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Karen Sprey

Ravi cools wine at the very moment it is served 
 (photo courtesy of gadgetgrid)

Most of us know the feeling of having a bottle of wine we wished was a good few degrees cooler. So what do you do? Hurriedly throw the lukewarm bottle into the freezer? Make (another) mental note to keep the fridge stocked? Or drink it warm (no, of course you're not that desperate). If you've got a Ravi in your freezer, you need never face this situation again. This nifty Canadian invention cools wine as it is poured and the level of cooling can be adjusted according to the type of wine being served.  Read More

Locusts have helped scientists unlock the secrets of insect flight (Photo: Niv Singer)

It seems that locusts, the bane of farmers the world over, have served some purpose after all. With the aid of a wind tunnel and a high-speed digital video camera, scientists have captured the changes in the shape of the locust's wings during flight and created, for the first time, a computer model that recreates the airflow and thrust generated by their complex flapping movement. Modeling the aerodynamic secrets brings us a step closer to creating miniature robot flyers with the maneuverability and energy efficiency of an insect - such micro-aircraft would likely have huge benefits for search and rescue, military activities and inspecting hazardous environments.  Read More

Sony's limited edition DPF-D72N/BQ digital photo frame

Sony's new limited edition digital photo frame ticks the boxes for looks and functionality. The DPF-D72N/BQ features an elegant and understated black frame with Crystallized Swarovski Elements and stores up to 2,000 images courtesy of 1GB internal storage. It also has a nifty auto-resizing feature. Other functions include clock and calendar modes, and an Auto Orientation sensor that automatically rotates your photos into portrait or landscape format according to the placement of the frame.  Read More

Powdered beer? Just add water

Picture the scene: you’ve been trekking hard all day in the great outdoors, enjoying everything nature has to offer. You’ve set up camp and your canned cheeseburgers are bubbling gently on the fire. As you watch the sun sink slowly behind the mountains the only thing missing is a cold beer. Well… (beer aficionados, you may want to stop reading now) Katadyn, the Swiss-based company behind the Trek’n’Eat canned cheeseburger and other high-tech, freeze-dried foods, has developed a world first – powdered beer – to wash it all down with.  Read More

The Renovo R4 Pursuit road bike, black walnut and Port Orford cedar

Back in the 1700s before strong, lightweight metals were available, the first bicycles were made almost completely of wood. Crude wooden bikes are still used in many developing countries today, built from whatever recycled timber can be found. And as interest in sustainability and renewable energy grows, not only are more people (re)turning to pedal power, there is renewed interest in wooden frame bicycles. Renovo Hardwood Bicyles combine "high-tech magic and fine craftsmanship" to create a range of bikes from hollow wood and laminated bamboo, and are confident their bikes are “the smoothest bike you'll ever ride, stealth quiet, light and responsive, stiff as you want.”  Read More

The Milan trade fair will commission the world’s biggest rooftop voltaic power installatio...

Bigger may not always be better but when it comes to solar power generation it's a plus. The rooftop photovoltaic power installation at the Milan trade fair will cover around 270,000 square meters (2.9 million square feet) and have a peak installed capacity of at least 18 megawatts (MW). This will put it ahead of the biggest existing rooftop solar plant at General Motors in Zaragoza in Spain, which has a peak capacity of 12MW.  Read More

The Roll-out Veg Mat and Herb Gardens are corrugated cardboard seed mats, pre-sown with fo...

From the ‘it’s so simple, why didn’t I think of that?’ file comes the… Roll-out Veg Mat. Lack of time or a green thumb is no longer an issue (or an excuse). Just roll out the pre-sown-and-fertilized corrugated cardboard seed mat, add soil and water, then sit back and enjoy the fruits – or rather, veg – of your very limited labor.  Read More

Rosetta Stone TOTALe is a new online language-learning package that enhances the effective...

Rosetta Stone, the well-known language learning software that has helped millions worldwide learn a language without translation or memorization has moved into the online and Web 2.0 realm with it’s new language learning solution TOTALe. TOTALe combines three elements - the Rosetta Course, offered in 31 languages, Rosetta Studio, where you can practice with native-speaking Studio Coaches and other learners at your level in a real-time, and Rosetta World, a structured online community where you can practice and hone your language skills with native speakers and other learners at your level through fun and engaging games.  Read More

The word Almeisan is the Arabic name for one of the brightest stars in the sky, located in...

Dubai conjures up BIG images; not just the tallest structures, although it currently holds that crown, but also big as in flamboyant, lavish and generally larger than life. Amidst the opulence, extravagance and seemingly limitless budgets – or perhaps because of the latter – Dubai is increasingly embracing its green side. The latest building designed for the city to cross our desk has a foot squarely in both camps - the Almeisan Tower combines a delicate, soaring structure with a 600kW solar tower and passive cooling systems claimed to be almost "triple zero", which means it has zero emissions, zero energy requirements and zero waste.  Read More

Rescue Robot 'Telemax' at Robocup 2009

Search and rescue robots (S&R robots) were put through their paces in two complex and realistic disaster scenarios as part of a special rescue robot supporting program at RoboCup 2009 – the robotics world championships - in Graz, Austria. In recognition of the potentially lifesaving uses of rescue robots, RoboCup 2009 promoted their development in the separate category “RoboCup Rescue”, building on the success of the RoboCup Soccer project through technical discussion forums of technical discussions and competitive evaluations for researchers and practitioners.  Read More

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