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Ben Coxworth

The Wattbike, a stationary bicycle training that measures and displays its rider's power o...

Stationary bicycle trainers are an invaluable tool for cyclists who wish to stay in shape over the winter, or who even just want to work on their technique on rainy days. There are a variety of options available, including old school exercise bikes, rollers/resistance trainers that the cyclist's existing bike can be mounted on, or ... things like the Wattbike. Essentially a high-end indoor bike that is set up to replicate the feeling of riding a road bike as accurately as possible, one of the Wattbike's unique features is the fact that it measures and displays its rider's power output in watts - hence the name. Although it's been around in the UK since 2008, it is only now becoming available in the U.S.  Read More

The self-repairing stress sensor is able to rebuild its polymer filament using liquid resi...

While it’s always disturbing to hear about the unexpected collapse of a bridge or building, technology is being developed to lessen the chances of such incidents occurring. Increasingly, this is taking the form of sensors that are implanted within structures, that measure and transmit data on the stresses that the surrounding material is experiencing. If the mechanical strain causes one of those sensors to break, however, it won’t be much good anymore – depending on its location, it also may be impossible to replace. Fortunately, researchers at North Carolina State University have created a self-healing structural stress sensor.  Read More

When the new Boeing 747-8 Freighter flies from Seattle to the Paris Air Show, it will mark...

One of the aircraft on display at next week's Paris Air Show will be Boeing's new 747-8 Freighter. While the 76-meter (250-foot) jumbo jet will no doubt be pretty impressive to see on the ground, what many gawkers may not realize is that its flight from Seattle to Paris will have marked an aviation milestone - it will be the first time a commercial aircraft has crossed the Atlantic Ocean using biofuel.  Read More

Scientists have created self-powered sensors, that could wirelessly transmit data on the s...

Because structural integrity is so crucial to the safe operation of aircraft, their bodies are regularly inspected for signs of faults such as stress fractures. Some of these fractures can be virtually invisible to the human eye, so scientists are looking into the use of permanently-installed sensors, that would continuously provide information on the state of various parts of the aircraft. Given that one commercial airliner could potentially utilize hundreds of these sensors, however, running wiring to all of them could get quite complex. Using battery-operated sensors is one option, although ground crews would be constantly checking and changing batteries, plus it would be wasteful. Researchers from EADS Germany and the Vienna Institute of Technology now think they might have a better alternative – self-powered sensors that wirelessly transmit data.  Read More

The Dot is a panoramic lens, that allows iPhone 4 users to shoot interactive 360-degree vi...

Not long ago, we reported on the GoPano micro panoramic lens, that allows users to shoot interactive 360-degree videos on their iPhones. Well, perhaps not surprisingly, it’s got some competition. Kogeto’s Dot lens also lets iPhone 4 users shoot videos “in the round,” although in a different configuration.  Read More

Scientists from MIT are designing a wearable signal jamming system, to protect implantable...

An assassin waits for his target to walk into range, then presses a button on a radio transmitter, causing the target’s pacemaker to deliver a lethal dose of electricity. Such a scenario may be fictional for now, but as more and more medical implants are designed to wirelessly send and receive data, it becomes increasingly possible. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are certainly aware of the dangers of wireless attacks on implants, so they’ve developed a countermeasure – a wearable signal jamming device.  Read More

Researchers involved in the PolyZion project are developing a zinc-plastic battery, that s...

While today's lithium-ion, lead acid, and nickel metal hydride batteries may offer far better performance than their predecessors, they are still not perfect - they're heavy, expensive, and have been known to short circuit and catch fire. Now, however, scientists involved in the PolyZion research project are developing zinc-plastic batteries for use in hybrid and electric vehicles. Their aim is to produce a rechargeable battery that is lighter, cheaper, safer, greener and better-performing than anything currently available.  Read More

A team of researchers, utilizing data gathered from the behavior of 14,000 online gamers, ...

Is there such a thing as free will, or are our actions predetermined by the way our brains work? If recent research conducted at North Carolina State University is anything to go by, it might seem that the latter is more likely to be true – at least when it comes to gaming. After analyzing the behavior of 14,000 players of the online role-playing game World of Warcraft, an NCSU team was able to predict the future actions of those players with up to 80 percent accuracy.  Read More

Engineers have created an unmanned aircraft  known as the Batcopter, for studying the flig...

There are millions of Brazilian Free-tailed bats living in caves across Texas, and every night, those bats are somehow able to swarm through the air without crashing into one another. The researchers at Boston University’s Intelligent Mechatronics Lab wanted to know what the bats’ secret was, so that it could be applied to the flight control algorithms for their autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In order to learn more, they decided to fly a remote-control UAV into one of these bat swarms, and record the creatures’ reactions with three ground-based high-speed FLIR cameras, and on on-board 3D HD camera. The craft that they used, named the Batcopter, is a classic example of seat-of-the-pants engineering.  Read More

Nathalie Bijnens and Frans van de Vosse of Eindhoven University of Technology, presenting ...

Not only is the old inflatable-cuff-around-the-arm an uncomfortable way of having one's blood pressure measured, but it turns out that it doesn't always provide enough information, either. If a physician wishes to check for vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, thrombosis or aneurysms, for instance, they're going to want to know how the blood is flowing in areas besides the patient's arm. Because the cuff works by temporarily stopping the blood flow, however, it's not going to work too well on a patient's neck or torso. Fortunately, scientists from The Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have discovered that ultrasound can be used instead, and that it provides more details.  Read More

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