more top stories »


— Automotive

LiquidPiston unveils 40-bhp X2 rotary engine with 75 percent thermal efficiency

The internal combustion engine (ICE) has had a remarkably successful century and a half. Unfortunately, it’s notoriously inefficient, wasting anywhere from 30 to 99 percent of the energy it produces and spews unburned fuel into the air. Last week, Gizmag interviewed Dr. Alexander Shkolnik, President and CEO of LiquidPiston, Inc. about its LiquidPiston X2 - a 40-bhp rotary engine that burns a variety of fuels and requires no valves, cooling systems, radiators or mufflers, yet promises a thermodynamic efficiency of 75 percent. Read More
— Automotive

Audi all-electric F12 “e Sport” prototype rolls out of e performance research project

Audi has unveiled the first vehicle to result from its three-year “e performance research project” that has just been concluded. Conducted in collaboration with Bosch and a number of institutes at the RWTH Aachen University, the project aimed to develop a scalable electric vehicle technology platform that would serve as the basis for a variety of electric-powered vehicles, from compact city cars to sedans to sports cars. Representing the “e Sport” technology platform, the F12 borrows its exterior styling from the V10-powered Audi R8, but underneath it's electric power all the way. Read More
— Mobile Technology

NexPhone concept combines a smartphone, tablet and PC in one

The number of gadgets many of us use every day has multiplied significantly over the past decade. Most people have a smartphone, a PC, and maybe even a tablet and a laptop. The NexPhone concept aims to bring all these devices together into one mobile device that can dock into a tablet, laptop or full-size monitor to fulfill all your daily computing needs. It's an interesting concept that would do away with cloud syncing and the need to copy files from device to device. Read More
— Electronics

Magic Finger turns any surface into a touch interface

A trip on public transport or to the local coffee shop might give the impression that touchscreens are everywhere, but scientists at Autodesk Research of the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto are looking to take the ubiquity of touch interfaces to the next level. They are developing a “Magic Finger” that allows any surface to detect touch input by shifting the touch technology from the surface to the wearer’s finger. Read More
— Military

Ministry of Defence developing new anti-laser eyewear

Laser pointers may be great fun to tease the cat with, but for pilots they are a major hazard. The United States FAA reports over 2,000 incidents every year of planes having lasers pointed at them - some of them powerful enough to pop a balloon. To combat the danger that lasers pose to aviation, the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) is developing new eye wear that can filter out a wide range of laser wavelengths. Read More
— Science

Water-prospecting Polaris lunar rover prototype built

Astrobotic Technology Inc., a spin-off company of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), has debuted its full-size flight prototype of its Polaris lunar water-prospecting robot. Polaris is specially designed to work in the permanently shadowed craters at the Moon’s poles. Scheduled to be sent to the Moon using a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle, the solar-powered rover is a contender in the US$20 million Google Lunar X Prize and is tasked with seeking ice deposits that could be used by future colonists. Read More
— Aircraft

Prototype explosives-detecting boarding gate keeps passengers moving

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
— Robotics

Shoal's robot fish could be the first line of defense against water pollution

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
— Motorcycles

Students designing an omnidirectional sphere-wheeled electric motorcycle

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