Wednesday, 31 July 2013

galaxy s4

Samsung has launched a smartphone which allows users to control its 5in (12.5cm) screen using only their eyes.
The Galaxy S4 follows on from last year's S3, a product that sold over 40 million units worldwide.
The device was unveiled at a lavish, Broadway-themed event in New York.
Technology analyst Carolina Milanesi, from Gartner, said the key to its success would be whether its novel features would be of use on a daily basis.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Ten Benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a portal in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.

Search engine optimization and promotion is challenging at best. It's not just a simple matter of adding a few tags that contain your important keywords. It is an art-and-a science-since it is applying creative techniques to an in-dept study of the search engines,directories, etc.


1. The Results are Low Cost (In Comparison to Adwords and PPC)

Organic listings are essentially free. When you are listed at the top, you don’t need to pay per click or allocate a budget for advertising, one of the main benefits of SEO is that it is the gift that keeps on giving. With a little bit of effort (and some money upfront to pay for SEO costs) you can watch your website get consistent traffic. You don’t have to pay $10 for every person who clicks on your ad. Unlike paid ads, your traffic will not drop to nothing when it stops. SEO gets rid of the need to have thousands of ads across the web.

2. Definite Increase in Traffic

With Analytics and reporting tools, you’ll see a clear cut increase in traffic. This is a definite way to maximize your business efforts. SEO will give you results (not immediately but rather quickly) and as soon as you start your SEO efforts, traffic will increase at a steady rate. Using tools to track traffic to your site you can clearly watch as more people visit your site and sales go through the roof.

3. Higher Brand Credibility, People Trust Google

People trust that the first listing in google is a reputable company, by doing SEO, your website becomes THE brand name. You’re the guy the competitors want to beat. The further back you are in rankings on Google the more people are skeptical about your website. If google has a spot dedicated to you at the top especially if it is a top tier listing with other subpages listed below the main home page it gives your website credibility that no ad can top. Ads can often be seen as annoying and many people have ad blockers installed on their browsers.

4. Better ROI (Return on Investment) Than Normal Ads

When you buy 1000 visitors from a paid ad, 2% of those visitors might convert into a sale. When you get 1000 clicks from SEO, 4% of those visitors will convert into a sale, leading to a better return on investment. This higher conversion rate is just another one of the benefits of SEO that cannot be matched by any other form of marketing. Google searches actually get people who searched for the tag in your website. These people are actually looking for your product. Ads can be from anyone. Many people may misclick on an ad. A hit from google is much more valuable over a hit from an ad.

5. Your Competitors Are Doing It

SEO is a rising field and it is gaining ground. More people are starting to realize that the benefits of SEO are extremely high. Your competitors know this and are starting to take advantage of it. If your competitors are using it then they will appear before you on Google and get all those hits that can lead to sales before your website will. Even if your site offers better services or prices. Hiring a better SEO company or investing in a skilled SEO Staff could be exactly what your company needs to rank above your competitors in the Google rankings.

6. Take Your Business to the Next Level

SEO can bring it thousands upon thousands of visitors to your website a day. This may put your company in a position of needing to expand to a larger web server to accommodate the traffic and sales to your website. Your customers may recommend you a product or service that they were looking for when they visited your website. SEO is a really great investment for your company and could be what you need to take it to the next level.

7. 250 Million websites on the web, SEO makes you stand out

There are well over 250 million websites on the web. It can be pretty hard to make a name for yourself with that many out there. Especially if your product or service is highly competitive. Using SEO will make your brand stand out from the rest and can easily be the boost that you need to see your sales go through the roof.

8. 60% Of Clicks Go to the First Result

This means that only 40% of clicks are left for the second through the millionth result on google for the keyword. Securing that top spot on Google is a sure fire way to gain thousands upon thousands of visitors. SEO is certainly the tool needed to gain that top spot as well. For a small up front investment you are looking at potentially millions of sales.

9. You’ll Have Access to Data

What data you may ask? You get customer data. You can discover new products to expand to by looking at keyword data and seeing what people are searching the most for. You can use this to your advantage and find a high search volume keyword with low competitiveness and although that may be hard to find it has the potential to bring in thousands of sales per month to your website. Customer data is extremely valuable in this business and is not that hard to come by with the right tools. Manipulating it to your advantage can be exponentially beneficial for your business.

