Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Food technology

Nantsune's new Libra 165C meat slicer uses 3D imaging to cut meat to the precise weight ev...

In the past, we've seen 3D scanning widely used in a variety of industries - clothing retail, law enforcement, medical education, etc. - but it's still a little surprising to see the same technology applied to a slab of meat. Nantsune's new Libra 165C meat slicer does exactly that however, capturing a 3D image of a piece of meat, ready to be butchered, and then using the data to make slices at the same precise weight every time.  Read More

Let's Pizza vending machines will be introduced in the U.S. later this year

Remember how people reacted when McDonalds announced that it was going to start selling pizzas? Well, if buying pies from a chain best known for cheap hamburgers might have been difficult for some folks to get their heads around, they will likely find this even stranger – buying them from a vending machine. Nonetheless, that’s exactly what Dutch company A1 Concepts is hoping Americans will do, when its Let’s Pizza machines arrive in the U.S.  Read More

Gary McMurray, chief of GTRI's Food Processing Technology Division, with the Intelligent C...

Chickens have another reason to lose sleep thanks to roboticists at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). Using 3D imaging technology, the Intelligent Cutting and Deboning System developed at GTRI can debone an entire chicken with the skill of a human butcher and has the potential of saving the poultry industry millions of dollars by reducing costs and waste.  Read More

Bouncing blue laser light off the skin provides a non-invasive way to determine levels of ...

Have you had your daily serving of vegetables? This seemingly simple question is in fact very difficult to answer, for children and adults alike. Luckily, a new handheld laser scanner devised by researchers at Yale University and the University of Utah promises to put a swift end to veggie dodging, while also helping scientists to measure exactly how our diet affects our health.  Read More

The Green Wheel is an indoor gardening concept, in which hydroponically-grown plants rotat...

Back in the 80s, NASA envisioned a system for growing herbs and other edible plants in the zero-gravity environment of a spacecraft. Although it never got off the drawing board, that system consisted of a rotating ring with built-in hydroponics, which the plants grew on the inside of. Flash forward a few decades, and Italian design firm DesignLibero has taken that concept and re-imagined it as a consumer device, known as The Green Wheel.  Read More

The Kuru-Kuru Nabe uses its sculpted spiral sides to stir its contents and cook them more ...

Some inventions are born of necessity while others arrive as a result of an individual having a Eureka! moment. The Kuru-Kuru Nabe is, to some degree, a mixture of both. The name is Japanese for "Round-Round Pot" and is highly descriptive. The Kuru-Kuru Nabe is, in essence, a self-stirring saucepan, and it was invented by a humble Japanese dentist.  Read More

The Tuk Tuk Factory has launched its new vehicle, the e-Tuk Vendo, which is a pure electri...

When most people in the western world think of tuk tuks (if they even know what they are), they likely picture rather beat-up, primitive, noisy vehicles that zip around the crowded streets of exotic foreign lands. A Dutch company known as Tuk Tuk Factory, however, recently started building its own electric tuk tuks for sale within Europe. Apparently the traditional gas-powered vehicles from Asia couldn’t meet European environmental, quality or safety requirements. While the company’s existing models have all been aimed at ferrying around passengers, last week it launched the e-Tuk Vendo – an all-electric three-wheeled mobile catering machine.  Read More

An MIT scientist is developing inexpensive sensors that are able to gauge the ripeness of ...

As fruit matures, it releases a gas known as ethylene, that causes the ripening process to begin. Once that process is under way, more ethylene is released, kicking the ripening into high gear. Currently, produce warehouses use expensive technologies such as gas chromatography or mass spectroscopy to measure ethylene levels, in order to gauge the ripeness of fruits that are in storage. A scientist from MIT, however, is developing small, inexpensive ethylene sensors that could be used in places such as supermarkets. There, they could let shopkeepers know which batches of fruit need to sold the soonest, in order to minimize spoilage.  Read More

A Hong Kong company is selling 100% biodegradable fast food containers, made from waste st...

Not only are polystyrene fast food containers usually not recyclable, but they also take eons to break down in a landfill, can emit harmful compounds, and require petroleum to create. Using paper is one alternative, but Hong Kong-based company Innovasians is now offering another – 100% biodegradable containers made from waste straw left over after wheat harvesting.  Read More

The Sunbeam Fortune Cookie Maker allows you to make your own fortune cookies, complete wit...

“That could apply to anybody” is a commonly-heard complaint about the fortunes in fortune cookies. Well, imagine how much fun it might be if you could make fortune cookies yourself, with your own custom-written fortunes inside. That’s the idea behind Sunbeam’s Fortune Cookie Maker.  Read More

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