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Modular

As cool and wonderful as Lego is, those plastic bricks can be tricky to handle if you want to step up from mere constructive play into serious custom-built prototyping. UberBlox hopes to fill that gap. It's a metal construction set and prototyping system with a single-connector locking mechanism and a variety of control boxes for accommodating whatever computer connection or automation needs a project might have. Read More
Tucked away in one of the most distant corners of last week's Boot Düsseldorf show was one of the show's most interesting products: the ultra-versatile Klepper Backyak. As its name suggests, it's a kayak that can hike to water's edge on your back. But it's also a sailboat, a snow sled and a floating sun deck. Read More
Fences, gates, dogs and locks – these have been the cornerstones of home security for centuries. But modern technology has given homeowners the ability to supplement such measures with camera-based DIY systems that, in addition to acting as a deterrent, can help catch criminals either in the act or afterwards. One such system is the Oplink TripleShield system, which we recently had the opportunity to try out. Read More
Moog is reviving the analog electronic synthesizers of the 1970s that sparked a musical revolution. The company announces that it's restarting limited production of three of its classic large format, modular synthesizers, which were originally produced in 1973: The System 55, the System 35, and the Model 15. Read More
We first caught a glimpse of Google's Project Ara modular smartphone early last year, but the company has just shown off a working prototype, and says an initial pilot program will begin in Puerto Rico in the second half of 2015. The update came at Project Ara's second annual developer conference held at Google's headquarters in in Mountain View, California. Read More
Backpacks with integrated chargers – take the Timbuk2 Power Commute and TYLT Energi+ – aren't new, but start-up AMPL Labs believes it's taken the next step in what it's calling the world's smartest backpack. Not only does the Smartbag include an integrated charging port in every pocket, it lets you monitor and control the process from your smartphone. Read More
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has created a new robot that has six legs, looks creepily like a spider when it walks, and is dubbed "Snake Monster". Not exactly endearing traits, but the Snake Monster isn’t designed to win any popularity contests. It has been created as an easily reconfigurable platform using a modular system architecture that may be easily programmed to govern robots with a varied array of configurations. Read More
Following the Madrid-based Didomestic and All I Own House comes yet another example of modular living in Spain's capital that features a utilitarian decor and unusual space-saving furniture. The Pop-Up House, by TallerDE2 Arquitectos, involved the renovation of a mid-20th Century apartment into a novel bachelor pad. Read More
The virtues of a simple, low-cost and sustainable lifestyle have driven the growth of the tiny house movement. Jonas Wagell's Mini Houses embody these values. Having initially been designed as a weekend cabin or guest house, the Mini House is now in its second iteration. Read More
Scotland's Albatern is putting a new, modular spin on renewable energy generation. WaveNET is a scalable array of floating "Squid" generator units that harvest wave energy as their buoyant arms rise and fall with the motion of the waves. Each Squid can link up to as many as three others, effectively creating a large, floating grid that's flexible in every direction. The bigger this grid gets, the more efficient it becomes at harvesting energy, and the more different wave movements it can extract energy from. Albatern's 10-year target is to have 1.25 kilometer-long floating energy farms pumping out as much as 100 megawatts by 2024. Read More
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