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Ben Coxworth

A team of engineering students are designing a new type of cervical collar, that reportedl...

When a person injures the region of their spine immediately below their skull, emergency medical technicians apply what is known as a cervical collar. The devices first saw use in the Vietnam War, where medics needed a quick and simple system that could be used to immobilize the heads and necks of injured soldiers. In the years since, however, some studies have suggested that by pushing the head up and away from the body, the collars may cause the vertebrae to separate – actually making some spinal injuries worse. Fortunately, a team of six undergraduate engineering students from Houston’s Rice University are now developing a new type of cervical collar, that keeps the head still in a safer fashion.  Read More

Volunteers are being sought to try out the Dream:ON iPhone app, which may allow users to d...

In what is being touted as “the world's largest dream experiment,” a psychologist from Britain’s University of Hertfordshire is inviting volunteers to try using an iPhone app to control their dreams. Prof. Richard Wiseman teamed up with the developers at software company YUZA to create Dream:ON, an app that plays soundscapes while its user sleeps, intended to shape what sort of dreams they have. The project comes in response to a UK survey conducted by Wiseman, in which 15% of respondents claimed that they frequently suffered from unpleasant dreams.  Read More

Philips' new ErgoSensor display monitors its user's posture, and advises them if they shou...

Anyone who regularly uses a computer for long periods of time can likely attest to the importance of proper computer-use posture. Sitting in the wrong position, or having your keyboard or screen improperly located, can result in strain to the eyes, hands, wrists, neck or back. While we may try to establish a good pose when first sitting down at our machine, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in what we’re doing, and gradually slip into our old ergonomically-unfriendly hunches or slouches. That’s where Philips’ new ErgoSensor display steps in – it actually monitors the user, and lets them know when they need to correct their posture.  Read More

VirtualDose utilizes computer models of different body types to advise physicians on which...

X-ray computed tomography – or CT – scanners are designed with people of an average build in mind. When obese patients require a CT scan, the additional layers of body fat will produce blurry images if the scanner’s regular settings are used. Clinicians typically address this problem by turning up the power of the scanner. Unfortunately, doing so results in overweight patients receiving higher-than-normal doses of radiation. A new computer modeling system developed at New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, however, could help bring those levels down.  Read More

T3 Motion's new T3-MT electric standup vehicle is designed to accommodate camera operators... Big- and medium-budget film-makers looking for smooth tracking shots will soon have another alternative to laying down tracks for hand-pushed camera dollies. T3 Motion, the maker of the T3 electric standup vehicle, is launching a new version of its EV, designed specifically for use by cinematographers.  Read More

The electromagnetic compatibility of vehicle components is measured in a Fraunhofer lab

While electric cars are often touted as being less mechanically complex than their internal combustion-engined counterparts, there is at least one way in which they’re considerably more “involved” – their radios. Because electrical signals emitted by the car can potentially interfere with incoming radio signals, manufacturers must do things such as insulating the motor and shielding the cables. This adds time and material expenses to the production process. Now, however, researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration have developed technology to help minimize the problem.  Read More

PowerPot is a line of camping cookware, that generates electricity using heat

Thermoelectric materials are able to generate an electrical current, via a temperature gradient within themselves. If thermoelectric fabric were used to make a jacket, for instance, the temperature difference between that garment’s cool exterior and warm interior might be enough to charge devices carried in its pockets. A current could also be generated by a vehicle’s thermoelectric exhaust pipe, due to its hot interior and the cool air surrounding it. Now, entrepreneurs David Toledo and Paul Slusser have developed a line of thermoelectric cooking pots, that use the heat of a fire to generate electricity when camping.  Read More

For about $127, UK novelty company Firebox will create a 3D-printed model of your head, wh... ... or more accurately, the company will allow you to put a 3D-printed model of your head on one. All you have to do is send in some snapshots.  Read More

AORA's Tulip system uses the sun's rays to heat air, which is then used to spin a turbine,...

A giant flower has recently sprung up near the southern Spanish city of Almeria. Measuring 35 meters (115 feet) high, the Tulip is the product of Israeli company AORA, and it uses heat from the sun to generate electricity. Work began on the hybrid concentrating solar power technology back in the 80s and the first Tulip pilot plant was installed at Israel’s Kibbutz Samar in 2009. That setup has been pumping electricity into the country’s power grid every year since. The Spanish plant was completed this January.  Read More

One of the robosquirrels used in the rattlesnake study (Photo: Andy Fell, UC Davis) Rattlesnakes, beware! The next time you spot a succulent-looking squirrel, it might actually be a cold-hearted robot. More specifically, it might be a “robosquirrel,” created by UC Davis professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering Sanjay Joshi. He built the robot squirrels as part of a study on rattlesnake behavior – a study which yielded some interesting results.  Read More

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