Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Ben Coxworth

Carnegie Mellon's snake robot – now better able to ascend sandy slopes (Photo: CMU)

If a robot is looking for victims at a disaster site, or even exploring another planet, then it certainly better not get stuck in the sand. That may now be a little less likely to happen, as scientists recently studied one of the best sand-travelers in the animal kingdom – the sidewinder rattlesnake. After they analyzed its movement patterns and applied them to an existing snake-inspired robot, that robot was better able climb up sandy inclines.  Read More

The Paper Airplane Machine Gun, providing covering fire The ability to fold a reasonably functional paper airplane isn't something that everyone possesses. If you're one of those people, then perhaps this is what you need – a device that takes multiple flat pieces of ordinary paper, folds each one into an airplane, then shoots it into the air.  Read More

The Samson is designed to be rowed from New York City to Paris

Like many fathers with young children, experienced rower Andras Bakos is concerned about what sort of shape the environment will be in by the time his son grows up. That's why in 2011, he began planning a trans-Atlantic rowing expedition to raise awareness of environmental issues. The boat that he had custom-built for the trip is now ready to go, and it looks like it could just as well be used for rowing to Mars.  Read More

The reflection of a user's finger 'touches' a museum artifact, causing a projected pop-up ...

Perhaps you've been in a situation where you noticed that your reflection in a window looked like it was actually standing amongst the items that were visible through that window. Now, scientists at the University of Bristol have taken that phenomenon and incorporated it into an experimental new interactive display. Among other things, it lets users select objects seen through a pane of glass, using the reflection of their finger on that glass.  Read More

The C-Pulse system is designed to take stress off the heart, by helping it circulate blood...

When you hurt a muscle, it's usually advisable to lay off extensive use of it, until it's had a chance to heal. Well, your heart is a muscle. Although you can't just stop using it altogether when it's damaged, you can make its job easier. That's what Sunshine Heart's C-Pulse system was designed to do, and a current study suggests that it does indeed help victims of heart failure recover more quickly.  Read More

HTC's pipe-like RE actioncam

Although HTC is best-known for its smartphones, today the company announced its venture into another product category – actioncams. The company has announced the RE, a viewfinder-less waterproof video camera that looks sort of like something you'd find in a plumbing store.  Read More

The Efneo gearbox is claimed to be equivalent to a front crankset equipped with 28t/40t/50...

While shifts between the sprockets on a bike's cassette are generally quite fast and crisp, going between the chainrings up front is definitely a slower, more awkward affair. In an effort to make things quicker and easier, Poland's Efneo has developed a 3-speed planetary gearbox to take the place of the front derailleur.  Read More

The Ikea Regissör bookshelf Were you one of those kids who bought the snap-together model kits, instead of the usual ones that required glue? Well, even if you weren't, you'll likely be glad to hear this – Ikea is planning to start selling furniture that requires no tools to put together.  Read More

The Plastc Card features an e-ink screen and a rewritable magnetic strip

Tired of digging through the collection of credit, debit and loyalty cards in your wallet? Well, if you are, then you're the sort of person who might like the Plastc Card. It's a new electronic card-format device, that can store the information for up to 20 other cards on it at once. You just select the card that you want to access via the e-ink screen, then use Plastc as if it were that card.  Read More

Empa ceramics specialist Jakob Kübler, with some of the materials used in the brake rotor ...

When it comes to making cars more energy-efficient – whether they're battery- or gas-powered – getting their weight down is one of the best things you can do. Unfortunately, the cast iron brake rotors currently used in most vehicles are quite heavy. Lighter ceramic rotors certainly do exist, although their high price mostly limits their application to expensive sports cars. Soon, however, ceramic-coated aluminum rotors may be a cost-effective lightweight alternative for economy cars.  Read More

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