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The left-handed pen promises easier left-to-right writing for left-handers

A simple but new development of the humble pen might make life easier for almost one in six people on the planet – those who are left-handers. From birth, molly dookers are handicapped compared to right-handers because the world is configured for right-handed people. The perceived awkwardness of a leftie is just because they’re forced to use tools configured for a right hand preference. The pen is one of humankind’s most important tools, and regarded by many as even mightier than the sword, so this is an important development for a lot of people. The reshaped pen with S bend neck and ergonomic grip makes it easy for left-handers to immediately write comfortably without smudging.  Read More

Sanyo's eneloop electric hybrid bicycle

Countries with a strong bicycle culture such as those in Asia have rapidly embraced bicycles of the motorized variety. Whereas many early motorized bicycles employed internal combustion engines, the tide has shifted in favor of more environmentally friendly electric motors. Sanyo’s new eneloop electric hybrid bicycle offers a “Power-up Mode” assist ratio of up to 1:2 to enable easy pedaling up steep hills and a new “loop charge function” that charges the battery as you cruise the streets.  Read More

Nissan updates GT-R for European market

Nissan has made a series of subtle tweaks to the performance, paint work and pricing of its flagship GT-R sports car ahead of its introduction into the European market in 2009. The European spec GT-R's hand-built 3.8-litre V6 twin-turbo engine gets a slight power boost of around one percent thanks to some electronic fine tuning along with a new, lighter pearl white exterior colour and Dunlop SP Sport 600 DSST tyres fitted as standard.  Read More

The Whip promises a revolution in Snowboard design

Developed in the 60s and 70s and first appearing as a Winter Olympic Sport in 1998, snowboarding has now well and truly taken a hold on the ski-slopes. But despite the growing popularity of the sport, slicker graphics and better board construction have been the only notable innovations in recent times, with the core design of the snowboard not undergoing any major changes since steel edges were added two decades ago. That's the argument put forward by Cheetah Ultra Sports, a company that is set to reveal what it calls the most advanced snowboard ever - "The Whip".  Read More

Piezoelectric road harvests traffic energy to generate electricity

Isreali engineers are about to begin testing a 100 metre stretch of roadway embedded with a network of Piezo Electric Generators (IPEG™). The piezoelectric effect converts mechanical strain into electrical current or voltage and the system is expected to scale up to 400 kilowatts from a 1-kilometre stretch of dual carriageway. The IPEG™ is a pioneering invention in the field of Parasitic Energy harvesting and generates energy from weight, motion, vibration and temperature changes and will certainly have other parasitic energy harvesting applications in many fields. Initially though, the system can be configured to generate and store energy from roads, airport runways and rail systems at the same time as delivering real-time data on the weight, frequency and spacing between passing vehicles. The harvested energy can be transferred back to the grid, or used for specific public infrastructure purposes such as lighting and widespread use of the system would enable far greater scrutiny and hence understanding of the behaviour of road vehicles.  Read More

The GAMEROX video gaming chair

If there’s one thing most parent’s hate seeing, it’s their offspring slumped in from of the TV, video game controller in hand, ruining their posture and getting fatter by the second. This is one of the many reasons Nintendo’s Wii has proven so popular and now a company with a new concept in game seating is also hoping to do its bit for poor childhood posture and inactivity by getting kids moving and improving their posture while they sit playing video games. The GAMEROX chair is designed to promote movement during game play to deliver health benefits through improved circulation, movement and exercise by taking advantage of children’s natural tendency to move with the onscreen action.  Read More

Rainbow Solar Inc. announces photovoltaic-glass window

Incorporating sustainable technologies like solar directly into building design is the logical next step in clean energy development and we can expect many more announcements like this one from Rainbow Solar Inc. (RSi) as the industry matures. The company has released details of its semi-transparent, photovoltaic-glass window, a next generation of BIPV (building integrated photovoltaic) which promises to generate up to 250 watts of electricity as well as providing a 100% reduction in Ultraviolet and Infrared radiation.  Read More

Neils Smeltink's Kid Balance
 Image: Neils Smeltink

Dutch designer Neils Smeltink's clever multifunctional bike design can adapt to the needs of children as they become older by easily transforming from a bicycle to a scooter or a walking bike. Younger children will love to use it as a walking bike or scooter while older children can use it as a real pedal-bike.  Read More

RoMeLa's climbing HyDRAS robot

Researchers at the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory at Virginia Tech have designed a series of autonomous serpentine robots that are able to climb poles and inspect structures too dangerous or inaccessible for humans. The robots coil themselves around a beam and roll upward using an oscillating joint motion, gathering important structural data with cameras and sensors.  Read More

Smart speed-humps retract at low speed

Speed-humps are an undeniably effective way to slow down traffic in areas where high-speed poses an increased risk, but you can often get more of a bump than you bargained for, and if you happen to drive a low-slung sportscar this can be bad news indeed. Here's an idea that solves the problem by ensuring low-speeds while minimizing the impact on the motor vehicle.  Read More

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