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Dr Iain Spears from Teesside University with the 'exergaming' system

The local pub might not seem like the most obvious location to try and improve the health of middle-aged men but that’s just the task researchers in the U.K. have set themselves. In a novel approach to get unfit men active, the researchers have devised an ‘exergaming’ system targeted at sedentary middle-aged men on Teesside in the North East of England. The plan is to put the system into workingmen’s clubs and get the men to take part in virtual boxing matches with a computer-generated opponent.  Read More

The Swimsense performance monitor from FINIS

Joggers and cyclists have all kinds of technological wizardry at their fingertips – or wrists – to let them no how they’re performing. Now there’s an easy way for swimmers to keep track of their aquatic exertions in the form of the Swimsense from FINIS. This watch-sized device is worn on the wrist and uses motion sensing technology to automatically detect and record the number of laps swum, total distance, calories burned, lap time, pace, and stroke count... it can even differentiate between backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and butterfly.  Read More

ROCR features a tail that swings like a grandfather clock’s pendulum (Image: William Pro...

Engineers have used a variety of techniques to create robots that can scale walls – “the Climber” uses a rolling seal, while the insect-like robots from SRI have caterpillar tracks with electro-adhesive properties. While such robots generally focus on speed, adhering to the wall and deciding how and when to move, the creators of a small robot named ROCR say it is the first wall-climbing robot to focus on climbing efficiently. And it does so by using the momentum of a tail that swings like a grandfather clock’s pendulum.  Read More

The Riiflex dumbbells add some weight to the Wii-mote and Nunchuk controller

Wii Fit-ness fanatics looking for a way to add a bit of weight training to their Wii cardio workout that doesn’t involve dipping a Wii-mote in gold need look no further than these Riiflex Dumbbells. The dumbbells slide over the Wii-mote and Nunchuk controller to put an extra 2-pounds (1kg) in each hand and provide some extra calorie-burning resistance while playing.  Read More

Diagram tracking the movement of gears turned by the bacteria (Image: Igor Aronson/Argonne...

Researchers have discovered that common bacteria suspended in a solution can be made to turn microgears. This opens up the possibility of building hybrid biological machines at the microscopic scale. The researchers say the discovery demonstrates how microscopic swimming agents, such as bacteria or man-made nanorobots, in combination with hard materials, can constitute a "smart material", which can dynamically alter its microstructures, repair damage, or power microdevices.  Read More

A laboratory mockup of a thin-screen LCD display with built-in optical sensors (Photo: Mat...

The gestural interface used by Tom Cruise in the movie Minority Report was based on work by MIT Media Lab’s Hiroshi Ishii, who has already commercialized similar large-scale gestural interface systems. However, such systems comprise many expensive cameras or require the user to wear tracking devices on their fingers. To develop a similar yet cost effective gestural interface system that is within reach of many more people other researchers at MIT have instead been working to develop screens with embedded optical sensors to track the movement of the user’s fingers that could quickly make touch screens seem outdated.  Read More

Using the new technology automobiles and aircraft, like this Airbus A380, could harness cu...

Previously, we’ve looked at technology to generate electricity from roads embedded with piezoelectric crystals that produce electricity when squeezed. Now a group of researchers is looking to shift the technology from the road to the vehicles themselves and use piezoelectrics placed on the vehicles to convert their kinetic energy into electricity.  Read More

Three blades of the cycloidal turbine visible at the far end of a water tunnel in which th...

The ocean is a potentially vast source of electric power, yet wave-energy systems are rare as they generally offer limited efficiency, must withstand battering storms, and need to be tethered to the sea floor. But by applying the principles that keep airplanes aloft, a team of aerospace engineers is creating a new wave energy system that is durable, extremely efficient, and can be placed anywhere on the ocean, regardless of depth.  Read More

The iSteady Shot iPhone camera stabilizer gives you the control of a Hollywood-style 'stea...

Is your iPhone movie-making prowess giving your viewers motion sickness? Are your carefully planned, in-your-face action sequences of your friends’ skateboarding accidents, or grandma’s 80th birthday party antics not making it to Funniest Home Videos because of your inability to hold your iPhone still while you capture potential money-making footage. Fear not! If what the manufacturers say is true, the iSteady Shot camera stabilizer will soon have you cashing in. For roughly US$100, you can attach you iPhone or iPod nano to device and have your very own Hollywood-style “steady-cam” – check the video below to see what a difference the iSteady Shot makes to everyday filming.  Read More

A robotic fish prototype developed in the MSU laboratory

Although fish numbers are in decline in oceans all around the globe, the same can’t be said for their robotic brethren. Like the “Robotuna” from MIT and the robots developed by a team at the University of Essex, the latest robotic fish from Michigan State University also take inspiration from nature. The aim is to give researchers more precise data on aquatic conditions and provide a deeper understanding of critical water supplies and habitats... and hopefully help improve the outlook for fish of the biological variety.  Read More

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