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L'Uritonnoir is a portable, composting urinal for large festivals that reduces a bale of h...

Festivals can be great fun, but aren't always so friendly to the local environment. Gathering that many people in one place tends to produce a large amount of waste, but it's the human waste that can be the hardest to dispose of cleanly. That's why French design group Faltazi has produced L'Uritonnoir, a portable, composting urinal for large festivals that helps to turn a bale of hay into usable fertilizer.  Read More

Researchers from the University of Maryland have built a new micro air vehicle dubbed Robo...

Researchers from the University of Maryland have built a new micro air vehicle dubbed Robo Raven that's such a convincing flyer, it's been attacked by a local hawk during testing. Though numerous other robotic birds have successfully taken to the skies in recent years, including Festo's visually stunning SmartBird, this featherless mechanical marvel is capable of impressive complex aerobatic maneuvers thanks to completely programmable wings that can flap independently of each other.  Read More

Cutaway view of the eWheelDrive hub motor

It's predicted that by the year 2050 there will be 9.3 billion people on Earth and 6.4 billion of them will be living in cities. There could also be four times as many cars on the roads as today, leading to an incredible degree of urban congestion and gridlock. That’s the impetus behind Ford and technology partner Schaeffler’s eWheelDrive electric research car, that moves the motor to the wheel hubs.  Read More

Laser weapons hobbyist Patrick Priebe has built a working replica of the Plasma Cutter fro...

Well, our cyberpunk-weapons-making friend Patrick Priebe has been at it again. Having previously built things like a gauss rifle, a rotary-blade-shooting crossbow and an Iron Man laser gauntlet, he recently let us know about his latest creation – the video game-based Plasma Cutter.  Read More

The headlamps receive a new angry look

Toyota introduced the 2014 4Runner this week. While other once-rugged mid-size SUVs have been watered down into car-like crossovers – just look at the station wagon called the Nissan Pathfinder or the thing Jeep wants us to believe is a new Cherokee – the 4Runner stays true to its off-road roots, including body-on-frame construction. In fact, the 4Runner's new styling shows that Toyota is eager to let everyone know that the truck means business.  Read More

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has a near-collision with Cosmos 1805

Julie McEnery is NASA's Project Scientist for the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. When she checked her email on March 29, 2012, she was startled to find an automatically generated message stating that in six days, her half-billion-plus dollar satellite was going to cross paths with Cosmos 1805, a Soviet-era spy satellite. The predicted encounter had the two satellites occupying the same coordinates only 30 milliseconds apart. Not only that, but Cosmos was in an orbit moving nearly perpendicular to Fermi such that their collision would be equivalent to tons of high explosives. Essentially total destruction.  Read More

Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and Nexus 7

Samsung was the first Android phone maker to take a stab at tablets. Released in 2010, the Galaxy Tab was a 7-inch slate that cost more than the bigger and better iPad. But Samsung kept chipping away, making tablets in all shapes and sizes, and is now gaining on Apple’s shrinking lead. How does Samsung’s latest – the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 – compare to the Google/Asus Nexus 7?  Read More

The Touchmark Interface System replaces the volume/tone knobs and pickup selector switch o...

Los Angeles industrial designer and keen guitarist Mark Andersen says that close examination of playing patterns has revealed that the current knob/switch setup on most electric guitars results in "conflicting motion paths" when the player needs to tweak the tone or volume, or select a different pickup. His answer is to replace the pots and switches with a pair of touch panels on the pick guard, to convert your Strat-shaped axe into a Touchmark Guitar.  Read More

A new system being developed at MIT would store excess energy in concrete spheres on the s...

The intermittent nature of wind and solar power generation is one of the biggest challenges facing these renewable energy sources. But this isn’t likely to remain a problem for much longer with everything from flywheels to liquid air systems being developed to provide a cheaper form of energy storage than batteries for times when the wind is blowing or the sun isn’t shining. A new concept out of MIT can now be added to the the list of potential solutions. Aimed specifically at offshore wind turbines, the concept would see energy stored in huge concrete spheres that would sit on the seafloor and also function as anchors for the turbines.  Read More

A frame from 'A Boy and His Atom'

Anyone who’s tried their hand at stop animation will know it’s an incredibly time consuming and delicate job. But spare a thought for scientists at IBM Almaden in California who have produced the world’s smallest stop animation movie by using a scanning tunneling microscope to move individual atoms. Rather than competing with Aardman or Pixar for a slice of the international box office, the film is intended to make the public aware of new technology that could increase computer memories far beyond what is possible today.  Read More

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