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.
Ever since we first heard about it over two years ago, the Elio has captured a lot of peoples' imaginations. Not only does the three-wheeled two-seater look pretty cool, but its manufacturers promise great fuel economy, peppy performance, and a sub-$7,000 price tag. Now, Elio Motors has unveiled the latest prototype of the vehicle, the P5.
While bicycles are good for maintaining all-out speed on the road, scooters can be pretty handy when it comes to navigating crowded sidewalks and paths. If you can't decide which one is more appropriate to your type of riding … well, you might want to get a Moox Bike. It's a bicycle/scooter combo, with a little bit of fatbike thrown into the mix for good measure.
The likes of Asimo, Valkyrie and ATLAS better make some room, as there's a new humanoid robot on the block – and it looks not unlike the Gort bot from the original The Day the Earth Stood Still. It's the third version of the University of Tehran's Surena robot, and it was unveiled this Monday.
By now, you're probably quite used to things like smartphones, cameras and even car dashboards having a bewildering array of features. Well, Electrohome recently decided to give that same treatment to the humble alarm clock, in the rather ironic form of its Retro Alarm Clock Radio. We recently got our hands on the thing, and tried out features such as its autoset clock, sunrise wake-up lamps, motion detector snooze button and … thermometer?
For some time now, we've been hearing about the attempts by various groups to develop so-called nanosubmarines. Among other things, these microscopic "molecular machines" could conceivably be used for applications such as targeted drug delivery within the human body. Recently, scientists at Houston's Rice University created nanosubs that move at a "breakneck pace" when exposed to ultraviolet light.
Humans communicate primarily in a verbal manner, while dogs rely more on visual cues. While this can make communication between the two species challenging at the best of times, it's particularly difficult when the human is unable to see the dog – as is the case with blind people and their guide dogs. As a result, it may not always be possible for owners to know when their guide dogs are stressed. An experimental new harness, however, may be able to help.
Whether they've been crossing the English Channel, traversing the Alps, or attempting to fly around the world, solar-powered planes have been in the news a lot this year. While the aircraft are certainly fascinating and inspiring, there's no way that most of would ever be able to afford one … or is there? If a new Kickstarter campaign is successful, you'll be able to get a Volta Flyer solar airplane for just US$40. The only thing is, it'll be a little on the small side.
Much as the battery range of electric cars is improving, most of them still aren't able to make long road trips on one charge. Given that this more or less limits them to around-town use, some people might wonder … is a full-on electric car really necessary for that sort of driving? The designers at Eugene, Oregon-based Arcimoto apparently don't think so. That's why they're about to officially unveil the 8th version of their electric motorcycle/car hybrid, the SRK.
One of the main reasons that many cyclists give for not wearing a helmet is the fact that helmets take up so much room when they're being carried in a bag. As a result, we've seen a number of companies developing folding helmets. One of the latest, UK-based Headkayse, claims that its helmet not only folds down small, but that it's also more comfortable and perhaps even safer than a regular helmet.
Although peripheral devices now allow smartphones to serve as everything from weather stations to eye-examiners, it's typically thought that genuine purpose-built tools still perform best. In the case of stethoscopes, however, that may not be the case. Researchers with Florida-based Orlando Health recently determined that HeartBuds – a new stethoscope device/app – performed as well as traditional stethoscopes, and better than a commonly-used disposable model.