Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Noel McKeegan

Aikiuo interactive bowl for dogs

Long before before the days of canned food and canine coffee, dogs had to work for their supper. Stimulating these natural hunting and foraging instincts is an important part of keeping your pet healthy and happy – as well as preventing your Chesterfield lounge from being torn to shreds – and this "interactive dog food dish" is designed to do just that. The paw-shaped Aikiou (pronounced "IQ") bowl is made up of a series of compartments with sliding covers where food can be concealed, turning mealtime from a slobbering free-for-all into an entertaining and challenging exercise that will help keep Fido's mind and body fit.  Read More

K-MAX unmanned helicopter sets payload record (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The Unmanned K-MAX helicopter being developed by Kaman Corporation and Lockheed Martin has further demonstrated the potential of this type of aircraft in the field by completing a list of airdrop firsts. The milestones in payload weight and altitude were reached during a recent series of tests at the Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona where the KMAX (UAS) made guided airdrops via sling load at an altitude of 10,000 ft above sea level including a payload of 4,400 lbs.  Read More

'Born Electric' BMW launched its new BMWi sub-brand in Munich on Monday

In a move designed to highlight the company's commitment to "sustainable mobility solutions," BMW has launched a new sub-brand – BMW i. Two models based on existing concept studies will start the ball rolling under the new label from 2013. The BMW i3 will be based on the all-electric Megacity urban vehicle concept, while the BMW i8 is the planned production version of the plug-in hybrid BMW Vision EfficientDynamics sportscar shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2009.  Read More

Dainese is bringing its D-Air wearable airbag technology to Alpine slopes

Dainese has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Ski Federation (FIS) to bring its D-Air wearable airbag technology to Alpine slopes. The project is currently in early stages of testing where the dynamics of ski racing are being investigated in order to tailor the existing motorcycle-specific technology to the needs of ski racers.  Read More

Volvo will unveil the V60 plug-in hybrid diesel at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show

Volvo will introduce a "virtually production-ready" plug-in hybrid version of it's V60 sports wagon at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Expected to hit showroom floors in 2012, the hybrid V60 splices together a 2.4-liter D5 turbodiesel driving the front wheels with a 70 horsepower electric motor at the rear axle. According to Volvo this configuration delivers incredibly miserly fuel consumption of 124 mpg (1.9 l/100 km) along with the ability to cover 31 miles (50 km) using only the electric drive.  Read More

An artist's concept of a solar sail in Earth orbit (Image: NASA)

What looked like a failed mission has turned into an unexpected win for NASA with the successful deployment of the first-ever solar sail in low-Earth orbit. More than a month after the NanoSail-D nanosatellite failed to eject from its parent satellite, engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center were pleasantly surprised when the 3.9 x 3.9 x 14.9-inch unit spontaneously separated from the Fast Affordable Scientific and Technology Satellite (FASTSAT) last week. On January 20, after a timed three-day countdown, the ultra-thin, 100-square-foot polymer sail carried by the nanosatellite was unfurled 650 km above Earth where it will remain in orbit for up to 120 days.  Read More

TASER Wildlife Electronic Control Device (ECD)

We've seen TASER electroshock weapons designed for law enforcement, personal protection and even riot control, but in all of the above cases, it's a human on the receiving end. Now the company has a different target in sight for its "less lethal" technology ... and it's one that could create as much controversy as its predecessors – the TASER Wildlife Electronic Control Device.  Read More

SARTRE road train project successfully demonstrated in real world tests (Image: Volvo)

Reading the morning paper while behind the wheel of your car might sound like surefire recipe for disaster, but in the not-too-distant future it might just become a safer and more economical option than actually doing the driving yourself. That's the theory behind SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project – a synthesis of personal and public transport that will allow cars to be daisy-chained and automatically controlled by a lead vehicle in a process dubbed "platooning." The project has now made the leap from simulator to real roads in the first successful demonstration of the technology at the Volvo Proving Ground near Gothenburg, Sweden.  Read More

Global Observer's maiden hydrogen-powered flight (USAF)

Following on from a successful maiden flight under battery power in 2010, AeroVironment’s high altitude, long endurance (HALE) Global Observer unmanned aircraft has now taken to the skies using hydrogen-fueled propulsion. The aircraft reached an altitude of 5,000 feet during the four hour flight on January 11 at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California. Both the endurance and the altitude of the system will be expanded in further test flights in order to achieve the planned operational altitude of 55,000 to 65,000 feet.  Read More

Kia KV7 Concept at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Park it somewhere picturesque, unbolt the wheels, dispense with the dash and Kia's KV7 Concept Van would become a comfy little lounge-room retreat ... throw in a decent coffee machine and I'd move in. Unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show today, the KV7 was developed by Kia’s Southern California design team as a re-think of the segment that attempts to go beyond the notion of a van as simply an A-to-B family troop carrier. The design influences of Kia's recent offering like the Soul is clear, but what really grabs you about the KV7 is the interior – floating tabletop touch-screen computer display, four swiveling single-seats plus a three-seater corner mini-lounge, clever storage compartments, Wi-Fi connectivity and ... what every lounge-room needs ... a grand entrance courtesy of a long gullwing door and pillarless front door on the passenger side.  Read More

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