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David Szondy

Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology produces sheet metal prototypes in hours instead of d...

Stamping sheet metal is an efficient form of manufacturing, capable of cranking hundreds or thousands of items an hour. The annoying thing is that making new stamping dies is a long, costly process. This is bad enough when it comes to retooling a factory, but creating prototypes for new products can leave designers waiting weeks. The Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan has taken a page from the 3D printing handbook and is developing a new way of forming sheet metal that allows designers to create prototypes in hours instead of weeks.  Read More

Artist's impression of Curiosity (Image: NASA) After over six months exploring the Glenelg area of Gale Crater on Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover is on the move. The nuclear-powered robot began a months-long drive on July 4, which will take it to Mount Sharp to fulfill the major part of its its two-year mission to seek out areas where life could have, or still could, exist on the Red Planet.  Read More

Rosphere uses a pendulum for locomotion and steering

If you see what looks like a hamster ball rolling around a cornfield, it doesn’t mean that someone’s pet is incredibly lost. It may be an experimental robot developed by the Robotics and Cybernetics Research Group at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) called Rosphere. The spherical robot can propel itself over uneven ground and may one day be rolling up for work in fields to monitor and tend crops.  Read More

The Altair 8800 Clone reproduces the functions and flaws of the original

Owning a piece of computer history can be expensive and not much fun. You can buy a vintage MITS Altair 8800, one of the world’s first successful desktop computers, on eBay, but a good one will cost you over US$4,000. That’s why computer enthusiast Mike Douglas developed the Altair 8800 Clone. It’s a modern, inexpensive, functional reproduction of the historic Altair 8800 computer that uses 21st century technology to recreate a bit of computer history for hobbyists and educators.  Read More

Ultrasonic sensors could help detect air leaks on the ISS (Photo: NASA)

In space, no one can hear you scream, but you can hear an air leak. In old science fiction movies, air leaks on spaceships and stations reveal themselves as convenient holes to slap a patch on, but on the complex International Space Station (ISS), it isn't that simple. NASA is working on a new system for detecting the ultrasonic noise of an air leak quickly before it turns into a dangerous race against time.  Read More

The Scout satellite is light to act as a solar sail

Launching more than one satellite at a time is common practice these days, but what about packing thousands of satellites into a rocket and shooting them at the Moon? As part of a Kickstarter campaign, Pocket Spacecraft is offering the public the chance to send small disc satellites into space. These will then either flutter back to Earth from orbit or impact on the lunar surface. Based in Bristol, UK, Pocket Spacecraft plans to create thousands of tiny customized “Scout” satellites to be launched in a cubesat as a way of promoting low cost, mass space exploration.  Read More

The Arkyd 100 funded by a Kickstarter campaign will launch in 2015

Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company based in Bellevue, Washington, completed its Kickstarter campaign on Sunday after a 33-day run that raised US$1,505,366 from 17,600 backers. The purpose of the campaign was to raise public interest in the company and asteroid mining in general by crowdfunding an Arkyd 100 space telescope that will be made available to the public.  Read More

The KeyMe kiosk stores keys as digital patterns in the cloud for latter duplicating Getting locked out of the house is especially frustrating when you’ve forgotten the “safe” place where you hid the spare key. As an alternative to sleeping in the garden shed or emergency locksmith fees, KeyMe allows you to store a digital version of your house key in the cloud from which a duplicate key can be cut on demand.  Read More

Rethink set up red fridges around Europe that only Canadian passports would open A fridge full of free beer sounds like a great thing to find sitting on a street corner, but what if you needed a Canadian to open it? That was the puzzle posed by the Rethink advertising agency on behalf of Canada’s Molson brewery. This northern spring, Rethink set up red fridges at various locations around Europe that would only open if a Canadian passport was inserted.  Read More

The Ikea refugee shelter designed to provide refugees with better living conditions

A tragedy of modern times is the millions of refugees displaced by poverty, oppression, war and natural disaster. Most end up living in canvas tents of a basic design that are hot in summer, cold in winter, and only last about six months in constant use despite some refugees living in such tents for up to 12 years. On World Refugee Day in June, the Ikea Foundation unveiled a new flat-pack refugee shelter with a modular design and solar panel designed to help improve living conditions for refugees.  Read More

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