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Prototype

The 3D-printed cool brick can hold water in its pores, like a sponge (Photo: Emerging Obje...

Neat design can sometimes address complex issues such as passively cooling homes in eco-friendly ways. We've seen designers use the presence of swimming pools or take advantage of prevailing winds to help passively cool homes. But what if every brick used to build a house could cool it down? Design studio Emerging Objects has come out with 3D-printed porous bricks called Cool Bricks that can be filled with water to bring down temperatures.  Read More

Prototype telescopic contact lenses may one day help sufferers of age-related macular dege...

Researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed contact lenses that have tiny telescopic lenses built in to boost vision. Controlled by smart glasses that react in response to the winking of an eye, the device allows the wearer to zoom in on objects by providing magnification up to 2.8 times that of unaided human eyesight.  Read More

A 3D CNC router (computer controlled cutting machine) assembled from UberBlox, which is a ...

As cool and wonderful as Lego is, those plastic bricks can be tricky to handle if you want to step up from mere constructive play into serious custom-built prototyping. UberBlox hopes to fill that gap. It's a metal construction set and prototyping system with a single-connector locking mechanism and a variety of control boxes for accommodating whatever computer connection or automation needs a project might have.  Read More

A new smart weapon being developed for the Canadian Armed Forces bristles with technology ...

Looking every bit like a weapon from a science fiction movie, the latest integrated assault rifle prototype being developed for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is packed with some very smart weapons technology. Along with the ability to fire new lightweight telescoped ammunition, and a secondary effects module that adds either a three-round 40 mm grenade launcher or a 12-gauge shotgun, there is also a NATO-standard power and data bus to allow the attachment of smart accessories, such as electro-optical sights and position sensors that connect to command and control networks.  Read More

The TGALS one-third scale prototype on its first test flight (Photo: NASA / Tom Tschida)

Recently, DARPA unveiled its ALASA system for launching satellites from fighter planes. Now NASA is upping the ante with its Towed Glider Air-Launch System (TGALS), which is designed to launch satellites from a twin-fuselage towed glider. Under development by NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, it's designed as an economical method for putting spacecraft into low-Earth orbit with the first test flight of a scale prototype having already been conducted.  Read More

The TactPuck is intended to offer a variety of sensory experiences, including vibration, i...

Hoping to bring back a bit of the personal touch to today's cold, impersonal digital communications, New Jersey-based startup Tactonics thinks the world might just get hooked on Tact messaging. With about the same effort it takes to send an emotionless, poorly spelled text message, you could send your loved ones a more heartfelt, meaningful "sensory message" that is intended to let them get in touch with your feelings.  Read More

The Voltera V-One is designed to speed up and simplify the process of electronic circuit b...

In designing and prototyping electronic circuit boards there is no quick or simple way to produce results. Many hours of design and development need to be expended on prototype layouts along with masking, etching, and populating those boards with components. Even after all of this, just one simple layout mistake can ruin all of your work and you have to go through the entire process again. The Voltera V-One aims to change all of that with the promise of a one button, conductive ink printing system solely designed to reduce the effort in rapid, small run hardware prototyping.  Read More

Bonsai Lab shows a model of its BS Toy at the Nuremberg Toy Fair (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag...

3-D printing has been one of the biggest crazes in tech over the past few years. And as with other big tech crazes before it – think smartphones and tablets – the age of entry is lowering. Last year, we took a look at the ill-fated Printeer kids' printer. The all-new Bonsai Lab BS Toy we checked out at the recent 2015 Nuremberg Toy Fair picks up where that one left off, offering a simple design aimed at families and children.  Read More

A prototype optical antenna from Berkeley Lab may see lasers replaced with LEDs in short-r...

By applying 120 year old radio frequency antenna theory to the much newer field of photonics, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory claim to have produced a prototype optical antenna that increases the intensity of emission from a nanorod light source by more than 115 times. This technique may offer the opportunity to replace power-hungry lasers in short-range optical communications devices with enhanced low-power LEDs.  Read More

The NV 8 and the bullet-shaped NV 9 will both participate at the Shell Eco-marathon Asia (...

A 3D-printed, partially-solar-powered, battery electric car created by students at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is all set to zoom across the racetrack at Shell’s Eco-marathon Asia later this month. With a body shell comprising 150 printed parts, mounted on a carbon fiber single shell chassis, the NTU Venture (NV) 8 is an urban concept car that can reportedly achieve a top speed of about 60 km/h (37 mph). Racing in the solar prototype category will NTU's prototype three-wheeler, the NV 9.  Read More

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