unfortunately, few facilities exist for recycling the little pieces of foam, so they typically end up sitting in (or getting blown around) landfills for several decades. A team of Purdue researchers, however, discovered that they could find use in better-performing lithium-ion batteries.  Read More

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