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Prototype

Orange Power Wellies - power collected in the power generating sole is generated via a pro...

European Telco Orange is showing off an interesting phone charging prototype – a set of Wellington Boots with a ‘power generating sole’ that converts heat from your feet into electrical power to charge your battery-powered handhelds. You'll need to walk for twelve hours in your “Orange Power Wellies” to get an hour of battery life but we still think it's remarkable that such significant amounts of energy can be harvested from normal human activity. In order to decrease the length of time you need to charge your phone, try dancing or running, because the hotter your feet get, the more energy you produce.  Read More

In testing, the Ascender proved it can hold a target load capacity up to 600 pounds at a 6...

With its ability to handle any rope thrown at it with ease, the Powered Rope Ascender would’ve been the perfect device for those torturous rope climbing activities in gym class. Although they’ve been around since 2004, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) threw down the gauntlet to Boston-based Atlas Devices to create an Ascender for naval use that is lighter, smaller, more functional, and includes a removable, rechargeable battery. The device the company came up with is currently on display at Fleet Week New York.  Read More

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid team with their prototype

The challenge: to design and build a high speed road-racing motorcycle from scratch, with an eye towards cost-effective production. Could you do it? The folks at Spain’s Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) think that a team of their engineering students can. The team is competing in the Moto Student competition, which pits university teams from around Europe and the rest of the world against each other to see who can design the best commercially-viable bike.  Read More

Tom Kent's wheel-shifting Cell EV concept

While Optimus Prime and his fellow Transformers may be pure fiction, shape-shifting cars are destined to become a reality. Over the years here at Gizmag we’ve featured several examples including the Vauxhall Flextreme GT/E with its retractable aerodynamic body panels, the Rinspeed iChange with its ability to change from a one- to a three-seater, and the flexible-skinned BMW Gina. Now, it’s time to add another one to the list, as a design concept if not an actual prototype - the wheel-configuration-changing Cell.  Read More

The Hyper-Sub is at home both above and below the waves

If you’re still a little strapped for cash and can’t afford a powerboat and a submarine, then you might want to consider this cross between the two - the Hyper-Sub. On top of the water it boasts speeds of 40 knots with a range of 500 surface miles thanks to twin 440 horsepower inboard Yanmar diesel engines and a 525-gallon fuel tank, while underwater it can dive to depths of 250 feet using an electric over hydraulic self-recharging dive system.  Read More

Robonaut 2 can use the same tools as ISS crew members

For decades boys and girls have dreamed of becoming astronauts when they grow up. Now young assembly-line robots and claw vending machines can share the same dream with news that NASA plans to send Robonaut 2 (R2) into space. R2 will be the first human-like robot in space when it is launched on the shuttle Discovery later this year to become a permanent resident of the International Space Station (ISS).  Read More

The SOLO-TREC autonomous underwater vehicle is deployed off the coast of Hawaii on an ocea...

We’ve covered a few underwater autonomous robots designed to make exploring the murky depths easier here on Gizmag, such as Snookie and the Talisman, but none that can generate its own power – until now. NASA, US Navy and university researchers have successfully demonstrated the first underwater vehicle to be powered entirely by natural, renewable, ocean thermal energy. Scalable for use on most robotic oceanographic vehicles, this technological breakthrough could usher in a new generation of autonomous underwater vehicles capable of virtually indefinite ocean monitoring for climate and marine animal studies, exploration and surveillance.  Read More

Johns Hopkins researchers are testing an infrared scanning system to detect melanoma (Imag...

Although melanoma is one of the less common types of skin cancer, it is responsible for the majority (around 75 percent) of skin cancer related deaths. Part of the problem is that current diagnoses rely on subjective clues such as size, shape and coloring of a mole. With the aim of providing an objective measurement as to whether a lesion may be malignant, researchers at John Hopkins University have developed a prototype non-invasive infrared scanning system that works by looking for the tiny temperature difference between healthy tissue and a growing tumor.  Read More

The energy-recycling foot enhances the power of ankle push-off (Image: Steve Collins)

Most of us take it for granted, but walking isn't as simple as it looks. With the natural human gait the ankle exerts force to push off the ground. A typical prosthesis doesn’t reproduce the force exerted by a living ankle, resulting in amputees spending much more energy in comparison to walking naturally. A new prototype artificial foot recycles energy that is otherwise wasted in between steps to significantly cut the energy spent per step, making it easier for amputees to walk.  Read More

The spokeless bicycle was the brainchild of nine Yale seniors from an engineering class

Usually, when you put nine university seniors together from a mechanical engineering class in a room for a whole semester with no strict agenda, the last thing you expect to get is a useful product. But this team broke the mold and created a “human-powered spokeless bicycle”. Admittedly, only the back wheel is spokeless, but the Yale students had two very good reasons for that – time and money.  Read More

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