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NASA's GROVER, without solar panels. The laptop is a temporary fixture (Photo: Gabriel Tri...

NASA's autonomous, solar-powered explorer GROVER has been kitted out with ground-penetrating radar to take to Greenland's ice sheet on Friday. There the robot will spend a month analyzing the accumulation of snow and how this contributes to the ice sheet over time. The scientists involved hope to identify a new layer of ice that has formed since summer 2012, an unusually warm summer which saw melting across 97 percent of the area of the ice sheet. During that time, an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan calved from the Petermann Glacier, part of the ice sheet.  Read More

The Boosted Boards skateboard

Last year we reported on San Francisco-based startup Boosted Boards' eponymous debut product, an electric skateboard that can lay credible claim to being the world’s lightest electric vehicle. The skateboard was the subject of a successful Kickstarter campaign, and having survived the perils of moving from pitch to product, is now available for wider pre-order.  Read More

The AWE-3DG 3D-printed guitar from AweSome Musical Instruments

Multi-tone performance pickup specialist AweSome Musical Instruments has unveiled what's claimed to be the first commercially available 3D-printed guitar made in the US. Touted as virtually impossible to break (though the same can't be said for the supplied light gauge strings), the Les Paul-style AWE-3DG also sports a bank of rather interesting pickup selectors that open the door to otherwise hidden coil combinations for up to 76 different analog tones.  Read More

Seniors who played the Road Tour video game reportedly experienced an improvement in their...

It’s a sad fact of life that as we age, our cognitive skills decline. In particular, the “executive function” of our mind diminishes – this function is a key aspect of our memory, attention, perception, and problem solving skills. There may be help, however. Scientists from the University of Iowa are now claiming that by playing a specific video game, test subjects aged 50 and over were able to stop and even reverse the trend.  Read More

Tonke Explorer 1 getting unloaded

The Dutch-built Tonke Camper is a more stylish version of mobile home than those found in the average trailer park. It features a wooden home set atop a Mercedes Sprinter platform and can be used like an RV or removed off its vehicular underpinnings and planted on firm ground.  Read More

IBM MessageSight: a mega-platform for the internet of things (Image: NASA Goddard Space Fl...

Three years ago, Google's Eric Schmidt announced that every two days, more information is created than was the case from the dawn of humanity up to 2003. According to IMS Research, by 2020 web-connected devices will create 2.5 quintillion bytes of information every day, with 22 billion internet of things devices up-belching information to the web. To marshal all that data, IBM has come up with a platform it calls MessageSight, which will allow any one organization to pool information from up to a million sensors and devices, at a rate of 13 million messages per second.  Read More

Researchers have successfully combined biology and electronics, in the form of this bionic...

A Princeton University team has successfully merged electronics and biology to create a functional ear that can “hear” radio frequencies. The tissue and antenna were merged via the use of an “off-the -shelf” 3D printer, and the results have the potential to not only restore but actually enhance human hearing in the future.  Read More

Microsoft has revealed more details about how its IllumiRoom project will expand video gam...

At CES in January, Microsoft Research teased its IllumiRoom concept, which involves projecting an image around a TV screen to enhance video games with additional visuals. Unfortunately, the company didn't offer much info beyond a short video that briefly showed it in action. But the team behind the project recently showed up at the CHI 2013 conference in Paris with some more in-depth details about how Illumiroom will not only expand the game screen, but completely alter the appearance of your living room.  Read More

L5 is likely to receive a V8 as its powerplant

A sub-brand of China’s First Auto Works (FAW), the Hongqi has been China’s answer to the Rolls Royce since 1958 when it was first manufactured under the direction of Chairman Mao Zedong. The Hongqi (which means Red Flag) is enjoying a newfound resurgence as we discovered recently at the Shanghai Auto Show.  Read More

The Glowing Plants project aims to let you read by plantlight (Image: Shutterstock)

In the last week, over 3,000 people on Kickstarter ignored the fact it's next to impossible to keep a houseplant alive and backed the now fully-funded "Glowing Plants: Natural Lighting with no Electricity" campaign. The funds will be used to build upon existing technology and create a transgenic plant that has a soft blue-green glow to act as an electricity-free nightlight. Backer rewards, each glowing, include an arabidopsis plant, a rose plant, and arabidopsis seeds. We check in as the Glowing Plants team heads towards their first stretch goal and look at how this project is part of a bigger trend in DIY biology. But be warned: this is not your grandma's seed catalog.  Read More

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