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The robot 'hedgehogs' would be launched from the mother spacecraft Phobos Surveyor

Robot hedgehogs on the moons of Mars may sound like the title of a B-grade sci-fi movie, but that is what Stanford University is working on. Marco Pavone, an assistant professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and his team are developing spherical robots called “hedgehogs” that are about half a meter (1.6 ft) wide and covered in spikes to better cope with rolling and hopping across the surface of the Martian moon Phobos with its very low gravity.  Read More

Is Samsung crazy enough to release a portrait-mode TV?

When we talk about revolutionizing television, we usually mean new approaches to content and connectivity, expecting the television's form factor to remain roughly the same. But if a new teaser is any indication, Samsung may turn that idea on its head … or perhaps on its side.  Read More

Honda's S2000 Modulo “Climax”

The S2000 roadster served as Honda's answer to the Mazda Miata during the most recent golden age of the sporty roadster, back around the turn of the millennium. Honda ended production of the car in 2009, but it is bringing it back, if only for a short time. The S2000 Modulo Concept is a concept model that will appear at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon next month.  Read More

Amanda Ghassaei has developed a technique for converting digital audio files of virtually ...

Like many music lovers today, I have a huge digital library and even though I've now converted much of my vinyl collection to MP3, I still return to my racks often. I've not really considered the possibility of converting my MP3/OGG/FLAC files into 12-inch records ... until now. While exploring the limits of today's 3D-printing technology, digital music tinkerer Amanda Ghassaei has come up with a technique for converting digital audio files of virtually any format into 3D-printed, 33.3 RPM records that can be played on any ordinary turntable.  Read More

The challenge for the designers is for staff to feel like they are sitting on a park bench...

The PNC Financial Services Group hopes to exceed LEED Platinum requirements along with promoting a healthy indoor workplace with its latest development – the Tower at PNC Plaza. Located in downtown Pittsburgh on the corner of Fifth and Wood Streets, the building will be approximately 800,00 gross sq.ft (74,322 sq.mt) in size with a construction budget of approximately US$240 million. The "breathing" design created by architecture firm Gensler moves away from the traditional closed air-conditioned environment and has the lofty aim of becoming the greenest skyscraper in the world.  Read More

A retrospective of the best weird and wonderful instruments of 2012

Should you find yourself thinking about supergroups, you'll likely center on the famous names that make up the bands and not the instruments they use. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, for example, rather than the double-necked Gibson EDS-1275, or Cream's Jack Bruce instead of his Gibson EB-3, or Brad Wilk of Audioslave/RATM and not the custom Gretsch drumkits he uses. Being as much fans of the tech behind the hits as the talented folks who create them, we've grouped together a super collection of favorite music-making gadgets from the past year.  Read More

The POLETAP SMARTROD uses a built-in accelerometer to detect fish strikes

Imagine that you’re an angler who has several lines in the water at once. How will you know if a fish strikes on one of your unmanned rods? Well, you could attach a bell to each rod, or just listen for its reel to start running. In these days of electronic everything, however, another alternative is now in the works – the computerized POLETAP SMARTROD.  Read More

LG's 55-inch 55EM9700 is the first large screen OLED TV available to consumers

With stunning picture quality and ultrathin panels, the OLED TVs trundled out at trade shows by major manufacturers over the past few years have had many salivating. But unless you’re willing to settle for smaller screen sizes, manufacturing hurdles have seen OLED TVs struggle to make the jump to retail stores. That is now about to change with LG announcing its 55-inch OLED TV will be available in South Korea from February, with pricing and availability for other markets to be announced in the coming weeks.  Read More

With an embedded silicon chip, intelliPaper turns an ordinary strip of paper into a workin...

USB drives have become so prolific in recent years that they've become practically disposable. Now, one company has created a different type of flash drive that can literally be crumpled up and thrown in the garbage. With an embedded silicon chip, intelliPaper seamlessly turns an ordinary strip of paper into a fully functioning USB drive.  Read More

The V-chip is an inexpensive credit card-sized device, that can instantly test a single dr...

Ordinarily, when medical clinicians are conducting blood tests, it’s a somewhat elaborate affair. A full vial of blood must be drawn, individual portions of which are then loaded into large, expensive machines such as mass spectrometers. The results are usually quite accurate, but they’re not instantaneous, and require the services of trained personnel in a well-equipped lab. That may be about to change, however. Scientists from Houston’s Methodist Hospital Research Institute and MD Anderson Cancer Center have created a credit card-sized gadget, that can instantly check a single drop of blood for up to 50 different substances – and it costs about US$10.  Read More

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