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Safety


— Aircraft

Eye tracking monitors helicopter pilots flying blind

From battle zones to oil rigs, helicopters often operate in some of the hairiest situations in which pilots are forced to rely solely on cockpit instruments. In an effort to improve safety, the non-profit helicopter safety organization HeliOffshore is using eye-tracking technology to gain a greater understanding of how pilots operate in such scenarios.

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— Around The Home

Haven puts a fire sensor and extinguisher in your ceiling

A fire-suppression system that automatically detects a fire and then releases a non-toxic suppressant could help alleviate the thousands of cooking fires identified as the leading cause of home fires in the US and elsewhere. Unlike other automatic systems that rely on water, toxic suppressants or aerosols, the Haven system uses a dry chemical suppressant that is automatically triggered when it detects heat of 135º F (57º C) rather than smoke.

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— Outdoors

Boarder Kontrol Skateboard keeps its brakes on a short leash

The prospect of skateboarding down a steep hill can be a daunting one. Having a brake-equipped board can make things a bit safer, although a sudden application of those brakes can still send you tumbling off the front. That's why Australia's Streetboardz created the Boarder Kontrol Skateboard. Not only does it have rear brakes, but they're activated by a leash that keeps the rider in place on the deck.

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— Health and Wellbeing

New marijuana breath test promises accurate readings of THC levels

Detecting marijuana by way of a road-side test seems an obvious enough measure as the legalization movement gathers momentum, but an effective technology is yet to really be established. Current approaches relying on blood and urine samples are unable to distinguish between somebody driving under the influence, and somebody that has simply used the drug sometime in the last month. But one US company now claims to have developed a breathalyzer system that can measure levels of THC in one's breath to determine how much a road user is impaired when behind the wheel.

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— Electronics

Sensors to detect smouldering cables before they catch alight

They say that where there's smoke there's fire, but when it comes to electrical systems, by the time the smoke is detected, it's often too late. To raise the alarm early, a team of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences have developed hybrid sensors that detect gases given off by overheated plastic cables before too much damage can occur.

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