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Safety

Sharks such as great whites may not like being tagged, but it beats being culled (Photo: S...

More shark attacks occur in Western Australia than almost anyplace else on Earth. In order to help protect swimmers and surfers, the state government relies largely on helicopter-based spotters, plus members of the public who report their own sightings. Now, however, the Department of Fisheries has introduced a new system, in which the toothy fishes announce their own presence via Twitter.  Read More

The Magnic Light iC tail light, in place on a bike

German inventor Dirk Strothmann certainly caught some peoples' attention last year, when he released his Magnic Light touchless dynamo bike light. Instead of slowing the bicycle down by pressing on its tire, engaging magnets in its wheels, or adding friction in its hub, it's able to generate electricity simply by being close to a spinning metallic rim. Now he's about to launch the Magnic Light iC, which will offer some interesting new features.  Read More

The sides of the Snow Foldable Helmet pull out to match the width of the user's head

Eyewear and helmet manufacturer Carrera got itself noticed last year, when it released an accordion-like bike helmet that can be folded in or out to accommodate different head sizes. Now, the company has brought that same idea to the skiing and snowboarding-oriented Snow Foldable Helmet.  Read More

Lead spacewalk officer Allison Bolinger with a prototype of the space snorkel (Photo: NASA...

Putting a snorkel on a space suit seems about as daft as making water wings for a meerkat, but that’s exactly what NASA has done. It isn’t some bureaucratic error, but a serious piece of life-saving engineering inspired by an incident in July, when an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) almost drowned in his own helmet when water started leaking in. Now faced with urgent repairs due to a faulty cooling system, NASA has come up with a quick fix, so a team can venture outside the station in safety while the cause of the leak remains under investigation.  Read More

Zackees cycling gloves help enlighten drivers on cyclists' intentions

Head- and tail-lights certainly do a lot to help cyclists be seen at night, although they generally don't let motorists know which way those riders are planning on turning. That's where good ol' hand signals come in. In order to make those signals more visible, former Google software engineer Zach Vorhies has created Zackees illuminated turn signal gloves.  Read More

A quadcopter running the algorithm is able to remain in control, even after losing one pro...

Whether it's for Amazon-purchased goods, text books or defibrillators, unmanned multicopters are increasingly being considered for use as delivery vehicles. Given that this would involve their flying over heavily-populated areas, however, many people are rightly concerned about the aircraft malfunctioning and crashing down onto someone below. That's why researchers at ETH Zurich have created a control algorithm that allows any quadcopter to keep flying, even if it loses multiple motors or propellers.  Read More

The Hövding is an airbag for cyclists which inflates in under 0.1 seconds to protect your ...

We first covered the Hövding airbag collar in 2010 when it was originally shown off to the world by its inventors, industrial designers Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin. At the time it was available to pre-order but it has now officially gone on sale.  Read More

The proposed ROBINSPECT robot

For anyone who worries about being caught in a cave-in, you'll be glad to know that tunnels such as those found in subways or mountain roads are regularly checked for structural degradation. These tests are typically performed using the naked human eye, and require the tunnel to be closed to use for as long as the process takes. With this in mind, the European Union ROBINSPECT program is now developing a robotic tunnel inspection system, that should be both quicker and more thorough than human inspectors.  Read More

Jake Merrell field-testing his Xonano smart foam

As any coach or sports medicine expert will tell you, when an athlete receives a blow to the head, their saying that they feel OK doesn't mean that they don't have a concussion. Particularly in sports like football, it's important to have an objective method of measuring just how much of a hit a player's noggin has taken. While some people have developed impact sensors that can be attached to players' helmets, a student at Utah's Brigham Young University has devised something less obtrusive – impact-sensing helmet-lining foam.  Read More

Now this is how it's done – Cornell's Baxter robot, handling a knife safely

If you were buying a kitchen knife in a supermarket, you wouldn't expect the cashier to swing it dangerously close to you as they were ringing it up. If that cashier were a robot, though, it wouldn't know any better – unless it had been taught otherwise. That's just what engineers at Cornell University have done, using a unique new technique.  Read More

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