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.
Three years ago, Swiss research institute EPFL announced its plans to build a spacecraft that could grab orbital debris and then carry it back towards Earth, burning up in the atmosphere with it on its way down. Called CleanSpace One,
the satellite was depicted at the time as using a claw-like grasping
tool. Now, however, EPFL has announced that it will utilize a folding
conical net to essentially gobble up bits of space garbage.
We've all been there at some time ... stuck behind a slower-moving
vehicle on a two-lane highway, having to periodically pull part-way into
the oncoming lane to check if it's safe to pass. Needless to say, it
would be much safer and easier if we could just see the road
ahead from the perspective of that other vehicle. Well, that's just
what the EYES system is designed to do.
Bruxism – or "tooth-grinding" to most of us – is a very common problem.
Often caused by stress, it can cause tooth damage, headaches, insomnia
and jaw pain. Unfortunately, because it occurs when we're sleeping, many
people don't even realize they're doing it. Often, a night spent under
observation at a sleep clinic is the only way of "catching it in
action." That could be about to change, however, thanks to the
development of a bruxism-detecting mouth guard.
GoPro's Hero actioncams may already be pretty small, but when compared to things like the Polaroid Cube
... well, they almost look big. Soon, however, consumers will be able
to buy the diminutive Hero4 Session, which is 50 percent smaller and 40
percent lighter than the existing Hero4 Black and Silver models.
In order to treat injured joints, patients are often advised to apply
heat. This typically takes the form of a hot water bottle or
microwavable hot pack (which are cumbersome and cool off) or a heating
pad (which needs to be plugged in). Now, however, scientists from Korea
and the US have created a battery-powered thin mesh that applies heat
and stays put.
Thanks to continuing advances in LED and lithium battery technology,
it's now not uncommon to see mountain bike headlights putting out 3,000
lumens or more. Most of these high-intensity lights incorporate two or
three bulbs, however, requiring a separate battery pack to power them.
With this in mind, we were intrigued when we heard that Light &
Motion had declared its self-contained new Urban 850 Trail FC to be "the
most powerful single-LED bike light that exists." We gave it a try and
liked what it has to offer ... even if its claim may be a little hard to
Back in April, Volvo showed off its Lounge Console
at the Shanghai International Auto Show. The concept replaced the
usually-unoccupied front passenger seat of a chauffeur-driven vehicle
with a multi-purpose luxury footrest for use by the rear-seat passenger.
Building on that idea, the Swedish automaker has now unveiled the
Excellence Child Seat Concept, which replaces the front seat with a
The faster you're going, the farther ahead you should be looking. With
that in mind, Garmin has designed its new Varia bicycle headlight to
automatically focus its beam farther up the road when you're at speed,
while broadening it to give wider but less intense illumination as you
Parrot is already known for its drones that fly through the air and roll/jump along the ground,
but until now the French company hasn't had much to do with the water.
That'll change next month, however, when Parrot releases its Minidrone
There's a certain irony to most e-bikes. Their motors and batteries make
them easier to pedal, yet those same components also make them much
heavier than regular bikes – weights of 50 to 60 lb (23 to 27 kg) aren't
uncommon. Additionally, some "bike snobs" think they're kind of
dorky-looking. E-bike enthusiast Troy Rank and his team, however, have
set out to address the weight and appearance issues. His Maxwell EP0
looks almost entirely like a regular steel-framed flat-bar road bike,
and it's claimed to weigh as little as 25 lb (11 kg) depending on the