English Mechanic Builds the World’s Fastest Wheelbarrow

Dylan Phillips, a car mechanic from Pembrokeshire, England, recently set a new Guinness Record for the world’s fastest wheelbarrow with a contraption capable of speeds of up to 52 mph (84 km/h).

The idea of a super-fast motorized wheelbarrow came about in a pub, after a few drinks, but Dylan Phillips, being the tinkerer that he is, decided that it was just the kind of crazy project he wanted to work on. The 38-year-old mechanic started working on the wheelbarrow in his shed in Crymych, Pembrokeshire, and before long, he had a working trial version. He reached 37 mph during a test drive, and that’s when he started looking into the world record for the world’s fastest wheelbarrow.  He learned that the Guinness record stood at 46 mph, and decided that it was worth a shot to challenge it.

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Innovative Throat Patch Could Help People Speak Without Vocal Cords

Researchers at the University of California recently created a self-powered throat patch that uses machine learning to translate muscle movements into speech, helping people to speak without vocal cords.

Jun Chen, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, came up with the idea for a non-invasive speech-enabling device after feeling his vocal cords get tired as a result of lecturing for several hours at a time. He began thinking of ways of helping a person speak without using their vocal cords, and with the help of his colleagues at the University of California, he designed an innovative patch that sticks to the user’s throat and uses AI technology to decode their muscle movements into speech. The lightweight device is resistant to skin sweat and also harnesses the user’s muscle movements to generate electricity, which means that it doesn’t require a battery to operate.

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‘Ideal Bike Saddle’ Moves Under Your But as You Pedal

VabsRider, the ‘world’s first virtual axis bicycle seat,’ is an innovative bicycle saddle featuring two sides that move independently as you pedal to distribute the load more evenly for a more comfortable ride.

Australian engineer Robin Macan had always wondered why no one had come up with a more comfortable bicycle seat. The flaw of the common saddle was obvious – “no amount of cushioning can compensate for the inherent pain points on the human body,” so he came up with a concept for an articulating bicycle seat that would dynamically distribute body weight as the rider pedaled. He took his prototype to the Inventors Association of Australia, a nonprofit offering support to inventors, and that was where he connected with industrial designer Philippe Guichard. The two set out to refine the design, and after two years of work, they combined forces with Whistle, an industrial design and engineering company, to develop a market-ready product. Now, the vabsRider split-seat bicycle saddle is ready to offer users the most comfortable bike ride of their lives.

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Innovative Mobile Bridge Allows Workers to Pave Roads Without Stopping Traffic

Switzerland’s road maintenance authority has developed an ingenious mobile bridge that allows the paving of public roads without the need to stop traffic on the affected lanes.

Traffic jams are a necessary evil when it comes to road maintenance, and despite experts’ best efforts to come up with a solution to this logistic problem, motorists still have to deal with them whenever road work is required. However, Switzerland’s Federal Roads Office may have come up with an ingenious-enough solution to revolutionize road paving. Earlier this year, it unveiled the Astra Bridge, a 257-meter-long mobile bridge that allows traffic to pass over sections of road while infrastructure is being repaired below. It’s such a simple concept that it almost makes you wonder why engineers took so long to invent it, but there is a reason why the Astra Bridge is the first of its kind – it’s not as simple as it sounds.

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World First – Chinese Scientist Create Diamond Out of Red Peonies

In what has been described as a world first, Chinese scientists have created a 3-carat diamond exclusively out of carbon elements derived from red peonies.

The world’s first diamond made from peony-derived carbon elements was unveiled today in Luoyang, China’s Henan Province. It was donated to the Luoyang National Peony Garden by Luoyang Time Promise Co., a company that specializes in artificial diamonds. At the end of last month, the city’s peony garden agreed to supply the diamond company with the peonies necessary to create the unique diamond, including a nearly 50-year-old peony.

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Blonde Chocolate, a Delicious Treat Created by Mistake

Blonde chocolate has yet to reach the popularity of milk, dark, and white chocolate, but it is already recognized as one of the most ingenious variations of white chocolate ever created.

