Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

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Silkworms chowing down on one of their favorite foods – mulberry leaves  (Photo: Shutterst...

Like most other fabrics, silk is colored with dye. Unfortunately, the dyeing process results in wastewater laden with toxins. Now, however, scientists from the National Chemical Laboratory in India are developing an alternative. They're feeding dye to silkworms, which in turn are producing pre-colored silk fibers.  Read More

Compact at launch, the origami-inspired solar array will expand to 10 times its stored siz...

One big problem when sending things into space is, well, space. Rockets have limited payload capacity and given the costs involved, every inch counts. That's why Brigham Young University researchers have turned to origami as their inspiration. Their folding solar array is designed to be compact at launch and expand to around 10 times its size once it's deployed in outer space.  Read More

The Acer Aspire Z3-600 portable All-in-One PC

Acer is set to join the mobile All-in-One computer party later this month with the release of the Aspire Z3-600. Able to lie flat on a coffee table or stand proud on a desk, the new portable Windows 8 PC packs a Pentium quad-core processor, Harman Kardon speakers, gesture control, and a 6-cell Li-ion battery that allows for over 2.5 hours of use away from a power outlet. It offers the same Full HD display real estate as Sony's recently-released Vaio Tap 21, but has a significantly lower price tag.  Read More

A quadcopter running the algorithm is able to remain in control, even after losing one pro...

Whether it's for Amazon-purchased goods, text books or defibrillators, unmanned multicopters are increasingly being considered for use as delivery vehicles. Given that this would involve their flying over heavily-populated areas, however, many people are rightly concerned about the aircraft malfunctioning and crashing down onto someone below. That's why researchers at ETH Zurich have created a control algorithm that allows any quadcopter to keep flying, even if it loses multiple motors or propellers.  Read More

MIT students (left to right) Ayush Bhandari, Refael Whyte and Achuta Kadambi pose next to ...

MIT researchers have developed a new time-of-flight (TOF) 3D "nano-camera" with the ability to work with translucent objects, motion, fog, rain, and other factors in the environment that totally confuse previous TOF cameras, such as Microsoft's second-gen Kinect. The MIT Media Lab team has added these new capabilities by introducing additional information into the illuminating light beam. The resulting camera costs less than US$500 in parts.  Read More

The 488-m-long hull of the Prelude FLNG is floated for the first time

A hull longer than the Empire State Building is tall has been floated out of dry dock in Geoje, South Korea. Measuring 488 m (1,601 ft) long and 74 m (243 ft) wide, the hull belongs to Shell's Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility, which upon completion will be the largest floating facility ever built.  Read More

Immerset combines French press and pour-over coffee-making techniques

Combining the French press and pouring-over methods, while improving both, is the goal of a new coffee-maker being promoted by an outfit called Immerset. The device is a project by inventor Chic Kelty, and is designed both for commercial and consumer purposes.  Read More

The Neptune Pine lets users flip their wrist and check a lot more than just the time

When we covered the Neptune Pine watch earlier this year, our first thought was that it looked like the smartwatch that tech lovers have been waiting for. That was immediately followed by a second thought – is this set of rough renderings ever going to lead to an actual watch we can buy? It hasn't happened quite yet, but things are moving in the right direction. Neptune has developed a working prototype and launched a Kickstarter campaign that has attracted a half-million dollars in pledges in just over two weeks.  Read More

The app can be used to produce 3D portraits

Most of us have gotten used to smartphones replacing long-established devices such as cameras and music players. Soon, however, they might be taking over the duties of something that is itself an emerging technology – the 3D scanner. Researchers at ETH Zurich have created an app that allows an ordinary smartphone to capture and display three-dimensional models of real-world objects, for subsequent finessing or even 3D printing.  Read More

Taking inspiration from a bee's honeycomb, the Hivehaus is comprised of as many or as few ...

Similar to other micro-homes we have looked at, the Hivehaus comes flat-packed, is self-contained and appears relatively easy to build. Taking its name from the honeycomb structures built by bees, Hivehaus is a modular housing system constructed from individual hexagonal cells that can be customized and connected, offering plenty of design flexibility.  Read More

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