Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Prototype

The prototype boarding gate that scans boarding passes for traces of explosive compounds

With pat downs, metal detectors, X-ray machines, and “puffer machines,” catching a plane can see you and your belongings scanned and probed more thoroughly than a trip to the doctor. Yet another explosives-detecting device may soon be added to the airport screening arsenal. However, because the explosives-detecting equipment is integrated into a boarding gate, the developers claim it won’t disrupt the flow of passengers boarding a plane.  Read More

The Shoal Consortium's robo-fish could provide round the clock protection against harmful ...

A five foot long (1.5 meter) robo-fish prototype that monitors oxygen levels and salinity is currently being tested in waters north of Spain as part of the EU-funded Shoal Consortium project. If the project proves successful, teams of autonomous robot fish could be patrolling ports, harbors, and estuaries for telltale signs of pollutants in the next few years.  Read More

A group of students from the Charles W Davidson College Of Engineering at San Jose State U...

Thanks to gyros, accelerometers and sophisticated control mechanisms, remaining upright on a two-wheeled vehicle is no longer quite the balancing act it might once have been, even when at a standstill. Visions of future mobility like Honda's U3-X take such ideas in whole new directions, quite literally, by including multi-directional capabilities, and concepts such as Supple go even further still by ditching wheels altogether in favor of balls. It's this freedom of movement that inspired a group of students from the Charles W Davidson College Of Engineering at San Jose State University to begin work on the ambitious Spherical Drive System (SDS) electric motorcycle.  Read More

Boosted Boards markets its longboard as a “last mile” transport system

San Francisco-based startup Boosted Boards has produced an eponymous electric skateboard prototype capable of providing a push-free ride for up to 6 miles. While an electric skateboard isn't anything new in itself, this particular longboard is declared by its makers to be the world's lightest electric vehicle.  Read More

The PositionIt smartphone app can calculate the location of distant objects and track thei...

Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a prototype app that combines a smartphone’s GPS, compass and imaging capabilities to calculate the exact location of distant objects and track their speed and direction. The researchers say the PositionIt app could allow a single off-the-shelf device to replace various pieces of equipment carried by soldiers on the battlefield, or be used closer to home to judge the distance to the green when playing golf.  Read More

Research headed by professor Nosang Myung at Bourns College of Engineering, UCR has result...

Research headed by professor Nosang Myung at Bourns College of Engineering, University of California, Riverside (UCR), has resulted in the development of a prototype "electronic nose." The work brings to mind previous "electronic noses" that we reported on back in 2010, but rather than discovering forms of cancer, Myung's prototype is designed to detect harmful airborne agents, such as pesticides, bio-terrorism, gas leaks and other unwanted presences - with clear applications in military, industry and agricultural areas.  Read More

DARPA's one-fifth scale prototype of the Captive Air Amphibious Transporter - walks on lan...

So the year is 2015, and you're in a serious disaster – one that requires the immediate provision of food, water, medical care, and shelter for a hundred thousand people. In other words, not something that a few airlifts will handle. If there is navigable water anywhere nearby, you could be saved by a future version of one of DARPA's new toys: the Captive Air Amphibious Transporter (CAAT).  Read More

Lapka is  sensor that works with an iPhone app to present data on various environmental fa...

Have you ever sat and wondered what the radiation level is in your house? Or whether that food you're about to greedily tuck into is organic or not? Then Lapka may have been conceived with you in mind. The people behind Lapka – a set of sensors and accompanying app for the Apple iPhone – claim their product can do all of the above and more besides.  Read More

Architectural firm St André-Lang has designed and built a compact circular housing prototy...

French architectural firm St. André-Lang has designed and built a compact circular housing prototype that incorporates corn cobs within the walls. The 20 square meter (215 square foot) pavilion style home is located in the protected parklands of Muttersholtz, France and recently won the Archi<20 competition for low-cost, environmentally-friendly architecture. “The total cost of the project was €7,000 [US$8,705],” St. André-Lang architect and co-creator Bastien Saint-André told Gizmag. “But we had some partners (carpenter, woodworker) – the real cost would be around €10,000 [US$12,435].”  Read More

The Razorfish Emerging Experiences team has built a Digital Gum Machine that sends apps an...

As a child, there was something magically rewarding about dropping some small change into the slot of a gumball machine, turning the lever and being rewarded with some hard candy. The Razorfish Emerging Experiences team has now updated the mini-vending machine for the digital age with a prototype Digital Gum Machine that delivers a digital treat to a smartphone in exchange for a 50 cent coin.  Read More

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