The history of blonde chocolate can be traced back to the year 2004 when French pastry chef Frederic Bau was busy showing off his skills during an exhibition in Japan. He apparently got so carried away during the show that he left his white chocolate melting in a bain-marie for four days. When he finally got back to it, the chocolate had become a pale brown and had a very distinct smell and flavor. Apart from its caramel-like color, this new confection had the milky smoothness of white chocolate, but also butterscotch, toffee, and shortbread-tasting notes, as well as a distinct aftertaste of roasted coffee. Frederic Bau quickly recognized the potential of his discovery, and blonde chocolate was born.

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Adaptive Glasses Switch from Sunglasses to Reading Glasses with a Simple Swipe of the Frame

32 Degrees North is an innovative pair of adaptive glasses created by Deep Optics that uses pixelated liquid crystal (LC) lenses and works as both protective eyewear and adaptive reading glasses.

Liquid eyeglass lenses have been around since 2017, but it was only recently that a company used the revolutionary invention to create a truly intriguing pair of eyeglasses that could theoretically become the only pair of glasses a person would need. That’s because the adaptive concept of the glasses allows the wearer to adjust their purpose with a single swipe of the frame. For stylish sunglasses, simply swipe backward on the right frame, and to put them into vision correction mode, you just swipe backward. Additionally, the lens power can be changed from 0 to 2.5 diopters, and the lightweight built-in battery offers up to 48 hours of power.

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World’s Lightest Handbag Is 99 Percent Air, Weighs Only 37 Grams

French fashion brand Coperni recently unveiled a unique version of its iconic Swipe bag made from the lightest solid material on Earth, aerogel. Named ‘Air Swipe’, the accessory weighs only 37 grams.

Every year, Coperni recreates its popular Swipe bag in a unique, thought-provoking way. Last year, they created a limited-edition “meteorite’ handbag hand-carved from a meteorite that fell on Earth thousands of years ago. That sounds pretty tough to beat, but this year’s project was even more ambitious. The French brand partnered with Greek researcher and visual artist Ioannis Michaloudis to create the lightest handbag in the world out of a revolutionary material called aerogel. This ultra-light material allowed Michaloudis to create a 27 by 16 by 6 centimeters handbag that weighs only 37 grams.

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Polish Mint Creates World’s First Levitating Coin

UFO MP-1766 is the world’s first levitating legal tender. It was commissioned by the Cameroon National Bank and created by Mennica Polska, the Polish Mint.

The name of this innovative coin was inspired by its likeness to a flying saucer and its ability to slowly rotate in the air like an alien spacecraft. The number 1766 reflects the founding date of the Polish Mint as well as the coin’s denomination, 1,766 Cameroonian francs ($2.91). As you can probably guess, although it can be used in Cameroon as legal tender, the value of this tiny wonder of engineering is considerably higher than its official denomination. With a limited mintage of only 510 units worldwide, the UFO MP-1766 has a pre-order price of over $1,000. The prototype coin was unveiled at last week’s Technical Forum in Berlin and will be available this upcoming spring.

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South-Korean Researchers Create Beef-Infused Super Rice

Scientists at South Korea’s Yonsei University have created a new type of hybrid rice that not only has a meaty pink color but is also packed with beef protein and fat cells.

Rice is already one of the most nutritious foods available in nature, but thanks to some scientific ‘magic’, it could soon become a viable, sustainable alternative to meat. A team of researchers at the Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, managed to create a rice hybrid laced with beef protein and fat cells. The new pink rice has 8 percent more protein and 7 percent more fat than regular rice, and while it doesn’t yet taste like beef, it does carry a “unique blend of aromas, including a slight nuttiness and umami which are characteristic of meat”. Thanks to the integrated animal cells, this new pink rice could one day become a complete meal by itself, ensuring a sufficient, sustainable food supply for the whole world.

