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New 3D Printing Technique for Concrete

The Bloom pavilion is said to be the first and largest powder-based 3D-printed cement structure built ...

The Bloom pavilion is said to be the first and largest powder-based 3D-printed cement structure built to date (Photo: UC Berkeley)

3D printing looks set to become very important in architecture, but we’ve yet to see exactly how the future of large-scale click-and-print construction will play out. A potential step forward comes via a team of UC Berkeley researchers led by Associate Professor of Architecture Ronald Rael, who recently created a free-standing pavilion called Bloom to demonstrate the precision of their powder-based cement method of 3D-printed construction. read more

Bringing Back the Super 8 Camera

The Kodak Super 8 camera, showing off both an analog film cartridge an LCD viewfinder

The Kodak Super 8 camera, showing off both an analog film cartridge an LCD viewfinder

Fifty years ago, Kodak introduced its first Super 8mm movie camera. More recently, we’ve seen devices with a retro form factor and “organic” picture quality inspired by classic Super 8 cameras, but that still record on modern digital video. This week at CES, however, Kodak revealed a prototype of its first new Super 8 film camera in over 30 years. Known simply as the Kodak Super 8 camera (for now), it combines analog and digital features. read more

Magic Wand Portable Scanner

The portable VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand A4 color scanner
The portable VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand A4 color scanner

Taking around four seconds to scan an A4-size document in B&W, this portable wand-type scanner from VuPoint Solutions is designed for copying images from books or documents with thick or fragile spines that don’t allow them to be folded back for placement on a flatbed scanner. read more

Flexible Electronic Membrane

The new film remains conductive and undamaged, even when stretched to more than twice its usual ...
The new film remains conductive and undamaged, even when stretched to more than twice its usual length (Credit: Panasonic)

Before flexible electronic devices can become commonplace, there needs to be a practical way of manufacturing reliable stretchable circuitry. While some solutions are already in development, Panasonic recently announced one of its own – a soft, flexible polymer resin film combined with transparent electrodes and a conductive paste. read more

Helicopter-Inspired Catamaran

The Helicat 22

The Helicat 22 “takes off”

What’s that? A boat, a helicopter, some type of seaplane? It’s the Helicat 22. This unique watercraft won’t take off into the air, but it uses a helicopter-influenced catamaran design for a fast, stable ride over choppy water.

When we first saw the Helicat, we wondered aloud: “Why would anybody put a helicopter-styled body on a boat, outside of trying to get attention?”.

The answer is really that obvious. Washington-based Helicat LLC tells us that the idea behind the boat is combining the fast, stable, lightweight properties of catamaran hulls with the eye-catching heli design. The manufacturer also claims that the boat is particularly good for rough water, with the enclosed cockpit providing the advantage of not collecting water like a traditional catamaran. read more

A Real Hoverboard

The board is said to be limited to speeds on par with running
The board is said to be limited to speeds on par with running (Credit: Arca)

For decades now we’ve been teased with hoverboard concepts, either from science fiction or highly limited real-life versions, but now aerospace company Arca is taking orders for what it claims is the real deal. The ArcaBoard appears to be the closest thing to the technology from Back to the Future: Part II that we’ve seen so far.

Unlike the unicycle-skateboard combination that calls itself Hoverboard or the magnet-powered hoverboards created by Hendo and Lexus, ArcaBoard is said to actually hover and cruise up to a foot over any surface, be it concrete, sand or even water. read more

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