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Ben Coxworth

Variability in steering wheel movement has proven to be a tip-off that drivers are getting...

Driver drowsiness is a major cause of accidents, so it's not surprising that a variety of technologies have been developed for its detection. Most of these systems require the use of prominent hardware such as eye-tracking cameras, reactive testing devices, or even Google Glass. A team from Washington State University Spokane, however, has developed a system that detects drowsy drivers through inexpensive electronics that monitor movement of the steering wheel.  Read More

Dr. Steve Lee, with some of his easy-bake lenses

Microscope lenses are typically made either by grinding and polishing glass discs, or pouring polymers into molds – both techniques can be quite involved, which is reflected in the price of the finished product. Now, however, a scientist from Australian National University has devised a new lens-making process, in which drops of silicone are simply baked in an oven. The resulting lenses can be used for a variety of applications, yet are worth less than one cent each.  Read More

The fairings are made to fit most standard road bikes

If you were designing a vehicle to be as aerodynamic as possible, it would definitely be counterproductive if parts of that vehicle actually moved into the oncoming wind. According to Los Angeles-based engineer Garth Magee, however, that's just what the forward-turning top sections of bicycle wheels do. His solution? Upper Wheel Fairings, which shield the spokes from the breeze. He claims that cyclists using his fairings can go up to 20 percent faster without any extra effort.  Read More

The University of Michigan M, formed by exposing the microparticles to light

Military vehicles that change color to be dark at night, and camo-green in the daylight ... could such a thing be possible? Well, it's certainly closer to reality, thanks to research being conducted at the University of Michigan. Scientists there have created a solution that changes color when exposed to light, then changes back when the light is removed. If incorporated into a thin film coating, the result could be chameleon-like surfaces.  Read More

Google's new Street View feature   So, if it isn't enough for you that it's now possible to see the view from almost any road in the world while sitting at your computer, today Google announced a new Street View feature. If there's a clock in the upper left-hand corner of an image, it means you can see what that scene looked like up to seven years ago.  Read More

A top view of the Trinity

There are already plenty of solar-powered phone chargers out there, but they won't do you much good at night, when it's cloudy, or even if you live too far north. Chances are, however, that in any one of those situations, there will be at least a slight breeze ... and that's where the Trinity portable wind turbine comes into play.  Read More

SINTEF's jacket displays scrolling text messages on its sleeve

It's important for firefighters or members of disaster response crews to stay in touch with one another during operations, which is of course why they carry two-way radios. Researchers from Norway's SINTEF group, however, are developing a system that could help even more. It allows users to receive and read text messages hands-free, via their jackets.  Read More

In the not-too-distant future, blood made with lab-grown red blood cells could be readily ...

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 107 million blood donations are collected globally every year. Nonetheless, blood is often in short supply – particularly in developing nations. Despite new safeguards, there's also still the risk of incompatibility, or of infections being transmitted from donors to recipients. Charitable organization the Wellcome Trust hopes to address these problems, by developing the ability to manufacture blood outside of the body. Last week, it announced that test subjects should begin receiving transfusions of blood made with lab-grown red blood cells by late 2016.  Read More

The one-of-a-kind NOAH bike

One of the great facts about bicycle design is that there are at least two or three intriguing alternatives for every established way of doing things ... and suspension is certainly one of those established "things." In the past couple of years alone, we've seen leaf shocks, looped wheels and parallelogram seat posts offered up as replacements to the standard shock absorber. UK-based COFA Engineering recently showcased its own unique take on bicycle suspension, known as the NOAH system.  Read More

The Honda HR-V compact SUV

So, you like the basic idea of the Honda Fit (or Jazz, depending on where you live), but you want something a little more ... versatile. Well, that's where the HR-V comes into the picture. It's a Fit-based compact SUV, and Honda just revealed the first photos of it at the New York International Auto Show.  Read More

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