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Recent government requirements for greater fuel efficiency have led to lighter cars hitting the market, but there's only so much that can be shaved off the body and chassis. To find further weight reductions, a Fraunhofer project group is developing ways of building engine cylinder blocks that are partly plastic. Read More
For people with reduced vision, getting around safely without walking into obstacles can be tricky. Those with decent central vision but whose peripheral sight is fading or lost are particularly at risk because they aren't conditioned to be alert for oncoming dangers they can't see. But a new pocket-sized device that sits on a person's chest may make walking much safer for these people and others with visual impairments by warning of impending collisions. Read More
When we laid eyes on the Elytron 2S tiltrotor plane prototype last year at the Experimental Aircraft Association's fly-in airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, it was a half-built concept with only part of its Prandtl wing box installed. The company has now completed the airframe ahead of planned flight tests later this year. Read More
In hot, dry areas of the world, collecting enough rainwater to grow crops can be difficult. Another potential source of water for collection, however, can be dew. Roots Up has designed a greenhouse to collect dew in Gondar, Ethiopia, as part of a scheme to help local farmers with low-tech solutions. Read More
Carbon fiber has established itself as a wonder material in vehicle construction, with its mix of low weight and high strength being prized for many of the world's most advanced vehicles of land, sea and air. Austrian company Fipofix believes that it's identified a material better-suited to the high seas, saying that its specially processed volcanic fiber-based composite, more commonly known as basalt fiber, offers a better performance-price ratio than carbon fiber or fiberglass and can be recycled after use. The company is in the process of testing the material in some of the world's most extreme marine conditions. Read More
Believe it or not, Land Rover has decided that an Evoque convertible is a thing worthy of reality, even after three full years of hindsight. At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, Great Britain's luxury SUV marque announced that the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is heading to the streets. Though it didn't have an updated concept car to show on its stand, it did release a rather interesting video of the Evoque Convertible prototype navigating subterranean tunnels. Read More
The great tradition of designing robots inspired by the many beautiful forms of locomotion seen in the animal kingdom likely predates robotics itself, arguably stretching all the way back to Michelangelo's time. Standing on the shoulders of such giants is ATRIAS, a series of human-sized bipedal robots that remind us of other two-legged creatures like the ostrich or emu. Read More
Fitness and fashion enthusiasts will have a new way to capture their lives later this year. British tech firm Lyte is releasing a new range of video-capturing eyewear. Fashion Glass and Sports Glass versions of the shades will be available. Read More
Scientists have created an exoskeleton without any electronic motors, heavy batteries and pneumatic actuators called the Sensorimotor Enhancing Suit (SEnS). The soft upper body vest is made out of flexible fabrics and enhances sensorimotor functions by reducing the load on muscles in the upper limbs. Read More
Computer-controlled artificial legs have aided in improving amputees' freedom of movement by mimicking the natural motion of their missing limbs. Now, a new robotic ankle promises to make this motion even more precise by using a camera to scan the ground ahead and dynamically adjusting to the terrain underfoot. Read More
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