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Chinese Scientists Create World’s First ‘AI Child’

A group of Chinese scientists claims to have created the world’s first ‘AI child’, an entity displaying behavior and capabilities similar to those of a three- or four-year-old human child.

Named Tong Tong or ‘Little Girl’, the world’s first AI child is considered a massive step in the direction of AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). Unveiled at the Frontiers of General Artificial Intelligence Technology Exhibition, the innovative AI model is reportedly capable of autonomous learning and may display a level of emotional engagement that has not been seen in AI development until now. According to her creators at the Beijing Institute for General Artificial Intelligence (BIGAI), Tong Tong continually improves her skills and knowledge through interaction with humans and exploration.

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Chinese Company Develops Tiny Atomic Battery That Lasts 50 Years And Doesn’t Require Recharging

Chinese company Betavolt recently unveiled its BV100 battery which is smaller than a coin in size but has a lifespan of around 50 years and doesn’t require recharging.

Atomic batteries aren’t new. Both the United States and the USSR produced such power units during the 1960s, but these nuclear batteries were large, dangerous, and expensive to make. Plutonium was used as the radioactive power source for the first atomic batteries, but science has come a long way since, and Betavolt’s revolutionary battery now relies on a much safer isotope, nickel-63, which decays to a stable isotope of copper. The diamond semiconductor material in the battery allows it to run stably in environments ranging from -60 to 120 degrees Celsius. Measuring just 15mm x 15mm x 5mm, the new Betavolt BV100 constantly generates electricity as the isotopes degrade, unlike conventional batteries which simply store energy.

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Newspaper-Powered Rice Cooker Proves Invaluable during Earthquake

An ingenious rice cooker designed to be used with rolled newspaper instead of gas or electricity has proven surprisingly useful during the recent earthquake that hit Japan.

The Tiger KMD-A100, aka ‘Tiger Kamado’ used to be ridiculed by people who simply didn’t believe in the premise that you could cook soft, fluffy rice with only a few newspaper pages as a power source. But the Japanese don’t mess around when it comes to rice, and the earthquake that rocked Japan on January 1st proved just how efficient and effective the ingenious Tiger Kamado could be. A Japanese man from the earthquake-affected Noto Peninsula recently took to X (Twitter) to praise the rice cooker his family had scolded him for buying last summer, claiming that it provided them all with hot meals at a time when gas and electricity were not available.

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ChecKEY II – An Ingenious Key Accessory That Lets You Check if You Locked Your Door

Don’t you hate it when you can’t remember if you locked the front door when you last left your home? It’s a dreadful feeling that you don’t have to experience again thanks to a cool little accessory called CheckKEY.

Developed by Japanese lock manufacturer company Miwa, the ChecKEY is a sleeve-like accessory that goes over the top part of your regular key and features a small window that indicates whether you locked your door or not. The ChecKEY comes with a built-in mechanism that detects when you turn the key clockwise or counterclockwise and changes color accordingly. When you turn the key into a lock clockwise, the little window on the ChecKEY turns white, and when you turn it counterclockwise, it turns orange. The mechanism is entirely mechanical, so it never runs out of batteries. This way, when in doubt, you can just look at your key and tell if you really locked your door on your way out.

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The Crow Buster – A Translucent Piece of Plastic That Keeps Crows at Bay

A Japanese company that has been developing crow repellants for 15 years claims that its Crow Buster, a translucent piece of yellow plastic, is more effective than any scarecrow.

Crows are auspicious omens in Japanese culture, but in day-to-day life, they can be quite pesky pests. Notoriously intelligent and highly adapted to both rural and urban environments, crows have been known to cause serious damage to fruit and vegetable farms, rummage through garbage in search of food, and attack smaller birds, animals, or even humans, if they perceive them as threats. Because of their higher-than-average bird intellect and excellent memory, crows can be very tough to deal with, so even the most realistic of scarecrows may prove ineffective. However, one Japanese company claims that all you need to keep crows at pay is its surprisingly simple Crow Buster.

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