10. The Results are Permanent

Unlike advertisements the affects of SEO are permanent. They don’t suddenly stop if you stop paying for them. Of course you will need a little upkeep to maintain that top 1st spot ranking, but if you can get that top spot chances are it will be quite difficult for it to get taken away.

Starting a Blog

1. Navigate to Blogger. If you have a Google account, then log in. If you don't have a Google account, click on the red "Sign Up" button in the top right corner and register for a Google account.

2. Click the "New Blog" button.

3. Fill in your blog name and your desired blog address.

o  You can choose a template from the options on the screen, or you can choose a template later if you want to see more options.
o  Click the orange "Create Blog!" button.

4. Select the "Start blogging" link.

5. Enter your title and your text. When you're done, click "Publish."

Launching a Blog on WordPress

1. Point your browser to WordPress at Click on the "Get Started" link.

2. Fill out the online form. In the last field, type the proposed web address for your blog.

o  The host will do a quick lookup to see if the name appears on their system already. If your desired name is taken, WordPress will display a series of available alternatives. You can choose 1 of those options or try a different domain name until you find something that works.
o  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Create Blog."

3. Wait for your confirmation email. When it arrives, click the link and then sign into WordPress with your username and password.

4. Choose a Theme for your blog. Your Theme determines the layout and appearance of your blog. You can either search for themes after clicking on the "Find a Theme" button or you can browse Themes based on criteria like what's trending or what's most popular.

5. Click on the Theme you want and fill in the fields on the General Settings screen. If you want to, you can upload a photo of yourself by clicking the "Choose File" button in the gray "Blog Picture/Icon" box.

6. Decide whether you want your blog to be private or public. Do you want any Internet visitor to be able to read your blog, or do you just want your friends and family to be able to read it? Pick the appropriate setting by clicking on the "Reading" link beneath the "Settings" tab.

7. Write your first post. Click the "New Post" tab and enter your title and the body of your blog. You can also add photos, videos or links by using the appropriate buttons. When you're done, click "Publish Post."

Promoting Your Blog

1. Use social media to connect people to your blog. You can promote your blog on your personal social media accounts or on your business accounts.

o  Most blog hosting sites will automatically publish a link to your newest blog post on Facebook or Twitter. Look for sharing settings or buttons when you publish your post. For instance, WordPress lets you control sharing by going to your Dashboard and clicking "Sharing" under the "Settings" tab. Blogger has social media buttons on the bottom of your post for sharing.
o  Add buttons to your posts. Your readers can click these ready-made buttons to share your blog on their Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or other accounts.

2. Write something about yourself. Add an "About Me" page on WordPress or click "Layout" and then "Edit" under "About Me" on Blogger. Promote your expertise related to your topic as well as including any personal information or background information that you want to share.

3. List your blog to draw traffic. You can add a Blogger site to Blogger's listings You can also list your blog with directories like Technorati or Blogdex.

creating a newsletter

Just discovered an easy way of creating newsletters using free templates from websites like campaign monitor. Its a user friendly website, just visit the web and follow the instructions. If you need any assistance, im just a comment away

Convert an existing form into a fillable PDF form

Easily convert forms to fillable PDF forms from paper or existing electronic files, such as Microsoft Word files. Automatically recognize and convert static fields to fillable ones with a form wizard.

1. At the top right in Acrobat, click the Tools pane. 

2. Open the Forms panel. Click Create.

3. Select Existing Document and click Next. 

4. Choose one of the following options.

Use the current document or choose another file

• If using a different document, browse to the file and click Continue.

Scan a paper form and convert it into a PDF fill-able form

• Click Continue. Select the scanner and a color mode. Follow the instructions for your scanner to scan the form.

• After each page,Acrobat asks if the scan is complete or if you need to scan more pages.

5. Acrobat analyzes the document and adds interactive form fields. Inspect the form fields list in the Fields panel. You use the form names when collecting and analyzing data, so make sure that each name is unique and descriptive. To change a field name, double click and type the desired name in the General tab. Click close.

