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Environment

Virtually noise-free Eco Whisper Turbine unveiled

Brisbane's Renewable Energy Solutions Australia (RESA) recently unveiled the first working installation of what is claimed to be the world's quietest wind turbine. The Eco Whisper Turbine is capable of producing 20kW of electricity despite being about half the height and having half the blade diameter of more familiar three-bladed solutions, and is able to automatically adjust the position of the blades to maximize wind capture.Read More

Robotics

Wall-climbing, tank-like robot inspired by geckos

When it comes to wall-climbing robots its hard to go past the humble gecko for inspiration. The gecko’s specialized toe pads containing hair-like structures that allow it to scale smooth vertical surfaces have already provided inspiration for the four-legged Stickybot and now researchers at Simon Fraser University Burnaby (SFU) claim to be the first to apply the gecko’s wall-climbing technique to a robot that operates like a tank.Read More

Urban Transport

USB port-packing Starke bikes deliver pedal-powered mobile charging

With the proliferation of battery-hungry mobile devices that people now carry on their person when biking, we've seen a number of solutions designed to keep said devices charged up while on the go - from solar charging clothing and backpacks to add-on dynamo kits that allow devices to be charged via USB using power captured by the rider's pedaling. German bicycle maker Silverback has seen the need here and addressed it with its Starke 1 and 2 models, both of which feature a USB port powered by a dynamo hub.Read More

Sports

MOTOACTV - Motorola's musical take on wearable fitness trackers

Motorola Mobility has launched MOTOACTV, the company's first music and fitness device. Designed to help you reach your fitness goals by tracking, syncing and recording your workout data and customizing your music, the Blutetooth-enabled MOTOACTV logs time, distance traveled and calories burned and has an inbuilt heart rate monitor, accelerometer and a GPS which records a map of your routes. Read More

Mobile Technology

Siri hacked to work on iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G

When Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S on October 4, Siri was seen as the new iDevice’s biggest selling point and a major carrot to encourage iPhone 4 owners to upgrade. Although Siri originally appeared in the App Store in early 2010 before being acquired by Apple, the assumption was that the new version integrated into iOS 5 relied on the faster processor found in the iPhone 4S for Siri to work her voice recognition magic. Developer Steven Troughton-Smith and Grant Paul have proven that is not the case by not only getting Siri working on an iPhone 4, but also an iPod touch 4G. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Lab-on-a-chip counts and sorts sperm

While just about everyone is familiar with home pregnancy testing kits, what many of us may not realize is that a (sort of) equivalent product exists for men - home sperm count kits. These kits, however, will simply tell users if their sperm count is above or below a standard value. While a yes or no answer like that might suffice for the pregnancy kits, a little more information would definitely help a man who suspects he might be infertile. Loes Segerink, a PhD student from The Netherlands' University of Twente, hopes to change that with this prototype lab-on-a-chip device. Segerink's chip counts exactly how many sperm are present in a sample of ejaculate, and can even differentiate between the good swimmers and the duds.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

The economic benefits of tobacco control rapidly outweigh tobacco tax revenues

In the past decade a line has been drawn in the sand in most major cities. Tax revenues from cigarettes are higher than ever, and most bars and restaurants no longer allow smoking within their confines. The days of smoking being the social norm are quickly turning into times when those lighting-up are viewed as an outcast minority, and when it comes to quitting, the evidence is clear that it's not just the smokers themselves who stand to benefit.Read More

Robotics

Boston Dynamics releases amazing video of its PETMAN bipedal robot

If you were tasked with testing clothing that was designed to protect soldiers from chemical weapons, it goes without saying that you wouldn't dress an actual person up in those clothes, then fire chemicals at them. If you just put those clothes on an inanimate mannequin, however, it wouldn't provide any information on how effective those clothes were when in motion, or in a wide variety of body positions. Well, that's where Boston Dynamics' PETMAN (Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin) humanoid robot comes in. The self-balancing clothes-testing machine can walk, run, crouch, and even do push-ups. Today, PETMAN's creators released the first-ever public video of the robot being put through its paces - and it's pretty impressive. Read More

Mobile Technology

MobileMount sticks it to any tablet or smartphone

There are definitely some situations where it helps to be able to mount your smartphone, tablet or other mobile device on a flat surface, such as a dashboard, kitchen counter, or wall. If you use multiple devices, this entails buying several mounts – one designed for each device. Chicago inventor J.R. Sanchez, however, has created “one mount to rule them all,” so to speak. It’s called MobileMount, and it works with any device it can suck onto.Read More

Digital Cameras

Photographer builds fully working DSLR camera costume for Halloween

For most people at this time of year, a giant wearable camera would not be the first design to spring to mind when the invite arrives for the neighborhood Halloween party. Leaving the ghoulish and monstrous creations to other party-goers, photographer Tyler Card's amazing costume isn't just capable of capturing images of the party in full swing, it will also display the photos in real time on the LCD display at the back.Read More

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