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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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— Telecommunications

Skype-based telepresence robot is "Botiful" to behold

Telepresence robots are definitely a neat idea – they allow users not only to interact with people in remote locations, but they also (in some cases) let those users wander around those locations from “within” the robot, its camera and microphone acting as their eyes and ears. While such robots have so far been relatively expensive, California-based inventor Claire Delaunay wants to change that. She hopes to sell her tiny Botiful telepresence robot for just US$299. Read More

Soybean oil could make for longer-lasting, greener tires

It’s good for the environment when manufacturers can find ways of using less fossil fuels, while consumers – along with the environment – benefit when products last longer. Now, thanks to the humble soybean, both parties may be able to get what they need. Researchers from the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company have discovered that soybean oil can help reduce the amount of petroleum used in tires, while also extending those tires’ tread life. Read More
— Military

RCMP takes delivery of MXT Armoured Personnel Carriers

The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) has become the world’s first police or security force to make use of the International MXT Armoured Personnel Carrier. Navistar Defense Canada announced yesterday that it has delivered on a US$14 million contract from the Government of Canada, to supply 18 of its vehicles to the RCMP. The police force stated that the MXT APCs “will enhance the safety of officers involved in critical incidents" – these could reportedly include hostage takings, armed standoffs, barricaded persons and search and rescue operations. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Radian brings motion-control time-lapse to budget videographers

If you’ve ever seen the film Baraka, then you’ll know just how magical motion-controlled time-lapse cinematography can be. For the uninitiated, the process involves taking a motion picture camera that’s capable of shooting time-lapse footage, then mounting it on a rig that slowly pans, tilts or even dollies the camera, as it’s shooting that footage. While such motion-control equipment has traditionally only been available to deep-pocketed professionals, California-based Alpine Labs wants to make it more accessible – that’s why it’s developing the Radian, an affordable motion-control mount for DSLRs or smartphones. Read More
— Science

Scientists create first computer model of an entire organism

For the first time ever, a computer model of a complete living organism has been created. True, it’s a single-celled organism – in fact, it’s the world’s smallest free-living bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium. Still, all of its systems and the relationships between them have been replicated in silico, allowing scientists to conduct research that might otherwise have proved impossible. It also paves the way for computer modeling of more complex organisms, such as humans. Read More
— Around The Home

BYPASSER is the faucet system Goldilocks might choose

What do you do when you want hot or cold water from the faucet? You set the temperature, turn the tap on, then wait for the water to reach the desired temperature before using any. Chances are, though, you simply let that initial not-hot-or-cold-enough water go down the drain. The new BYPASSER system from Belgium’s W&E Savings has been designed to keep that water from being wasted. Read More
— Aircraft

First manned flight of FanWing aircraft planned for next year

With a traditional airplane, a propellor or jet engine pulls it forward, and lift is created as air subsequently flows over the wings. FanWing aircraft are a little different. They have a powered horizontal rotary fan along the leading edge of their single wing, which serves to pull air over it, creating lift without the need for speed. Britain’s FanWing company has been developing the technology since 1999, and has already had success with radio-controlled proof-of-concept models. This month, however, the company announced that it plans to debut a two-seater piloted FanWing aircraft at the 2013 EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Read More