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Mike Hanlon

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

TADRI was established in 2009 by the Chinese Government to create a center of automotive e...

In the new world automotive order dominated by China, there are many new names we'll soon become familiar with and Shanghai's Tongji Automotive Design Research Institute (TADRI) is one such name destined for global recognition. Think of TADRI as the automotive equivalent to MIT – the type of institution that gives a country a competitive edge. We look at three fascinating vehicles touched by TADRI shown at Auto Shanghai, and explain why there are many more to come.  Read More

The shape that offers the best balanced and best handling stunt machine of the Seabreacher...

Though it fails to fit into any traditional man-made watercraft category, the Seabreacher X is remarkably comfortable in the water, turning quicker than anything made by man and happily skipping across the tops of the waves at 50 mph. This is not surprising given that it's based on a shape refined over 420 million years at the top of the ocean food chain – the shark. Give it more horsepower than Valentino Rossi's MotoGP bike, make it so light that it has the power-to-weight ratio of a Bugatti Veyron and you get the Seabreacher X. Its semi-pressurized hull enables it to tickle your adrenalin glands both above and below the waves, and it rates as the most outrageous boy's toy I have ever sampled.  Read More

The world's biggest water fight - the Songkran Festival Thailand.

Last year we covered the world's biggest water fight, the Songkran Festival in Thailand, and although our story was viewed 100,000 times, and everyone marveled at the delightfully eccentric contrast to public events elsewhere in the world, I acknowledged that I couldn't supply images which truly reflected how crazy things really get, mainly for fear of damaging my Canon camera system. This year, armed with a waterproof housing and a Canon 5D MkIII, I was able to venture from the outskirts of the water fight into the center of the water riot with impunity. Millions of water pistols, shotguns and cannons are sold each year in Songkran week and here's how to have a ridiculously good time on a $5 budget.  Read More

Audi roadster Motorrad concept

French automotive designers Thibault and Marc Devauze and modeller Clement Couvreur have created this Audi roadster motorcycle concept based on a Ducati 848 engine but with elements of Ducati's Hypermotard and Monster, all wrapped in Audi Design Language. The purchase of Ducati by Audi means such a motorcycle is not all that improbable, and Audi's carbon fiber knowhow and Direct Shift Gearbox might also help. Audi-owned DKW was once the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world - wouldn't it be nice to see a real one of these surface.  Read More

The range of Yikebikes now ranges from US$2000 to US$4000

With big changes likely in the global transport infrastructure, the race is on to create the missing link – the smallest, lightest man-packable form of motorized transport yet known. Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW and Nissan have all shown vehicles in this area, but none have yet hit the market. The best-of-breed is currently the Yikebike and it announced today that it has further extended its lead, lightening its US$4,000 Carbon model from 11.5 kg to 11.2 kg and extending its range to 15 km (9.3 miles). There's also now a choice of Yikebikes with two cheaper versions at 12.7 kg ($3,000) and 14 kg ($2000).  Read More

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