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— Environment

Heliatek claims new conversion efficiency record for organic PV cells

German solar technology firm Heliatek claims to have outdone itself by setting a new world record for directly converting sunlight into electricity using organic photovoltaic cells. In 2012 it claimed a then world record 10.7 percent conversion efficiency and said it was gunning for 15 percent in the near future. This week it announced it's halfway there, achieving a new record of 13.2 percent.

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— Drones

Parrot's multispectral crop monitoring sensor can be retrofitted to existing drones

Drones have certainly emerged as promising tool in agriculture, with several groups including MIT and DJI announcing crop-monitoring unmanned aircraft inside the last year. But what if you've already got a perfectly good drone capable of taking long, automated flights over your farmland? Parrot has just announced a sensor attachment that can be slapped on old drones to take infrared pictures and help farmers work out the areas in need of attention.

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— Outdoors

Sled Legs wearables are set to race on the snow

If you believe the hype, you're soon going to have wearable electronics strapped, wrapped and dangling all over your body. Better save some room for wearable sports gear, though. We've seen a steady flow of sporty wearables, and they're not all performance-tracking wristbands. We covered one wearable sled not 10 months ago, and now we have an alternative design. Sled Legs strap to your legs, letting you kneel down and take off down the snow like Clark Griswold.

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— Health & Wellbeing

Sensor-laden connected sleeve designed to boost stroke rehab

Patients recovering from strokes are often released from the hospital with exercises to do, in order to recover full function of their arm/hand. The problem is, doing those exercises alone and at home, they may not even know if they start doing them incorrectly. That's why a team of scientists in the UK is creating an electronic sleeve-based system, that ensures everything is getting done right.

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— Aircraft

Drone flight powered by lightweight hydrogen-producing pellets

At first glance, hydrogen fuel cells sound like a great power source for fixed-wing drones making long flights – they have much longer run times than batteries, and they emit no emissions other than water vapor. Unfortunately, the hydrogen typically has to be stored in large heavy pressurized tanks. Last month, however, a Raptor E1 electric drone made a successful test flight running on a unique new system that's actually lighter than the lithium-ion battery it replaced.

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