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ShopBot's Handibot portable CNC machine

North Carolina-based ShopBot Tools has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring its Handibot prototype to market. Handibot is a CNC machine which, being computer-controlled, can be used to cut materials to size and shape with very high accuracy. Unlike most CNC machines, Handibot is portable, the idea being that you take it to your materials rather than your materials to it. And in that spirit, Handibot can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet rather than full-blown computer (if there's a distinction these days), and users will pay to download individual designs and functions in the form of apps.  Read More

A MacBook's electromagnetic field brought to life (Video still: Luke Sturgeon and Shamik R...

By rigging an Android smartphone as an electromagnetic field indicator, interaction designers Luke Sturgeon and Shamik Ray have visualized the fields around everyday electronics using long-exposure photography and stop-motion animation. The results are fascinating and beautiful.  Read More

The Guitarduino from Igor Stolarsky

In addition to being a talented player and having a guitar named after him, Les Paul was a dedicated tinkerer. It's rather fitting, then, that one of those famous guitars has been modified to include touch-controlled synths and effects, and an onboard drum machine. The system is built around an Arduino brain externally mounted near the bridge, which routes signals from sensors and buttons through custom code to a preamp/effects processor or a digital audio workstation suite. As you can see and hear from the video after the jump, the aptly-named Guitarduino is quite simply extraordinary.  Read More

The Recordura electronic door lock runs purely on electricity generated by users pushing o...

Smartphone-enabled electronic door locks such as the Unikey, Lockitron and Goji do have advantages over their traditional counterparts – digital “keys” can be sent to multiple users’ phones, access to locked rooms can be limited to specific dates and/or times for certain users, and keys stored on lost phones can simply be deactivated. However, as with just about any electronic version of a purely-mechanical device, they do introduce one complicating factor: they require a power supply. The Recordura lock, however, generates its own electricity when users push on its handle.  Read More

Madeleine in the process of capturing the smell of a source object

The five traditional senses of perception – sound, sight, smell, touch, and taste – are all capable of triggering memories. However, we haven't yet figured out how to capture copies of all of these inputs. We can capture images on cameras and sounds on audio equipment, we can recreate tastes to a certain degree, and we can simulate touch with physical copies of other things. But what about smells? The ability to capture everyday odors in an immutable state has eluded us. Until now.  Read More

The prototype soft exosuit in action

Powered exoskeletons show great promise both for augmenting the abilities of able-bodied users, and for rehabilitating the disabled. That said, they also tend to be hard-bodied contraptions that don’t look particularly comfortable (or light) to wear. Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute recently demonstrated what they hope will be a more user-friendly alternative – a “soft exosuit.”  Read More

British Airways is testing an electronic luggage tag that travelers can update with a smar...

Most people would probably agree that air travel still has plenty of room for improvement, particularly when it comes to actually checking in and getting on the plane. For its part, British Airways is now taking steps to speed up the whole process on its end and is even testing a digital alternative to the traditional paper luggage tag. The airline recently produced an electronic luggage tag that travelers can update themselves with a smartphone and re-use over and over.  Read More

The Scout satellite is light to act as a solar sail

Launching more than one satellite at a time is common practice these days, but what about packing thousands of satellites into a rocket and shooting them at the Moon? As part of a Kickstarter campaign, Pocket Spacecraft is offering the public the chance to send small disc satellites into space. These will then either flutter back to Earth from orbit or impact on the lunar surface. Based in Bristol, UK, Pocket Spacecraft plans to create thousands of tiny customized “Scout” satellites to be launched in a cubesat as a way of promoting low cost, mass space exploration.  Read More

BMW announces updates to its ConnectedDrive infotainment suite

In addition to fuel efficiency, one of the key battlegrounds in the current auto-tech wars is in-vehicle telematics and infotainment. Automakers are tripping all over each other to safely and functionally integrate connected features like Internet radio, social networking and Web browsing into their dashboards. BMW recently outlined its own strategy, announcing a number of key upgrades to its ConnectedDrive suite that will start hitting vehicles for the 2014 model year.  Read More

The GlassTesla app allows users to remotely secure their Model S using Google Glass

Voice commands via programs like Ford’s Sync are so 2010. A newly-released app called "GlassTesla" uses the interactive capabilities of Google Glass to connect wirelessly with Tesla's Model S. Once connected, owners have a variety of Glass activated commands at their beck and call and information in front of their eyeballs.  Read More

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