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— Robotics

Robotic gripper picks up objects using coffee grounds and a balloon (UPDATED: new video)

While creating robotic grippers to pick up objects that are all the same shape and consistency is relatively easy, difficulties arise when trying to create one versatile enough to handle a wider variety of objects. The flexibility of the human hand has led many robotics researchers to borrow the familiar four finger and opposable thumb template that has served us so well, but getting the robotic hand to exert enough force to grip a variety of objects without breaking the more fragile ones is still a difficult task. For this reason a team of researchers has bypassed the traditional human hand and fingers design to create a versatile gripper using everyday coffee grounds and a latex party balloon. Read More
— Mobile Technology

HP Slate 500 Tablet PC targets business users

Tablets have become one of the hot topics of the 2010 on the back of Apple's all conquering iPad, but HP's new entry into the space has come about with next to zero fanfare. The new Windows-based HP Slate 500 isn't positioned as a rival to the iPad (in contrast to Samsung's Android-driven Galaxy Tab), instead it's aimed at "professionals who don’t usually work at a traditional desk, yet need to stay productive in a secure, familiar Windows environment." Read More
— Science

Understanding rare molecule could enable “rechargeable heat battery”

In figuring out how a molecule called fulvalene diruthenium works to store and release heat, researchers at MIT may have paved the way for a rechargeable battery that stores heat instead of electricity. Although the molecule was discovered in 1996, ruthenium’s rarity and cost has ruled out it’s widespread use but the researchers say understanding the fundamental mechanism of how the molecule works should make it possible to find similar chemicals based on more abundant, less expensive materials. Read More
— Motorcycles

Uno motorcycle reconfigures itself on the fly

Bombardier's concept for a one-wheeled self-balancing motorcycle-like vehicle called the EMBRIO has been a long time Gizmag favorite. It was envisioned as the type of personal transportation that people might be using 20 years from now. Well, if 21 year-old inventor Ben Gulak has his way, consumers will be able to buy a similar vehicle a lot sooner. His battery electric Uno may look like a regular motorbike at higher speeds, but when it slows down, the wheels realign themselves into a side-by-side configuration – seen in profile, it looks like a unicycle. We caught up with Ben to get the latest news on the project. Read More
— Computers

Firesheep session hijacking tool makes public Wi-Fi useless

At the Toorcon 12 hacker conference in San Diego on Sunday, Seattle programmer Eric Butler introduced his Firesheep add-on for the Firefox Web browser in an effort to bring attention to the weakness of open Wi-Fi networks. In a practice known as HTTP session hijacking (or “sidejacking”) the add-on intercepts browser cookies used by many sites, including Facebook and Twitter, to identify users and allows anyone running the program to log in as the legitimate user and do anything that user can do on a particular website. Read More
— Science

Tabletop X-ray device rivals world's largest machines

Researchers have created a tabletop device that produces synchrotron X-rays, the energy and image quality of which are as good as some of the largest, most expensive X-ray facilities on the planet. It uses a high power laser combined with a tiny jet of helium gas to produce an ultrashort high energy beam, that could be used for everything from examining molecules to checking the integrity of airplane wings. Read More
— Computers

Lenovo's ThinkCenter M70z released in Japan

As a longtime fan of the ThinkPad line, I have to admit to being more than a little curious about Lenovo's new ThinkCenter M70z just released in Japan. More than a little clunky-looking, this all-in-one desktop PC is marketed to Enterprise customers and runs Windows 7. With a multi-touch display, the M70z invites you to lay your hands all over it. Think of it as iMac's heftier, more promiscuous cousin. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

LED device could aid in cancer treatment

We’ve heard of surgeons using a SpectroPen during the tumor removal surgeries, but now Californian scientists are shedding light on cancer, literally, in the hopes to find a new cure for skin cancer. The team of scientists from the University of California, Irvine are currently developing new techniques to image cancerous lesions using LEDs (light emitting diodes) with the hope of then being able to treat skin cancer using photodynamic therapy (PDT). Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Advanced fertility system offers money back pregnancy guarantee

For an estimated one in six European couples, trying for a baby proves an often fruitless and frustrating process. Those wanting to avoid invasive techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and opting for a more natural approach may find their lives being taken over by complicated calendar-based calculations or early morning toilet duties. UK-based Cambridge Temperature Concepts has developed a sophisticated body temperature measurement system which helps couples predict the best time to plan for a romantic evening, and is backed by a money-back guarantee. A wireless sensor stuck under the arm continuously monitors the minute changes in basal body temperature indicative of ovulation, and wirelessly sends the results to a hand-held reader which displays a six day optimum conception forecast. Read More
— Motorcycles Feature

Video: Intermot Motorcycle Show - a 210bhp four, two six cylinders and an astonishing V8 Ducati

The Intermot motorcycle and bicycle fair rolled around in Cologne earlier this month with a lot of focus clearly beginning to shine on the area of electric bikes, scooters, bicycles and even smaller devices. Gizmag looks at the 10 kg Yikebike, the world's fastest electric scooter, Kawasaki's 210 bhp ZX10R, BMW's six cylinder masterpiece, Horex's V6 and one of the most astounding engines we've yet seen - the Ducati 868cc V8 of German engineer Dieter Hartmann-Wirthwein. The layout of his engine (pictured) enables a compact four cylinder engine to be built on a single cylinder crankcase. Read More