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Ben Coxworth

A schematic of the Ko-TAG system in use

As some readers may already know, Volvo recently developed a system that uses an in-vehicle radar system to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians and cyclists on the road in front of them. Now, Germany's Technische Universitaet Muenchen has come up with a system of its own, that can even detect pedestrians that aren't within line of sight of the car.  Read More

The good ol' red, white and blue – turkeys show off their color-changing skin (Photo: Shut...

Turkeys may not be everyone's idea of beautiful birds, but they certainly have colorful skin on their heads. What's more, that skin changes color with the animal's mood. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have now copied the process by which those color changes occur, and used it to create a biosensor that could be used to detect airborne toxins.  Read More

The Ekobrew Elite is a reusable alternative to Keurig's single-use K-Cups Some people sure like their Keurig coffee brewers, although the things are a major steps backwards, environmentally-speaking – for every cup of java that's made, another coffee mix-containing "K-Cup" is used and disposed of. Ekobrew's Stainless Steel Elite K-Cup, however, can be refilled with ground coffee and used over and over.  Read More

The batteries, actually mini fuel cells, could be refilled with sugar as needed (Photo: Sh...

Even today's best rechargeable lithium batteries do lose their ability to hold a charge after a while, and are considered toxic waste once discarded. In just a few years, however, they may be replaced by batteries that are refillable and biodegradable, and that will also have a higher energy density yet a lower price ... and they'll run on sugar.  Read More

A diagram of the experimental orthotic device

We've recently been hearing a lot about how exoskeletons can be used in rehabilitation, guiding patients' disabled limbs through a normal range of motion in order to develop muscle memory. The problem is, most exoskeletons are rigid, limiting their degrees of freedom to less than those of the body part they're moving. A team of scientists are looking at changing that, with a partial "soft exoskeleton" that replicates the body's own muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Read More

The Track N Go system incorporates the vehicle's existing tires

You may think that your 4 x 4 with its lugged tires is pretty good in the snow, but it's never going to match the traction and flotation offered by a tracked vehicle. While systems such as those made by Mattracks allow users to replace their vehicle's wheels with tracks, AD Boivin Inc's Track N Go lets you simply add tracks onto your wheels when needed.  Read More

The Mk1 cargo trike leans like a bike

Cargo trikes may be very practical, but unfortunately they can also be pretty slow and dumpy. This is particularly noticeable when taking corners, as they can can't lean into the turn like a regular bicycle. The designers at Denmark's Butchers & Bicycles, however, have decided to change that, with their Mk1 leaning cargo trike.  Read More

A diagram and a microscope image (inset) of one of the bio-bots

If you were asked to think of something microscopic that moves quickly, chances are that sperm would be the first thing to come to mind. The tiny reproductive cells are able to swim as fast as they do thanks to their long whip-like tails, known as flagella. So, imagine how helpful it might be if sperm-like machines could be used for applications such as delivering medication to targeted areas of the body. Well, that's what scientists at the University of Illinois are in the process of making possible, with the creation of their heart cell-powered "bio-bots."  Read More

FlexSys' variable geometry airfoil, the FlexFoil

If there's one thing that needs to be aerodynamic, it's an airplane wing. Conventional wing designs however, suffer from a glaring weakness in this respect: the joint where the main wing meets the trailing flaps. Michigan-based FlexSys has developed a way to optimize wing aerodynamics with FlexFoil, a seamless variable geometry airfoil system that could deliver fuel savings of up to 12 percent.  Read More

An injection of polymer nanoparticles could save the lives of heart attack victims (Image:...

After a heart attack has occurred, inflammatory cells known as monocytes rush to the damaged tissue. This causes the heart to swell, reducing its ability to pump blood, and further damaging the tissue – a potentially lethal situation. Now, however, scientists have discovered that injectable microparticles can help stop that from happening.  Read More

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