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.
In the not-too-distant future, burn victims may be able to recover in the half the time than is possible today. If so, it will be thanks to a biodegradable dressing that applies cultured skin cells directly to the wound site.
Last year, architects Mihail Klenov and Martin Angelov introduced the world to their Halfbike
. Its quirkiness apparently struck a chord with a lot of people, as it was successfully funded on Kickstarter. Now, they're raising funds for the new-and-improved Halfbike II.
Algae may indeed be a potential source of biofuel
, but it can also find use in things like nutritional supplements and cosmetics. When it's grown commercially, its growth is usually aided with chemical fertilizers. The cost of those chemicals cuts into the profits, however, plus the fertilizers are also needed for more traditional crops. That's why scientists from Houston's Rice University are looking into growing algae in municipal wastewater – the water would already contain its own free fertilizer, plus the algae would help clean it up.
Bike helmets take up a lot of room in a bag, which is why we've already seen ones that can be folded like an accordion
, a taco
, or an armadillo
. Closca Design's Fuga, however, takes yet another approach – it telescopes down from the top.
Back in 2009, the US Department of Energy issued its SuperTruck Challenge. The program provided funding for truck manufacturers to design and build a prototype vehicle that was at least 50 percent more freight-efficient than a baseline 2009 truck. Daimler Trucks North America recently unveiled its response – the Freightliner SuperTruck. It goes beyond the 50 percent figure, with a claimed efficiency increase of 115 percent.
How would you like to be able to know the chemical composition of something, just by taking a snapshot or video of it with your smartphone? You may eventually be able to, thanks to a compact hyperspectral imaging camera being developed at Tel Aviv University.
actually claimed to have seen living pterosuars – just Google the word "ropen" – although those alleged sightings tend to be confined to far-flung places such as Papua New Guinea. That could be about to change, however, if a new Kickstarter campaign is successful. Ohio-based PaulG Toys is raising production funds for a radio-controlled pterodactyl, that actually flies by flapping its wings.
Usually when we hear about high-end automakers dabbling in bicycle design, the result is a road bike – recent examples have included bikes made in collaboration with companies such as McLaren
, Aston Martin
. Joining the likes of Porsche
, however, Mercedes‑AMG has decided to go with a mountain bike. The sports car and performance brand within Mercedes-Benz recently joined forces with German bicycle manufacturer Rotwild, to create the limited-edition Rotwild GT S.
There are already concepts that would see electric vehicles draw power from cables in the road
, thus freeing those vehicles up from lugging around heavy batteries. British firm Texchange, however, is going a step farther – it's developing a system where the motor is in the "road," too.
If you've never used a 3D printer, then you might not be aware of the fact that the objects they create don't always emerge in their final, flawless form. They often contain small printing errors, fringes of stray material, and supporting structures that need to be removed. Retouch3D uses heat to melt away those imperfections.