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Ben Coxworth

Bonobo Chat is a proposed app, that would allow humans to communicate with bonobos such as...

The seven bonobos living at the Bonobo Hope Great Ape Trust Sanctuary in Des Moines, Iowa, are a pretty smart bunch of apes. Among other things, they have a vocabulary of about 400 words – they don’t speak those words, but instead associate the meanings of them with symbols known as lexigrams. Using large wall-mounted touchscreen displays, they are able to communicate with humans by touching the appropriate lexigrams on those displays. Now, the sanctuary wants to develop an app that could be used on mobile versions of the wall screens, so tablet-wielding bonobos could communicate from wherever they happen to be.  Read More

The diesel engine housing, made using the new composite material A consortium of German research groups has created a new sandwich-type material that they claim offers strength similar to that of steel or aluminum, yet is significantly lighter and less expensive. It consists of a honeycomb-structured paper core, with glass fiber-reinforced layers of polyurethane on the outsides. To give an idea of how tough it is, it’s about to be tested on the diesel engine housing of a train.  Read More

The X-9 Nighthawk is a prototype bicycle with a frame made from aramid/carbon fiber sandwi...

Slovakian mechanical engineer Braňo Mereš has created some pretty nifty one-off bicycle frames over the past several years. Some of his construction materials have included riveted-together strips of titanium, a woven bamboo fiber/epoxy resin composite, and carbon fiber rods. With his latest creation, the X-9 Nighthawk, he has taken yet another approach – the frame is made from sandwich panels that have an aramid core and carbon fiber skins.  Read More

Some of the carbon fiber shapes, created out of polyethylene using Oak Ridge's new techniq...

Thanks to research currently being conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, our unwanted plastic bags may one day be recycled into carbon fiber. Not only that, but the properties of the fibers themselves could be fine-tuned, allowing different types of carbon fiber to be created for specific applications.  Read More

Jeep and Mopar's new Mighty FC concept vehicle is based on the classic Jeep Forward Contro... Between the years 1956 and 1965, Willys (and subsequently Kaiser Jeep) built a vehicle called the Jeep Forward Control. Its cab-over design allowed it to have a full-length cargo bed, while keeping its overall length to a minimum – this made it more maneuverable than would otherwise be possible. Jeep and Mopar have now teamed up to revisit the Forward Control, in the form of the Jeep Mighty FC concept.  Read More

The Specialized Turbo e-bike has a top electric-assist speed of 45 km/h (28 mph), reported...

Specialized has just announced its new Turbo electric bicycle, which it claims is the fastest e-bike ever made ... a claim that the makers of the BlackTrail e-bike would likely dispute. Whatever the case, the Turbo's top motor-assisted speed of 45 km/h (28 mph) should definitely limit where it will be sold – in the U.S., Britain and most of Europe, for instance, it would be illegal. Nonetheless, limited numbers of the bike should reportedly be available for sale (although it hasn’t been stated in which countries) as of May.  Read More

Galileo is a motorized iPhone holder, that allows the user to remotely pan and tilt the ph...

With their built-in cameras, microphones and speakers, iPhones can be very handy for video conferencing. Should you be trying to talk to a boardroom full of people through a phone that’s propped up on the table, however, it can be kind of frustrating – you’re stuck with the stationary shot provided by the phone, and can’t see people who are outside of that shot unless you get someone to move the phone for you. Well, that’s where Galileo comes in. It’s a motorized iPhone holder, that allows a remote user to pan or tilt the phone 360 degrees.  Read More

Arturo’s Desert Eagle, being air-lifted to its release altitude

At a length of 45 feet (13.7 meters), a wingspan of 24 feet (7.3 m), and a weight of 800 pounds (363 kg), Arturo’s Desert Eagle is claimed to be the largest paper airplane ever made. Its design was based on that of a much smaller paper airplane, created by 12 year-old Arturo Valdenegro of Tucson, Arizona. Valdenegro was the winner of a contest held by the Pima Air & Space Museum, in which children competed to see whose airplane could fly the farthest. A team of engineers proceeded to recreate his winning plane on a grand scale, and last week managed to fly it after releasing it from a helicopter over the Arizona desert.  Read More

The Thor-Stand is a leveling device that allows ladders to be safely used on sloping groun... According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, every year about 165,000 Americans are treated for ladder-related injuries. It’s probably safe to assume that the majority of those injuries involve people being on unstable ladders that fall over, and it is those kinds of accidents that a new product known as the Thor-Stand is designed to keep from happening.  Read More

In this diagram, the blue spheres represent selenium atoms forming a crystal lattice, whil...

Thermoelectric materials work by converting differences in temperature into electric voltage. If two parts of such a material experience significantly different temperatures, electrons within it will flow from the warmer part to the cooler, creating an electrical current in the process. Using these materials, electricity could be generated by the temperature differences on the inside and outside of jackets, within car engines, or even between the human body and the air around it ... just to list a few examples. An international team of scientists have now discovered that an existing material, which behaves like a liquid but isn't one, displays particularly impressive thermoelectric properties.  Read More

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