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— Space

New anti-twinkle tech allows Hubble-quality images from Earth

By - August 7, 2010 3 Pictures
The verse “Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are” could, in fact, refer to the frustration felt by astronomers trying to view celestial objects obscured by turbulence in the earth’s atmosphere. It’s that turbulence that causes stars and other heavenly bodies to twinkle, and it’s one of the reasons that space-based telescopes like the Hubble can see those objects more clearly than telescopes down here on the ground. Recently, however, a team of astronomers from the University of Arizona developed a technique that allows them to effectively turn off the twinkling over a large field of view, allowing them to get Hubble-quality images in a fraction of the usual time. Read More
— Digital Cameras

ATC9K HD actioncam features G-Sensor and GPS

By - August 7, 2010 9 Pictures
It seems like just yesterday Oregon Scientific was offering up its ATC2K actioncam, and now it’s all the way up to the 9K? They grow up so fast! Like its immediate predecessor, the ATC5K, the ATC9K features a built-in color LCD screen. Unlike it, however, the 9K shoots full 1080p HD, is waterproof down to 20 meters/60 feet (the 5K only goes down to 3 meters/10 feet), has a 130-degree field of view, includes a remote, and it can embed G-force data on your footage. Read More
— Robotics

Man-made bee's eye could mean big things for flying robots

By - August 6, 2010 2 Pictures
Day after day, honeybees are able to travel back and forth between a food source and their hive, even in a constantly-changing environment. Given that the insects have relatively small brains, scientists have determined that they rely chiefly on vision and hard-wired visual processing abilities to achieve such a feat. To better understand that process, scientists from the Cognitive Interaction Technology Center of Excellence at Bielefeld University, Germany, have created an artificial honeybee’s eye. Using the device, they hope to unlock the secrets of the insects’ sensing, processing and navigational skills, and apply them to human technology such as micro air vehicles (MAVs). Read More
— Computers

Game on: Logitech unveils new gaming series headset, keyboard and mouse

By - August 6, 2010 15 Pictures
Logitech has unveiled three new products aimed specifically at gaming enthusiasts. The new G-Series low friction gaming mouse features 13 programmable controls and pixel-perfect laser tracking. The keyboard has a GamePanel LCD display, user-customized color backlit keys and delivers 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound, plus up to 10 hours battery life... and there's a wireless headset too. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Samsung's latest point-and-shoot gets in-built USB connector

By - August 6, 2010 3 Pictures
While it's not as high-tech as the built-in Wi-Fi featured on the recently announced ST80 camera, Samung's inclusion of a flip-out USB connector on its PL90 model is still a welcome addition. The new point-and-shoot – which takes 12.2 megapixel stills, 640x480 movies and packs some clever face detection functionality – joins the HMX-E10 pocket sized camcorder and new Dual View models in the company's latest raft of releases. Read More
— Aircraft

The Privateer looks to redefine amphibious plane design

By - August 6, 2010 10 Pictures
Billed as the "first new Amphibian design in 60 years," the Privateer incorporates lightweight carbon fiber composite construction, a shrouded rear-mounted propeller, unique float layout and a lower center of gravity with the aim of optimizing safety for both water and land operations. Created by aviation enthusiast and entrepreneur John A. Meekins along with partner and aircraft engineer Bill Husa, we spied the design on show at AirVenture 2010. A prototype is currently under construction and it's expected to be in the air next year. Read More
— Sports

LiveRider turns your iPhone/iPod touch into a wireless bike computer

By - August 5, 2010 4 Pictures
The popularity of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch hasn’t just resulted in an explosion of apps available from the iTunes Store, it’s also spawned a stack of hardware accessories designed to extend the capabilities of said devices. Most common are the seemingly endless array of docks, or cases that increase the devices’ battery life. New Potato Technologies has decided for something a bit different with its LiveRider – a bike mounting system that turns your iPhone/iPod touch into a wireless cycling computer. Read More
— Robotics

Shape shifting robot is flattest Transformer ever

By - August 5, 2010
If they were real, the Transformers harking from Cybertron would be considered pretty remarkable pieces of machinery. But their transforming abilities are limited to just two forms. By combining origami and electrical engineering, researchers at MIT and Harvard are working to develop the ultimate reconfigurable robot – one that can turn into absolutely anything. To test out their theories, the researchers built a prototype that can automatically assume the shape of either an origami boat or a paper airplane when it receives different electrical signals. Read More
— Medical

US$240 TB-detecting microscope on par with $40,000 devices

By - August 5, 2010 2 Pictures
The World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 million people worldwide died from tuberculosis in 2008. It’s definitely a disease to be taken seriously, so when people in remote locations are being tested for it, it’s best if they don’t have to wait for their samples to be processed at a distant lab. That’s why medical device designer Andrew Miller, when he was still an undergraduate at Houston’s Rice University, developed the portable, battery-operated Global Focus fluorescence microscope. In a paper published this Wednesday, Miller and his co-authors described how the $US240 Global Focus is able to detect TB-positive sputum smears just as well as laboratory microscopes worth over $40,000. Read More
— Marine

Night Stalker surfboard features headlights for night surfing

By - August 5, 2010 2 Pictures
Bill Stewart has been shaping and selling surfboards since the late 70’s and, like most surfers, it seems that Bill thinks there just aren’t enough daylight hours to enjoy his wave riding past time. To rectify this he’s created a one-of-a-kind board complete with headlights designed specifically for surfing at night. Dubbed the Night Stalker, Stewart’s creation is the first ever shortboard to pack LEDs embedded in the side fins and two 700 lumen headlights contained with the board’s transparent plexiglass nose to form a pair of surfboard headlights. Read More
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