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Modular

Sunstar is debuting the Virtus system at Eurobike 2014

Electric bikes are an intriguing transportation alternative, but four- and five-figure price tags are just too much for many people to spend on a limited-utility, low-range electric vehicle. That price looks even steeper for those that already have a perfectly functional pedal bicycle sitting at home. Japanese-Swiss company Sunstar hopes to make e-bikes a little cheaper and more versatile with its modular Virtus electric drive that transforms a regular bike into an e-bike, then detaches in minutes, effectively giving you two bikes in one.  Read More

The all-new Goal Zero Switch 10 at Outdoor Retailer 2014

A few years ago, Goal Zero introduced the Switch 8, a small back-up battery with a series of modular tips for creating separate devices, like a flashlight. The company has added more power and more function to the Switch, in introducing the all-new Switch 10.  Read More

The Queen B (Bioshielding) model, by Noah Hornberger won a competition hosted by NASA and ...

If humans successfully colonize Mars in the future, what kind of homes will they inhabit? NASA and MakerBot recently hosted a competition which tasked people with making a 3D-printed model home suitable for the Red Planet. Noah Hornberger won with his Queen B (Bioshielding) concept home, which offers food-for-thought concerning the future of interplanetary architecture.  Read More

Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture will spread across the Swedish manufacturer's range

Many of the world's car manufacturers have decided that flexible, modular platforms are the way of the future. Volkswagen's MQB underpins everything from the VW Golf to Audi's TT coupe, and there are more MQB-based cars to come. Volvo is keen to get in on the action with its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which will debut in the upcoming XC90 SUV and then extend across the Swedish manufacturer's range.  Read More

The ZeroHour XD offers four different lighting modes

According to its creators, not only can the ZeroHour XD tactical flashlight blast 1,000 lumens of light into the evening darkness for up to six hours, it can charge an iPhone seven times (though it won't do both on the same charge). The flashlight includes a removable, 10,200-mAh battery pack that doubles as a dual-USB charger and features a modular design that allows the size of the device to be altered depending on the need at hand.  Read More

The Hydra assembles into a full board in about a minute

Many a would-be paddleboarder is dissuaded from ever getting onto the water by the heavy, enormous size of the boards, which typically measure 9.5 to 12.5 feet (2.9 to 3.8 m) in length. This bulk makes the paddleboard difficult to transport and store, especially when dealing with the small cars, public transportation and tight apartments of city living. To help get more boarders on the water, Corran Addison Paddleboards has developed a three-piece board that packs into a roller case for easy transport and storage.  Read More

The Sofista is a modular sofa that turns from a basic couch into three separate seats

Anyone who has found themselves living in a studio, or any kind of small place, has probably been faced with furniture issues. How does one have enough seating for friends, while actually have floor space to walk around? For many, modular furniture is a great answer, as it has a smaller footprint in one state, but can be expanded for additional seating in another. That's just what the Fabrizio Simonetti designed Sofista does.  Read More

The B-And-Bee, by Belgian company Achilles Design (Photo: B-And-Bee)

Each year, millions of people head to their festival of choice with tent and sleeping bag in hand. Belgian company Achilles Design aims to bring those festival goers a little extra comfort – and save space too – with its honeycomb-shaped B-And-Bee shelter.  Read More

The C-Bird VSAT provides an inexpensive 'always on' internet link for ships

Even as engineers work on autonomous ship-handling technologies, skilled and experienced crews are still vital for keeping shipping lines operating. The only snag is that most sailors today have become so used to never being out of touch that they've come to expect similar connectivity while at sea. To help maintain morale and retain skilled crews, Maritime Broadband has developed its C-Bird Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) satellite transceiver to keep sailors connected with their families and the internet.  Read More

Casa Futebol would see pre-fabricated homes installed in Brazil's 12 World Cup stadiums

Brazil spent around US$4 billion renovating and constructing its stadiums for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But with the excitement of hosting the globe's biggest sporting event now having passed, one awkward, but important question remains. What to do with all that infrastructure? Drawing inspiration from the social issues plaguing much of the publicity around the event, a pair of French architects have developed a proposal to re-invent the structures as complexes for low-cost housing.  Read More

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