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Pascal Chretien's prototype electric helicopter takes flight

It's easy to look back at the history of exploration and aviation and feel like there's no mountains left to climb, that the age of the great pioneers is behind us and we're doomed to a future of LCD tanning and monitor hypnosis. But don't try telling that to Pascal Chretien. On August 12, this electrical/aerospace engineer and helicopter pilot took to the air in the world's first untethered, fully electric manned helicopter flight in a prototype machine that he designed and built almost entirely by himself within a 12 month development period. In his 2 minute, 10 second test flight, Chretien beat aviation giant Sikorsky into the record books - but it was not without significant risk. As the man himself puts it: "in case of crash I stand good chances to end up in kebab form."  Read More

Toshiba 55ZL2 - 55-inch, glasses-free 3D TV

Toshiba has taken the wraps off a 55-inch, 16:9 ratio LED backlit TV with glasses free 3D capability and Quad Full HD resolution. That's a massive 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, or in other words, four times as many pixels as a 1920 x 1080p TV. We've just checked out the Toshiba 55ZL2 on the floor at IFA and the consensus is that it looks great.  Read More

The stretchable OLED device created at UCLA

While there have been some intriguing developments recently in the field of stretchable electronics and flexible OLED displays, one thing we haven't heard much about is stretchable displays. So, is it possible to make a screened device in which every part of it could be stretched? The answer could now be yes, with news that researchers from UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have demonstrated a stretchable polymer light-emitting device.  Read More

Green Energy innovator Ecotricity has unveiled plans to install a national network of elec...

Ecotricity has unveiled plans to install green-energy-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging points at selected motorway service stations running up the UK's automotive backbone. Aiming to end potential range anxiety and speed up the adoption of EVs in Britain, the national network of charging posts will be rolled out to every Welcome Break service station, as well as other key locations, in the UK by the end of the year. Each charging post will receive its power from the company's wind and solar parks across the country, and one of the first three to go live is directly connected to the resident wind turbine at Reading's Green Park business park - offering electric motorists true zero emission driving.  Read More

Yotel New York features the world's first hotel robotic luggage handler (Image: Yotel)

Marrying space saving efficiency with a touch of 21st Century hospitality, Yotel hotels treat guests to a fully automated check-in service featuring Yobot, a theatrically lit robotic baggage drop-off machine that creates a mechanical performance for guests as it loads and stores their belongings. The robot porter is just the beginning of the novel hotel experience offered by Yotel, a capsule style hotel chain with locations in London, New York and Amsterdam.  Read More

The Cockpit Suite, where guests can sleep where pilots once traversed the skies (Photo: Li...

A Boeing 747 jumbo jet has been designed to offer travelers a good night's sleep without the turbulence. After being grounded at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport back in November 2002, it has been transformed into the world's first Jumbo Hostel. In doing so, the retired airliner has become a significant landmark and tourist attraction at the Swedish Airport.  Read More

Engineers have designed and flown the world's first aircraft made using 3D printing techno...

One of the biggest selling features for 3D printers is the fact that you can just whip up a design using CAD software on your computer, then create a physical copy of it to try out – no special factory tooling required. Well, in order to illustrate the potential of the technology for the aviation industry, engineers from the University of Southampton have just designed and flown the world’s first “printed” aircraft. The entire structure of the unmanned air vehicle (UAV) was created using an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine, which builds up plastic or metal parts through a successive layering technique.  Read More

Fujitsu and Toshiba have unveiled the IS12T handset which runs on Windows Phone 7 Mango

Fujitsu and Toshiba have announced IS12T, the first smartphone to run on Windows Phone 7 with the new Mango update pre-installed. The new smartphone is waterproof and dust-resistant and comes with 13.2 megapixel camera and large 32GB of internal storage.  Read More

Taiwanese manufacturer MSI has announced a new motherboard Z68A-GD80 (G3) utilizing  two P...

Taiwanese manufacturer MSI has announced a new motherboard Z68A-GD80 (G3), which according to the company will be the world's first motherboard to utilize the PCI Express Gen 3 (3.0) bus standard. Featuring a BIOS with a graphical user interface, the motherboard boasts two PCIe 3.0 slots (1x16, 1x8), which provide a 2x faster transfer rate than the 2.0 standard with a maximum bandwidth of 32GB/s, and support for 3TB drives. It is also equipped with an Intel Z68 (B3) chipset and supports the LGA1155 socket to work with Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs.  Read More

Kawasaki's 2012 KX450F

The easiest place to pass everyone else on a motocross circuit is in the run to the first corner and should you grab the hole-shot, the race is yours to lose. All of which makes Kawasaki's latest addition to its 2012 KX450F a killer app for a race bike - it will be the ONLY bike on the grid in 2011/12 with "Launch Control". Activated by the push of a button, the Launch Control Mode map monitors wheel spin and retards the engine ignition timing to enable the rear tire to gain grip. Of course the fruit of the pudding will be measured by who gets to the first corner first, but if green bikes do it often enough, Kawasaki has a killer app.  Read More

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