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Ben Coxworth

Automotive

Volkswagen unveils CrossBlue midsize SUV concept for North America

Volkswagen has used the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) to premiere an interesting mid-size diesel plug-in hybrid SUV concept designed specifically for the American and Canadian markets – the CrossBlue. The concept's powertrain combines a turbocharged 4-cylinder TDI Clean Diesel engine, two electric motors (40 kW in the front and 85 kW in the rear), a dual-clutch transmission and an almost baffling number of driving modes to deliver a combined city/highway fuel economy of 89 MPGe (2.6 l/100km equivalent) when driven in hybrid mode, or 35 MPG (6.7 l/100km) in diesel-only. Read More

Good Thinking

SymTyre machine makes old tires flat-packable

Tires are one of those things that our society goes through a lot of, yet their disposal can be problematic. Being round and containing a large air cavity, they’re not exactly the most efficient things to store or transport. Those that don’t get recycled can end up collecting water and acting as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, or becoming part of giant “tire mountains.” A new device, however, is designed to cut them apart so they can be flat-packed – thus reducing the space they take up, and maximizing the amount that can be transported at once.Read More

Science

Pill-sized device uses spinning laser to image the esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is a precancerous condition typically caused by chronic exposure to stomach acid, and is usually diagnosed by inserting an endoscope down the patient’s throat. A tool has been developed, however, that should allow for a quicker, easier way of getting a good look at such peoples’ esophagus – it’s a swallowable capsule that contains a spinning laser. Read More

Science

Telerehabilitation system allows people to do physiotherapy at home

Generally speaking, people tend to dislike doing the exercises that are part of physiotherapy. Not helping matters is the fact that in many cases, patients must travel to a clinic to perform those exercises under the supervision of a trained professional. Now, researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS are developing a “telerehabilitation” system that allows patients to perform exercises at home or when out and about, while still receiving feedback from a physiotherapist. Read More

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