6. To edit fields, select the field and click Edit Fields in the Tasks panel. You can also add fields.

7. At the top of the Forms Editing toolbar, click Preview (This button toggles between Edit and Preview.) to display the form as a recipient will see it and to test form behavior. 

To return to editing mode, click Edit.

8. When finished, at the top right in Acrobat, click the Close Form Editing button. Save your PDF form.

Tip: To learn how to create a form from scratch or template, see Create a form from scratch or a template in Acrobat XI Pro.

Tip: To distribute your form and analyze responses, see Distribute PDF forms and analyze responses

Monday, 22 July 2013

Single Wheel Electric Scooter

RYNO motors has developed a single wheel Electric Scooter self-balancing and it runs on electricity.
It’s weighs only 57-kg, On one charge the scooter can reaches speeds of 25-mph. The Scooter takes around 90 minutes to fully charge the device.  The RYNO electric scooter that is seemingly impossible to fall off and we can be parked it anywhere, free of charge. The concept of the scooter is a bit like a Segway. The video below shows that’s a fully working concept.

RYNO Motor

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Ellie the virtual therapist

A virtual 'robot' therapist is being developed in the U.S. by psychologist Albert "Skip" Rizzo and computer scientist Louis-Philippe Morency. Named Ellie, 'she' is an on-screen image from LA designed to ask questions of people in need of help, and to react just like a human - even down to the 'uh-huh's.

Talking to a virtual human about your troubles might seem strange, but her makers believe she could revolutionize the way mental health is practiced. So what makes her so special? As Ellie gently probes you for information, every answer you give is watched and studied in minute detail by a simple gaming sensor and a webcam. Your body language and tone of voice is recorded and analyzed by the computer system, which then tells Ellie how to best interact with you. 

As reported on the NPR website: "We have recorded more than 200 of these uh-huhs," Morency says, "and these are so powerful. Because a simple 'uh-huh' and a silence — if they are done the right way — can be extremely powerful. So we spent a lot of time on these little details."
What computers [like Ellie] offer is the ability to look at massive amounts of data and begin to look at patterns, and that, I think, far outstrips the mere mortal brain

Skip Rizzo

Its developers believe Ellie will be useful when treating people who find it difficult to open up. As the NPR reports:
"Ellie was originally commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense. [...] Soldiers don't always like to confess that they're having problems, but maybe their bodies would say what their words wouldn't."
"Skip" Rizzo thinks that the virtual could do better than the human, eventually. "What computers [like Ellie] offer is the ability to look at massive amounts of data and begin to look at patterns, and that, I think, far outstrips the mere mortal brain," he says.
What do you think? Would you rather have a brilliant robot therapist than a flawed human?

Saturday, 20 July 2013


What is the HIRIKO project?

Hiriko is a fold-able  electric car developed by Hiroko Driving Mobility. The electric car is the commercial implementation of the CityCar project developed by MIT since 2003.The name Hiriko comes from the Basque word for "urban" or "from the city".
Sales of this car is to begin  by 2014 at cost  US $16,500 plus battery leasing fee. It can travel for 120 km before recharging and weighs 500 kg

Friday, 19 July 2013

technology in 2019

Meeet Romo, The Adorable Robot, Bringing 'Toy Story' To Real Life

Robot suit

japan robot suit


japan robot suit

If you have watched movies like Iron man and GI Joe, you remember that the stars wore a suit that sets them on edge, makes the stronger and able to accomplish a task. This is not just a science fiction, it is now real at least in Japan. 

A robot suit that can help the elderly or disabled get around was given its global safety certificate in Japan on the 27th of February this year, paving the way for its worldwide rollout.

The Hybrid Assistive Limb, or HAL, is a power-assisted pair of legs developed by Japanese robot-maker Cyberdyne, which has also developed similar robot arms.

A quality assurance body issued the certificate based on a draft version of an international safety standard for personal robots that is expected to be approved later this year, the ministry for the economy, trade and industry said.

The metal-and-plastic exoskeleton has become the first nursing-care robot certified under the draft standard, a ministry official said.

