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Impact

An asteroid impact has the potential to produce a mass extinction event (Image: NASA/Don D...

There are hundreds of near-Earth asteroids hurtling through space that are a potential danger to our planet. One way of dealing with the problem is to deflect them with a space probe deliberately set on a collision course. To see how effective such a collision would be, Frank Schäfer of the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, EMI in Freiburg, Germany is looking at what asteroids are made of and how this affects a deflection impact.  Read More

The Shockbox Sensor attaches to an athlete's helmet, and alerts their coach via Bluetooth ...

While helmets certainly do help protect athletes from head injuries, if the player gets hit hard enough, concussions or other injuries can still occur. So, when a coach sees a player getting clobbered, how do they know whether or not they should call them over for the “How many fingers am I holding up” test? Well, if they’re using the Shockbox system, their smartphone will reportedly tell them.  Read More

The ICEdot Crash Sensor will be mountable on a helmet

A helmet might provide protection to the head in the event of an accident, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the wearer won’t be knocked unconscious or otherwise incapacitated. The ICEdot Crash Sensor pairs to a smartphone to automatically send a call for help, complete with GPS coordinates, when an accident is detected. The system also provides first responders with the accident victim’s medical information.  Read More

Photo of Jupiter taken September 10, 2012 by George Hall of a fireball caused by the impac...

Jupiter is a major player in protecting the Earth from impact events, and has been for billions of years. Between comets and asteroids impacting on Jupiter and being flung into the Sun or out of the Solar System entirely, Jupiter's enormous gravitational field has removed the greater proportion of debris left-over from the formation of the Solar System. Jupiter has again been caught in the act of attracting and eating dangerous space rocks—this time in simultaneous observations by two amateur astronomers.  Read More

Mercedes-Benz is set to put its Beltbag inflatable seat-belt into production

We first saw Mercedes-Benz’s Beltbag in the company’s gadget-laden ESF2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle. Now the German automaker has announced the inflatable seat-belt strap is set to go into production and debut in an as yet unnamed luxury-class model. Mercedes is following in the footsteps of Ford, which introduced the first production inflatable seat-belts in the 2011 Explorer and now includes the technology in a number of models.  Read More

Sydney Do (right panel, at right) works on his prototype astronaut air bag system

Should the astronauts living on the International Space Station ever need to evacuate, the plan is that they will be able to board the station’s resident escape spacecraft, which will then take them back to Earth. That escape craft, called Orion, is currently under construction. Like the Apollo spacecraft that it resembles, Orion is intended to land at sea. If it should happen to come down on the land, however... well, those astronauts could be in for a rough landing. With that in mind, a graduate student in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics is developing an air bag system to cushion Orion’s occupants in the event of a dry landing. The system, interestingly enough, was inspired by the structure of seeds.  Read More

Researchers say their new material won't splinter like the bumper of this Toyota (Image: w...

Vehicles used to be predominantly made of steel, but to reduce weight and cost today’s vehicles are now built from a mixture of materials including steels, aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastics. Highly stressed load-bearing structures and crash components constructed from composites are designed to buckle on impact to help reinforce the body and protect the vehicle‘s occupants in the event of a collision. But these materials tend to chip into sharp-edged splinters on impact. Researchers have now found a way for the automotive industry to mass-produce a particularly safe class of materials that can absorb the enormous forces generated in a collision without splintering.  Read More

Noel's loving his job today: trauma testing d3o's advanced motorcycle armour with a very n...

d3o's body armour claims to be soft and flexible throughout the day, but to harden up instantly under impact. As such it's been a big hit in the snowboarding market, where it can make clothing protective and impact-resistant without it looking like you're wearing armour. But now d3o are branching out into the motorcycle armour market - so how does this thin, bright orange wonder armour compare against the traditional thick foam CE armour pads you find in bike leathers? Editor Noel McKeegan attacks Loz Blain with a heavy frying pan to find out.  Read More

The representative force traces showing how the two styles of running (shod: left and bare...

New research has backed up the findings of another study we covered recently on Gizmag which found the average modern running shoe causes significant damage to the knees, hips and ankles compared to running barefoot. The new study found that people who run barefoot land on the ball or middle of the foot. This mitigates the potentially damaging impacts that can be equivalent to two or three times their body weight that shoe-wearing runners, who generally land on their heels, subject their bodies to.  Read More

A recent prototype of the On Running Shoe - the final design will be unveiled in February,...

It may be a great form of exercise, but running is a high impact pursuit that places great strain on muscles and tendons. The stress it places on the body forces many runners to hang up their shoes and seek alternative, lower impact forms of exercise. Looking to take the pain out of running, a Swiss engineer set about creating a shoe that enabled the runner to land as soft as if running on sand, and to push off as if running in track shoes. The result is the the On Running Shoe – a shoe that incorporates a unique rubber ring into the sole design to provide a soft landing, while offering firmness and stability on push off.  Read More

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