Inventions, Technology

Graphene rubber bands: flexible, low-cost body sensors

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Graphene, the wonder material shows its potential once again: now, using graphene and rubber bands, engineers have created a flexible sensor which has significant medical value and can be made cheaply. You really should know about graphene by now – we’ve written dozens of articles about it just in the past couple of years; but if you don’t, here’s your get out of jail card: graphene  is pure carbon in the form of a very thin, nearly transparent sheet, just 1 atom thick. It’s so thin, that for practical purposes, you can almost consider it a 2D material. Now, there’s a lot of hype around graphene, and for good reason: it…

Inventions, News

Engineers create the first unstealable bike

Image via Yerka.

Depending on where you live, bike stealing can be a distant threat or a constant worry, but in most parts of the world, people would rather be safe than sorry, tying their bikes to trees or fences or whatever they could find. But that may very well change in the near future: three engineers from Chile have developed a bike which they claim is impossible to steal. The Yerka Project is a currently a prototype which runs around and shows the frame of the bike unlatching so that, along with the seat post, the bike frame itself can close around a stationary object. Basically, the frame of the bike itself…

Inventions, News, Technology

UK project brings us closer to Mach5 air travel

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If you thought research in airplanes only applies to the military, you’re wrong. While most of the money spent for airplane research does go to the military, a smaller chunk of it goes to space research, and another part goes to private air travel. Now, a company from the UK has almost developed an engine that would make the legendary Concorde look like a slowpoke – promising airplanes that could travel 5 times faster than the speed of sound. The planes they are proposing look weird, to say the least. They’re very futuristic; they have no windows, have much smaller wings than you’d expect, and a really strange engine. But…

Inventions, News, Technology

Robot successfully hitchhikes 6000 km across Canada

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Canada’s most famous (and from what I can find, only) beer-cooler turned hitchhiking robot has finally completed its 6,000-kilometre journey across Canada, blazing rides from Halifax reaching Victoria late Saturday; and he did it with style: I’m on a boat. Well, a ferry to be exact. Victoria, I’m on my way. #hitchBOT @BCFerries pic.twitter.com/SPewf9rIq1 — hitchBOT (@hitchBOT) August 16, 2014 In case you’re not aware, hitchBOT is a chatty, social media-savvy robot, about the size of a six-year-old child, which was made using pool noodles, an old beer cooler bucket, Wellington boots, rubber gloves, solar panels and a computerized “brain.” He was created in order to “explore topics in human-robot-interaction and to test…

Inventions, News

California approves self-driving cars by 2015

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The world has been toying with the idea of driverless cars for years now, but California is really taking it to the next level – they will probably make self-driving cars legel by 2015. If you’ve seen the movies with Google’s ‘chandelier’ topped autonomous cars driving down the street, you may have assumed the technology is legal, but that’s not really the case. Google has been working around a legal grey area, as self-driving cars haven’t really been explicitly addressed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, as of September 16 2014, new regulations go into effect regarding testing autonomous vehicles, and DMV is the rules for the public can be expected…

Inventions, News, Technology

Volvo’s first self-driving cars now being tested live on public roads in Sweden

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Self driving cars are hitting the road in Sweden! Volvo Car Group’s “Drive Me” project involving 100 cars is now being tested in the streets in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. Apparently, everything is going out just fine: “The test cars are now able to handle lane following, speed adaption, and merging traffic all by themselves,” says Erik Coelingh, Technical Specialist atVolvo Car Group. The car can be driven normally, but it also features an Autopilot option, which controls the car in all its aspects. “This is an important step towards our aim that the final ‘Drive Me’ cars will be able to drive the whole test route in highly autonomous mode. The technology,…

Inventions, News

New 3D printer allows you to print your own make-up at home

Image via Inhabitat.

3D printing is the hot jazz nowadays, with applications varying from cranium and skin replacements to houses to nanoscale objects. Now, Grace Choi, a self proclaimed inventor has developed a way to 3D print makeup at home, in every color you want, as eye shadow, blush, lip gloss or whatever you need – reducing both waste and the price tag. Make-up is extremely wasteful, from the packaging and the containers to the actual substances used in it. But what if you could break free from all that hassle, and actually print your makeup at home? Introducing Mink, the company which claims allows you to do just that. Choi launched her idea yesterday…

Biology, Inventions, News

MIT and Harvard researchers develop 100% internal cochlear implant

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A cochlear implant that can be wirelessly recharged using the natural microphone of the middle ear rather than a skull-mounted sensor was developed by a joint team from MIT and Harvard. The cochlea is the auditory part of the inner ear –  t’s where the hearing takes place. Cochlear implants are not really a new thing – but generally they use a disk-shaped transmitter about an inch in diameter and connect it to a microphone and power source that looks like an oversized hearing aid around the patient’s ear. But this new device doesn’t require any external hardware, and to make things even better, you can charge it wirelessly, and every full charge…

Inventions, Technology

$42,000 Prosthetic Hand OutPerformed By $50 Printed Cyborg Beast

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Over the last few months, we’ve written a lot about some fantastic 3D designs which can be very useful in medicine – a cranium replacement, 3D printed skin, and especially bone and limb prosthetics. Now, 3D universe, a website dedicated to 3D printing, published an article comparing a $42.000 conventional prosthetic, with a $50 3D printed one. Jose Delgado was born without his left hand, and in his 53 years, he’s tried several options to support his disability, recently moving onto more advanced prosthetics. For over a year, he had been using a $42,000 myoelectric prosthetic device, which took signals from the fibers in his forearm and translated them into electric…

Inventions

French students develop the world’s first 3D printing tattoo machine

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Three French students transformed a 3-D printer — a MarkerBot Replicator 3D printer, to be exact, into a tattoo machine! So we can now add “makes tattoos” to the impressive list of things 3D printers can do! It all started with an idea that came to Pierre Emm, a young student in France, while he was riding his bike. Working with his colleagues Piotr Widelka and Johan Da Silveira, Emm took a MakerBot Replicator 3D printer and reconfigured it to “make the machine more incarnate”:  “An image passes very quickly … I wished to give them more time.” So they modified the 3D printer to become a tattoo machine. It took…