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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.

When people suggest possible uses for electric multicopter drones, it frequently seems like they're forgetting something – presently, most such aircraft can only fly for a maximum of around 25 minutes per battery charge. Horizon Energy Systems, however, is developing a quadcopter that should do a lot better. Known as the Hycopter, the fuel cell-powered drone is hoped to be capable of 4-hour flight times once completed.

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If you're listening to a stereo outdoors, it goes without saying that the acoustics are going to differ from if you're listening to it indoors. With that in mind, Bose has designed a sound system for Mazda's new 2016 MX-5 Miata, that has both roof-up and roof-down equalization settings.

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Although lithium-ion batteries perform far better than alkalines, they're also relatively costly, the lithium salts used in them aren't widely available, and they sometimes catch fire. That's why some scientists are suggesting sodium-ion batteries as an alternative. To that end, Williams Advanced Engineering recently demonstrated that they could be used to power an electric bike.

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Nissan's Pivo 2 and NASA's Modular Robotic Vehicle are both rather special prototype vehicles, in that they can rotate all four of their wheels 90 degrees in order to drive sideways – a feature that would definitely make parallel parking easier. Now they've got some company, in the form of the electric EO smart connecting car 2, or EOscc2.

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When surgeons are trying to operate on hard-to-reach organs, they'll often have to make multiple incisions to get at the area from different angles, or use tools such as retractors to pull other tissue out of the way. A team of researchers from Italy's Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, however, is developing an alternative – a flexible octopus arm-inspired tool that can squirm its way between organs, then hold them back while simultaneously operating.

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Unless you work for a medical school or a research lab, you probably haven't priced out cadavers lately. If you were to do so, however, you'd find that they generally cost anywhere from nothing up to around US$10,000. On top of that, however, there are transport and disposal fees, the need for specialized storage facilities and staff, and the fact that they're not reusable. That's why SynDaver Labs has been creating ultra-realistic synthetic human bodies and body parts for several years now. Instead of filling in for a dead body, its latest product plays the part of a live patient.

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If there are a lot of good ol' boys where you live, then you're likely familiar with Truck Nuts – rubber testicles that are hung from a pickup truck's trailer hitch. Well, a couple of Toronto-based designers have come up with something similar for bicycles. Known as Bike Balls, they actually serve as a tail light that catches motorists' attention by swinging merrily back and forth.

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In the past, Michigan-based outdoor cooking enthusiast Jon Stein used his dive watch to time the cooking of foods on his barbecue. Once he realized that he barely ever used the watch for its actual intended purpose, however, he set out to make one that was specifically designed for use by his fellow grillers. The GrillTimer is the result.

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Within an increasingly crowded electric bicycle marketplace, it takes a special something for an individual e-bike to stand out. The Mando Footloose does so, however, in that it has neither a chain nor a belt drive – plus, it folds. Mando has now announced a more affordable non-folding version of the bike, known as the Footloose IM.

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We frequently hear that eating fish is a healthy thing to do, because it's full of beneficial long chain fatty acids. Unfortunately, the Western diet tends to be short on fish and bigger on beef, which contains short chain fatty acids that aren't quite so good for us. Chinese scientists are creating a work-around, however – genetically-engineered beef that's high in the "good" fatty acids.

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