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.
It was just this January that we heard about Wheelys 2,
an electric-assist cargo trike that doubles as a mobile coffee shop. Although
it provides pretty much everything that its owner might need to run
their own business, its designers are now introducing the
new-and-improved Wheelys 3.
If there are a couple of things that serious campers are likely to have
on them at all times, it's a multi-tool and a lighter. Coleman has
therefore done the logical thing, and combined those two items to form
its new Multi-Tool Lighter.
Car doors can be ungainly when they're being opened, smacking into
things like garage walls, light posts, or the body panels of other cars.
While some groups have developed side bumpers
to minimize the damage, a group of German high school students has come
up with an alternative – a system that stops the door from opening
before it can hit anything.
Do you get itchy, cramped-up or wheezy from even a little bit of wine?
It could be because you have a sulfite sensitivity. Sulfites are
sulfur-based compounds that are added in the wine-making process to
prevent bacterial growth – they keep the wine from spoiling while it's
in transit and storage. Given that they're not needed once the wine has
been poured, however, chemist James Kornacki has developed a device for
reducing them at that point in the game – it's called the Üllo.
Whether they're floods, earthquakes or landslides, natural disasters
have a nasty habit of cutting survivors off from aid by destroying
bridges. While traditional portable bridges can already be set up in
such situations, researchers from Hiroshima University recently
demonstrated a new model that is said to be "the world’s fastest,
largest, strongest, and lightest expanding temporary bridge."
One of the big reasons people give for not commuting by bicycle is the
fear that drivers won't notice them on the road. While various devices
are available to make bikes and riders more visible, the designers of
the 125-decibel Loud Bicycle Horn have concentrated their efforts on
another goal – making sure that cyclists are heard.
If you're enjoying a serene natural area, you might not appreciate
seeing a very techy-looking pollution-hunting robot putting along the
surface. That's why scientists at the National University of Singapore
have developed an alternative – water-quality-monitoring robots that
look like swans.
It wasn't long ago that we heard about an effort to create synthetic rhino horn,
the low price of which could be used to put suppliers of real horn out
of business. Now, however, the Protect project is aiming at catching
poachers in the act. Amongst other things, it would involve putting
video cameras in the horns of living rhinos.
When it comes to practicing their tackles, young football players
generally have two options: tackle their teammates and risk one of them
getting injured, or go after an inanimate tackle sled. The Shadowman
Junior, however, offers another choice – it's still not a person who
could get hurt, but it presents a more realistic moving target.
Doing a web search for an item that you remember seeing can be difficult,
if you don't know what that thing is called and you don't have a
picture of it. If only you could just draw a rough sketch of what you
saw on a touchscreen, and use that as your search criteria. Well, you soon may be able to, thanks to the new Sketch-a-Net computer program.