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.
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
Besides simply being fascinating to watch, insect-inspired robots may
someday find use as scouts in search-and-rescue operations. In order
for them to function in such scenarios, however, they'll have to be able
to move through fields of debris. While some scientists have looked at
using sensors and algorithms that let the bots scan their surroundings
and then plot paths around obstacles, researchers at UC Berkley have
developed a much less complex but still effective approach – they've
outfitted a robotic cockroach with a streamlined shell, that lets it
just push its way through.
There are already several methods of identifying cattle –
branding, ear tags, tattooing and ear notching all come to mind. Now,
however, Egyptian scientists are working on a new biometric system that's less
invasive and more difficult to thwart: electronic muzzle-printing.
It's now pretty common for people to use an actioncam to record their
bicycle trips. Some people even wear one, with another mounted somewhere
on their bike. What isn't so common, however, is to see someone cycling
with up to nine cameras going at once. That's just what
Emmy-award winning producer Rich Collier does on a regular basis,
however, in the production of his Roll Play TV quiz show.
And you thought that regular pill bottles were hard to open ... a new
overdose-proof medication dispenser developed by a team of mechanical
engineering students at Johns Hopkins University can't be opened even
with the help of a hammer or drill. It does, however, deliver the proper
dosage at the proper time, as long as the patient uses its built-in
The Morgan Threewheeler
is definitely a unique vehicle, although with prices starting just shy
of £30,000 (about US$47,000) ... well, it ain't cheap. That said, if
it's mainly just the look of the thing that you like, you might
consider saving quite a few bucks and going with the human/electric
hybrid replica now being offered by Minsk-based Ekomobil.
Electric bikes may help you climb hills, fight headwinds and arrive at
work in a non-sweaty state, but they still won't keep you dry when it
rains. That's one of the reasons that some people – mostly deep-pocketed
people – are looking at human/electric hybrid velomobiles. One of the latest such vehicles to hit the road is Virginia-based inventor Peter Ginzburg's GinzVelo.