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Darren Quick

Darren Quick

Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.

— Environment

Superconducting coil to slash costs and improve efficiency of direct-drive wind turbines

By - December 4, 2014 3 Pictures
Conventional offshore wind turbines are expensive and complicated pieces of machinery – in a large part because of their complex and maintenance-intensive gearboxes. Dr Shahriar Hossain from the University of Wollongong in Australia is looking to slash production costs and drastically improve efficiency replacing these gearboxes with a superconducting coil. Read More
— Space

Detection of super-Earth transit puts ground-based telescopes in the hunt

By - December 2, 2014 1 Picture
When you're hunting for exoplanets many light years away, the complications posed by the Earth's atmosphere can make the search incredibly difficult for ground-based telescopes. That's why space-based telescopes, such as Hubble, Spitzer and Kepler, are generally employed for the job. But now for the first time, astronomers have detected the transit of a super-Earth in front of a nearby Sun-like star, which could see ground-based telescopes more widely used in categorizing the growing number of exoplanets expected to be discovered in the next few years. Read More
— Space

Converting human waste into rocket fuel

By - November 26, 2014 1 Picture
Flushing the human waste produced on space missions out an airlock isn't an option for astronauts. Currently its stored in containers before being loaded into cargo vehicles that burn up as they pass through Earth's atmosphere, but researchers at the University of Florida (UF) have found a better use for the material, by developing a process to turn it into rocket fuel. Read More
— Good Thinking

Fugu Luggage expands travel options

By - November 23, 2014 3 Pictures
Many travelers will have faced the problem of the carry-on luggage that was big enough when embarking on a trip, but fell well short on carrying capacity for the return journey thanks to the addition of souvenirs, bargains and gifts for loved ones. Fugu Luggage avoids the need to shell out for an extra suitcase to fit all that extra gear by expanding from a maximum carry-on size to check-in size suitcase in under a minute. Read More
— Robotics

Researchers turn to cats to help soften robot landings

By - November 17, 2014 1 Picture
The animal kingdom is fertile ground for roboticists looking to improve on their designs, with everything from insects, fish, seahorses, jellyfish, caterpillars, snakes and birds providing inspiration. Now researchers at Georgia Tech are turning to cats to help soften robot landings. Rather than strapping some felines to a robot's underside, the team is studying the way cats twist in the air when falling to let future robots land safely from a jump or fall. Read More

Boeing readies for first-ever conjoined satellite launch

Boeing has successfully joined two its 702SP satellites in a stacked configuration in preparation for a launch scheduled for early 2015. Aside from being the first involving conjoined satellites, the launch will also put the first satellites to enter service boasting an all-electric propulsion system into orbit. Read More
— Electronics

Coating makes swallowing batteries safer for curious kids

By - November 5, 2014 2 Pictures
It can be a herculean task to get kids to eat their vegetables, but they'll happily chow down on things they aren't supposed to. If one of those things is a button battery, serious injuries can result in the form of burns to the esophagus or tears in the digestive tract. Researchers may not have found a way to stop kids swallowing button batteries, but they have found a way to make such culinary no-nos safer. Read More
— Environment

Nanoparticle-based material turns up the heat on concentrated solar power

By - November 2, 2014 2 Pictures
The key factor when it comes to solar power plant efficiency – be they of the photovoltaic or concentrated solar power variety – is the amount of light that can be captured by the light-absorbing material and converted into electricity or heat. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a new nanoparticle-based material that promises to improve the efficiency of CSP plants with its ability to absorb and convert over 90 percent of the sunlight it captures into heat. Read More
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