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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.

Follow Ben:

— Science

Squishy battery created using wood

By - June 1, 2015 1 Picture

Wood pulp-derived nanocellulose is turning out to be pretty useful stuff. Previously, we'd heard how it could be used in things like high-strength lightweight composites, oil-absorbing sponges and biodegradable computer chips. Now, researchers from Sweden and the US have used the material to build soft-bodied batteries that are more shock- and stress-resistant than their traditional hard counterparts.

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— Bicycles

Ding bike light uses two beams to shine down and out

By - May 29, 2015 5 Pictures

When cycling at night, it's important not just to be seen from the front and back but also from the sides. In order to make that happen, bicycle lighting systems typically either add dedicated side lights or they divert part of the main headlight beam. The Ding headlight, however, puts out one beam that shines forward, along with a second one that lights up the road directly to either side of the bike.

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HueRay combines handlebar grips and side lights

There are already bicycle "running lights" that plug into the ends of the handlebars, providing side visibility when cycling at night. HueRay takes that same idea but makes it sturdier and more self-contained, with silicone bar grips that incorporate their own high-intensity LEDs.

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— Robotics

CoCoRo underwater mini-robots school like fish and share knowledge

By - May 28, 2015 1 Picture

Starting in April 2011, the European Union CoCoRo (Collective Cognitive Robots) research consortium has been developing three varieties of autonomous underwater robots that school together like fish. By doing so, the little bots can share and learn from each others' "knowledge" of their environment, acting as a collective cognitive system that's smarter than any one of its individual parts.

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— Electronics

Biodegradable computer chips made almost entirely from wood

By - May 28, 2015 1 Picture

As electronic devices are becoming outdated at an increasingly fast pace, e-waste continues to be a huge problem. That's why scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have started producing "wooden" semiconductor chips that could almost entirely biodegrade once left in a landfill. As an added bonus, the chips are also flexible, making them prime candidates for use in flexible electronics.

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— Around The Home

Saver lets people breathe while escaping fires

By - May 27, 2015 3 Pictures

While a smoke detector can certainly provide you with an early warning in the event of a house fire, it can't usually do much to help you get out of the building once that fire is underway. That's why Toronto-based startup Safety iQ developed the Saver. It's a portable device that reportedly allows users to breathe safely in smoke-filled environments, while also serving as a flashlight and alarm.

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