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Emergency

Architecture

Apparatus X: An off-grid disaster relief vehicle, micro-home, and more

Inspired by a perceived lack of adequate services for victims of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, a team of engineering and architecture students at Pennsylvania State University have joined forces to create something that can help. The result, dubbed Apparatus X, is a work-in-progress concept that seeks to transform an aging RV into a flexible unit that can serve as an off-grid disaster relief vehicle, a micro-home, and a mobile design studio. Read More

Wearables

Emergency crews could start getting messages from their jackets

It's important for firefighters or members of disaster response crews to stay in touch with one another during operations, which is of course why they carry two-way radios. Researchers from Norway's SINTEF group, however, are developing a system that could help even more. It allows users to receive and read text messages hands-free, via their jackets. Read More

Wearables

Impact-sensing hair clip helps fight violent crime

According to the World Health Organization, 35 percent of women worldwide have fallen victim to either violence from their intimate partner, or sexual violence from a non-partner. While self-defense classes and pepper sprays form part of a solution, their value becomes questionable if the perpetrator is already known to the victim or attacks by surprise. The First Sign Hair Clip, a hair clip fitted with security sensors, is designed to not only send out a cry for help, but gather up evidence to ensure justice is served. Read More

Outdoors

LifeDisc survival frisbee may save your hide

Over the years, we've seen survival gear in all shapes and sizes – traditional kits, shovels, paracord bracelets, concept snowboards, winter jackets and more. A frisbee-like saucer is one format that we haven't seen ... up until today. The LifeDisc isn't focused on fire, cutlery or water purification, the way other survival kits and gizmos are. Its shape is designed for winding fishing line and paracord around a waterproof survival container. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

5aver combines fire evacuation alarm, lantern and breathing mask

The thought of getting caught in a building fire is terrifying. Flames raging, smoke obscuring your vision and making it difficult to breathe, infrastructure crumbling, and you're trying desperately to remain calm and get out. The 5aver won't douse the flames, but the grab-and-go combination of lantern, alarm and mask is designed to help you find your way to safety in a hurry. Read More

Magic Tank keeps your car going when the gas runs out

Keeping a jerry can of gasoline in your car may help if you run out of fuel, but it's also highly dangerous and is therefore illegal in most places. According to the Makers of Magic Tank Emergency Fuel, their product is the safe – and legal – alternative to packing a jug of gas. Read More

Smartwatches

FiLIP smartwatch combines child-tracking with restricted cellphone capabilties

Children have a remarkable ability to vanish the second your back is turned, so a watch that not only tells your child the time, but also acts as a locator and heavily controlled cellphone has its attractions. With this in mind, AT&T and Filip Technologies have entered in an agreement that allows the telecommunications giant to bring the FilLIP child locator smartwatch to the US market in the coming months. According to the deal, AT&T will act as the exclusive network provider for the device as well as controlling distribution and billing.Read More

Robotics

Robots compete in mock disaster-response scenarios at Eurathlon

Roboticists are competing in Europe this week to prove their superiority at bomb disposal and other dangerous tasks, but the teams are not comprised of military or emergency response personnel. Instead, unmanned autonomous vehicles and their human operators have gathered in Berchtesgaden, Germany at the first ever Eurathlon, a competition and convention designed to push innovation in smart robots that perform tasks that are too risky for humans. Read More

Motorcycles Feature

A day in pictures: Melbourne's motorcycle paramedics

Jason Learmonth is a paramedic with a difference. Instead of an ambulance, he gets around town on a motorcycle that's kitted out with almost every piece of clinical equipment an ambulance carries. It's part of a trial that's putting two of these machines on the road in Melbourne, Australia, for three years to discover whether the bike's ability to get into hard-to-reach places and move through congested traffic is useful enough to make it a permanent part of the Ambulance service. I followed Jason around for an afternoon to capture some of his extraordinary working day in pictures. Read More

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