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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.

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— Mobile Technology

Smartphones could run 30 percent longer, by harvesting their own radio waves

By - May 26, 2015 1 Picture

Scientists have already devised systems that allow electronic devices to scavenge power from ambient electromagnetic energy sources such as radio waves. While the technology has generally been limited to small devices such as wireless sensors, a research team has recently created a scavenging system that charges a smartphone's battery, letting it last up to 30 percent longer per charge – and the system does so using radio signals emanating from the phone itself.

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— Aircraft

Nano Tornado drone swaps props for ducted fans

By - May 25, 2015 2 Pictures

Although personal drones are becoming increasingly popular, a lot of people are still understandably intimidated by their exposed propellers. Not only can those whirling blades hurt people, but they also regularly get damaged in crashes. That's why Pasadena, California-based Polyhelo created the Nano Tornado. It's a quadcopter, but instead of open props it utilizes four ducted fans.

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— Good Thinking

ShopInstantShoe instant-fit shoe system is heading for stores

By - May 25, 2015 2 Pictures

For women, buying the wrong shoes can be about more than just esthetics. If they end up with shoes that don't fit properly, they can develop foot disorders such as bunions, hammertoes or ingrown toenails. That's where the European Union's DemoShopInstantShoe project comes in. Established a few years ago, the collaborative effort is now about to release a device that instantly adapts off-the-rack shoes to a custom fit.

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— Science

Thought-controlled robotic arm reacts faster and more smoothly than its predecessors

By - May 22, 2015 1 Picture

Although we've definitely seen a number of thought-controlled prosthetic arms before, most of those have been activated by implants in the user's motor cortex, which is the brain's movement-control center. The arms' resulting movements have been somewhat jerky, plus there's typically been a delay between the user thinking about moving the arm, and the actual movement taking place. Now, however, a team of researchers has announced the results of an experiment in which those limitations were greatly reduced.

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— Science

Horseshoe bat-inspired sonar system could outperform current tech

By - May 21, 2015 2 Pictures

While just about everyone knows that bats locate prey in the dark using echolocation, one thing that many people may not realize is the fact that horseshoe bats are particularly good at it. With this in mind, engineers at Virginia Tech are now developing a sonar system that emulates the system used by those bats. Once perfected, it could be a much more compact and efficient alternative to traditional manmade sonar arrays.

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— Bicycles

Centinel Wheel makes bikes into e-bikes

By - May 20, 2015 2 Pictures

If you'd like the ease of an electric bicycle but don't want to give up your perfectly good "manual" bike, there is something you can do – you can replace your bike's existing rear wheel with the electrically-powered Copenhagen Wheel or FlyKly, or replace its front wheel with the Omni Wheel. Those three products may soon have to make room for another competitor, however, as the Centinel Wheel enters the marketplace.

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— Aircraft

B-Unstoppable combines a mini tank and a drone

By - May 20, 2015 5 Pictures

A couple of years ago, UK-based product designer Witek Mielniczek turned to Kickstarter to fund B – a combination radio-controlled car and quadcopter. Its ability to both fly through the air and drive along the ground was certainly intriguing, although its ability to traverse rough terrain wasn't necessarily phenomenal. That's why he's now created B-Unstoppable, which swaps wheels for neoprene tank-like treads.

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