Balloon network provides internet

January 1, 2018

For many, internet access is common and logging in is second nature. But more than half of the world’s population is still without access. Google is committed to remedy this and has developed Project Loon, a network of balloons that can provide internet coverage to people in rural and remote locations. It works like this: …

The tent roof for cars

MINI Cooper owners with the spirit of the open road can carry their tent with them and erect it right on top of the car. Designed by AUTOHOME®, an Italian specialist in automobile roof tents, the Air Top™ Roof Tent works with the MINI Countryman and other models. The beauty of the design is that …

Helmets that detect concussions

More and more evidence is coming to light about the devastating effects of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries suffered during contact sports like football. Sometimes an athlete doesn’t even know he or she had a concussion and continues playing, possibly making injuries worse. To help players and coaches determine injuries in real time, mechanical …

Cooling vest for firefighters

Heat exhaustion, cramps and heat stroke are very real dangers to firefighters. Not only are they in a hot environment, but often protective gear traps heat and inhibits the body’s natural ability to cool itself through sweat and moisture evaporation from the skin. Teijin Limited, Tokyo, Japan, has introduced a cooling vest that protects firefighters …

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Geofoam solves construction challenges

High atop Hidden Peak, lightweight geofoam solves construction challenges the easy way. All projects have challenges, purpose and meaning, yet some projects mean a lot more to owners than others. It takes a visionary to leave a legacy, and Richard Bass, founder of Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in Utah, fit the bill. Bass is …

Seismic-reinforced concrete

What material could help buildings stand up to earthquakes? Fiber, of course. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed concrete reinforced with fiber that can withstand earthquake simulation tests. The material, called eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite (EDCC), is engineered at the molecular level to be strong yet malleable. When applied as a thin …

Traft: it’s a tent, it’s a raft

Outdoor adventurers appreciate keeping things light by traveling only with necessary equipment. Gear that does double duty is particularly useful. That’s where Traft™ comes in. It’s a tent—and it’s a raft. Take it whitewater rafting, then set it up (on land) for a good night’s sleep. Traft is the brainchild of adventurer Evan Glassman, founder …

Exosuit normalizes walking for stroke patients

December 1, 2017

About 80 percent of people who suffer a stroke lose functionality in a limb—a clinical phenomenon called hemiparesis. Even if those patients return to walking, normal gait can be affected. Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Boston University’s College of …

Outerwear that grows with children

It’s a common dilemma when buying clothes for young children—do you get the size they are now, knowing they’ll grow out of them soon? Or get a size or two bigger, figuring they’ll grow into them and last longer? That was the inspiration for London-based Petit Pli, a line of children’s clothing created by Ryan …

Powering fabrics to keep soldiers warm

Soldiers stationed in the arctic know that it’s a challenge to stay warm while executing their duties in the frigid weather. Protective clothing is often bulky and makes it difficult to maneuver, and wearers often become overheated and sweaty. A group of scientists at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center is …