Advertisement

Good Thinking

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

ReWalk Robotics announces faster, sleeker exoskeleton

There are now a number of powered exoskeletons either on the market or in development, all of which allow people who lack the use of their legs to walk in an upright position. The ReWalk device is without doubt the best-known, having been commercially available since 2012. This week, ReWalk Robotics announced the sixth version of the product, which is reportedly better-fitting, faster and less bulky than its predecessors.Read More

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning