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Folding

Outdoors

Folding helmet inspired by the pangolin and honeybees

Scientists and inventors have been taking their cues from nature for centuries, but who would have thought the somewhat exotic pangolin (aka scaly anteater) and honeybees would influence a bicycle helmet design? That unlikely pairing is what inspired Golem Innovation to create the Alpha helmet, a folding noggin protector that retracts around your neck when not in use.Read More

Outdoors

Lightweight Sk8-Booster e-drive powers up your skateboard

The electric skateboard is an intriguing short-distance transportation solution for some, and just plain fun for others. But e-skateboards tend to be large, heavy and priced into the four figures. A new aftermarket electric drive called the Sk8-Booster could help attract potential e-skaters scared off by those cons, giving them the fun and mobility of electric power with less fuss. The clamp-on e-drive is even designed to work with folding skateboards, making electric transportation more portable than ever.
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Around The Home

Flip flattens the British three-pronged plug

The British electrical plug may be a design classic, but it's also very bulky and doesn't exactly fit in with the ultra-mobile digital age. To save some tablets from an undeserved scratching, Hong Kong-based OneAdaptr has come up with its Flip folding plug. The focus of a Kickstarter campaign running through December 18, the Flip opens like a pair of jaws and combines USB charging ports with an optional internal battery.Read More

Bicycles

Tern's Cargo Node bike folds up small but still pulls its weight

Cargo bikes can be great for hauling around large, awkward objects, but by their very nature the vehicles themselves aren't all that portable. These lengthy, cumbersome two-wheelers have mostly been beyond the help of the folding mechanisms that bend their smaller counterparts into car trunks and subway carriages. But we are beginning to see efforts to make the big boys of the bicycle family a little more commuter friendly. Among those is the Cargo Node, designed to tow up to a hefty 350 lb (159 kg) and fold down into something more compact in just 10 seconds.Read More

Materials

Origami and the art of structural engineering

From military shelters and solar arrays to batteries and drones, engineers continue to prove that origami can be the inspiration for more than just paper cranes. The latest creation inspired by the ancient art of paper folding is a new "zippered tube" design that forms paper structures with enough stiffness to support weight, but can be folded flat for shipping or storage. The scaleable technique could be used in anything from microscopic robots and biomedical devices, to buildings and bridges.

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Drones

Blu drone folds up to go in your pocket

While there are already some truly tiny consumer drones out there, their protruding propellers still make them difficult to stuff into one’s pocket. AeriCam had been developing a model called the Anura, which featured props that folded into its sides – as a result, the whole aircraft became a pocketable rectangle. While we haven’t heard much about that one lately, Droidworx is now promising something similar in the form of its Blu quadcopter.Read More

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