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Nick Lavars

Nick Lavars

Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches.

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— Health and Wellbeing

Freewheel brings fitness tracking to the wheelchair

By - August 17, 2015 3 Pictures

With a history of producing quirky research projects like a shopping cart that follows you around the store and a stun gun wielding drone, it's no surprise that creative tech studio Chaotic Moon has applied its left-field thinking to fitness tracking. Its Freewheel wheelchair is aimed at keeping tabs on user's physical activity, with the company even claiming the data it collects could one be used to for better detailed mapping.

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— Health and Wellbeing

"Bicycle mechanism" uncovered that is said to drive our brains in and out of sleep

By - August 13, 2015

Jet-setters and night owls will have felt the wrath of an off-kilter body clock, by way of the physical impact it can have on immediate well being. A yearning to understand the underlying reasons for this has been the subject of much scientific interest, and has led to some rather strange products like LED light glasses and glowing pillows. But by studying the biological clock of a humble fruit fly, researchers at Northwestern University are claiming to have uncovered the precise mechanisms that bring us in and out of sleep, with their evidence suggesting these switches date back hundreds of millions of years.

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— Robotics

The evolution machine: Mother robot makes each child better than the last

By - August 12, 2015 3 Pictures

It was only last month that futurists Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking warned about the dangers of intelligent robots, and a new research project led by the University of Cambridge won't do much to put their minds at ease. Scientists have created a mother robot that can not only build its own children robots, but mimic the process of natural selection to improve their capabilities with each generation.

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— Robotics

Beerbots demonstrate robotic collaboration by serving drinks in a makeshift bar

By - August 12, 2015 4 Pictures

Staffing bars and restaurants with machines sure sounds convenient, but getting them to collaborate smoothly in such a frenzied environment poses significant hurdles. Their ability to interact with one another and the world around them is just not quite at the level of your typical wait staff. But MIT researchers have made an impressive advance in this area, showcasing a team of three robots that work together to deliver beer, suggesting the technology responsible could translate to cooperative robotic systems for not only bars and restaurants, but hospitals and disaster situations.

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— Sports

Throwable sound-emitting device to draw fish to your line

By - August 11, 2015 2 Pictures

Rightly or wrongly, technology has made the sport of fishing less of a guessing game and more like shooting the proverbial gill-bearing creatures in a barrel. Smartphone-connected fish finders and even waterproof drones that will land your lure in their midst are a couple of recent examples, and now a new device is designed to make things even easier. The Fish Call works by mimicking the sounds of feeding fish and is claimed to draw in species of all kinds.

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— Architecture

Origami-inspired military shelter said to cut energy use by 70 percent

By - August 10, 2015 4 Pictures

The ancient art of origami has inspired all kinds of modern technological endeavors, from drones to bridges to batteries and low-cost emergency housing. The latest project to join the fold comes from US-based engineers who have developed a deployable shelter that can be shipped on a standard military pallet, improving the quality of life for soldiers while cutting energy consumption in the process.

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— Medical

New blood clot-busting nanocapsule promises immediate care for heart attacks

By - August 10, 2015 2 Pictures

When blood clots form in the aftermath of a heart attack or stroke, medications can be deployed to break them apart, but delivery is tricky. Getting the medicine to the clot takes some guesswork and there's no guarantee it will arrive in the right dosage, with complications like hemorrhaging a real possibility. A team of Australian scientists has developed a new approach that sees the drugs carried safely inside a nanocapsule, opening up the treatment to more patients and lessening the chance of side effects.

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— Bicycles

Breathalyzer bike lock stops drunken cyclists in their tracks

By - August 9, 2015 2 Pictures

When you compare it to the wreckage a drunk driver can cause, an inebriated cyclist mightn't seem all that great a threat. But in reality any road user with impaired judgement can wreak havoc through an ignored stop sign or traffic light, whatever their choice of ride. The Alcoho-Lock is aimed at preventing cyclists from hopping in the saddle when they've had one too many, working in much the same way as breath-test locks for drunk drivers.

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