Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Karen Sprey

The Mobile Solar Computer Classroom provides students with computer skills that will give ...

A mobile computer classroom powered by solar panels atop a modified SUV is providing computer training to 100 students a day in the east African country of Uganda. The Maendeleo Foundation, which runs the Mobile Solar Computer Classrooms (MSCC), hopes the project will help to launch a local computer services industry, creating jobs by outsourcing the new computer skills, boost the local economy and alleviate poverty.  Read More

The GlideCycle

The GlideCycle offers a whole new world of mobility, independence and exercise to people of almost any age with disabilities and injuries. Looking a little like a bike, but with no pedals and a frame over the top of the body rather than underneath, the GlideCycle uses a suspended ergonomic saddle that holds the pelvis to support body weight so that the rider can walk, run or glide with no pressure on the crotch or perineum. It provides major cardio benefits with virtually zero impact, is easily mastered, comfortable and fun to use, quick to assemble – and it’s affordable. So what’s the catch? There isn’t one.  Read More

Geotectura and Malka have developed a concept for a zeppelin-style flying structure for De...

If you’ve ever sat in a classroom, bored silly, and wished you could just fly away, here’s the solution, well, sort of. The new concept from Geotectura and Malka - a flying structure for Delft University’s Architecture Faculty - melds spacecraft with studio space to create AIRchitecture, a dynamic, real-world learning environment with a minimal carbon footprint.  Read More

Researcher Thomas Fritz with two of the Mafa women who participated in his music study to ...

It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words but the same image can have different meanings across cultures. Music, however, may bridge the cultural divide: a new study has shown that regardless of culture or previous exposure, people were accurately able to recognize three emotions in Western music - happiness, sadness and fear.  Read More

Partial view of a gold nanosphere magnified by a factor of one billion. The darker ring sh...

A minimally invasive therapy that could help fight cancer may be on its way with the development of the first hollow gold nanospheres that actively search for and burn tumors. Researchers believe the new technique could prove particularly effective against malignant Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer responsible for around 48,000 deaths worldwide each year... and numbers are growing.  Read More

Sunshade panels of the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture building

London may have The Gherkin but it’s not a patch on the cactus-inspired design for the new Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture (MMAA) building in Qatar. The spectacular office building and adjoining botanical dome is a great example of biomimicry, a discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. This increasingly prominent approach has yielded advances in fields as diverse as aerodynamics, robotic navigation, clothing design, UAVs and the detection of water pollution. It makes sense that architectural design can also learn from nature.  Read More

Barbie turns 50

Barbie turned 50 this month but she doesn’t look a day older than at her debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959. Sure, she’s copped some flak along the way for being empty-headed and ‘tarty’, and reinventing herself to conform to current fashions, but essentially she’s still as glamorous as ever, not to mention technologically savvy.  Read More

RKS Laundry POD

It’s a great example of thinking outside of the box: as industrial design firm RKS were redesigning a salad spinner they discovered women were buying them to wash their delicates, so they modified the technology and created a portable, hand-powered laundry machine. The Laundry POD is stylish, easy to use and eco-friendly, saving energy and water, and is perfect for delicate items, “in between” and small loads, camping and traveling.  Read More

A new UM approach could save data center energy (Image: Kyle Anderson)

The average utilization for a typical industrial data center is as low as 20 to 30 percent - and the computers are still using 60 percent of peak power even when they're doing nothing. To combat this problem, researchers at the University of Michigan have put together an approach that could save up to 75 percent of the energy that power-hungry computer data centers consume.  Read More

Bionic Eye - Argus II implant

For those suffering from degenerative eye diseases, abilities which most of us take for granted like following white lines on roads and sorting socks can have a huge impact on quality of life. "Bionic-eye" technologies that can artificially restore sight are creeping closer to reality and now one of the most promising systems to grace our pages - the Argus II Retinal Implant - is beginning to reap rewards in the real world with positive outcomes reported in the preliminary results of the device's feasibility study and personal stories beginning to emerge of the difference this technology can make to peoples lives.  Read More

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