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Mike Hanlon

Asahi's new robotic draft beer dispenser

Japan's Asahi brewery looks set to steal a march on its competition by developing a robotic draft beer pouring machine for high-volume bars. Connecting to the keg, the machine pours six perfect beers, taking around 12 seconds per glass with zero wastage. The machine was shown for the first time at the International Robotics Expo in Tokyo yesterday, and is expected to be available within two years.  Read More

Cyberdyne's new industrial cleaning robot

Better known for producing the advanced exoskeletons, Japan's Cyberdyne is expanding its portfolio with a new industrial cleaning robot for large factories and warehouses. The latest model employs a Sony Playstation controller which is used to direct the cleaner around its designated cleaning areas, then it remembers its areas of responsibility and can do the job on its own from that point.  Read More

Toyota's FV2 Concept – part robot, part computer-human interface, part motorcycle, part ca...

Toyota has released details of its most futuristic concept car yet. More robot than car, the tilting 4-wheel FV2 is designed to explore the physical and emotional interface between humans and machines with elements like an augmented reality windshield, an exterior that's one big display and a steering system controlled by body movement.  Read More

The Mercedes-Benz W196R sold this for £17.5 million on 12 July

The world record price for a car at auction was smashed this month when Juan Manuel Fangio's 1954 Mercedes W196 F1 Silver Arrow sold for US$30 million, doubling the previous auction record. The only W196 outside of Daimler Benz or an internationally-recognized museum, this car won its first two starts – the 1954 German GP at Nürburgring and the Swiss GP at the uber-frightening, tree-lined Bremgarten circuit – and sealed the 1954 World Drivers Title for Juan Manuel Fangio, statistically the best racing driver in history. The following year, it was released in roadgoing form to become the world's fastest road car: the legendary Mercedes 300 SLR (aka W196S).  Read More

In 2009, electric bikes averaged the same speeds as 1936. In 2013, their speed had increas...

MotoCzysz today won its fourth TT ZERO race in a row, demonstrating just how far the electric motorcycle has come in a short time. The first five runnings of the TT ZERO event at the 105 year-old Isle of Man motorcycle racing festival suggest electric bikes will catch up to the fastest gas-powered bikes in about five years. Every practice session has seen lap speeds increase. The inaugural 2009 electric lap record was run at the same speed as the circuit record in 1936 on the first Manx Norton. This week, electric motorcycles have surpassed the laps times of Hailwood's RC181 Honda 500, Duke's Gilera, Agostini's MV Agusta fire engines, and they're about to better the Kawasaki KR750, Suzuki RG500 and Yamaha TZ750 two-strokes of the mid-seventies. Four decades of progress in 48 months. Read on  Read More

Honda's Walking Assist Device has been under development for 14 years, as has the company'...

Practical exoskeletons have moved considerably closer to everyday use with the news that Honda has begun leasing 100 of its Walking Assist Devices to hospitals in Japan so that it can monitor and validate their usefulness in the real world. Honda's announcement means it has joined Panasonic's Activelink Powerloader, Cyberdyne's HAL, Argo Medical Technologies' Rewalk, Rex Bionics' REX, Ekso Bionics EKSO, Raytheon's XOS2, RB3D's Hercule and Lockheed Martin's HULC exoskeletons, which are all at or close to market.  Read More

The new RC213V production machine under testing in Japan on May 24, 2013. The bike's runni...

Yes, that seems like a whole lot of money for a motorcycle, but Honda will unveil a whole new production model by the end of 2013. It's an over-the-counter MotoGP racer with a target price of €1 million, and a level of power that will make it competitive in the CRT class of MotoGP in 2014. Oh, and the bike is designed to save money.  Read More

The BMW Concept Ninety at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2013 With BMW Motorrad celebrating two significant birthdays this year (90 years since the founding of BMW Motorrad, and 40 years since the launch of the BMW R 90 S), it's understandable that it should produce a tribute motorcycle to the most famous Boxer Twin. Hence, BMW will show the BMW Concept 90 at the famous Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the banks of Lake Como later today.  Read More

The new Finis Neptune waterproof audio player

Finis has significantly upgraded its SwiMP3 underwater audio player with the release of the new US$160 Neptune. Like the SwiMP3, which has been on the market for five years, the Neptune waterproof player uses bone conduction to deliver sound to the inner ear. Drawing on its experience, the company has redesigned almost all components for the new model, including the bone conduction speakers, and added greater memory, an OLED display and improved file transfer compatibility with iTunes.  Read More

The Zoomer X California Style is designed by Honda's R&D in Thailand to 'combine the Calif...

The importance of local culture in shaping a marketplace was never more conspicuous to this Western mind than at the Bangkok Motor Show when Honda showed two concept bikes that are so far from the normality of Western markets that they will challenge your thinking as they did mine. The highlights of Honda Thailand's massive exhibition were a Chopper-styled scooter and a Grand Prix Racer-styled mini-bike meant for the road.  Read More

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