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Crystal structure of sodium bismuthide (Na3Bi), one of the newly discovered 3D topological...

Exciting times are ahead in the high-tech industries with the discovery by three independent groups that a new class of materials mimic the special electronic properties of graphene in 3D. Research into these superfast massless charge carriers opens up a wide range of potential applications in electronics, including smaller hard drives with more storage capacity, faster transistors and more efficient optical sensors.  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

Honda's Micro Commuter Prototype β electric car

When Honda first unveiled its Micro Commuter Concept EV a couple of years ago, there were likely many people who doubted that the futuristic little car would ever be seen anywhere other than auto shows. Last week, however, Honda announced that it will begin field-testing an unspecified number of the MCC's successors later this year.  Read More

The Hovertrax from Inventist

Inventist, the creative mind behind such contraptions as the Solowheel and Hydroglider, is back with something it calls the Hovertrax. Unfortunately not the Marty McFly-like personal hover vessel the name implies, Hovertrax is more akin to a smaller, lighter Segway-like personal transporter. The small, hands-free device is designed to be both easy to carry and easy to use.  Read More

The Colibri electric urban vehicle – parking opportunities just doubled

Two seats, limited parking and a gas engine too much? Then worry no longer inner-city traveler, thanks to Innovative Mobility Automobile's single-seat electric Colibri, parking opportunities just doubled.  Read More

JAC< is a lightweight, foldable electric scooter for short-range urban commuters

LEEV Mobility, the Amsterdam-based company responsible for the Mantys electric golf vehicle, has gone from the fairway to the roadway for its second offering. The company's JAC< is an electric scooter that is designed to solve the first and last mile problem faced by urban commuters. A fully functional prototype has been constructed and LEEV has launched a crowdfunding campaign to get the JAC< on the road.  Read More

‘Shareway’ is a concept that connects public and individual transport to a single artery (...

American-based studio Höweler + Yoon Architecture has developed an intriguing concept for modern urban infrastructure between Boston and Washington called "Boswash." Central to the design of this imagined mega-region is the firm's "Shareway" design – a bundled transport concept that seeks to redress the nightmare of the urban commute by connecting public and individual transport to a single artery along the 450 mile (724 km) route of the existing Interstate 95.  Read More

JTEKT demonstrated the NOBOROT's stair-climbing capabilities at JIMTOF 2012

Researchers at the University of Tokyo's Kamata lab are working on a new wheeled robotic vehicle that can climb stairs. Called the NOBOROT, it uses a proximity sensor to detect when it is next to a step and is able to maintain a level posture while ascending and descending to ensure a smooth ride.  Read More

Test subject Brian Shaffer uses the prototype exoskeleton

For people who are unable to walk under their own power, exoskeletons offer what is perhaps the next-best thing. Essentially “wearable robots,” the devices not only let their users stand, but they also move their legs for them, allowing them to walk. While groups such as Berkeley Bionics, NASA, Rex Bionics, and ReWalk are all working on systems, Nashville’s Vanderbilt University has just announced the development of its own exoskeleton. It is claimed to offer some important advantages over its competitors.  Read More

The prototype prosthetic finger

When South African craftsman Richard Van As lost most of the fingers from his right hand in an industrial accident, he decided to try and create a prosthetic finger to regain some of his lost mobility. In order to bring this about, Richard recruited the help of Washington State native Ivan Owen, after being impressed with the latter's mechanical hand prop which he had posted on YouTube. The result could be a boon to amputees everywhere.  Read More

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