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Ben Coxworth

The CrankPump stows within a Shimano Hollowtech axle – other makes and models may follow

If you own a higher-end road or mountain bike with a Shimano drivetrain, then chances are it's got a "secret" storage compartment: the hollow space in the axle, that connects the Shimano Hollowtech cranks. While you're not going to be able to fit your phone or wallet in there, you can pop in the new CrankPump CO2 tire pump.  Read More

The SharkStopper PSR is worn on the ankle, and produces orca-like sounds

As regular viewers of a certain TV channel will already know, the orca (or killer whale) is one of the only animals that kills sharks. It would follow, therefore, that sharks generally try to stay away from them. It was with this fact in mind that the SharkStopper Personal Shark Repellent (PSR) device was created. The ankle-worn gadget emulates orca vocalizations, and has reportedly been shown to repel various species of sharks.  Read More

The ATI Neurostimulator (on skull, at left) and its handheld remote control (Photo: The Oh...

While they may not be quite as well-known as migraines, cluster headaches are even more painful, and can occur several times a day. There's presently no cure, although a new "neurostimulator" is claimed to help control them. A US clinical trial of the device has just begun, with a test subject recently having had one implanted beneath his cheekbone.  Read More

UAVs could someday be used to prevent bridge collapses, such as this one in Minneapolis  (...

When bridges are inspected for cracks and other defects that could lead to their collapse, engineers must either hang beneath those bridges on lines, or view them from elevated platforms. Whichever approach is used, a lot of setup is involved, and defects may get missed. In the future, however, unmanned aircraft may be able to more quickly and thoroughly check out bridges, working with wireless sensors built into the structures.  Read More

An IRT table at Ebony restaurant in Dubai

Tired of the waiter ignoring you? Perhaps you want to know a bit more about the dishes, such as how they're made and what's in them? Well, the Interactive Restaurant Technology (IRT) system might be for you. It replaces human waiters and paper menus with multitouch tables.  Read More

The VertiKUL drone in hovering mode

When something is sent to you by airmail, it travels in a fast and relatively fuel-efficient fixed-wing aircraft, not a fuel-guzzling helicopter. Nonetheless, when we hear about the possibility of drones being used to deliver items within cities, multirotor-style aircraft are almost always what's proposed – while they're good at maneuvering in urban spaces, they're essentially just little unmanned helicopters. With that in mind, a group of three engineering students from Belgium's KU Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) have created a prototype delivery drone known as VertiKUL, which combines the best features of both types of aircraft.  Read More

The Noke unlocks in response to a user-specific Bluetooth signal

There are already door locks and bicycle U-locks that are activated by Bluetooth, but Utah-based FŪZ Designs claims that its Noke is the world's first Bluetooth padlock. Like its house- and bike-specific counterparts, the Noke forgoes a physical key or combination dial, and instead unlocks when it detects the Bluetooth signal from an approved user's smartphone.  Read More

The AverageExplorer user interface

If you're trying to find out what the common features of tabby cats are, a Google image search will likely yield more results than you'd ever have the time or inclination to look over. New software created at the University of California, Berkeley, however, is designed to make such quests considerably easier. Known as AverageExplorer, it searches out thousands of images of a given subject, then amalgamates them into one composite "average" image.  Read More

The shape-memory polymer is soft when heated, but turns stiff as it cools

Whether they're the result of injuries, surgery or birth defects such as cleft palate, missing sections of bone in the skull or jaw can certainly affect someone's appearance. Although there are some methods of filling in such gaps, they have limitations that limit their application. A newly-developed foam-like material, however, may be able to succeed where other approaches have failed.  Read More

Just a few of the Kilobots that were part of the swarm

Ants, schooling fish and flocking birds all have something in common – they can achieve things by working together that they could never do on their own. With that in mind, researchers are now looking into ways of allowing "swarms" of communicating robots to accomplish tasks that are difficult or even impossible for single robots. Harvard University recently performed an unprecedented demonstration of that behavior, in which a batch of over 1,000 tiny Kilobots arranged themselves into a variety of pre-assigned two-dimensional shapes.  Read More

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