Battery-powered HAL, which detects muscle impulses to anticipate and support the user's body movements, is designed to help the elderly with mobility or help hospital or nursing carer-givers to lift patients.

Cyberdyne, based in Tsukuba, northeast of Tokyo, has so far leased some 330 suits to 150 hospitals, welfare and other facilities in Japan since 2010, at 178,000 yen ($1,950) per suit per year.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

10 Early Warning Signs of Computer Disaster

warning signs of computer disaster     Computers rarely stop working overnight. In most cases, there are early warning signs that problems are brewing. Below are 10 surefire signs that you need to get a professional to investigate your network ASAP:
1. Your workstation or server starts running very slowly, freezes up, or crashes.
2. Your web browser has been changed to another strange browser you’ve never seen before.
3. You are getting an unusual amount of pop-up windows, even when you aren’t surfing the web.
4. You don’t know if every computer on your network has the most current virus definitions.
5. You don’t know if you have a firewall in place or the last time it was updated.
6. You haven’t attempted to restore your data from a backup tape or other storage device in awhile, and you aren’t checking your backup log for errors.
7. You receive e-mails accusing you of sending spam, and/or you find e-mail messages in your “outbox” or “sent” folder that you didn’t send.
8. Your computer starts making a grinding, clicking, or loud whirring sound.
9. The fan is constantly running.
10. You are getting a growing number of error messages, and you are forced to create work-arounds to complete certain work tasks.
If any of these signs are present, you should contact a pro immediately to investigate further!
The old saying of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is especially true in the world of computers and all things digital; and if you are like most businesses, your computer network is critical to the operation of your business so make sure you don’t procrastinate if any of these signs are present.
Ideally, you should perform regular health checks and maintenance on your network to make sure problems don’t crop up. Here’s why:
· Critical security updates need to be applied at least once a month to protect you from a constant flow of new hacker attacks.
· Servers and workstations need regular tune-ups to keep them running fast and error free.
· Monitoring of disk space is important to avoid data loss, crashes, and storage problems.
· Server event logs need to be monitored for early alerts to network issues.
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is taking a reactive approach to network support and maintenance rather than a proactive one. This approach not only costs more in the long run, but it also leaves you vulnerable to more devastating crashes.  If you aren’t positive, contact a professional to make sure your computers are up to snuff.

steps to a healthy pc

Your computer is probably the single most important piece of equipment in  your business. When it’s not working properly, your entire business slows, employee productivity dips, customers aren’t served–or aren’t served  properly–and partners get frustrated. If you’re ignoring your computer’s  maintenance and upkeep, you could find yourself in trouble someday.
The good news is, maintaining your computer’s health doesn’t have to involve much time or many resources. Here are seven things to consider that will help  you take better care of your computer:
Computer Health
1. Think before you install. So many times I’m told that someone’s computer isn’t working properly only to discover they’ve downloaded several programs from the internet or from a CD of a friend. Installing software on your computer will take up space on your hard drive, which will eventually slow your computer down. These random programs could also be an open door for viruses and cause other programs to crash. So install as few programs as possible on your computer. If you can, use a second computer to “play with” and test programs you’re thinking of using company-wide.
2. Install the right software. Ensuring your computer is protected  from digital vandals is critical if you want to keep information safe. It’s therefore important that you install both an antivirus program and a firewall  software program. These two critical pieces of software, which you should update on a regular basis, will serve as a wall of protection for your computer.
3. Update your operating system. Microsoft Windows is the software you’re most likely using to power your computer programs and control how your computer operates. It’s critical that you update Microsoft Windows on a regular basis by going to the “Windows Update” website to automatically update your operating system.
4. Dump what you don’t need. Every few months you should regularly inventory your computer to find and delete the programs you don’t really need. These unused or unnecessary programs take up valuable hard drive space, and if you’re not using them, you should remove them from your computer via the ”Add/Remove” programs option in your control panel.
5. Defragment your hard drive. Your hard drive is one of the hardest-working parts of your computer-you’re using it all the time, every day (whether you realize it or not) to access the programs you use and store the  files you create. But the hard drive doesn’t save the files in any particular  order; instead, it uses the first empty space it encounters (space that’s  created when you delete files). So the pieces of data become scattered around  the hard drive, making it slower for you to access the data stored there. That’s  why it’s critical to defrag your hard drive on a regular basis to keep things  running as quickly as possible. Do it monthly if you’re a “light” computer user  and weekly if you’re a power user.
6. Keep things clean. I’ve seen offices where people have paper and stickies all over their computers, covering up the air vents. To help ensure  your computer runs smoothly, don’t cover the air vents-you need to keep the internal components as cool as possible. You should also vacuum your computer every few months to clean out the dust that accumulates.
7. Security is important. When things do go wrong, you want to be  prepared. Therefore, its important to always backup your important data. You can  back it up online, to an external hard drive or to a central server, or you can  place the data on CD-ROMs or DVDs. Whatever method you choose, make sure to back  it up on a regular basis so that if your computer crashes, you can easily  recover your important data.

