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Noel McKeegan

The BMW 1 Series M Coupe

There's a new member of the racetrack-inspired BMW M club – the BMW 1 Series M Coupe. While the compact 2-door might be pitched at a broader "everyday use" market than its predecessors, fans who fear the diluting of the M series pedigree need not worry, as high-performance is still high-priority. The M Coupe packs a 250 kW/340 bhp punch from its in-line 6-cylinder TwinPower Turbo petrol engine (that's 25% more than the original M1 produced in the late 70's) and reaches 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standing start in 4.9 seconds.  Read More

The Transformer (TX) program calls for a vertical-takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle that ...

The company behind the first FAA approved "roadable aircraft" – the Terrafugia Transition – has been selected to contribute to DARPA's Transformer (TX) Project, a program that aims to bring flying car technology to the battlefield. Terrafugia will subcontract to one of two winning teams under phase one of the program which focuses on creating a conceptual design for a four person cross between a Humvee and a helicopter for use in insurgency, reconnaissance, medical evacuation and logistical supply.  Read More

Artist's impression of the yellowish star HIP 13044 and, on the bottom right, its planet H...

Astronomers have been discovering planets outside of our solar system – or exoplanets – at a steady rate in recent years. The number has now topped 500 and with earth-bound detection improving all the time and the Kepler mission out hunting with the largest camera ever sent into space, the rate is not likely to slow down anytime soon. Among these discoveries are some extraordinary finds like the first "potentially habitable" exoplanet, but what's different about this latest discovery is not the Earth-like qualities of the planet, it's the fact that it originated from outside the Milky Way – which makes it an extragalactic exoplanet.  Read More

Gizmag's top technology firsts of 2010

Nanotechnology, electric vehicles, renewable energy, quantum computing and slicker, smarter consumer electronics – just some of the fields in which the rollercoaster of human technological development continues to gather pace each year ... and 2010 was no exception. As the calendar flips towards December, it's time for a look back at some of the key breakthroughs that have caught our attention over the past 12 months.  Read More

Developed by Bertocco Automotive Engineering of Italy and Shell Chemicals Europe, this ear...

It doesn't take much analysis to reach the conclusion that truck rollovers are very dangerous. Studies have shown that over 6 percent of the heavy truck fatalities and incapacitating injuries on U.S roads alone are a result of rollover accidents. Modern trucks fitted with ESP (Electronic Stability Program) have a greater chance of avoiding the problem, but this retrofittable early warning tanker roll-over device developed by Bertocco Automotive Engineering of Italy and Shell Chemicals Europe provides added safety for older vehicles... and it's just been awarded top prize in the EuroTra Safety and Innovation Award 2010.  Read More

Rav 4 EV demonstrator dashboard

When Toyota and Tesla announced a partnership earlier this year one of the stated aims was to collaborate on an electric version of the RAV4 – here it is. Unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the RAV4 EV Demonstration Vehicle is based on the current combustion engine model with modifications to the suspension and steering plus minor styling changes like a new front bumper, grille and head lamps and of course – the inclusion of an electric powertrain and Tesla supplied battery pack. Toyota points out that there are many decisions yet to be made before the final specs of the RAV4 EV – which is slated to go into production in 2012 – are finalized.  Read More

Scottish researchers are reporting a "practical breakthrough" that could lead to the development of that most sought after of wardrobe items – the invisibility cloak. The concept of the invisibility cloak (not pictured) is based around harnessing the unique electromagnetic wave-bending properties of metamaterials, but this poses problems when it comes to creating flexible surfaces suitable for applications like clothing and contact superlenses for visual prostheses... problems which the new material design known as "Metaflex" hopes to address.  Read More

Lockeed Martin is testing an updated, ruggedized version of the HULC robotic exoskeleton

Lockheed Martin is putting an updated, ruggedized version to its HULC Robotic Exoskeleton through lab evaluation tests. The hydraulic "power-suit" now boasts better protection from the elements, improved fitting and easier adjustment, increased run-time and new control software.  Read More

Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor e-reader

Barnes & Noble has injected a little color into its NOOK e-reader – 16 million colors that is. The new NOOKcolor ereader sits somewhere between the familiar e-ink offerings and a full-blown tablet with its 7-inch, 1024 x 600 color touchscreen, Wi-Fi connectivity, a slimline design which measures 0.48-inches thick and weighs at under a pound and a price point which will challenge competitors on both sides of the fence – US$249.  Read More

Gorillatorch Switchback - LED lantern and headtorch combo

Joby is continuing its run of clever designs with the fourth installment in its hands-free torch line-up – the Gorillatorch Switchback. As anyone who's ever been on an overnight hike can attest, any practical two-in-one solution that cuts down on baggage is a bonus, and this one seems to tick the boxes. The Switchback uses one 130-lumen LED light array as both an LED lantern and a headlamp, plus the lamp stand doubles as a camera tripod... better make that three-in-one.  Read More

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