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Ben Coxworth

A concrete beam coated with the skin (above), and a computer map of the cracks in it

Although concrete structures such as bridges are now often built with strain sensors embedded within them, that certainly hasn't always been the case. In order to alert authorities to cracks developing within these older structures, one solution involves attaching sensors to them. Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Eastern Finland are working on an alternative, however – an electrically-conductive paint-on "sensing skin."  Read More

The Universal Bike's frame can reportedly be adjusted to fit a wide variety of riders and ...

One of the hassles involved in buying a bicycle is determining what frame size you should get. The size that works with one make and model isn't always the best choice for another, plus you might sometimes find that your particular measurements put you "between" sizes. Additionally, even if you get the frame dimensions right, you may discover that components such as the handlebar stem are too long or short. New York City-based Brooklyness wants to address that situation, with its one-size-for-everyone adjustable Universal Bike.  Read More

The teeth inside squids' sucker rings help the creatures hang onto prey, and they could he...

There seems to be no end to the proposed human technologies based on attributes of the squid. The animals' beaks have inspired a material that could be used for medical implants, their muscles may lead us to color-changing clothing, the chitosan in their "pens" has been used to create a proton-conducting transistor, and their movements served as the inspiration for a soft-bodied robot. Now, it turns out that the teeth inside the suckers on their tentacles might be the basis for materials that could be used in fields such as reconstructive surgery.  Read More

Modified red blood cells could be put to work, delivering more than just oxygen

Although several studies are currently exploring the use of man-made nanoparticles for delivering medication to targeted areas of the body, care must be taken to ensure that those particles don't cause adverse reactions when introduced to the bloodstream. Scientists at the MIT-affiliated Whitehead Institute, however, are taking a different approach to the same basic concept. They've developed a method of attaching chemical payloads to red blood cells.  Read More

A rendering of the V8 Wet Rod If you're a millionaire who wants the ultimate in opulence for your sea voyages, you get yourself a luxury yacht. However, what about those times when you're just playing around? Currently, you get the same Jet Ski-type thing as everyone else ... although there may soon be an alternative. Yacht designer Kurt Strand has just announced his forthcoming Strand Craft V8 Wet Rod luxury personal watercraft.  Read More

A mock-up of the universal calorie counting device

Although there are already devices that can tell you approximately how many calories are in your food, they typically require you to manually input data regarding the type and amount of food that you're eating ... and as we all know, people generally don't like having to "do" things. A senior scientist at GE, however, is developing a gadget that could instantly display the caloric content of any food placed within it, at the touch of a button.  Read More

One of the relatively few S-Works McLaren Tarmac bicycles

Three years ago, US bicycle manufacturer Specialized teamed up with Britain's McLaren Applied Technologies to create what they called "the fastest complete performance bike in the world" – the S-Works + McLaren Venge. Now, the bike-maker and the high-end car-maker have once again joined forces, this time to produce the S-Works McLaren Tarmac. Only 250 of the road bikes will be made.  Read More

Thanks to an app update, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision and Vision+ are now able to follow pre-p...

You could almost say that the DJI Phantom is to consumer drones what the GoPro Hero is to actioncams – not the first or the cheapest, but certainly among the best-known. One thing that the Phantom has lacked in comparison to some of its competitors, however, is the ability to fly on its own. Well, it's now able to do that too, thanks to the addition of the Ground Station feature to its existing camera app.  Read More

The Clever Buoy is designed to detect sharks and send alerts to lifeguards

In many parts of the world, shark attacks are a very real possibility for anyone entering the ocean. While suspended nets do help keep the toothsome fish separated from swimmers, they're far from from 100 percent reliable, plus sharks (along with other marine animals) regularly get caught in them and perish – as sharks are one of the ocean's apex predators, removing them from the ecosystem could have disastrous consequences. The Clever Buoy, however, may prove to be an effective method of keeping humans and sharks apart, with no harm coming to either.  Read More

Ford's new knee airbag (bottom) uses the outer panel of the glove box to distribute the fo...

There's little doubt that knee airbags serve an important role in automobiles, protecting occupants' knees and shins from hard impacts against the dash in the event of a collision. However, as with any added component, they do take up space within the vehicle. Ford is addressing that factor in its 2015 Mustang, which will feature a passenger-side knee airbag that's built into the existing glove box.  Read More

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