Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show
The Pronto4 installed on the steering wheel of a military vehicle

Let’s say you want to go for a ride in your car, but you don’t feel like driving it. Or perhaps you want to drive your car, but you don’t want to go for a ride in it. These two seemingly contradictory scenarios are probably not what Kairos Autonomi had in mind when it developed the Pronto4 Agnostic Autonomy System. The Pronto4 is a drive-by-wire system that when installed in a vehicle, provides self-driving capability as well as remote control. The system is “agnostic” because it is a retrofit kit that the manufacturer claims can be installed in any steering-wheel based vehicle.  Read More

Inventor Ruth Amos demonstrates StairSteady

We’ve seen some innovative free-standing personal mobility aids designed to tackle stairs in recent times, but this offering from a young UK inventor takes a fresh approach to a solution that's been around for years - the mechanical stair-lift. Conceived by Ruth Amos when she was just 16 years old, the StairSteady is a handrail with a unique steadying handle and locking device that supports the user whilst on the staircase while allowing them to remain active and independent.  Read More

The SunSpider test on IE9's latest build reveals the browser's JavaScript performance is n...

With Firefox recently racking up one fourth of the total browser market share and Microsoft's Internet Explorer constantly struggling to keep pace, with the older versions being more popular than the newer ones, the Redmond software giant hopes to reverse the trend with the upcoming Internet Explorer 9. However, preliminary test results posted on Microsoft's IE blog have left some - including Gizmag's Dario Borghino - puzzled over the Web standards compliance of the future browser.  Read More

Ford is using wheat straw - a waste byproduct of wheat - to reinforce plastic in the inter...

Ford is the first automaker to develop and implement environmentally-friendly wheat straw-reinforced plastic in a vehicle. Before you get carried away, the car itself, a Ford Flex, isn’t made of plastic, instead, it’s just the third-row interior storage bins made from the natural fiber-based plastic that contains 20 percent wheat straw bio-filler. Surprisingly though, Ford says this application alone reduces petroleum usage by some 20,000lbs per year, cuts CO2 emissions by 30,000lbs per year, and represents a smart, sustainable usage for wheat straw, the waste byproduct of wheat.  Read More

Using the new technology automobiles and aircraft, like this Airbus A380, could harness cu...

Previously, we’ve looked at technology to generate electricity from roads embedded with piezoelectric crystals that produce electricity when squeezed. Now a group of researchers is looking to shift the technology from the road to the vehicles themselves and use piezoelectrics placed on the vehicles to convert their kinetic energy into electricity.  Read More

The successful restart of the Large Hadron Collider prompted scenes of jubilation

Contrary to claims by some scientists that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was being sabotaged from the future to save the world, it is back up and running. The LHC is now beyond the point where it was in 2008 when it had to be shut down just nine days after it had commenced sending beams around its 27km (17 mile) circuit on September 10 last year.  Read More

Three blades of the cycloidal turbine visible at the far end of a water tunnel in which th...

The ocean is a potentially vast source of electric power, yet wave-energy systems are rare as they generally offer limited efficiency, must withstand battering storms, and need to be tethered to the sea floor. But by applying the principles that keep airplanes aloft, a team of aerospace engineers is creating a new wave energy system that is durable, extremely efficient, and can be placed anywhere on the ocean, regardless of depth.  Read More

Solar Impulse takes to the runway for a low-speed series of tests

Gizmag has followed closely the progress of Solar Impulse from back when it was just a dream through to it latest developments, which now include it’s recent runway test. For the first time, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA has ventured out under its own steam (solar power) and taxied down the runway. Entirely powered by the sun, the aircraft has a giant wingspan of 61m and is covered in almost 12,000 solar cells.  Read More

Biodegradable cups made from corn at Chubby's Tacos in Durham, North Carolina (Photo: Ilda...

In recent years, polylactic acid (PLA) has attracted attention as a replacement for petroleum-based plastics. It is made from corn-starch, or other starch-rich substances like maize, sugar or wheat, and is biodegradable – reverting in less than 60 days in ideal conditions. PLA is already used as a material for compost bags, food packaging, and disposable tableware, and also for a number of biomedical applications, such as sutures, stents, dialysis media and drug delivery devices. Although its price has been falling, PLA is still more expensive than most petroleum-derived commodity plastics, but now a team of researchers has succeeded in simplifying the production of PLA and making the process much cheaper, meaning we could soon see PLA used in a much wider variety of applications.  Read More

The Oyule turn the incandescent bulb into the very thing it replaced

Everything (well, one thing anyway) old is new again, and vice versa with an oil lamp made from a reclaimed incandescent light globe. The work of industrial designer Sergio Silva, the Oyule lamps are his attempt to “send the bulbs back in time”, at a period when the incandescent bulb is itself being replaced by newer lighting technology.  Read More

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