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Ben Coxworth

noonee's senior partners model the Chairless Chair

If you work somewhere such as a factory, warehouse, or restaurant kitchen, then you'll know how tiring it can be to stand for several hours at a time. Unfortunately, however, it isn't always practical or safe to carry a stool around with you wherever you go. That's why Swiss start-up noonee has created the Chairless Chair. Worn as an exoskeleton on the back of the legs, it lets you walk or even run as needed, but can be locked into a supporting structure when you go into a sitting position.  Read More

A moth in the NCSU flight-assessment rig

We've been hearing a lot about the development of tiny flying sensor-equipped robots, that could be sent into areas such as disaster sites to seek out survivors or survey the damage. However, why go to the trouble of designing those robots from scratch, when there are already ready-made insects that are about the right size? That's the thinking behind research being conducted at North Carolina State University, which is aimed at converting moths into "biobots."  Read More

Store-bought rubber bands like these become electrically-conductive when infused with grap...

Graphene is a cutting-edge wonder material, used in applications ranging from solar cells to supercapacitors. Rubber bands, on the other hand ... well, they're not so high-tech. By combining the one with the other, however, scientists have created ultra-cheap body motion sensors that could make a big difference in the field of health care.  Read More

The CrankPump stows within a Shimano Hollowtech axle – other makes and models may follow

If you own a higher-end road or mountain bike with a Shimano drivetrain, then chances are it's got a "secret" storage compartment: the hollow space in the axle, that connects the Shimano Hollowtech cranks. While you're not going to be able to fit your phone or wallet in there, you can pop in the new CrankPump CO2 tire pump.  Read More

The SharkStopper PSR is worn on the ankle, and produces orca-like sounds

As regular viewers of a certain TV channel will already know, the orca (or killer whale) is one of the only animals that kills sharks. It would follow, therefore, that sharks generally try to stay away from them. It was with this fact in mind that the SharkStopper Personal Shark Repellent (PSR) device was created. The ankle-worn gadget emulates orca vocalizations, and has reportedly been shown to repel various species of sharks.  Read More

The ATI Neurostimulator (on skull, at left) and its handheld remote control (Photo: The Oh...

While they may not be quite as well-known as migraines, cluster headaches are even more painful, and can occur several times a day. There's presently no cure, although a new "neurostimulator" is claimed to help control them. A US clinical trial of the device has just begun, with a test subject recently having had one implanted beneath his cheekbone.  Read More

UAVs could someday be used to prevent bridge collapses, such as this one in Minneapolis  (...

When bridges are inspected for cracks and other defects that could lead to their collapse, engineers must either hang beneath those bridges on lines, or view them from elevated platforms. Whichever approach is used, a lot of setup is involved, and defects may get missed. In the future, however, unmanned aircraft may be able to more quickly and thoroughly check out bridges, working with wireless sensors built into the structures.  Read More

An IRT table at Ebony restaurant in Dubai

Tired of the waiter ignoring you? Perhaps you want to know a bit more about the dishes, such as how they're made and what's in them? Well, the Interactive Restaurant Technology (IRT) system might be for you. It replaces human waiters and paper menus with multitouch tables.  Read More

The VertiKUL drone in hovering mode

When something is sent to you by airmail, it travels in a fast and relatively fuel-efficient fixed-wing aircraft, not a fuel-guzzling helicopter. Nonetheless, when we hear about the possibility of drones being used to deliver items within cities, multirotor-style aircraft are almost always what's proposed – while they're good at maneuvering in urban spaces, they're essentially just little unmanned helicopters. With that in mind, a group of three engineering students from Belgium's KU Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) have created a prototype delivery drone known as VertiKUL, which combines the best features of both types of aircraft.  Read More

The Noke unlocks in response to a user-specific Bluetooth signal

There are already door locks and bicycle U-locks that are activated by Bluetooth, but Utah-based FŪZ Designs claims that its Noke is the world's first Bluetooth padlock. Like its house- and bike-specific counterparts, the Noke forgoes a physical key or combination dial, and instead unlocks when it detects the Bluetooth signal from an approved user's smartphone.  Read More

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