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.
Some hobbyists might already be familiar with micarta, a solid material
made from layers of denim that have been bonded together with resin.
While it's usually carved to create objects such as knife handles, UK
startup Mosevic is using a micarta-like substance to make something else – blue jeany-looking sunglasses.
If you've ever seen a bat in flight, then you'll know how quickly and
precisely they can maneuver. Scientists from Johns Hopkins University,
Columbia University and the University of Maryland have now uncovered
one of the key factors that allows them to do so – and it could have
applications in the design of aircraft.
There is already a way of running with your young children – you
push them in front of you, in a running-style stroller. With your arms
holding onto its handle, however, your form isn't exactly ideal. That's
why a group of entrepreneurs from Bend, Oregon has created the
kidRunner. It's a kid jogger that you tow.
When it comes to donated blood, type O is special. It can be given to anyone, regardless of their blood type. By contrast, type A can only go to A or AB patients, and B can only go to B or AB patients. Additionally, type O patients can only receive O. Thanks to new research, however, it may soon be possible to give anyone whatever type of blood happens to be available, with no ill effects.
Competitive cyclists like to track their power output, and many use a power meter
in order to do so. Those meters mostly take the form of a device that's either added to or built into one crank arm, and they can cost anywhere from around US$1,000 to over $2,000. The Limits power meter, however, simply goes between the pedal and crank of any bike, and is planned to cost less than $400.
Flying a drone can be a nerve-racking experience. No matter how careful you are, there's always a chance that your several-hundred-dollar aircraft could lose a prop, lose power, or otherwise get messed up and come plummeting to the ground. That's why Nashville-based videographer and drone enthusiast Michael Pick developed SmartChutes.
If robots are ever going to interact with us on a daily basis, then it's important that they know what sort of emotions we're expressing. While some already use computer vision systems
to do so, Korean scientists have developed what they say is a simpler and more precise technology – users just have to be willing to stick something on their face.
Sweeping the floor can be a hassle in its own right, but for some people, having to stoop down and collect the sweepings in a dustpan is just too much. If you're one of those people, you might like Bruno – it's a garbage can that automatically sucks up debris that's swept toward it.
Until the 1960s, Japan's three I-400-class subs were the largest submarines ever built. They were so large, in fact, that they could each carry and launch three Aichi M6A Seiran amphibious aircraft. The idea was that the submarines could stealthily bring the planes to within striking distance of US coastal cities, where they could then take off and conduct bombing runs. Now, for the first time since it was scuttled at the end of World War II, one of the sunken subs' aircraft hangars has been photographed.
When a vein or artery gets seriously blocked, a common course of action involves replacing it with part of another blood vessel harvested from elsewhere in the patient's body. While 3D-printed
blood vessels show promise as alternatives, scientists from the Vienna University of Technology and Vienna Medical University have developed another option – polymer fabric vessels that transform into biological ones, once implanted.