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Good Thinking

Low-cost prosthetic arm protects itself (and its user) from burns

Amputees in developing nations frequently can't afford the high-end prostheses used by people in other parts of the world. That's why Technological University of Mexico spin-off company Protesta is developing a low-cost artificial arm made from lightweight polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. As an added bonus, the arm will alert the user if it gets too hot.Read More

The makings of Maker Faire Tokyo 2015

Lying somewhere between an exhibition of school science projects and a presentation of company R&D concepts, Maker Faires provide a window into a world of ingenuity and creativity where talented "hands-on" types let their imaginations run wild. So what did Maker Faire Tokyo 2015 have in store? Gizmag dropped by to find out.

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Density sensor lets you avoid the rush at your favorite haunts

If you've ever been on your sofa and wondered how long you might have to queue for a bike at the gym or how long the wait is for a table at your favorite restaurant, then the Density sensor could provide the answer. Designed to be attached to the entrance of a premises, the sensor captures people's comings and goings to provide real-time and historical data about the volume of traffic passing through.Read More

Tesco's self-service checkouts are getting friendlier

UK supermarket Tesco says it will update the voice and phrases of its self-service checkouts. This, in itself, is nothing notable, but the reasoning behind it tilts at a broader issue: how we expect computers and robots to address us. Tesco's opinion? We don't want them bossing us around.Read More

Rail power could light up rural crossings

While city dwellers may be used to railway crossings marked with flashing red lights, the easier-to-miss warnings at rural crossings often just consist of a sign. That's because there's no easy way of providing electricity to such isolated locations. While solar panels could provide part of the solution, a team of engineering students and faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln believe that photovoltaics alone can't consistently provide enough power. Instead, they devised several systems that harness power from the rails themselves.Read More

SALt lamp runs on a glass of water and two teaspoons of salt

Many of the more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines lack access to electricity, so after the sun goes down light usually comes by way of kerosene lamps. While cheap, these fire hazards are bad for the environment and human health. This, combined with the cost of keeping them burning has given one startup the impetus to build a better solution. The SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) lamp burns for eight hours at a time running on only a glass of water and two teaspoons of salt.Read More

Scissoring origami-inspired bridge could help out in disasters

Whether they're floods, earthquakes or landslides, natural disasters have a nasty habit of cutting survivors off from aid by destroying bridges. While traditional portable bridges can already be set up in such situations, researchers from Hiroshima University recently demonstrated a new model that is said to be "the world’s fastest, largest, strongest, and lightest expanding temporary bridge."Read More

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