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Vacuum

Terraspan's giant, 4,000 mph (6,437 km/h) vacuum tube train, which also doubles as a super...

In the 1800s, when pneumatic tubes shot telegrams and small items all around buildings and sometimes small cities, the future of mass transit seemed clear: we'd be firing people around through these sealed tubes at high speeds. And it turns out we've got the technology to do that today – mag-lev rail lines remove all rolling friction from the energy equation for a train, and accelerating them through a vacuum tunnel can eliminate wind resistance to the point where it's theoretically possible to reach blistering speeds over 4,000 mph (6,437 km/h) using a fraction of the energy an airliner uses – and recapturing a lot of that energy upon deceleration. Ultra-fast, high efficiency ground transport is technologically within reach – so why isn't anybody building it?  Read More

Every component of the GV62711 vacuum cleaner except for the bag, motor, and wheels is enc...

Every now and then, we here at Gizmag like to take a look at how the other half (or one percent) live. And why not? It's nice to occasionally fantasize about say, waking up in a private, underwater hotel room, to be chauffeured in a Mercedes-Benz to a weekend getaway on your own personal floating island. But does that fantasy involve personalized, gold-plated cleaning appliances? If it didn't before, it sure can now with GoVacuum's GV62711 vacuum cleaner and it's US$1 million price tag.  Read More

The new Roomba 790 from iRobot comes with a Wireless Command Center to control the robo-va...

After a decade on the market, the Roomba has become the most well-recognized brand in robotic vacuum cleaners and a staple of many households. But while iRobot has improved the Roomba's filtering, suctioning, and collision detection over the years, actually controlling the vacuum has been left to its automated systems. Now iRobot has released the Roomba 790, which gives you direct control of the robo-vac's movement and settings remotely with a new Wireless Command Center.  Read More

Two climbers ascend a silo, using Utah State University's PVAC system (Photo: USU)

Last month we told you about a team of Brigham Young University engineering students, who created a clever Batman-inspired wall-climbing system. They were competing in the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s 2012 Service Academy and University Engineering Challenge, in which teams had to design gadgets that would allow soldiers to safely and quickly ascend vertical surfaces. Given that the Brigham Young entry didn’t take first place, however, we thought it only made sense to take a look at the entry that did ... and that would be a little something known as the Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber (PVAC), designed by a team from Utah State University.  Read More

The R-Aide is designed to lift up obese patients' abdominal fat during surgery, allowing t...

When an anesthetized obese patient is lying on their back on an operating table, the weight of their abdominal fat can make it difficult for them to breathe. It can also press down on and displace their organs, making certain procedures more challenging. Mehdi Razavi, director of electrophysiology clinical research at the Texas Heart Institute, had encountered such problems first-hand, with patients of his own. He decided to turn to Houston’s Rice University, to see if its students could come up with a solution. In response, a group of bioengineering seniors created something called the R-Aide, which uses vacuum-powered suction cups to lift up patients’ bellies.  Read More

An ETT (Evacuated Tube Transport) line in which car-sized passenger/cargo capsules would t...

Although there are similarities to the Startram concept we looked at recently, this take on maglev-like transport is all on terra firma and, if it ever eventuates, would take passengers from New York to Beijing in just two hours. Advocates of Evacuated Tube Transport (ETT) claim it is silent, cheaper than planes, trains or cars and faster than jets.  Read More

Neato Robotic's new XV-21 boasts a new brush and filter to better clean up after pets

Pet owners will know that the joys of having a furry friend around the house can be offset somewhat by the mess they make - particularly come molting season. Such pet owners, as well as allergy sufferers, are who Neato Robotics is targeting with its latest automatic vacuum cleaner, the XV-21.  Read More

Virtual photons bounce off a 'mirror' that vibrates at almost the speed of light. The roun...

A perfect vacuum is impossible to achieve, at least in theory. As anyone with any interest in quantum physics would know, the vacuum is full of various particles that fluctuate in and out of existence. These "virtual" particles have been the focus of scientist, Christopher Wilson. Working with his team at Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology, Wilson has succeeded in producing real photons from these virtual photons. Which, in layman's terms, means that they have created measurable light ... from nothing.  Read More

Dyson's new DC37 is the company's first cylinder vacuum to feature Ball technology

Until now, Dyson's patented Ball technology that lets vacuum cleaners turn on a dime - or rather a ball - has only been available in its upright models. Now the company has unveiled its first cylinder - or canister - vacuum with Ball technology in the form of the DC37. On show it IFA 2011, the DC37 also includes a "Musclehead" floor tool that recognizes the floor surface and automatically retracts its brushes on carpet, and lowers them on hard floors.  Read More

Industrial designer Jake Tyler has spent the last 12 months at the Worcestershire headquar...

Corrugated cardboard can be traced back to the latter part of the mid-19th century, although cardboard itself goes back much farther than that. Most of us will have encountered it at some time, probably as the outer packaging of our latest digital must-have, but it has recently been breaking away from such traditional uses. Over the past few years, we've seen everything from a cardboard record player to a festival tent to a USB drive. Now, industrial design student Jake Tyler has created a prototype cardboard vacuum cleaner - the Vax ev.  Read More

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