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Safety

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

SafeFlame technology converts water into hydrogen and oxygen gas

The pressurized acetylene and propane gas used in brazing and related tasks is highly flammable, and thus very dangerous. You know what isn't flammable, though? Water. Bearing that in mind, the European Union-funded SafeFlame consortium has developed a torch system that generates a flame using nothing but H2O and electricity.  Read More

The Morpher helmet, folded flat as a rather thick pancake

Although it's entirely possible that a bicycle helmet could save your life one day, that still doesn't change the fact that the things take up a lot of space when carried in a bag. The Morpher helmet, however, folds completely flat when not in use.  Read More

The GE Industrea Mk7.0 TIER 3 Mine Cruiser is designed to operate safely in colleries

The depths of a coal mine couldn't be considered ideal driving conditions for most vehicles, but the Mk7.0 TIER 3 Mine Cruiser isn't most vehicles. GE recently announced that it has delivered its 500th Mine Cruiser, which is a four-wheel drive utility vehicle capable of carrying up to 14 passengers, yet is built to operate safely in the vast galleries of modern underground coal mines.  Read More

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