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Environment

ReFlow reuses grey water, saves fresh water

"Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink." The famous line from the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge rings increasingly true, as all over the world water shortages threaten the way of life people have grown used to. Climate change and overpopulation have compromised water sources, a threat that calls for ingenious solutions to reduce demand. One of these is the ReFlow G2RSystem (or Re-Flow for short), a system that recycles grey water from the shower or bath to the toilet tank to flush waste. Read More

Aircraft

Twin-fuselage Carplane prototype makes public debut

We've been teased with the prospect of a flying car for years now, with many designs, like the Terrafugia Transition, having been under development for some time but yet to arrive in garages or hangars. The Braunschweig-based company, Carplane hopes to square the circle with a twin-fuselage roadable monoplane that made its first public appearance in prototype form at the recent AERO show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Read More

Around The Home

Flatpack Programmable Table pops into position, no tools required

Flatpack furniture is efficient to manufacture and inexpensive to transport, but it can also be a real hassle to put together. A collaboration between MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and Milan design firm Wood-Skin promises to make life easier in this regard with the Programmable Table: a small prototype table that can be easily moved from flatpack state to furniture, and back again, with a quick tug. Read More

Electronics

New invention expands Wi-Fi bandwidth tenfold

The vast range of Wi-Fi-enabled devices available today means that anyone could have several personal electronic devices all trying to connect to a network simultaneously. Multiply this by many hundreds of people in a busy public place with Wi-Fi connectivity and this often means that available bandwidth is greatly reduced. To help address this problem, researchers at Oregon State University claim to have invented a new system called WiFO that incorporates infrared LEDs to boost the available Wi-Fi bandwidth by as much as ten times.Read More

Computers

IBM sets new tape storage record

For many people, tape memory is a dead technology found only on reel-to-reel computers in old 1960s movies. However, it’s still a major storage medium and a new breakthrough by IBM Research and Fuji Film has produced a low-cost particulate magnetic tape with a record density of 123 billion bits of uncompressed data per square inch, which represents 88 times more capacity than 2012's LTO-6 tape cartridge.Read More

Automotive

Prototype electric vehicle passes first test on road to Antarctica

The Venturi Antarctica, a prototype electric vehicle designed to tackle the harsh climes of Antarctica recently completed its first test drive in the Southern Alps of Europe. Manufactured by Venturi Automobiles, the joystick-controlled prototype seats five and can reach a top speed of 25 km/h (15 mph) on snow tracks and 45 km/h (27 mph) on wheels. When fully developed, the electric vehicle will allow scientists to drive to research sites without any risk of contaminating the samples to be collected.Read More

Automotive

Plastic engine parts could lead to lighter cars

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

Health & Wellbeing

Wearable collision warning device for the visually-impaired

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

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