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Ben Coxworth

The OutRunner robot – are six legs better than four wheels?

So, you already own little remote-control cars, planes, boats and submarines ... what else could there be? Well, how about something that runs? That's just what the OutRunner does. It's being billed as "the world's first RC running robot," and hopefully you'll soon be able to get one for under $250.  Read More

The Stemlock makes your handlebars temporarily useless

Whether it's bicycles, cars or houses, if thieves really want to get past the lock on something, they can. The trick is to simply not make it worth their while to do so, by adding extra hassles. The Stemlock is just such a hassle. It internally disconnects a bike's handlebar stem from its fork, making it impossible for a thief to steer.  Read More

The 3D-printing robotic quadcopter hovers over its target (Photo: Aerial Robotics Lab)

The swiftlet may not look much different than other little birds, but it has one unique ability – it builds its nest out of its own saliva. Inspired by the swiftlet, scientists at Imperial College London's Aerial Robotics Lab have created a robotic quadcopter that can extrude polyurethane foam while in flight. By targeting where that foam goes, it can build up simple structures, essentially becoming a flying 3D printer. The technology could have some very important applications.  Read More

One of the vibrating capsules, with a quarter for scale (Photo: Digestive Disease Week)

According to Dr. Yishai Ron, a researcher at Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, nearly half of the people who take medication for chronic constipation are unsatisfied with the results. That dissatisfaction can stem from unwanted side effects, concerns over the long-term safety of the medication, or "the fact that it simply doesn’t work." That's why he and his colleagues have created an oral capsule that relieves constipation by vibrating its way along the intestinal tract.  Read More

The technology is also built into Kohler's new Cimarron Touchless Toilet When it comes to things that the germ-conscious want to avoid touching, toilet flush levers likely occupy the top spot. Kohler evidently realizes this, as it now offers a retrofit kit that allows buyers to flush their existing toilet without touching it.  Read More

SoftWheel's Fluent wheel replaces spokes with shocks

After breaking his pelvis six years ago, Israeli farmer Gilad Wolf invented a new suspension system for wheelchairs that incorporates shock absorbers into the wheels. He's now a board member of SoftWheel, a Tel Aviv-based company that refined his creation into a product known as the Acrobat wheel. Although the Acrobat was unveiled in 2012, this year SoftWheel announced something new – a bicycle wheel that uses the same technology, known as the Fluent wheel.  Read More

A new adhesive gel could keep injured soldiers from losing their vision (Photo: Aiding our...

When soldiers or other people sustain eye injuries, retinal detachment and vision loss can result if the eye's vitreous gel isn't kept from leaking out. Given that Band-Aids can't be placed directly on the eyeball, however, a team of scientists from the University of Southern California has created an alternative – reversible eye glue.  Read More

The Synchrobox has an integrated front derailleur, and mounts at the bottom of the seat tu...

Judging by the increasing popularity of 1x11 drivetrains and hub transmissions, a lot of cyclists are evidently getting tired of shifting between multiple chainrings. Indeed, it can get confusing trying to figure out if your gearing needs are best met by shifting to a bigger ring in front, a smaller sprocket in back, or what. IXOW's new Synchrobox is designed to address that conundrum – it uses one shifter to automatically adjust both derailleurs, in order to attain the rider's desired gear ratio.  Read More

One of the modified nanocellulose sponges soaks up oil (red) while repelling water (blue)

As the Deepwater Horizon incident showed us, oil spills can be huge environmental disasters. That said, there are also considerable challenges in dealing with the waste products generated by the forestry and agriculture industries. Now, scientists from Switzerland's Empa research group have come up with a method of addressing the one problem with the other – they've developed sponges made from cellulose waste, that can soak up 50 times their own weight in oil.  Read More

A mock-up of the virtual keyboard system in use

We've been hearing about virtual keyboards for several years now, and they usually take the form of a keyboard template that's projected onto a flat surface. A team at Sweden's Mälardalen University, however, is developing something a little different. It's a system that combines a pair of bracelets with a wearable device such as Google Glass, to create a virtual keyboard that only its user can see.  Read More

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