Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Folding

The Rmdlo is a lightweight folding colander

The colander (strainer) is unlikely to be top of many people's list of things that need reinventing. That said, a folding, lightweight take on the utensil called the Rmdlo seems to have captured people's imaginations, having exceeded its Kickstarter campaign target with time left to run.  Read More

The Sada Bike folds down small, but has full-size wheels

While we've already seen folding bicycles that pack down into a pretty tiny package, such small-folding bikes usually have at least one limiting factor – puny wheels that limit speed and road-worthiness, not to mention aesthetics. The Sada Bike, however, features full-size 26-inch hubless wheels, yet is about the size of an umbrella when folded.  Read More

Gi has announced an electric folding smart-bike called the GiBike

Bikes are an area of constant innovation, with their simplicity and popularity making them ripe for adaptation. But how much functionality can you squeeze into one bike? Cycle firm Gi has tried to find out by creating what it says is "the lightest, safest, folding smart eBike."  Read More

The Darwin prototype on display

When you want to climb or sprint on your bike, what do you do? That's right, you get your butt off the saddle and shift your weight forward. According to Tampa-based inventor Felton Zimmerman, however, going off-saddle like that hampers your performance. His solution? The Darwin Bicycle. It features a folding frame that automatically moves the saddle forward with you, so you're always seated.  Read More

The Foldscope is made mostly of cardstock, and can be shipped flat-packed

According to the World Health Organization, there were approximately 207 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2012, 627,000 of which proved fatal. Unfortunately, the disease most often occurs in developing nations, where diagnostic equipment may not be available. This means that doctors can't determine the particular strain of malaria from which a patient is suffering, and thus don't know which medication will work best. Manu Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the Stanford School of Medicine, hopes to change that ... using his disposable folding paper microscope.  Read More

Iota was designed as a final-year project at the UK's University of Huddersfield

It took thousands of years for the humble toilet to evolve into the model we use today, but there's always room for improvement. With this in mind, Gareth Humphreys and Elliott Whiteley produced the Iota: a folding toilet concept that's smaller and more efficient than the typical loo.  Read More

London-based architecture firm Make has re-imagined the kiosk

The humble street kiosk tends to vary little from its default box-like design. London-based architecture firm Make, however, has re-imagined the kiosk based on the concept of origami. The Make kiosk uses a fan-like folding structure that is both functional and aesthetically exciting.  Read More

The Urb-E electric riding implement folds into a remarkably compact package (Photo: Urb-E)

Compact personal mobility vehicles are a great option for commuters looking to solve the "last mile" problem. The latest such vehicle to hit the streets aimed at filling this need is the Urb-E from Urban Mobility, which claims it is the "world's most compact electric vehicle."  Read More

Artist's concept of the foldable plastic telescope

DARPA has announced planes to use a foldable plastic lens to “break the glass ceiling” of space telescopes. It’s part of the agency’s Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) program, which aims at replacing conventional glass optics with lightweight polymer membranes that may one day make possible a foldable plastic orbital telescope 20 m (65 ft) wide that will be capable of seeing a medium-sized dog on Earth from 36,000 km (22,000 mi) away.  Read More

The new-and-improved PowerUp 3.0

Early this year we first heard about PowerUp 3.0, a kit that converts an ordinary paper airplane into a powered, smartphone-controlled flying aircraft. Inventor Shai Goitein has made some improvements to the product since then, and recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance its large-scale production. At the time of this posting, he's exceeded his funding goal by over 960 percent.  Read More

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