Remote control brake keeps young cyclists safe when biking near busy streets

Nifty gadget is easy to add on to the rear tire of bike

If you’re a parent of a young cyclist, then you’ve probably had – at the very least – half a million heart attacks while watching them ride in the street. To ease the parent’s trouble mind, a group of investors have developed a pretty cool, unique way to control the little biker: a remote-control bike brake.

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Referred to as the “MiniBrake”, this smart little gadget is fitted to the rear of the bike’s frame right above the tire. Its remote control has a range of just a little over 160 feet and when a parent becomes worried that their two-wheeling tot is going too fast or coming too close to an intersection, they simply push the remote control’s button and the MiniBrake clamps down on the tire.

Now while one might envision this brake causing the child to come to a screeching hault, whereupon they’re flipped head over the handlebars, the stopping motion happens over a distance of about 20 inches, so it’s fairly gentle, and gives the rider a chance to put his / her feet on the ground.

Worth noting: if MiniBrake detects the bike is broken or has a flat tire, the brake automatically applies till it gets fixed.

The device’s battery has a couple hours of charge to it, and shuts off when not in use; LEDs indicate how much charge is left, letting the user know when it needs a boost-up.

Right now, the device is on Indiegogo trying to secure funds to go into production. Being the supporters of all things cycling-related, we encourage you to check it out.

Watch kids try and figure out what a Walkman is

Funny video shows just how much technology has advanced in recent years

Ready to feel super old? Check out the clip below “Kids react to walkmans”, aka: portable cassette players, which were first introduced to the market in 1979, and turn 35 years old this year.

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Put together by the very funny “TheFineBros” team, the video runs about 7 and a half minutes long, and features children aged 6 thru 13 (so they weren’t alive in the 1990’s) as they’re interviewed about a black brick-like object that somehow plays music. It’s as much amusing as it is sad in the sense that, if you remember using these things, you suddenly realize just how old you really are.

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“I feel like I’m Indiana Jones or something,” one kid said after getting the cassette inside the device.

Hahaha . . . snifflesniffle . . . hahaha . . . sobsob.

Briefcase scooter makes commuting to work a breeze

Electric cycle-esque scooter also holds on to all of your important work documents

If you live in any sort of over-crowded metropolitan area, commuting can be a real drag, especially when you have to try and make it through crowds while carrying a bag or suitcase of all your important work documents.

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The new Commute-Case from Green Energy Motors tries to solve both problems. It’s a suit case, sure, but it’s also a scooter.

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The Commute-Case is powered by a lithium-ion battery that takes about an hour to charge, but once it’s all juiced up, it can run you a solid 25 miles. That kind of technology’s not light, though. Weighing it at a somewhat hefty 27 pounds, the Commute-Case is a bit heavier than your typical suitcase. But if you’re packing on weight from the muscle you’re gaining while carrying this contraption around, you needn’t worry if the case can still carry you – it can actually support a weight of 275 pounds, while still achieving top speeds of about 13mph.

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It might seem like the kind of technology that’s still a few years away from being available to the average owner, but believe it or not, the Commute-Case is already available on the company’s website for just under $3,000.

If you’re like me and can’t afford something like this, then take in all of its glorious technological wonders in the preview clip below, while you’re waiting for your bus to come pick you up:

Now you can play music off your tattoo

Visual artist takes body modification to a whole new level

Tattoos are all about self-expression, and some times, that message gets a bit lost.

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(We love to customize our Bluetooth portable speakers, and are big fans of individual expression, but you have to have gone “WTF” when look at at least one of these.)

Russian visual artist Dmitry Moroz has seemingly solved this conundrum for the misinkerpreted, with his project “Reading my Body”. Using rail-mounted sensors that traverse across his arm, the device reads “notes” off a barcode-like tattoo, and plays sounds based on the data it picks up.

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The device is also equipped with a 3-dimensional Wii remote controller, which uses OSC protocol in order to give the user additional expression by moving one’s hand in space.

Worth noting: the sensors can either move on their own or be controlled manually, meaning each tattoo isn’t limited to one song, and one song only.

As Moroz explains on his Vimeo page, the point of this project is to “represent the artist and his instrument as a creative hybrid.”

Pretty cool concept. Take a listen for yourself below:

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How to power an FM radio using moss

If you love listening to music as much as you love this green Earth, then you’re going to be head over heels for this project.

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A British biochemist and a product designer worked together to build an FM radio powered by biological solar panels that incorporate moss.

In layman’s terms—it’s a radio powered by a plant.

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University of Cambridge biochemist Paolo Bombelli collaborated with London-based product designer Fabienne Felder to develop Moss FM. They say that in addition to their technology being the first plant-powered radio, it’s also the first functional moss-powered device that requires more electricity than an LCD screen.

“Moss FM is a biological solar panel,” said Bombelli in an interview with BBC Radio 4. “In the same way that the solar panels harnesses the energy of light and delivers electrical power, Moss FM it does it by using biological material.”

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While it might look like an elementary school science project, the device is actually a bit complicated. A frame holds 10 moss pots which are all connected to form, more or less, a “photo microbial fuel cell”. The biochemical process that takes place in this fuel cell harnesses the electrons and protons produced by the photosynthesizing plants, and turns them into electrical current.

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At the moment, the moss plants generate a potential of more than 4.5 volts The first time the radio powered up, it was able to play for a full 80 seconds. While moss was chosen because it’s cheap and easy on the eyes, the bio-radio duo said that other plants and algae can be used. They plan on exploring this, and also seeing if they can increase the amount of power generated.

See the radio in action below: