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Loz Blain

Loz Blain

Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.

Follow Loz:

— Robotics

Building machines from muscle: University of Illinois demonstrates "walking" bio-robot

By - July 3, 2014 7 Pictures
If you're going to deploy robots in biological settings – for example, inside the body – it makes a lot of sense to build those robots out of actual biological body parts. Muscle, for example, is a very effective, biodegradable replacement for an electric actuator that can run in a nutrient-rich fluid without the need for any other power source. Bio-robotics experts in Illinois have demonstrated a walking bio-bot built from 3-D printed hydrogel and spinal muscle tissue that can "walk" in response to an electrical signal. Their next step will be trying to incorporate neurons that can get the bot walking in different directions when faced with different stimuli. Read More
— Music

Linnstrument and the next revolution in instrumental virtuosity

By - July 1, 2014 6 Pictures
Roger Linn's wildly successful LinnDrum drum machine was a big part of the computer-pop revolution that sucked the soul and humanity out of pop music in the 1980s. Now, he's part of a group of innovators desperately trying to get soul, expression and instrumental virtuosity back into pop music with a suite of next-generation instruments. The Linnstrument has been many years in the making, and it's now about to hit the market – a MIDI controller designed to give as much feel and expression as an acoustic instrument, but with the wild sonic possibilities available through today's synthesizers. Read More
— Motorcycles

Ariel Ace: The massively configurable motorcycle platform

By - June 27, 2014 18 Pictures
Ariel, maker of the wild Atom sportscar, has just announced the Ace, a fully configurable motorcycle system based around a gorgeous billet frame and the Honda VFR1200 engine. It looks absolutely stunning, and it can be specified as anything from a cruiser, to a nakedbike, to a fully faired supersports machine – and altered endlessly after purchase. A fascinating concept, and the execution looks peerless. Read More
— Children Review

Review: The Sangenic Nappy Disposal System (AKA the Nappy Sausage Machine)

By - June 26, 2014 5 Pictures
Life can be cruel, folks. Just a few weeks ago I was road testing electric motorcycles, wind in my chest hair, livin' the dream. Then, in an instant, I became a dad – well, it was an instant for me, the missus might feel differently about it. Either way, here I am, reduced to writing a road test for a diaper bin. But a fine diaper bin it is, and I have resolved to attack this new topic with vigor and passion. Ladies and gentlemen, the nappy sausage machine. Read More
— Automotive

Two weeks with the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST

By - June 19, 2014 23 Pictures
Ford's Fiesta ST takes a no-nonsense approach to hard-driving, hot hatch fun. Its 197-peak horsepower, 1.6-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine is flexible and torquey, its chassis and running gear work beautifully together to connect you to the road and its stereo will read you vulgar text messages from your friends in a classy British accent. It's a winner. Gizmag spends two weeks with one of the real standout driver's cars of 2014. Read More
— Motorcycles

Middleweight Monster 821 joins Ducati's nakedbike lineup

By - May 28, 2014 12 Pictures
Ducati's iconic Monster nakedbikes are as popular as ever in 2014 – gorgeous looking Italian street bikes built for road-riding fun, comfort and simplicity. But it looks like the days of the air-cooled Monster might be numbered. Ducati today revealed photos and specs for its upcoming 821 middleweight, which seems ready to come in and replace the air-cooled 796. With 112 horses, 65.9 lb-ft and weighing just 395.7 lbs dry, the 821 looks like a great streetbike for those who believe maximum fun is found at the throttle stop. Read More

Second Livestock – virtual reality for chickens

Battery hens live pretty grim lives – but what if their lot could be improved with the use of virtual reality? Second Livestock is a project that envisions caged hens being fitted with VR goggles, microphones and movement sensors to give them the impression that they're out in the barnyard doing ... whatever it is chickens prefer to do all day. If the chickens themselves believe they're free and happy, does that mean they should get the free range stamp, even though they're cooped up? Read More
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