2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

University of Cincinnati

The HorseFly octocopter could charge its battery and pick up packages from a mobile delive...

When Amazon announced its plan to use drones for home deliveries, a lot of people were quick to point out the huge logistical challenges involved. Among those is the fact that a multicopter's limited battery range would make it rather difficult for just one or two Amazon warehouses to serve an entire city. A team from the University of Cincinnati and AMP Electric Vehicles, however, may have a solution. They've created an octocopter that could make short flights from a traveling delivery van, using that van as a mobile charging station and package depot.  Read More

SmartLight could direct light from outside (far right), through a building, and to a centr...

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have developed technology that could help cut lighting energy costs by brightening up rooms with natural light. The SmartLight system is designed to direct sunlight into dark, dingy rooms located within the bowels of buildings without requiring the installation of new wiring, ducts, tubes or cables. It also allows excess light to be harnessed and centrally stored to provide energy for electric lighting on cloudy days.  Read More

The electrowetting e-ink process on paper.

E-ink's benefits over other forms of display are obvious: you don't have to backlight it if you don't want to, so it's very easy on the eye and also on a device's battery. You can effectively use it to produce an electronic screen that's as pleasant to look at as a printed piece of paper. And the technology seems set to take another leap forward with the announcement that University of Cincinnati researchers have developed an e-ink technology that's quick enough to competently display full color video – but so cheap that it can be completely disposable. How? Well, instead of using glass or flexible plastic as the basic substrate layer, they're using paper – and getting excellent results. So you could end up with single-page disposable electronic newspapers and magazines that use a tiny fraction of the paper their printed counterparts require. Clever stuff!  Read More

At last – a functional and elegant Hospital Gown

History has fortunately overlooked the designer of the humble and seemingly universal hospital gown. Just as well, really, because he/she was no doubt well meaning and probably not due the universal curses that they have been subject to. Regardless, after more than a century, it's one of those semi-dysfunctional inventions that has endured because the chronically underfunded health systems of the world have always had more urgent technologies on their agenda than replacing the hated and embarassing garb. If you're like most people, you've probably spent waaaay too much time with your nether regions protruding from one of those dreadful hospital gowns. Now the University of Cincinnati is employing its design research capabilities to design better gown options which will soon be on display and may even reach market.  Read More

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