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James Holloway

Around The Home

Handibot brings portability and apps to CNC fabrication

North Carolina-based ShopBot Tools has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring its Handibot prototype to market. Handibot is a CNC machine which, being computer-controlled, can be used to cut materials to size and shape with very high accuracy. Unlike most CNC machines, Handibot is portable, the idea being that you take it to your materials rather than your materials to it. And in that spirit, Handibot can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet rather than full-blown computer (if there's a distinction these days), and users will pay to download individual designs and functions in the form of apps.Read More

Environment

National Grid report challenges wind energy critics

Squirreled away beneath a recent Telegraph report on the subtleties of badger-culling in the UK was this intriguing morsel of wind energy news, which would seem to challenge the idea that intermittent energy sources such as wind play havoc with grid management. For the 23,700 gigawatt-hours of electrical energy generated by wind in the UK between April 2011 and September 2012, only 22 GWh of electrical energy from fossil fuels "was needed to fill the gaps when the wind didn't blow," it reports. Gizmag contacted the UK National Grid to find out the details.Read More

Drones

Parrot's AR.Drone 2.0 gets flight recorder, enhanced navigation

Parrot has announced a new peripheral for its AR.Drone 2.0, a black box-style Flight Recorder with 4 GB of Flash storage to record GPS and flight data, as well as locally save about 2 hours of HD footage recorded on the drone's onboard camera. Parrot has also announced a new Director Mode for its piloting app which allows easy editing of recorded footage, as well as an improved battery which increases the drone's flight time by a claimed 50 percent.Read More

NRG tackles disaster response with 42-ft energy truck

One of the pressing needs in the event of a large-scale disaster or emergency is power. With Power2Serve, energy provider NRG is addressing this need head on in the form of 68 feet (21 m) of truck and trailer equipped with 40 kW of electrical generation and a Wi-Fi pavilion which people can use to communicate and keep abreast of events.Read More

Sports

Flat running shoes fine for pronating novices, study finds

Novice runners wearing ordinary, non-supportive running shoes are at no greater risk of injury, even if they pronate or supinate (that is, their feet roll inward or outward as they run) according to new research out of Aarhus University in Denmark. The researchers think that novice runners should instead think about their weight, training regime and old injuries as the predominate risks of injury.Read More

Aircraft

EADS unveils its vision for the future of aviation

EADS has once again taken to the Paris Air Show to present a vision of commercial aviation in 2050. Developed in partnership with Rolls-Royce to increase the efficiency of future airliners, its E-Thrust concept is a hybrid electric propulsion system that EADS says could cut fuel consumption, emissions and noise. EADS and Airbus have baked the E-Thrust into an aircraft design, which EADS calls the eConcept.Read More

Architecture

WWII airbase transformed into energy-efficient farmhouse

The appropriately-named Allies Farm in Essex UK was formerly the airbase and shelter at RAF Ridgewell, from where the US Air Force's 381st Bombardment Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on 296 bombing runs during World War II. Following a conversion masterminded by Cameron Scott of Timber Design, the shelter is now a timber-clad farmhouse, home to the Grays and their three children.Read More

Aircraft

Sagita's hot air-powered Sherpa rethinks the ultra-light helicopter

Certainly one of the more intriguing things on display at this year's Paris Air Show, the Sherpa by Belgian startup Sagita aims to make the helicopter simpler, more efficient, more reliable and more affordable. The helicopter's rotors are directly driven by turbines which are themselves powered by hot air and fumes from the helicopter's power plant. Sagita claims that this makes the the aircraft approximately 85 percent efficient while doing away with the need for a tail rotor.Read More

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