2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show
Figure 2 - Cranklock sliding mechanism

The Cranklock is a brilliantly simple idea that offers speed, safety and security benefits to cyclists by allowing the rider to lock the pedals at will - and our article and podcast on the subject has generated lots of interest over the past week. So we know what it does, but how does it do it? The company's engineering team has left no stone unturned in finding the right solution and many patent applications have been filed covering different versions of the mechanism. While exact details on the final production model are still under wraps, Cranklock inventor Chris Toal has given us a peek at early technical drawings from a couple of the patent applications to provide an insight into how the Cranklock will operate... plus the first pics of a new downhill prototype.  Read More

The 2010 Buell Blast - mass centralisation taken to the extreme.

The Buell Blast was a friendly motorcycle, a beginner's bike and a favorite of US-based rider training organizations. Its 500cc air-cooled single was reliable, simple and unintimidating, its low seat height made it great for shorties and lady riders, its unassuming looks made it a bike that you didn't have to be a rev-head to ride. But the unassuming Blast wasn't exactly a sales hit, and worse, Erik Buell was finding that it was giving young riders the wrong impression about the Buell range - so, in a commitment to balls-out sportsbiking, he canceled the bike for 2010, and stuck a few of his remaining stock into a crusher. Next year's Blast, it seems, will have an exceptionally short wheelbase and highly centralized mass.  Read More

LG's SL80 series LCD HDTV

LG has unveiled its newest LCD and LED HDTVs at its annual Summer Line Show in New York. It sounds more like a fashion show than a platform for launching consumer electronics, but given that the new TVs’ main selling points are more in the looks rather than the specs department, perhaps it is. Both the SL80 (LCD) and SL90 (LED) series comprise FullHD 1080p resolution units featuring a single edge-to-edge panel of glass over a slim bezel, which incorporates an Invisible Speaker design to give the units a clean seamless look.  Read More

Philips Wake-up Light HF3490

Philips' Wake-up Light is a 'dawn simulator' that uses light to ease you gently out of your snoozing state, but the latest version provides another option for those days when a little extra oomph may be required to get you moving with the inclusion of an iPod dock.  Read More

Astrorobotic's concept will record data and send it back to earth with twin HD cameras

Forty years after Apollo 11 touched down on the moon, plans are afoot to revisit the site to see how the remains have stood up to four decades of radiation and micrometeorite bombardment. One vehicle that may well be used for this expedition is the third prototype lunar robot from Lunar X Prize entrant Astrobotic. The rover is one tough nut - it's designed to survive the blistering heat of the lunar ‘noontime extreme’, which sees temperatures reach 270 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as the minus 240 degree Fahrenheit temperatures of the lunar night.  Read More

The Nissan/Jatco CVT transmission which Nissan says will be incorporated into its compact ...

Nissan and its transmission supplier Jatco have developed a next generation CVT (continuously variable transmission) that promises better fuel economy and performance in a compact and lightweight package. The new CVT combines conventional CVT belt operation with an auxiliary gearbox and has a significantly increased gear ratio range – roughly 20 percent higher than other CVTs and among the world's highest for production vehicles according to Nissan.  Read More

Top Navy personnel were on hand at the unveiling of the F-35 fighter plane at Lockheed Mar...

The US Navy is a step closer to taking possession of its first-ever stealth fighter, the F-35C Lightning II. The 5th generation supersonic fighter plane was displayed at the company’s Fort Worth plant in front of top navy personnel this week and will undergo a wide-ranging series of ground tests before its first flight, scheduled for late 2009.  Read More

Cross-section of an organic photovoltaic cell

Few would argue with the attractiveness of solar as an alternative energy source, but the cost of conventional photovoltaics has long been a stumbling block on the path to making it a viable option. This is changing rapidly. Grid parity, as the target for equaling coal burning production costs is called, has recently been claimed by solar manufacturers and research dedicated to improving solar systems continues on many fronts. Photovoltaics using organic molecules is one of them. This technology promises cells that are cheap, easy to make and flexible, and this flexibility makes them suitable for a diverse range of applications like powering your mobile phone, or lining your backpack or window shades. The problem is that currently they only last a few thousand hours and are inefficient, converting less than 6 percent of light into electricity. Work by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) could help change this.  Read More

Avrak - convenient access to AV cables

If you’re tired of clumsily (and dangerously) reaching over and around the back of your component rack to reconfigure your AV stack or plug in that loose cable, Avrak has a range of racks that revolve 360° to easily expose the rear of the component stack, saving your back and removing the risk of cross-wiring expensive AV equipment.  Read More

All-round EV - Zero DS

Electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero has followed up the success of its X and S ranges with the Zero DS – a combination dirt/street machine the company says can “handle any surface you can throw at it.” This new option for those looking to ditch their noise-polluting, emission-spewing internal combustion bikes looks very similar to the S model, but has a bigger front wheel (17 inch), chunkier tread on the back tire and a nobby on the front, specially-designed wheels and suspension and a distinctive naked round headlamp without the windshield found on the S.  Read More

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