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Ben Coxworth

The mini Mustang, ready to take to the air

Although no one is saying that aircraft carriers will soon be able to fuel their jet fighters using water from the ocean, such a scenario has recently come a step closer to reality. Scientists from the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have successfully flown a radio-controlled airplane that was running purely on fuel derived from sea water.  Read More

The da Vinci Xi offers improved access to the patient's body

While many people no doubt still look at Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci robotic surgical system as a sort of "wonder of the future," it's actually been around now for over 10 years. Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that a new-and-improved model has just been announced. Among other things, the da Vinci Xi Surgical System promises a greater range of motion and more reach than its predecessor.  Read More

The Tag Heuer uses light for power

In 2008, Tag Heuer introduced its first mobile phone, the US$6,200 Meridiist. Well, as if a luxury phone made by a company usually associated with premium watches isn't eyebrow-raising enough, the just-announced Meridiist Infinite offers a little something extra: a built-in photovoltaic panel that keeps it powered up and charging as long as there's light.  Read More

The PowerCube Original offers five conventional outlets It's definitely one of life's little annoyances – devices with big adapters built into their power plugs, that block multiple outlets on your power bar. Allocacoc's PowerCube is an alternative to those bars, that can reportedly accommodate up to five of those big plugs at once.  Read More

The Brainy Bike Lights headlight

Which catches your attention quicker, an illuminated pedestrian symbol, or a plain old light? According to research conducted at the University of Oxford, the human brain will always notice known symbols faster than it notices generic lights, particularly in environments where there are already various other lights present. With that in mind, a group from the university has now developed Brainy Bike Lights – bicycle head- and tail lights which feature an LED "cyclist" symbol instead of just a row of bulbs.  Read More

The newly-announced Phantom 2 Vision+

Last November, DJI Innovations released its Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter. Unlike the base Phantom copter, this one featured its own motorized HD video camera that could be remotely tilted by the user. Now, DJI has announced the Phantom 2 Vision+. Its camera has a three-axis electronic stabilizer, which keeps the shot steady regardless of changes in pitch, roll or yaw.  Read More

Tiffen's Steadicam Curve gets put to the test

While there may now be a slew of compact camcorder stabilizing rigs on the market, it was Tiffen that offered the first such product three years ago, in the form of its Steadicam Smoothee. Late last year, the company began shipping its Steadicam Curve – a device that's similar to the Smoothee, but optimized for use with GoPro Hero actioncams. I recently had the chance to try the Curve out for myself, to see how good it really is at smoothin' out the shakes.  Read More

MiP balances on two wheels, using the mobile inverted pendulum principle

You may never be able to afford your own Segway, but soon you'll be able to buy something similar for just a hundred bucks. You won't be able to ride it, but it might ultimately end up being more fun. It's Wowwee's MiP toy robot, which performs a variety of activities while balancing on its two wheels.  Read More

TRW's roof-mounted airbag in testing Three years ago, we first heard about TRW Automotive's new roof-mounted airbag system. At the time, the company claimed that it had a "significant production contract" with an unnamed auto manufacturer, that might see the technology appearing on production vehicles. Now, TRW has announced that the airbags will be standard on the new Citroen C4 Cactus.  Read More

The business end of Medrobotics Corp's Flex System

When we last heard about the modular snake robot designed by Carnegie Mellon University robotics professor Howie Choset, it had been used to explore an abandoned nuclear power plant. Now, however, a new line of robots based on it are set to explore something a little more confined – the human body.  Read More

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