2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show

Karen Sprey

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

The Eco Kettle allows the user to fill the kettle to its maximum, then boil only what they...

Do you boil only enough water for your cup of coffee or tea or are you the person who can’t resist keeping the kettle filled to the top? The Eco Kettle caters to everyone. It features a central reservoir that you can keep filled to the brim and a central valve button in the lid that releases only the amount you need into its boiling chamber, from one to eight cups - saving electricity, time and even water.  Read More

Motorola's new Endeavor HX1 bone conduction headset

Motorola has unveiled the Endeavor HX1, a Bluetooth headset which uses a combination of CrystalTalk noise cancellation technology and bone conduction technology dubbed ‘stealth mode’, enabling users to hear and be heard in noisy environments such as concerts or driving in a convertible. The company claims it is the only Bluetooth headset to use true bone conduction technology, a broadside that is surely aimed at competitor Jawbone whose headsets use a sensor that sits against the outside of the face as opposed to the in-ear setup of the HX-1.  Read More

Toddlers can initially use the BMW Kidsbike as a learning bike to develop balance and coor...

Riding a bike is something most of us learn as kids, with many a wobble along the way as we develop our sense of balance. The BMW Kidsbike has been designed for youngsters from around two and a half to five years of age, helping them progress from their first experience on two wheels to their first proper bike by means of a separate chain and pedal unit which can be easily mounted when the time is right.  Read More

The compact Dulux Weathershield BackPack Roller System

There’s no doubt a lick of paint improves the appearance of your house, but when it comes to actually doing, it's a chore most of us would prefer to avoid. Dulux hopes to make the job cleaner, easier and faster with the new Weathershield BackPack Roller system. Once you've attached the power unit to the paint pack you just drop it into the ergonomically designed rucksack, switch it on and you’re ready to go – no more paint trays, spills or running up and down ladders to reload the brush. And Dulux says you'll get the job done twice as fast.  Read More

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