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Medical

Prototype device could take a load off of obese patients during surgery

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

Neato releases "pet-strength" XV-21 vacuum cleaner

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

Science

Scientists create real photons from virtual ones

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

Around The Home

Dyson unveils its first Ball cylinder vacuum cleaner

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

Around The Home

Vax unveils a prototype vacuum cleaner made from cardboard

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

Around The Home

Vac 'n' Roll : The Dustball robot cleaning concept

We do like our robotic vacuum cleaners here at Gizmag, but most of those that we have featured so far have, for good reason, followed a similar short and squat design. Dutch designer Dave Hakkens has opted to turn his back on this familiar shape and the household cleaner environment in which such a device might be found, in favor of a fairly large, industrial-strength ball for cleaning up public spaces.Read More

Children

RC Tron Light Cycle drives on walls and ceilings

Back in 1982, when the original Tron was released, movie merchandising wasn’t quite as... robust as it is today. Therefore, there wasn’t much available in the way of Tron collectibles, much to the chagrin of Apple II-using geeks everywhere. Skip forward 28 years, and you can now buy Tron Legacy toys before the movie has even opened. One of the first out of the starting gates is Air Hogs’ RC Zero G Light Cycle... and yes, you're right, remote-control toys have become pretty much a dime a dozen. Ones that can be driven across walls or ceilings, however, are still kind of special.Read More

Environment

Oil vacuum cleaner developed for spill-affected shorelines

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill earlier this year prompted many researchers to concentrate their efforts on developing better ways to clean up oil after such disasters. We’ve looked at approaches such as autonomous robots and underwater separators to collect the oil while it is still at sea, but students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have developed a novel approach to dealing with the oil once it winds up on shore – a vacuum cleaner. Read More

Pets

Dyson answers dog hair problem with the Groom tool

Just when you've got the sofa or carpet clean, the dog appears and sheds a few pounds of loose hair all over the place. It's a problem faced by dog lovers the world over and one which the folks at Dyson UK have been considering for the past year. The result is a vacuum attachment for medium to long haired dogs which sucks up loose hair and dead skin before it gets anywhere near your new clean floor or prized upholstery.Read More

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