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RR4 design sketch
 Image: Rolls-Royce

Luxury car maker Rolls-Royce has revealed the first design sketches of its next new model which is due to be launched in 2010. The two teasing sketches released thus far reveal little detail of the car to be known as the the RR4, although a streamlined design direction that builds on the current Phantom model line-up is clear. According to Rolls Royce Chief designer Ian Cameron, the RR4 will be smaller than Phantom with a "more informal presence" and a "greater emphasis on driving". It will also be powered by a completely new engine and the company plans to ramp up production at its Goodwood manufacturing facilities, adding a second assembly line and moving to a two shift system to cater for the new model.  Read More

UV light illustrates how the epoxy resin bleeds into a fracture

We wrote last year about Greece’s self-healing house, now aerospace engineers at Bristol University have applied the concept to the development of self-repairing aircraft.  Read More

Plans unveiled for 2.3MW offshore floating wind turbine
 Photo: StatoilHydro

The world desperately needs viable sources of renewable energy and wind power is among the most promising solutions, but one downside is that turbines can be considered a blight on otherwise picturesque landscapes. The solution seems obvious enough - move the towers far out to sea where not only are they out of sight, but where the wind is at its strongest and most consistent. We first encountered this idea back in 2006 when we examined the efforts of MIT researchers to integrate a turbine with a floating platform similar to those used by offshore oil rigs. Now news that Norwegian oil and gas company StatoilHydro plans to invest around US$80 million to build a full scale offshore floating wind turbine.  Read More

Ben Gulak aboard the UnoMoto

A design that is best described as a two-wheeled unicycle, the UnoMoto takes a Yamaha R1 frame, side-by-side wheels and Segway-like gyroscopic technology and wraps it in a custom made body to create a very different kind of electric commuter vehicle. Though perhaps not as slick in the design stakes, the UnoMoto prototype is reminiscent of the radical Bombadier EMBRIO Concept but with even simpler controls. Except for an on/off switch all control is achieved through simply leaning: forward to accelerate, back to brake, and sideways to make a turn. Young Canadian design engineer Ben Gulak deserves our applause on at least three counts: it's compact, its green and it's thoroughly unconventional.  Read More

Uniden TRAX Series

Uniden's new TRAX Series GPS units feature 360 Degree 3D "Landmark Technology" which shows key landmarks in 3D from any angle including a ‘fly around’ 360 degree mode. In major metropolitan areas elevated city maps, contours and rises on the road are also represented in 3D from any angle. The TRAX Series also include Text to Speech with Spoken Street Names and, as with Uniden’s previous releases, some models also include integrated Bluetooth capabilities to deliver hands-free mobile phone communication via the unit. The high definition, LCD touch screens are non-reflective for easier viewing and there is also an automatic day/night mode.  Read More

Scientists at the University of California have developed a spray-on explosive detector that glows blue under UV light in the presence of nitrogen-containing explosives. The silafluorene-fluorene copolymer is sensitive enough to detect just a billionth of a gram of explosive.  Read More

Samsung Flash SSD

Following on from last year's 64GB solid state drives (SSD) with SATA II interface, Samsung has upped the ante by developing a 2.5-inch, 256 Gigabyte (GB) multi-level cell (MLC) based solid state drive using a SATA II interface, which it claims is the world’s fastest. With a sequential read speed of 200 megabytes per second (MB/s) and sequential write speed of 160MB/s, Samsung's MLC-based 2.5-inch 256GB SSD is about 2.4 times faster than a typical HDD. Samsung are also laying claim to title of the thinnest drive with the largest capacity to be offered with a SATA II interface - it measures only 9.5 millimeters (mm) thick, and has dimensions of 100.3x69.85 mm.  Read More

Artists impression of the Aeroscraft ML866

It's a radical new form of air transport platform first proposed by Aeros founder Igor Pasternak back in 2005, and Gizmag has been following the development of the Aeroscraft ML866 "superyacht for the sky" with great interest as it makes the transition from drawing board concept to commercial reality. In the latest news from the ongoing development program which officially got underway in 2007, Aeros has announced the beginning of the final assembly of the Aeros 40D Sky Dragon airship technology demonstrator which will be used to flight-qualify the key enabling technologies on which the ML866 will be based. As an airborne test bed, it is envisioned that the Aeros 40D will provide both risk and cost reduction, as well as time savings for the program.  Read More

SuperSmoker electronic cigarette

SuperSmoker is an electronic alternative to cigarettes promoted as offering a healthier and significantly cheaper way for smokers to continue their habit as well as beat increasingly strict public smoking bans.  Read More

Panasonic's Evolta powered robot

Panasonic have sent a 17-centimeter tall, 130-gram robot up a 1738 foot (530m) length of rope suspended next to a 1640 foot (500m) cliff at the Grand Canyon. The PR stunt was designed to showcase the endurance of the Evolta AA alkaline battery, which the Guinness Book of World Records recently recognized as the longest-lasting of its kind. Powered by two Evoltas, the robot reached the top after 6 hours and 45 minutes.  Read More

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