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— Bicycles

Solar Cross e-bike uses Sun's energy to help with the pedaling

This March, we reported on the Kinetic Photovoltaic Vehicle (KPV), a one-of-a-kind solar-electric scooter that fits inside a suitcase. Well, it seems that Terry Hope, the Canadian inventor who created the KPV, wasn't content to stop there. He recently contacted us about his latest creation, the Solar Cross ebike. As its name suggests, it's a pedal-electric bicycle that receives its power from the Sun ... and the rider, of course. Read More
— Automotive

Bug-E multi-purpose EV concept features sliding steering wheel

With a top speed of just 15 mph (24 kph), Thomas Young's Bug-E electric vehicle concept is not likely to be a contender for the next must-have personal transport solution on our roads, but that's not what it's really about anyway. This multi-purpose four-wheeler is more suited to trundling around public parks and gardens, theme parks or the golf course - and it sports four rear storage options to help it fit into numerous usage scenarios. Users would also be able to slide the steering wheel into a left- or right-hand drive position, to share the responsibility of driving without having to swap seats, or to fit in with local conditions. Read More
— Robotics

Designer creates sweating robotic armpit

When we think of robots, we tend to think of clean, antiseptic automatons that don’t suffer from yucky things like halitosis, flatulence or body odor ... unlike us humans. According to London designer Kevin Grennan, however, this difference alienates us from robots, and will keep us from ever fully accepting them as anything other than machines. His solution? Robots that secret human odors, in situations in which people would secrete those odors. While some of his odor-secreting devices are purely conceptual, he has produced a working model of at least one – a sweating robotic armpit. Read More
— Mobile Technology

8-inch PMP with glasses-free 3D priced at US$179

Despite the facts that there isn't much appropriate 3D content, and the viewing angles required for the 3D effect are limited (as was described in our Nintendo 3DS review) the list of glasses-free 3D gadgets increases. The HTC EVO 3D smartphone was the latest addition, but certainly won't be the last. Perhaps not many readers have heard of the Chinese manufacturer Gadmei, although there is at least one reason to become acquainted with it. The company has released its P83 portable media player (PMP), which is capable of displaying 3D videos and images that are viewable without glasses, and is certainly one of the most inexpensive devices of its kind offered so far. Read More
— Environment

U.S. Army aims for more energy-efficient base camps

The U.S. Army has opened a System Integration Laboratory (SIL) at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, modeled after forward operating bases in Iraq and Afghanistan to test technologies aimed at creating more energy-efficient base camps. The various energy-efficient technologies being tested are expected to reduce base camp fuel requirements by 20 percent or more and water demand by up to 75 percent. Read More
— Electronics

Silver pen allows electrical circuits to be handwritten on paper and other surfaces

People have been using pens to jot down their thoughts for thousands of years but now engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a silver-inked rollerball pen that allows users to jot down electrical circuits and interconnects on paper, wood and other surfaces. Looking just like a regular ballpoint pen, the pen’s ink consists of a solution of real silver that dries to leave electrically conductive silver pathways. These pathways maintain their conductivity through multiple bends and folds of the paper, enabling users to personally fabricate low-cost, flexible and disposable electronic devices. Read More
— Science

MIT researchers give graphene band gap and open the door for post-silicon electronic devices

Earlier this year we ran a story on molybdenite, a mineral that held an advantage over graphene for use in electronic devices due to the existence of "band gaps" in the material that are needed for devices such as transistors, computer chips and solar cells. Now MIT researchers have overcome that deficiency by finding a way to produce graphene in significant quantities in a two- or three-layer form with the layers arranged just right to give the material the much-desired band gap. Read More
— Environment

Researchers cut waste and lower cost of 'CIGS' solar cells using inkjet printing technology

Traditional solar cell production techniques are usually time consuming and require expensive vacuum systems or toxic chemicals. Depositing chemical compounds such as CIGS on a substrate using vapor phase deposition also wastes most of the expensive material in the process. For the first time, engineers at Oregon State University (OSU) have now developed a process to create "CIGS" solar cells with inkjet printing technology that allows for precise patterning to reduce raw material waste by 90 percent and significantly lower the cost of producing solar cells with promising, yet expensive compounds. Read More
— Bicycles

GOKISO Aerospace Hub for bicycles aims to give bearings a break

If you’ve ever watched the Tour de France and winced as all those skinny-wheeled racing bikes bounced over the cobblestone roads ... well, you were right to do so. Not only are such hard, rough surfaces capable of bending rims, but they’re also hard on hub bearings – as the axle shaft flexes ever-so-slightly in response to hitting bumps, the ball bearings that encircle it are pressed against the hub’s bearing races, both causing friction and potentially damaging the bearings. Japan’s Kondo Machine Corporation, however, has created a product that is claimed to minimize this problem. It’s the “jet-engine-inspired” GOKISO Aerospace Hub, and we spied it last week at the 49th Paris Air Show. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

AKG unveils 1,000-euro stainless steel earbuds

There are a lot of nice new electronic gizmos that you could buy for 1,000 euro, which currently equals out to about US$1,435. You could purchase the world’s smallest interchangeable-lens camera (the Pentax Q) and have change left over, you could buy six LaCie CloudBox hard drive/cloud storage devices, six HTC EVO 3D smartphones, or you could get yourself a pair of earbuds ... AKG’s K3003 reference class 3-way earphones, to be precise. Read More
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