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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.
Women will sometimes sacrifice the comfort and well-being of their feet, in order to wear fashionable shoes – it’s reached the point of becoming a TV sit-com cliché. The European ShopInstantShoe consortium, however, is looking to put an end to that scenario. No, the group doesn’t want to ban fashionable shoes, but it has been developing technology for making them more wearer-friendly. The result is a system that could be installed in shoe stores, which would allow women to get shoes custom-fitted to their feet, on the spot. Read More
Scientists have succeeded in endowing graphene with yet another useful property. Already, it is the thinnest, strongest and stiffest material ever measured, while also proving to be an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. These qualities have allowed it to find use in everything from transistors to supercapacitors to anti-corrosion coatings. Now, two materials engineers from Stanford University have used computer models to show how it could also be turned into a piezoelectric material – this means that it could generate electricity when mechanically stressed, or change shape when subjected to an electric current. Read More
Ask someone to picture a robotic roving vehicle, and chances are they’ll think of something with wheels, like the Mars Rover. If an alien civilization were sending a craft to explore Earth, however, they might be better off using a boat – after all, the majority of our planet’s surface is covered with water. Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, similarly has a pretty wet surface, as it contains lakes of liquid hydrocarbon. Wolfgang Fink, an engineer with the University of Arizona, has designed an aquatic rover for exploring those lakes. Read More

Mountain bikers, hikers and other adventurers wishing to record their outings on video now have another camcorder at their disposal – Sony’s Bloggie Sport HD. It’s a ruggedized (yes, that’s a word) version of the company’s existing Bloggie camera, and continues with the line’s smartphone-like form, which includes a 2.7-inch touchscreen display. Read More

While it’s generally accepted that memories are stored somewhere, somehow in our brains, the exact process has never been entirely understood. Strengthened synaptic connections between neurons definitely have something to do with it, although the synaptic membranes involved are constantly degrading and being replaced – this seems to be somewhat at odds with the fact that some memories can last for a person’s lifetime. Now, a team of scientists believe that they may have figured out what’s going on. Their findings could have huge implications for the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's. Read More
You gotta feel sorry for drummers in rock bands. While the guitarists and singers get to run all over the stage, they’re just stuck in the back, sitting on their stool. Well, Canadian inventor Charlie Rose set out to change that. The result is Boingy Boingy – a drum set suspended in mid-air by car springs, that lurches around like a mechanical bull as it’s being played ... as can be seen in the video at the end of the article, it’s definitely entertaining. Read More

In April of 2010, we told you about Los Angeles-based electric vehicle manufacturer CODA, which hoped to have its EVs in the driveways of Californians by the end of that year. Well, it may have taken a little longer than planned, but the company is now at a point that various other start-ups in its industry have never reached – it’s delivering cars to its first costumers. Read More

For people who wouldn’t otherwise ride a bike, or who don’t want to arrive at work all hot and sweaty, electric-assist bicycles are a neat idea. Commonly referred to as pedelecs (for “pedal-electric”), they use an electric motor to augment the rider’s own body strength while pedaling, yet that motor can usually be switched off when they don’t need it. The only problem with that setup ... even when the motor isn’t being used, it and its battery are still there, weighing the bike down. For his prototype Velocity pedelec, however, Taiwanese designer Larry Chen came up with a creative solution – an easily-removable motor/battery unit. It was enough to win him a gold award at the latest International Bicycle Design Competition in Taiwan. Read More

When you're learning how to use a complex device, there’s nothing like getting some hands on play time. When it comes to CT (Computed Tomography) scanners, however, it’s often difficult to find a time when they’re not being used on patients. That’s why two biophysics professors at Canada’s Western University invented the DeskCAT. It’s a miniature CT scanner that’s small enough to sit on a desk, so it can be used in medical school classrooms. Read More

People like their smartphones and, well, they also tend to like their babies – so, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that we’re seeing an increasing number of baby monitors that transmit live video to parents’ phones. Recent examples have included the Smart Baby Monitor and BabyPing. The iDevice-based iBaby is the latest such system, although it’s notable in that instead of just offering a locked-off shot, the camera can be remotely panned and tilted. Read More