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The three young inventors of the Pluvia system, which uses rainwater runoff to generate el...

When we complain about the rain, other people will often say "Yeah, but it's good for the plants." Well, thanks to a microturbine-based system created by three students from the Technological University of Mexico, it's now also being used to generate electricity for use in low-income homes.  Read More

Will the F1 be among the last of McLaren's cars to have windshield wipers? (Photo: McLaren...

Windshield wipers are life-savers, but also can drive one to distraction with their incessant streaking and chattering. Well, the tyranny of the wipers may soon be over. McLaren Automotive’s chief designer Frank Stephenson told The Sunday Times that the performance motoring company is investigating the use of "ultrasonic force fields" to replace windshield wipers in automobiles. While Stephenson referred to a military source for McLaren's tech, there appears to be very little public information on how such force fields might clean a windshield during a storm, so I'm taking a look at the patent history to see how this might be accomplished.  Read More

The RainCars project's lab setup

Rain gauges are generally pretty accurate at measuring the amount of precipitation that has fallen at their location, but they can't be everywhere. This means that average rainfall figures for a region could be inaccurate, if considerably more or less rain has been falling in unmonitored areas. Cars, however, are just about everywhere that there are roads. With that in mind, researchers from Germany's University of Hanover are looking at using them to tell us how much water is coming from the sky.  Read More

The Musguard is a bicycle mudguard that detaches from the bike and rolls up when not in us...

We’ve seen a bicycle mudguard that detaches from the bike and folds up when not in use, along with one that stays attached but rolls up when not needed. Created by Slovenian product designer Jurij Lozić, the Musguard offers features of both – it’s easy to put on and take off, and rolls up for stowage in a pack or pocket.  Read More

The Plume sits coiled up under the seat when the roads are dry

Although there are already plenty of good bicycle fenders out there, some people don’t like the way they rattle around, while others think that they detract from the looks of the bike. One option is to use something like the QuickFix, which is a fold-flat rear mudguard that attaches to the frame in seconds. The Plume, however, takes a different approach – it’s a mudguard that recoils like a metal tape measure when not in use.  Read More

Rain Shield is a concept for a new type of umbrella, created to remedy several of the prob...

The core design of the humble umbrella hasn't changed in centuries. While it works extremely well, very few people would consider the traditional umbrella to be perfect, which presents inventive designers with several problems in need of solutions. Rain Shield aims to solve several of these problems in one innovative hit.  Read More

A lab test illustrating how the new system can make raindrops 'disappear'

Driving at night in falling rain or snow can be treacherous, but not just because the asphalt is slippery – visibility is also greatly reduced, as the driver’s view of the road ahead is obscured by brightly headlight-lit raindrops or snowflakes. In the future, however, that may not be so much of a problem. A team led by Carnegie Mellon University’s Prof. Srinivasa Narasimhan has developed an experimental headlight system that renders most foreground precipitation virtually invisible, while still adequately illuminating the road beyond.  Read More

A high-resolution Doppler radar can detect individual raindrops over 0.5 mm in diameter (P...

A high-resolution Doppler radar has the ability to detect individual hydrometeors, such as atmospheric raindrops, over 0.5 mm in diameter research led by the Naval Research Laboratory has revealed. The discovery should further understanding of the structure and behavior of clouds, and could lead to more accurate forecasting of severe weather.  Read More

The QuickFix mudguard attaches to a bike in seconds, and packs flat when not in use

If you want to stay as dry and clean as possible when riding your bike on wet roads, get yourself a proper set of full fenders - it's just that simple. There are a lot of cyclists, however, who feel that fenders make their lean, mean, street-ridin' machines look boring and clunky. Additionally, many types of fenders have an annoying way of rubbing, rattling, or just plain getting in the way. While some quick-on/quick-off systems do already exist, most of them still incorporate permanent mounting brackets, or are made from thin plastic that has a tendency to droop. Full Windsor's QuickFix plastic mudguard, however, slides in and out of place within seconds, yet still looks like it's reasonably substantial.  Read More

The Veltop is a removable windscreen/canopy/side window system, for protecting cyclists fr...

You have to admire the people who commute by bike – regardless of the weather – although riding in the rain seems to involve a choice between getting soaked, or wearing a lot of rain gear and still getting a wet face. Perhaps what such dedicated cyclists really need is a roof, side windows, and a windshield for their bikes. While that may sound like a joke, such a product does actually exist, in the form of the Veltop.  Read More

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