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A section of a butterfly wing under a microscope (Photo: PSU/SINC)

Researchers have developed a technique to replicate biological structures, such as butterfly wings, on a nano scale. They focused on the tiny nano-sized photonic structures that are found in the insects’ cuticle, and which give insects their iridescence - that slightly metallic sheen that also seems to shift in color depending on the viewing angle. By replicating the biotemplate of butterfly wings, the researchers hope to be able to make various optically-active structures, such as optical diffusers or coverings that maximize solar cell absorption.  Read More

Household robots like the WowWee Rovio, Erector Spykee and RoboSapien V2 could pose a secu...

Until robots rise up and overthrow their puny human creators, one of the main risks comes from the people using the robots. A new study warns that the current crop of household robots presents a serious safety and privacy risk. They make it all too easy for nefarious types to hijack control of the robots and access valuable data - even giving them the ability to watch and listen in on private conversations, and perform remote reconnaissance on a house.  Read More

Electric vehicle charging stations similar to this one are expected to populate parking lo...

As France’s car-makers push their plans to increase sales and give motorists more electric and hybrid-powered vehicle choices, the French Government has added its support by announcing it intends to spend €1.5 billion (about US$2.2 billion) on creating a battery-charging network for electric vehicles across the country. Part of its spend will also go towards further encouragement of clean vehicle technology and battery manufacturing.  Read More

The 2009 Global Green Challenge will take teams of solar cars and alternative fuel vehicle...

This month dozens of competitors will gather in Darwin, Australia, for the start of the Global Green Challenge. This 1860 mile (3000km) showcase of state-of-the-art transport technologies pits environmentally friendly vehicles against the heart of the Outback as they race south towards the finish line in Adelaide. The event has evolved from the famous World Solar Challenge and now includes two classes: one for solar-powered vehicles and an "Eco Challenge" for other types of electric, hybrid and alternative fuel production and experimental vehicles.  Read More

Belkin's Easy Transfer Cable makes upgrading to Windows 7 easier by transferring your data...

Upgrading to a new operating system is a notorious mess — you need to find all of your data and user settings (often spending hours doing so), burn them to a DVD or other support and then copy them all to the new OS. Belkin's "Easy Transfer Cable" for Windows 7, a USB 2.0 cable with accompanying software aims to make the whole process much easier by guiding you through the transfer process, automatically finding your data and settings and streamlining the transition from XP or Vista to the upcoming Windows 7.  Read More

The FTIR (Frustrated Total Internal Reflection) mouse

It's been over forty years since the first computer mouse saw the light of day, and the fact that its basic design hasn't changed all that much is a testament to the original. But that doesn't mean there's no room for improvement. A group of researchers at Microsoft has come up with five new experimental designs that tie traditional mouse functionality to increasingly popular multi-touch technology on a single device.  Read More

The Hybrid X Team from West Philadelphia High School Academy for Automotive and Mechanical...

The Automotive X Prize is a competition aiming to “inspire a new generation of viable, super – efficient vehicles that help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change”. With a $10 million prize pot and over 100 teams from 12 countries contributing entries, an unlikely contender has emerged in the form of West Philadelphia High School’s Hybrid X Team, which is applying its experience and knowledge to two entries including the Factory Five GT based EVX GT sports car.  Read More

The MobileLiteG2 portable Flash card reader only requires one free USB port on your PC to ...

Kingston recently released MobileLiteG2, the second generation of its portable Flash card reader. The 18.9g plug-and-play unit shows up as two separate devices on your system to make it easier to transfer data between Flash memory cards using only one USB port.  Read More

The penny-sized nuclear battery developed at the University of Missouri

They might sound dangerous, but nuclear batteries have been safely powering devices such as pace-makers, satellites and underwater systems for years. They have an extremely long life and high energy density compared to chemical batteries. However, they are costly and also very large and heavy. Now researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) are developing a nuclear battery that is smaller, lighter and more efficient.  Read More

A couple of brave souls get their thrills courtesy of the KUKA RoboSim 4-D Simulator

Jaded theme park aficionados looking for a new thrill will want to get along to the Innoventions pavilion in Epcot at Disney World, Florida, to experience The Sun of All Thrills. On display will be the new KUKA RoboSim 4-D Simulator, a robotic ride that not only puts thrill-seekers at the mercy of a 3-D motion robotic arm, but also adds “wind” by controlling air movements to provide a more realistic simulation experience.  Read More

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