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— Science

'Robofish' makes friends with biological cousins

By - June 30, 2010 2 Pictures
Scientists seem to like the idea of robotic fish, and why not? They have all sorts of potential applications including exploration, pollution-detection, communications, or just for quiet contemplation. A team from the University of Leeds, however, have created a robotic fish that can do something no previous effort has laid claim to – fool other fish into thinking it’s one of them. Read More
— Aircraft

Terrafugia Transition flying-car cleared by the FAA

By - June 30, 2010 10 Pictures
Is this the first viable flying car? It's a question we posed back in 2006 when we first looked at the prototype Terrafugia Transition. It now looks like the answer is yes. The flying car (or “roadable aircraft,” as the Massachusetts-based company prefers), can fly like a regular plane and land at an airport before folding up its wings and hitting the road. In car mode, it can travel at highway speeds and park in regular parking spots. Terrafugia had been hoping the Transition could be classified as a light sport aircraft, as a sport pilot’s license is considerably easier to get than a regular private pilot’s license. Unfortunately, it was proving impossible to meet all the road safety requirements, while still keeping the vehicle weight under the 1,320-pound limit for a light sport aircraft. Well, it has just been announced that the US Federal Aviation Authority will make an exception for the Transition, and allow it to squeak in at 1,430 pounds. Things are looking up for this little aeromobile. Read More
— Good Thinking

Smart sheet to pave the way for shape-shifting tools ... and more

By - June 30, 2010 1 Picture
Researchers at Harvard University and MIT have created an origami-inspired “smart sheet” that can fold itself into various shapes, without any external manipulation. The sheet is composed of rigid triangular tiles that are linked together by elastomer joints, and studded with flexible electronics and thin foil actuators (motorized switches). The scientists foresee a day when such sheets could be used to create things like smart tools, that could take the form of anything from a wrench to a tripod. Read More
— Mobile Technology

How much does it cost Apple to make the iPhone 4?

By - June 30, 2010 1 Picture
Ever wondered how much it costs Apple to actually build its devices? Well, it might surprise some to hear that it seems to be around the same price at which they are sold, though of course this doesn’t stop Apple from making a hefty profit. A recent “teardown” of the 16GB iPhone 4 by research firm iSuppli suggested that each device costs about US$187 to produce, with previous generations falling generally between $170 and $180. Read More
— Motorcycles

Fischer MRX: the quest to build the next great American sportsbike

By - June 30, 2010 8 Pictures
Since the untimely demise of the much-loved Buell brand during the global financial crisis, there's been a gaping hole in the motorcycle market for an interesting, innovative, high-performance American sportsbike. And while the Fischer MRX might not tick all those boxes in its first incarnation, things are looking very positive for Dan Fischer and his new motorcycle company. The MRX650 takes the engine, forks, wheels and brakes from a Hyosung GT650 (itself a copy of the Suzuki SV650), and mates it to a 1990s GP-stype frame and swingarm by Gemini Technologies, with an improbable Ohlins shock on the back and a killer fairing design by Glynn Kerr. It's targeted to sell under US$8,000, and there's talk of a 1000cc variant once the Korean engine manufacturer starts making a litre-sized motor. Read More
— Computers

Fujitsu adds four new LifeBook mobile computing solutions

By - June 30, 2010 5 Pictures
Fujitsu has launched an enhancement and three new additions to the company's LifeBook range. The MH330 and MH380 models feature the latest Atom processors, backlit LED displays and DDR3 memory. The TH700 and T730 notebooks come with Dual Digitizer multi-touch screens, the latest Intel Core processors and a range of security features including a BIOS lock, fingerprint reader and 3D shock sensor. Read More
— Environment

Reverse Vending Machines give users cash for their empties

By - June 30, 2010 1 Picture
Just a few days ago, we told you about a vending machine that dispenses ice cream in return for smiles. Well, if you like cold, hard cash better than cold, soft ice cream, here’s another dispenser-with-a-twist you might be interested in - the Reverse Vending Machine (RVM), that takes in recyclable bottles and cans, and gives out cash in return. RVMs have recently been introduced at the Centro Hollywood shopping mall in Adelaide, as part of the state of South Australia’s effort to promote recycling and reduce littering. Read More

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