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Honda’s Walk Assist

Honda's Walking Assist Device has been under development for 14 years, as has the company's Bodyweight ...\Honda’s Walking Assist Device has been under development for 14 years, as has the company’s Bodyweight Support Exoskeleton, which has also been tested as a worker assist device

Practical exoskeletons have moved considerably closer to everyday use with the news that Honda has begun leasing 100 of its Walking Assist Devices to hospitals in Japan so that it can monitor and validate their usefulness in the real world. read more

Ultimate Portable Power

The HeLi-on solar panel is designed to generate up to 3 W of power under standard ...

The HeLi-on solar panel is designed to generate up to 3 W of power under standard conditions (Credit: infinityPV)

Compact solar panels have been around for some time, but in a trade-off with portability many are too small to generate practical amounts of electricity over short periods. New designs, such as the Yolk Solar Paper, are capable of generating more electricity while maintaining a slim profile, but the HeLi-on further expands on the idea of portable power generation with a flexible solar cell that rolls out from a compact package to soak up more rays. read more

Strapless Helmet

Vozz proposes a revolution in helmet design with the RS 1.0 (Credit: Vozz Helmets)

Motorcycle helmets have been around for almost a century, yet their design has never really deviated from the pull on-pull off type with a chinstrap to secure in place. Australian company Vozz Helmets is changing that with a revolutionary design that renders straps obsolete – and has a few more tricks up its sleeve as well.

The Voztec System is a concept that has been around since 2005, but it apparently took several years to reach final production stage. During this time a lot of development and testing had to be carried out before Vozz could secure patents and trademarks in several key countries around the world – including Australia, USA, Europe, Japan and China. A deal with an (unspecified) “international composite helmet manufacturer who is ISO900 certified” took care of the trickiest part of logistics and the Vozz RS 1.0 is officially on the market. read more

Make Your Own Records

The DRC (Desktop Record Cutter) puts vinyl record making in the hands of home musicians

The DRC (Desktop Record Cutter) puts vinyl record making in the hands of home musicians

A sound engineer and inventor based in Melbourne, Australia, is hoping to put a new spin on an old technology with his Desktop Record Cutter (DRC). The turntable-on-steroids looking device allows home musicians to press their music onto wax within minutes with turn-key stereo cutting technology. While the machine is fully automated for ease of use by the technophobe, engineers and tinkerers can customize their DRC with upgrades and modifications. read more

A Personal Autonomous Robot Drone

To get the Fleye to fly, the Belgium-based development team has launched on Kickstarter
To get the Fleye to fly, the Belgium-based development team has launched on Kickstarter

The Fleye is claimed to be the world’s safest drone. It may look like a flying soccer ball, but its shape is designed to keep all the moving parts well out of harm’s way and make it a bit more resistant to crash damage. It’s not just design that sets the Fleye apart though. A dual core Linux brain with an open SDK (software development kit) and API (application program interface) make this machine less like a conventional drone and more like a flying development platform. read more

Retrofit Bike Suspension

The SR Suntour Swing Shock is a suspension fork designed for use on lightweight commuter bikes

The SR Suntour Swing Shock is a suspension fork designed for use on lightweight commuter bikes

OK, so you’ve got the single-speed, skinny-tired messenger-style bike for bombing around town while also looking hip … that’s a good start, but what piece of functional bling can you add to further identify it as the urban assault vehicle that it is? Well, the folks at SR Suntour would probably tell you to swap your old school rigid fork for their Swing Shock suspension fork for commuter bikes. Depending on whether you’re more of a gadget-lover or a purist, you’ll either think it’s clever, or an abomination. read more

Do It Yourself Death Star

That's no moon ... it's Patrick Priebe's DIY Death Star

That’s no moon … it’s Patrick Priebe’s DIY Death Star

Well, it’s now December and a lot of people are getting excited about a special day that’s coming up … that’s right, we’re talking about Dec. 17th, the opening day of Star Wars – The Force Awakens. In honor of the event, German laser-tinkerer Patrick Priebe has created a “working” model of the original Death Star. It may not be able to destroy planets, but it can certainly melt metal. read more

A Battery That Runs on Sugar

Researchers from the Tokyo University of Science have found pyrolyzed sucrose to be a surprisingly effective ...

Researchers from the Tokyo University of Science have found pyrolyzed sucrose to be a surprisingly effective material for the anode of sodium-ion batteries (Image: Diginfo)

Researchers at the Tokyo University of Science have turned to sugar as part of a continuous effort to control Japan’s growing import costs associated with building lithium-ion batteries. It seems that sugar may be the missing ingredient for building rechargeable batteries that are more robust, cheaper, and capable of storing more energy. read more

Harness Body Movement to Produce Electricity

A piece of silicone rubber imprinted with super-thin material that generates electricity when flexed could provide ...

A piece of silicone rubber imprinted with super-thin material that generates electricity when flexed could provide a source of power for mobile and medical devices (Image credit: Frank Wojciechowski)

Engineers from Princeton University have developed power-generating rubber films that could be used to harness natural body movements such as breathing or walking in order to power electronic devices such as pacemakers or mobile phones. The material, which is composed of ceramic nanoribbons embedded onto silicone rubber sheets, generates electricity when flexed and is highly efficient at converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. read more