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World's First

— Robotics

World's first intubation robot tested on human subjects

Pretty much any time a patient is placed under a general anesthetic, a plastic endotracheal tube is inserted down their throat, in order to keep their airway open. The procedure is known as intubation, and has so far always been performed by hand. In this age of robotic surgery, however, it’s perhaps not surprising to hear that surgeons at Montreal’s McGill University Health Centre are now trying out a remote-control intubation system on human subjects. Read More
— Electronics

Samsung announces world's first mass produced transparent LCD panels

When it comes to display technologies nothing says "cool" like a transparent display. While we've seen a number of prototypes, such as TDK's flexible OLED display, pop up at trade shows in the last couple of years, Samsung has announced it has already started mass production of a 22-inch transparent LCD panel. Because they rely on ambient light instead of the usual back lighting, the transparent panels consume 90 percent less electricity than conventional LCD panels. But despite the fact the new panels are starting to roll off the Samsung production lines, it will probably still be a while before transparent panels make it onto our desktops. Read More
— Environment

Scientists unveil 'world's first practical artificial leaf'

Leaves – the kind that grow on trees – create energy from sunlight and water through the process of photosynthesis. For over a decade, scientists have been kicking around the idea of creating an "artificial leaf." Such a device would use sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, which could then be stored in a fuel cell and used to create electricity. A functioning artificial leaf has been created before, but was impractical due to the fact that it was made from expensive materials, and was highly unstable. Now, however, scientists are reporting that they have created a cost-effective, stable artificial leaf. Read More
— Automotive

BMW teams with Sixt for world’s first “premium” car sharing service

With much of the traffic clogging city roads made up of vehicles that carry a single occupant to work, sit idle for the day (usually attracting inflated parking fees) and then return home, driving in urban areas is a headache that just keeps getting worse. While public transport is the answer for many, some still require the flexibility of a car. Recognizing this, BMW is positioning itself as not just an automobile manufacturer but rather a "mobility provider," and has partnered with car rental company Sixt for a car sharing venture called DriveNow that will offer premium BMW models that can be picked up and dropped off wherever the user needs them. Read More
— Automotive

The world's first hybrid automobile goes on show again - 111 years later

We’re a little non-plussed on Porsche’s announcement of a reconstructed Semper Vivus, which it is claiming was presented at the Paris Show of 1900. There’s a video of the construction of the vehicle, but the scant info available is at odds with previous Porsche historic information on the Lohner Porsche and the normally fastidious Porsche press department hasn’t issued any details of the Semper Vivus yet. The Semper Vivus was a series electric hybrid with its two engines charging the batteries and Porsche electric hub motors delivering the power. It must be said the Porsche execs looked anything but comfortable driving the Semper on stage. Read More
— Urban Transport

Shadow Ebike: the world’s first wireless electric bike

Got a problem with the various gear and brake cables winding their way around your bike frame? If you're riding a standard pedal-powered bike, the answer is probably 'no.' But if you're one of the increasing numbers of people getting around town on an electric bike than your answer may be different, with faulty wiring one of the most common sources of failures found in such vehicles. While some hide their electrical wiring away inside the frame, many e-bikes have wires running down the outside. Like so many of today's electrical devices, the new Shadow Ebike does away with this unsightly mess and potential point of weakness using wireless technology. Read More
— Electronics

Eye implant contains 'world's first' millimeter-scale computing system

Researchers from the University of Michigan have created what they claim is the world’s first millimeter-scale complete computing system, designed as an implantable eye pressure monitor for glaucoma patients. Incorporating a microprocessor, pressure sensor, memory, thin-film battery, solar cell and wireless radio with an antenna that can transmit data to an external reader device, the device is just over one cubic millimeter in size. The scientists see it as the next step in the evolution of ever-smaller and more efficient computers. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Viewsonic unveils world’s first Dual-SIM Froyo smartphone

Those that like to keep their business and personal lives separate know that two SIMs are better than one. To that end Viewsonic has unveiled the world’s first Dual-SIM Android Froyo smartphone at Mobile World Congress 2011. The Viewsonic V350 is aimed at businesses looking to provide staff with a device that can offer separate numbers and bills for personal and business use, travelers looking to reduce roaming costs while retaining access to their regular number, or just regular consumers looking to take advantage of different deals from different network providers. Read More
— Science

World's first anti-laser demonstrated

Much to the distaste of James Bond villains everywhere, scientists from Yale University recently demonstrated not a new, more powerful type of laser, but actually its opposite – the world’s first anti-laser. The device receives incoming beams of light, which interfere with one another in such a way as to cancel each other out. It could apparently have valuable applications in a number of technologies, such as optical computing and radiology. Read More
— Aircraft

World's first hummingbird-like unmanned aircraft system takes flight

AeroVironment, the California-based company behind the largest, highest and longest flying unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the Global Observer, has now achieved a remarkable technical milestone with a much smaller aircraft. With its "Nano Hummingbird" the company has for the first time achieved controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight of a two-wing, flapping wing aircraft that carries its own energy source and relies only on its flapping wings for propulsion and control. Read More