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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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— Mobile Technology

Navatar system could help the blind navigate indoors

By - May 24, 2012
When blind people are trying to navigate the city streets, they can get assistance from a speaking GPS-enabled smartphone, just like everyone else. Once they move indoors and lose access to the required satellite signals, however, it’s a different story. While there are some indoor navigation systems that require things like radio-frequency tags to be strategically placed around the building, it’s currently unrealistic to expect to find such systems installed in many places. The University of Nevada, Reno’s experimental new Navatar system, on the other hand, just requires a smartphone loaded up with a digital two-dimensional map of the building in question. Read More
— Environment

CSR project aims to create a high-speed, carbon-neutral steam-powered locomotive

By - May 24, 2012
You might think that a coal-burning locomotive built in 1937 had nothing left to offer the modern rail industry, short of being a nice museum piece. In the case of Locomotive 3463, however, that appears to be far from true – now in the hands of engineers from the Coalition for Sustainable Rail (CSR), it is set to become the world’s first carbon-neutral higher-speed locomotive. It won’t be electric, however. Instead, it will run on steam generated by the burning of biocoal. Read More

Daimler's Predictive Power Control "sees ahead" to help trucks save fuel

Although transport truck drivers routinely shift gears when going up or down hills, those hills can sometimes sneak up on them. Using Daimler’s GPS-enabled Predictive Power Control, however, the new Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor unit will now be able to see those hills coming. This will allow it to automatically change gears before the going gets tough, resulting in fuel savings of up to three percent over moderately difficult topography. Read More
— Bicycles

Theft-resistant Blink/Steady bike light turns on and off automatically

By - May 23, 2012 6 Pictures
Bicycle lights may not exactly be a problem that needs solving, but the following can admittedly be said about most of them – they’re easily stolen if left on an unattended bike, people who start riding at dusk can forget to turn them on, and those same people can forget to turn them off when they reach their destination. Well, the makers of the Blink/Steady Bike Light have set out to address all of those shortcomings. Read More
— Automotive

"Jet-powered" 280ZX could be yours for $16,000

By - May 23, 2012 35 Pictures
Datsun's 280ZX was a pretty awesome car in its own right. Seth Kettleman, however, decided to take a classic 1983 model, and augment it in a rather unique way – he replaced its original six-cylinder power plant with an ex-US Air Force Garrett GTP turboshaft engine. The end result looks pretty sharp, but it really has to be heard to believed ... and, if you like what you hear, you can buy the car now for US$16,000. Read More
— Automotive

Students build an award-winning hybrid racecar

By - May 22, 2012 8 Pictures
Last month we told you about a team of engineering students from Utah’s Brigham Young University (BYU), who were competing in a wall-climbing contest using a Batman-inspired system that they created. While they may not have won that competition, the university recently alerted us to another one of its student engineering teams that did take first place in another contest – in this case, they designed a very fast, very efficient hybrid racecar. Read More

One Street Tweeter - the Twitter-powered road-painting printer

The G8 Summit, the annual meeting of leaders from eight of the world’s largest economies, is always a popular venue for protestors who don’t like what some of those leaders are doing. While you may not be able to make it to this year’s upcoming event in Maryland, an advocacy group known as One could still get your message out – by using what could best be described as a giant inkjet printer to paint it on the street. Read More
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