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The designer sees the RowRay being available for hire in city parks, at the beach or in th...

My first attempt at rowing a boat on a park pond was the source of some considerable embarrassment. As I went round and round in ever decreasing circles, I remember thinking that there must have been something wrong with the steering. Troels Øhman's RowRay though may just tempt me back to the oars. Designed to bring a fun element to family exercise, the three-wheeled landcart concept is driven by grabbing hold of the two handles and pulling back for dear life. Turning the cart is a matter of pulling on the left or right "oar" and the designer sees users being able to take one for a spin by using a smartphone to unlock it from a base station at the beach or in the park.  Read More

The Saab 9-3 ePower on debut at the Paris Motor Show

Following its purchase from General Motors by Dutch hand-built automobile manufacturer Spyker earlier this year, Saab is working on its first all-electric vehicle . Taking its body from a conventional 9-3 SportCombi station wagon, the Saab 9-3 ePower has a 135kW electric motor, a projected range of 124 miles and makes zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph). The wraps come off the prototype at the 2010 Paris Motor Show ahead of fleet trials in Sweden next year.  Read More

Murat Kacira at the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (Image: Norma Jean Gargasz /...

While we’re not likely to see crops of any sort sprouting from the moon’s surface any time soon, researchers have built a prototype lunar greenhouse that could allow plants from Earth to be grown without soil on the moon or Mars. The membrane-covered module can be collapsed to a 4-foot (1.2m) wide disk for interplanetary travel and contains water-cooled sodium vapor lamps and long envelopes that would be loaded with seeds, ready to sprout hydroponically.  Read More

Sensors sprinkled throughout the home beam information at a set frequency. Wiring wrapped ...

Smart homes of the future will automatically adapt to their surroundings using an array of sensors to record everything from the building’s temperature and humidity to the light level and air quality. One hurdle impeding the development of such intelligent homes is the fact that existing technology is still power hungry and today’s wireless devices either transmit a signal only several feet, or consume so much energy they need frequent battery replacements. Researchers have now developed sensors that run on extremely low power thanks to using a home’s electrical wiring as a giant antenna to transmit information.  Read More

NeuFlow takes its inspiration from the mammalian visual system, mimicking its neural netwo...

The brain’s ability to quickly visually interpret our environment requires such an enormous number of computations it is pretty amazing that it accomplishes this feat so quickly and with seemingly little effort. Coming up with a computer-driven system that can mimic the human brain in visually recognizing objects, however, has proven difficult, but now Euginio Culurciello of Yale’s School of Engineering & Applied Sciences has developed a supercomputer based on the human visual system that operates more quickly and efficiently than ever before.  Read More

Researchers at Fujitsu have made huge steps toward developing effective magnetic resonance...

We're all aware of how annoying a tangled mass of electrical wires can be. Fortunately, a research effort from Fujitsu is tackling the problem at its very source. During a conference held in the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers at Osaka Prefecture University, the Japanese electronics giant announced a major step in developing a wireless recharging technology that can work simultaneously with multiple portable devices.  Read More

The Gesture Remote offers users spatial gesture access and control of content on a TV

How many device remotes do you have? One for the TV, one for the DVD/Blu-ray player, one for cable/satellite box, one for the hi-fi and perhaps even one for the computer – have I missed any? Maybe you've tried to consolidate all of these various remotes into one big universal control with lots and lots of buttons. The Gesture Remote offers something a bit different. The simple interface is completely free of buttons and spatial thumb gestures are used to access menus and choose content.  Read More

Philips demonstrates world's first 230V AC-powered white-light OLED module (Image: Philips...

As well as the super-thin, next-generation TV’s we’re all looking forward to, organic light emitting diodes, or OLEDs, also hold great potential as a light source. They are extremely energy efficient, dimmable, can produce many different colors, emit light over an extended area and the light they produce is diffuse and non-glaring. The thin, flat nature of OLEDs also makes it possible to create light sources in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. However, until now, the physical characteristics of OLEDs have meant they have had to be powered from low-voltage direct current (DC) sources. Philips Research has now developed the first ever OLED module that can be powered directly from a mains electricity supply.  Read More

Associate Professor Michael Strano (left) with graduate student Ardemis Boghossian and pos...

One of the problems with harvesting sunlight and converting it into stored energy is that the sun’s rays can be highly destructive to many materials, leading to a gradual degradation of many systems developed to do just that. Once again, researchers have turned to nature for a solution. Plants constantly break down their light-capturing molecules and reassemble them from scratch, so the basic structures that capture the sun’s energy are, in effect, always brand new. By imitating this strategy MIT scientists have created a novel set of self-assembling molecules and used them to create a photovoltaic cell that repairs itself.  Read More

Telefunken evaluating electric bicycle prototypes

If there’s an interesting aspect to the rise and rise of electric mobility devices, it’s the number of companies that were once associated with vastly different fields which are now investigating the arena of electric bicycles. At SinoCES in China last month we saw a white goods manufacturer proudly showing a new range of electric scooters alongside its new range of washing machines. At IFA today we spied yet another big name on two electric bicycles – 107 year-old German electronics company Telefunken.  Read More

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