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.
Just a few months ago we heard about the HexH2o
, a waterproof hexacopter that can shoot both aerial and underwater footage. While it looks like it could be a lot of fun, its US$3,658 price tag certainly isn't for everyone. If you don't mind a drone with two fewer propellers, however, Urban Drones' just-announced Splash Drone offers a much less expensive alternative.
It may indeed be a First World problem, but using a mouse or arrow key to scroll through blocks of computer text is a bit of a hassle – particularly for people lacking the use of their ams. That's why scientists from Germany's Saarland University and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence have developed a sort of teleprompter-like system, which automatically scrolls text at the rate that it's being read.
Four years ago, Lamborghini first released the Aventador LP 700-4
. This week at the Geneva International Motor Show, the automaker unveiled its latest take on the model – the lighter, more aerodynamic and more powerful Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce. It's described by the company as "the purest essence of a Lamborghini Super Sports Car."
Undersea oil pipelines are typically inspected about once every five years ... but what happens if one of them gives out between those inspections? That's where the Norwegian SmartPipe project comes in. Initiated in 2006, it's aimed at developing self-monitoring pipelines that continuously transmit real-time status reports to shore.
Circular robotic vacuum cleaners may be popular, but it's hard for them to reach dust and dirt in the corners of rooms. That's why Panasonic has gone with a triangular shape – a Reuleaux triangle, to be precise – for its new MC-RS1 Rulo robo-vac.
You've probably heard about pens with conductive ink
, that allow users to draw circuits onto materials such as paper. Now, researchers at the University of California, San Diego have gone a step or two farther – they've created "bio-inks" that could be used to draw sensors onto a variety of surfaces, using an ordinary ballpoint pen.
Wheel theft is always a risk when leaving a nice bike parked in an urban environment. Cyclists can do things like removing the front wheel and locking it to the frame and rear wheel, or carrying multiple locks. Kryptonite's new Security WheelNutz, however, offer a quicker and lighter alternative ... with an interesting twist.
It's a simple fact that the more fluid an oil is, the easier it is to pump. That's why oil companies typically heat sections of pipeline, to reduce the viscosity of the crude oil traveling within. Generating that heat still requires a fair amount of energy, however, plus the oil's reduced viscosity produces turbulence it its flow. Temple University's Prof. Rongjia Tao has developed what may be a better alternative – a device that electrifies the oil.
The humble limpet has been receiving a lot of press lately, as scientists recently determined that the material from which its teeth are made is officially the world's strongest natural material
. Now, an MIT/Harvard study suggests that a specific type of limpet's shell
may hold the key to transparent displays that require no internal light source.
We've seen a number of off-road skateboards
hit the market over the past several years, although most of them have little or no suspension, and many do
have electric motors
– the latter is fine if you want it, but just adds weight, expense and complexity if you don't. Industrial designer Chris Terpstra's new Gila Board doesn't have a motor, but instead sports a unique fully-adjustable independent suspension system.