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Ben Coxworth

Ben Coxworth

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.

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— 3D Printing

Software makes 3D-printed objects more structurally sound

One of the great things about 3D printers is the fact that they allow anyone to become a manufacturer of small items. Unfortunately, however, they don't allow anyone to become a competent structural engineer – just because you can whip up a three-dimensional design on your computer doesn’t mean that it will translate into a sturdy physical object. That’s why researchers from Purdue University and Adobe's Advanced Technology Labs teamed up to create a program that automatically alters such designs, adding strengthening features to them before they get printed. Read More
— Automotive

ebuggy concept promises "unlimited range" for EVs

Until there’s some huge revolution in battery technology, electric vehicles are destined to remain as urban runabouts, never going out on long highway trips ... right? Well, not if Germany’s ebuggy project has anything to say about it. The group is developing little range-extending battery trailers that could be towed behind electric cars, providing power to the vehicles on longer trips. When a user’s trailer started getting low on juice, they could just pull over at a roadside exchange station and swap it for one that was fully charged. Read More
— Around The Home

Multicolor LIFX LED light bulbs can be controlled by smartphone

When it comes to replacing the soon-to-be-obsolete incandescent light bulbs in our homes, LEDs are certainly a good way to go – they’re highly energy-efficient, they last for years, and they emit a nicer quality of light than compact fluorescents. Now, San Francisco-based LIFX Labs has set about making them even more attractive. The company’s new LIFX (pronounced “life-ex”) LED bulbs can be remotely controlled from the user’s smartphone, and they change color. Read More
— Mobile Technology

NAVVIS system guides users through buildings via a collection of photos

While we’ve pretty much got to the point where we take GPS-enabled navigation systems for granted, there’s one rather prominent place where they can’t access the necessary satellites – indoors. A number of projects have taken on the challenge of indoor navigation, incorporating things like accelerometers, “invisible” landmarks, rapidly flickering lights, and magnetic fields. The experimental new NAVVIS system, however, utilizes a database of photographs. Read More

Lensbaby adds Spark to creative lens range – let the blurring begin

Although there’s an almost infinite number of effects that can be added to already-taken photos using software, there’s definitely something to be said for the on-location creativity that comes with good ol’ optical in-camera effects. That’s why Lensbaby designed the Spark, a new lens that it announced today. Spark is intended to capture images “that have a sweet spot of focus surrounded by beautiful artistic blur.” Read More
— Robotics

Baxter industrial robot aims at bringing automation to smaller manufacturers

Ordinarily, when we think of places where industrial robots are used, we picture the factory floors of deep-pocketed corporations such as Ford or Honda. That could soon change, however, with today’s announcement of the Baxter robot. Made by Boston-based Rethink Robotics, it costs about half as much as most of the least expensive industrial robots currently on the market. Also, it is reportedly very user-friendly – no robotics experts or custom software are required when teaching it new tasks. Read More
— Science

Neural prosthesis restores decision-making ability in monkeys

We may sometimes joke that we lack the ability to make decisions, but the fact is that for people with certain types of brain damage, proper decision-making is indeed impossible. This isn’t so much about things like choosing between vanilla and chocolate, however. Instead, these individuals simply can’t decide on how to respond to everyday situations, so they either don’t respond, or they respond inappropriately. Help may be on the way, though, in the form of a brain-stimulating device that has been shown to work on monkeys. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

EnChroma glasses designed to compensate for color-blindness

While many people may think that being color blind means seeing everything in black-and-white, such a condition is in fact quite rare. Instead, the majority of people who are classified as color blind are capable of color vision, but they have difficulty distinguishing red and green as distinct colors. EnChroma’s Cx sunglasses are designed to help in these cases, by selectively reducing the transmission of given wavelengths of light, thus allowing red and green to stand out. Read More