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Honda's Bodyweight Support Assist selected for NY innovation exhibition

Some of you may recall our piece on Honda's Body Support Assist prototype last year. As a quick update to that story, those of you in the New York area will get a chance to see it in person as a part of the "Why Design Now?" exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution.  Read More

As the electric current of the strontium barium niobate crystal was altered, the noisy ima...

Noise in images is generally held to be a bad thing, but engineers from Princeton University have used a nonlinear material to steal energy from image noise to reveal hidden or obscured objects. The engineers see the technology as potentially paving the way for improvements to radar systems, sonograms and stenography offering the possibility of allowing pilots to see through fog and doctors to look inside the human body without surgery  Read More

The structure of sea shells has inspired scientists to create a new material with similar ...

Seashells have done an exemplary job of protecting their inhabitants for around a hundred million years, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that scientists and chemists have now replicated their unique structure in a manmade material. Taking inspiration from shells, researchers from the University of Manchester and the University of Leeds have successfully reinforced calcium carbonate, or chalk, with polystyrene particles such as those used in disposable drinking cups. Their achievement could lead to stronger building and bone replacement materials, or other practical applications.  Read More

A mussel displaying its byssus (Image courtesy Matt Harrington)

If you’ve ever gone down to the seashore and tried to pull mussels off rocks (and hey, who hasn’t?), then you’ll know how tenacious their holdfasts can be - although they can be tugged back and forth, it’s almost impossible to actually remove them. Recently, scientists at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces analyzed how the delicious mollusks are able to to achieve such a feat of natural engineering. What they discovered could find its way into human technology.  Read More

Dimension's uPrint 3D printer and a couple of examples of the kinds of shapes it can print...

3-D printing technology is maturing to the point where rapid prototyping machines are becoming affordable to small business owners - and even for high-end home use. Dimension's uPrint 3D printer has just been released at a retail price of US$14,900, giving anyone with CAD skills the ability to prototype and even manufacture pretty much any small shape they want in hard ABSplus plastic - including pre-assembled objects with moving parts. What would you create if you could have any plastic shape you wanted?  Read More

A software-controlled system devised by an international team of researchers can transport...

A collaboration between MIT, Boston University and German researchers has produced a new system that could soon be used to move tiny objects inside a microchip. The system is self-assembling, can be controlled via software and can transport particles up to 100 times the size of the beads carrying them. The objective is to give scientists new insights as to how cells and other objects are transported by tiny cilia throughout our bodies.  Read More

The DustCart is a humanoid robot for door-to-door garbage pickup, while the DustClean is m...

A group of European companies and universities have collaborated to produce a series of multifunctional robots for urban hygiene tasks. With abilities ranging from door-to-door garbage pickup and transportation, to automated street cleaning, the DUSTBOTs recently demonstrated their skills at a station in the town of Atxuri, Portugal.  Read More

Hotel Marmara, Antalya, featuring the world's only floating, rotating hotel building

Antalya is a city of around 800,000 people on the Southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Like most cities in that region, it has played host to a revolving cast of empires over the centuries, from the Romans, to the Byzantines to the Ottomans and Turks. Nestled between a stunning coastline and majestic mountain ranges, it's known as one of the most beautiful cities in Turkey, and it's also the site of one of the world's most unusual hotels. The Hotel Marmara Antalya features the only fully rotating hotel building in the world - and the way they've done it is fascinating.  Read More

The disc and roller system used in Torotrak's CVT and IVTs

Most of the efforts to produce more environmentally-friendly cars in recent years have focused on alternative fuels and more efficient engines. UK-based engineering company, Torotrak, has instead decided to turn its expertise to another vehicle component with the development of a new generation transmission that it claims can not only slash CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency, but also boost performance.  Read More

Graphene consists of carbon atoms only one atomic layer thick, with the unique characteris...

Scientists have long known the unique properties of graphene, a material just one-atom thick that shows promise as a replacement for silicon in electronics of the future. One of the difficulties is that unpredictable ripples form in graphene when exposed to temperature changes, but now scientists are learning more about how to control formation of these ripples, which could open up a new field of research - strain-based graphene electronics.  Read More

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