Charge a phone while you walk

by Mark R

We all know that we make a lot of kinetic energy just by moving around, and we all need energy to power our mobile devices. This is why researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison are working on a harvester that stores all the energy that we create by strolling, running, or walking. Tom Krupenkin, a UW-Madison associate professor of mechanical engineering, says that human beings generate a kilowatt …

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Take a look in the Augmented Reality Mirror

by Mark R

It seems like just yesterday that I was reporting on some advancement in Augmented reality. Actually, wait, it was yesterday. Today, it is an augmented reality mirror. It involves making a 3D map of your face, so you can make tweaks on your own reflection. You can watch a video of it after the jump. The first time I watched it, I could not see much of a difference between …

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Six-engine Oliver VTOL plane

by Mark R

Yes, this cool-looking aircraft doesn’t exist as yet. This is the Oliver VTOL (Vertical Take-Off Landing), and it has six engines instead of the usual three of a jet engine. Some of you might be wondering how such a vehicle could land. This is because you are seeing it from the front-facing view. If you could see it from the side, then you would know that the “top” and “bottom” …

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WINGStand truly brings the iDevice and Bluetooth keyboard together

by Mark R

Apple has a nice peripheral for the iPad and iPhone with their wireless Bluetooth Keyboard, but you really need your iDevice to be at the proper angle if a keyboard is going to be any use. This is where the WINGStand comes in. It can attach the iPad or iPhone to the keyboard. That might sound like a simple piece of plastic, but in the gadget world, little things like …

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Privacy Shell will get people looking at you

by Mark R

What you are seeing here in this photo are Wearable Privacy Shells. I believe that the purpose of this device is to shield out the rest of the world for at least a few moments. I am guessing that a few moments of peace is all that you will get as everyone will be looking at you after that. However, I have seen situations where people ignore the strangest and …

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Get to Space via Balloon with the Bloon

by Mark R

Now that the Space Shuttle program has been essentially grounded, it is time to start thinking of new ways to leave the atmosphere. Virgin Galactic may be banking on expensive trips with space planes, but this is the first time that I have heard of traveling to space via balloon. This lighter-than-air spacecraft, the Bloon, will reach 22 miles (36 kilometers) into space. That is enough to see the curvature …

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MABEL, the running robot

by Mark R

What you are seeing here is MABEL, a special project at the University of Michigan’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and it is the “fastest bipedal robot with knees”. How fast can it go? It’s top speed is 6.8 miles per hour, and that is on a flat, circular track. The speed is pretty good, and it is due to a “human-like weight distribution”. You can watch a …

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Umbrella doubles as a squirt gun

by Mark R

Just to let you know, this particular device is not out on the market yet. Which is too bad, as I can think of a few mischievous uses for an umbrella that also has a squirt gun. After all, if it is raining outside, you might as well be funneling the water on the top of the umbrella into a squirt gun on the handle. Too bad this gun is …

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