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Prototype

It's already possible to take aerial shots using your smartphone, but doing so means throwing your expensive piece of kit into the air and hoping you're a good catch. What's really needed is a standalone device that can be launched skywards to capture panoramic views. Enter Squito, a prototype throwable camera ball capable of producing stabilized 360-degree images and video that could prove useful in several different fields. Read More
Stamping sheet metal is an efficient form of manufacturing, capable of cranking hundreds or thousands of items an hour. The annoying thing is that making new stamping dies is a long, costly process. This is bad enough when it comes to retooling a factory, but creating prototypes for new products can leave designers waiting weeks. The Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan has taken a page from the 3D printing handbook and is developing a new way of forming sheet metal that allows designers to create prototypes in hours instead of weeks. Read More
If you see what looks like a hamster ball rolling around a cornfield, it doesn’t mean that someone’s pet is incredibly lost. It may be an experimental robot developed by the Robotics and Cybernetics Research Group at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) called Rosphere. The spherical robot can propel itself over uneven ground and may one day be rolling up for work in fields to monitor and tend crops. Read More
A tragedy of modern times is the millions of refugees displaced by poverty, oppression, war and natural disaster. Most end up living in canvas tents of a basic design that are hot in summer, cold in winter, and only last about six months in constant use despite some refugees living in such tents for up to 12 years. On World Refugee Day in June, the Ikea Foundation unveiled a new flat-pack refugee shelter with a modular design and solar panel designed to help improve living conditions for refugees. Read More
Swedish company Tobii Technology has been working to bring laptops integrating its eye tracking and gaze interaction technology to market for a few years now, first demonstrating such a device at CeBIT in 2011. The most recent example is a new prototype laptop that combines Tobii’s eye-tracking technology and a Synaptics ForcePad touchpad in an Ultrabook form factor. Read More
Slip House, by UK-based Carl Turner Architects, fits neatly into a four-plot lot between a row of terraced houses in Brixton, London. However, it's not quite your typical two-up-two down, as the prototype family home combines sustainable technologies with an unusual design based on three "slipped" orthogonal boxes. Read More
One of the most frustrating parts of DIY projects is when a screw is at just the wrong angle for the screwdriver to reach. It’s even worse when an electric screwdriver with all its bulk is involved. To make things a bit easier, former University of Washington robotics student Joel Townsan of Bellingham, Washington came up with the Flipout Tantrum, an articulated electric screwdriver designed to work in very tight spaces. Read More

Concerned that youngsters are showing a preference for video games at the expense of traditional toys, Lego has reportedly teamed up with the enemy, partnering with Sony to develop prototype Lego bricks embedded with electronics that they’ve dubbed “Toy Alive.” Read More

Australian architecture firm BVN Donovan Hill made an appearance at Melbourne’s recent Emergency Shelter Exhibition in order to demonstrate its new emergency shelter concept. Developed with the aim of providing comfortable surroundings for its occupants, the temporary structure resembles a 3D puzzle and is said to assemble much like an Ikea cupboard. Read More
Radio plays can transport listeners to far away exotic settings but the BBC’s prototype Perceptive Radio aims to give listeners a more localized experience. Shown to the public recently at the Thinking Digital Conference in Gateshead, UK, the Perceptive Radio uses local data and onboard sensors to adjust itself and even alter the script of a radio play in real time to reflect local conditions. The goal is to make listening to the radio more like attending live theater. Read More
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