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Grant Banks

The Kymera jetboard is a jet-powered body board

Longing for a cheap and easily transportable personal watercraft Jason Woods took matters into his own hands. He set about designing a jet-powered body board, light enough to carry under your arm, small enough to fit in the trunk of a compact sedan, and efficient enough to enjoy all day without breaking the bank. Although the first three prototypes ended up at the bottom of a lake the young garage designer persisted. Three years on his dream has become a reality – introducing the Kymera jetboard.  Read More

Zaca Fire, near Santa Barbara, California, in 2007. Credit: U.S. Forest Service by John Ne...

In the last decade the number and intensity of forest fires seems to have been on the increase around the globe, with massive and devastating wildfires in California, Greece, Russia and Australia. The best tool for fighting these intense wildfires is accurate and timely information. Traditional airborne infrared cameras have long been a vital device for mapping fire intensity though their limited ability to find the heart of a fire through thick smoke poses a major drawback. A new radiometric sensor that works in the microwave range can now pinpoint the heart of the wildfire, even when visibility is poor.  Read More

Electric wheelchair fitted with laser line striper and other terrain assistance devices. C...

Many of the greatest civilian innovations can be traced back to military origins. Penicillin, radar, satellites and the Internet, just to name a few. So it is not uncommon for technologies developed for fighting wars to be found to have wider applications. The following idea is an example of this adaptation and is inspired by the important need of disabled veteran soldiers for independence and mobility. By using terrain sensing control systems designed for the guidance of autonomous vehicles on the battlefield, researchers have begun developing a system that will allow wheelchair users to access more areas than ever before.  Read More

Sony Bloggie pocket-camcorder goes 3D

Sony has announced three new models in its Bloggie HD pocket-camcorder range. Backing up from the launch of Bloggie Touch last year, the company has boosted its compact platform for 2011 with the addition of 3D technology and dual screen capabilities.  Read More

Sony has unveiled its new range of Cyber-shot compact digital cameras at CES 2011

Sony has unveiled its five new compact digital cameras at CES 2011. The new Cyber-shot models include the world’s first still compact digital camera to offer full HD (1920 x 1080/60p) video recording – the Cyber-shot TX100V – and feature 3D still imaging and 3D sweep panoramic imaging, 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensors, 10fps burst shooting and dual recording capabilities that allow you to take still shots and video at the same time.  Read More

A review by Sprigge in 1911 of an 800-page textbook of paediatric surgery suggests a level...

Respected medical journal Lancet has taken a retrospective look at the past century and found that despite incredible advances in the field of medicine, some common issues persist. Problems identified in 1911 that strike a familiar chord today include the quest to understand and eventually cure cancer, an economic depression and it's negative effect on healthcare delivery and the plight of African nations. Challenges faced in first world countries included the impacts of illicit drug addiction, occupational health and workers' compensation issues, the need for better education of doctors, and the continued prevalence of curable and preventable diseases.  Read More

Researchers at the University of Buffalo have announced a breakthrough that promises to im...

Researchers have made a two-fold breakthrough in advancing renewable energies with the development of a light sensitive dye which transfers electrons more efficiently than conventional technologies. The new dyes stand to be used in solar electricity generation and in creating hydrogen fuel, which in the past has proven expensive and energy hungry.  Read More

Mikey for Flip, a professional-quality external microphone for Flip Video

Blue Microphones has arrived at CES 2011 with two new additions to its high quality recording range. The company's latest desktop microphone, the Yeti Pro, is the first USB unit to combine 24 bit/192 kHz recording resolution with analog XLR output, while the US$69 Mikey external microphone for Flip – which includes a mic input jack – will likely be welcome news for fans of the popular pocket camcorder.  Read More

The initial inspiration for the A.N.T came from wanting to design a better vehicle for dis...

A multi-purpose vehicle capable of delivering emergency housing and supplies to disaster areas then rapidly returning to base ready for another mission – that is the concept behind the Aid Necessities Transporter (A.N.T.). The idea takes inspiration from it's namesake in the insect world – creating more than just a unique concept vehicle but an entirely new aid distribution system. The A.N.T has been designed to traverse rough terrain that would be impossible for conventional trucks to navigate, delivering supply pods and temporary shelter to disaster stricken communities. The vehicle then transforms itself into a low-profile form for a swift return to headquarters.  Read More

Palladium electron shell (Image: Pumbaa via Wikimedia, CC 2.0)

Japanese researchers have used nanotechnology to develop a process which resembles something out of a 16th Century alchemy textbook. Although not producing gold, as was the aim of the alchemists, the scientists have discovered a technique that allows otherwise inert elements to be combined to form new intermediate alloy-elements. So far, an alloy of palladium has been created by mixing silver and rhodium together.  Read More

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