Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Ben Coxworth

The crude-oil-thinning Applied Oil Technology device (Photo: Save The World Air, Inc.)

It's a simple fact that the more fluid an oil is, the easier it is to pump. That's why oil companies typically heat sections of pipeline, to reduce the viscosity of the crude oil traveling within. Generating that heat still requires a fair amount of energy, however, plus the oil's reduced viscosity produces turbulence it its flow. Temple University's Prof. Rongjia Tao has developed what may be a better alternative – a device that electrifies the oil.  Read More

Blue-rayed limpets cling to a piece of kelp (Photo: Shutterstock)

The humble limpet has been receiving a lot of press lately, as scientists recently determined that the material from which its teeth are made is officially the world's strongest natural material. Now, an MIT/Harvard study suggests that a specific type of limpet's shell may hold the key to transparent displays that require no internal light source.  Read More

The mean-lookin' Gila Board

We've seen a number of off-road skateboards hit the market over the past several years, although most of them have little or no suspension, and many do have electric motors – the latter is fine if you want it, but just adds weight, expense and complexity if you don't. Industrial designer Chris Terpstra's new Gila Board doesn't have a motor, but instead sports a unique fully-adjustable independent suspension system.  Read More

An air traffic controller advises a drone, using the experimental system (Photo: RMIT Univ... If autonomous delivery drones are ever going to see widespread use, then they can't simply fly around with no regard for other aircraft. In recent projects, drone operators had to file flight plans in advance. Researchers from Australia's RMIT University have gone a step farther, however. They've developed a system that lets drones communicate with air traffic controllers using a synthesized voice.  Read More

The Bam City handlebar flexes downwards to absorb vibrations and small bumps

When serious cyclists want a little more vibration damping (or lower weight) in their handlebars, they'll often shell out hundreds of bucks for a carbon fiber bar. French company Baramind, however, wants to extend the concept of shock-absorbing handlebars to everyday commuters, with the not-so-expensive but even-flexier Bam City.  Read More

Lauf's Carbonara fork is designed to be a lightweight means of equipping fatbikes with fro...

A couple of years ago, Icelandic startup Lauf unveiled its Trail Racer leaf-style mountain bike suspension fork. It has no moving parts, requires no maintenance, and weighs just 980 grams. Now, the company is introducing a version of the fork designed for bikes that definitely don't need any extra weight – fatbikes.  Read More

The world's first 3D-printed jet engine on display at the Avalon International Airshow (Ph...

Working with colleagues from Deakin University and CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), researchers from Australia's Monash University have created the world's first 3D-printed jet engine. While they were at it, they created the world's second one, too. One of them is currently on display at the International Air Show in Avalon, Australia, while the other can be seen at the headquarters of French aerospace company Microturbo, in Toulouse.  Read More

Shift automatically pans and tilts a quadcopter's camera, to keep the subject centered

Although camera-equipped drones have opened up all sorts of film-making possibilities, trying to simultaneously control the aircraft and the camera movements can definitely be challenging. That's why Perceptiv Labs developed Shift. It's a system that allows a DJI or 3D Robotics quadcopter's motorized camera to automatically keep a tagged subject centered in the frame, letting the user concentrate on flying.  Read More

When folded down, the Helix isn't much bigger than its wheels

The whole idea behind folding bikes is that they can be made very small and unobtrusive for transit and storage. It would follow, therefore, that the smaller they can be folded down, the better. Well, Toronto's Peter Boutakis claims that his company's Helix bike can fold smaller than any other. It's also got a snazzy lightweight titanium frame.  Read More

PhD student Christopher Pateman with one of the NGCs (tiny yellow object at center) (Photo...

When someone suffers an injury that results in a severed nerve, the usual treatment involves sewing the two severed ends directly back together, or bridging them by suturing in a nerve graft. Such repairs don't always function perfectly, however. What works better is to let the two ends grow back into each other. Scientists at the University of Sheffield have developed a means of helping them do so, in the form of a 3D-printed nerve guidance conduit (NGC).  Read More

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