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Ben Coxworth

The new microchipped skis are designed to take the guesswork out of waxing (Photo: Madshus...

The waxing of cross-country skis can be a tricky business. Not only do you have to determine the proper hardness for the snow conditions, but you also need to make sure that the grippy kick wax and the more slippery glide wax each end up being applied to the proper sections of the ski. Norwegian ski manufacturer Madshus has set out to simplify the process, with microchip-equipped skis.  Read More

A Kawasaki KXF450 with the Mountain Horse Short Track kit

Do you hate not being able to use your dirt bike, all winter long? Well, it turns out that there's a way of pressing it into service, even once the snow has fallen – aside from swapping in studded tires, that is. Timbersled's Mountain Horse kit replaces a motorbike's front wheel with a ski, and its rear wheel with a snowmobile-like track.  Read More

safe@home detects seniors' falls, and contacts people who can help (Photo: Shutterstock)

For seniors in general, falls can result result in broken hips or other serious injuries. For seniors living alone, however, there's also a good chance that they could end up lying on the floor for up to several hours before anyone else knows what's happened. User-triggered radio devices such as Life Alert are helpful up to a point, although they're not much good if the user isn't carrying them at the time, or if they get knocked unconscious. That's why a group of German companies are developing the automatic safe@home system.  Read More

bottlelight-festooned wine bottles, helping to class things up a little There's an old camping trick, for people who don't want to bother getting a lantern: just stick a flashlight up against the bottom of a plastic pop bottle, turn the flashlight on, then bask in the bottle's glow. Now you can do the same sort of thing with wine bottles, using suckUK's bottlelight.  Read More

A close look at one of the nanomotors (inset), inside a living human cell

Imagine if it were possible to send tiny machines into living cells, where they could deliver medication, perform ultra-micro surgery, or even destroy the cell if needed. Well, we've recently come a little closer to being able to do so. Scientists at Pennsylvania State University have successfully inserted "nanomotors" into human cells, then remotely controlled those motors within the cells.  Read More

The go-anywhere ATASD

Here's one you might not have heard before ... Whaddaya get when cross a hovercraft, an airboat and a pontoon boat? Give up? An ATASD, or Amphibious Trimaran with Aerostatic Discharge! OK, it's not that funny, but the vehicle itself is pretty cool. It can travel over virtually any surface, and should soon be heading into production.  Read More

A prototype of the system, with its wacky two valve stems

So, you've upgraded your mountain bike's clincher tires to tubeless, and now you figure you're all up-to-date and on the cutting edge, right? Well, perhaps not for much longer. German tire-maker Schwalbe and bike parts manufacturer Syntace have developed a tubeless dual-chamber tire and wheel system, that they claim should offer better performance than your current old-school single-chamber tires.  Read More

The Scan Eagle UAV, and the Cessna that it knew not to fly into In a recent flight test in Australia, a Scan Eagle UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) succeeded in visually identifying an approaching Cessna aircraft, and letting its own ground-based operators know that evasive action was required. It's being hailed as a major step towards the allowance of UAVs in commercial airspace.  Read More

The hard-to-miss external components of a traditional cochlear implant (Photo: Shutterstoc...

Thanks to the development of cochlear implants, many people who would otherwise be quite deaf are able to regain a limited sense of hearing. Unfortunately, the implants also incorporate external components that can get in the user's way, and that look ... well, that look like the user has something hooked up to their ear. Now, however, researchers at MIT, Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary have developed a chip that could lead to cochlear implants that are entirely implanted.  Read More

The robot makes a bee-line for a red cylinder, after learning that 'red is good'

Because of bees' small size, maneuverability and almost machine-like swarm mentality, it shouldn't come as a surprise that scientists are developing tiny flying robots based on the insects. In order to navigate autonomously, however, those robots' artificial bee brains will have to be capable of identifying objects in their environment, and reacting accordingly. Well, thanks to research recently conducted in Berlin, they may soon be able to do so.  Read More

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