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Ben Coxworth

Military

Future military uniforms could automatically transform into hazmat suits

While there are already protective cover-all suits that offer protection against chemical and biological agents, it’s unrealistic to suggest that soldiers should carry such suits with them at all times, and hurriedly pull them on in the event of an attack. Instead, research teams from several institutions are developing something a little more practical – uniform fabric that automatically becomes impermeable to toxic substances, when it detects them in the area.Read More

Robotics

First of four autonomous Wave Glider robots successfully crosses Pacific ocean

Last November, a fleet of four small autonomous Wave Glider aquatic robots set out from San Francisco to sail across the Pacific ocean. They reached Hawaii this March, at which point they parted ways – as according to plan, one pair struck out for Japan, while the other two headed for Australia. Today, it was announced that the first of the two Australia-bound Wave Gliders has reached its destination, setting a new world record for the longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle.Read More
Bicycles

Your old pop cans could end up in your new ReCycle

Some readers may recall our recent article on the Rizoma bicycle. Along with its carbon fiber build and almost US$5,000 price tag, one of its more striking features is the lack of a seat tube – the part of the frame that runs from the seatpost down to the bottom bracket. Well, if you want to save quite a few bucks, you may soon be able to get that same sort of frame made from recycled aluminum, on the decidedly quirky ReCycle line of city bikes.Read More

Automotive

Original Batmobile to go under the hammer

In the past few years, not only has the Corvette-like Batmobile from Batman Returns been put up for auction, but a jet-powered replica of that same style of Batmobile has also been created. A drivable copy of the Dark Knight-era Tumbler has likewise been built, along with a working replica of the associated Bat Pod motorcycle. For many people, however, the only “true” Batmobile is the original version driven by Adam West in the 1960s TV series – and it’s about to be put on the auction block, for the first time ever.Read More

Electronics

Scientists create flicker-free, shatterproof alternative to fluorescent lights

Fluorescent lights are one of those things that you see everywhere, but that nobody likes. They flicker, they hum, they produce a rather unattractive light, plus they’re fragile and contain toxic substances. They may also be on their way out – scientists from North Carolina’s Wake Forest University have created a new form of lighting that they say could be used in the same large-scale applications as fluorescent bulbs, but that lacks their shortcomings.Read More

Urban Transport

ELF velomobile is powered by you and the Sun

While it’s all very well and good to use an electric vehicle as your around-town ride, full-size electric cars can still be pretty pricey. Also, as many of their critics are quick to point out, the electricity used to charge their batteries currently still tends to come from eco-unfriendly sources such as coal-burning power plants. Well, that’s where the three-wheeled ELF velomobile comes into play. It’s cheaper than a car, can be pedaled like a tricycle, and the battery that powers its electric assist motor can be charged from the Sun.Read More

Staples stores to offer custom 3D printing

You might want to hold off on buying that 3D printer. In the same way that photographers can upload their image files to a photo lab for printing, people will soon be able to upload their CAD/CAM files to the Staples Office Center, for 3D printing on a high-end printer – the only catch is, the finished objects will be made out of paper.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Scientists successfully treat Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice

By turning off an immune system transmitter in mice with an Alzheimer’s-like condition, scientists have been able to greatly reduce the accumulation of an abnormal protein known as amyloid-ß in the animals’ brains. Previous studies have shown that the protein plays a central role in Alzheimer’s disease. It is hoped that the research may ultimately point the way towards a method of preventing or treating the disease in humans.Read More

Science

New tech lets air traffic systems tell the difference between airplanes and wind turbines

Wind farms and airports don’t mix. Unfortunately, when the blades are turning on wind turbines, the motion can interpreted as aircraft on air traffic control radar screens. Needless to say, the results of such confusion could potentially be catastrophic – or at the very least, they could make things much more stressful for already-frazzled air traffic controllers. UK tech firm Aveillant, however, claims that its Holographic Radar system is the solution to the problem.Read More

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