NASA Flaunts Design for 2020 Mars Rover

Last December, NASA officially announced that it was planning to send a robotic rover to Mars in 2020 as a follow-up to Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity. Obviously, we're pretty damn excited. On the 9th of July this year, JPL released some details about what they've been working on, and the plans that the Mars 2020 Science Definition Team has for their fancy new rover.
The Mars 2020 Rover is designed to be a follow-up to Curiosity, with a mission targeted at searching for and identifying signs of past (microbial) life:
It's no coincidence that the Mars 2020 rover looks a lot like Curiosity. The Mars 2020 Rover (I'm just going to go ahead and start calling it M2020) is based entirely on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity class" platform, and the primary differences are going to be in the science payload. The biggest difference that you can spot in the above artistic rendering is the absence of the butt-mounted radioisotope thermoelectric generator, but JPL will likely fly another one on M2020, it's just not for sure yet (and other power sources, including solar, are under consideration). 
Here's where we'll be seeing the primary differences between MSL and M2020:

And here's what's probably going in all of those spots, with specific instrumentation open to proposal:

One of the highlights of M2020 is definitely going to be the drill and sample cache system. The idea is that the rover will take 31 different rock samples on the surface of Mars, seal them up, and then store them for later retrieval, maybe in the late 2020s or 2030s.
So far there's no speculation on just HOW these rocks would be retrieved back to Earth, but we're assuming it would be with robots, 'cause humans likely won't be on Mars until a bit later than that.

"The other important aspect of the Mars 2020 mission is the landing, and it sounds like it's going to be another harrowing skycrane adventure, albeit with updated instrumentation that should allow for a much smaller landing target. Between you and me, I'm still amazed that that whole crazy system managed to work flawlessly, and I'm already worried that pushing for two in a row is just a little bit optimistic. But either way, we're already planning to camp out at JPL to see all of this happen, and mark your calendars for the M2020 landing in either January or March 2021" Evan Ackerman said.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

humanoid robots

X-47B Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)

Check out the video for this Robotic air plane


Netherlands Builds Nationwide EV Fast-Charging Network

Range anxiety is real for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. But it will soon be a thing of the past for EV owners in the Netherlands.
Fastned, a Dutch electric vehicle charging network company, has chosen ABB to provide more than 200 DC fast-charging stations that will blanket the country of more than 16 million people. The chargers will all be within 50 kilometers of each other.
It is not surprising that Fastned chose ABB to provide the charging stations, since the Fastend founders worked at a Dutch EV charging company called Epyon B.V., which was acquired by ABB in 2011.
The network will be the world’s largest nationwide fast-charging system to-date. The multi-standard chargers will bypass the standards war that is going on in DC fast charging by offering both Japan’s CHAdeMO and the Combined Charging System (CCS) from the Society of Automotive Engineers.  The average charge will take 15-30 minutes wiith a 50-kilowatt charger. The entire network should be built by 2015. Every station, which will be next to already-existing service stations on the highway, will be equipped with solar roof tiles.  
“This countrywide network of locations will lay the basis for the commercially viable development of e-mobility,” Bart Lubbers, one of Fastned’s founders, said in a statement. “I foresee a race towards faster charging and larger batteries throughout the car industry.”
Of course faster charging means more strain on the electrical grid, so local utilities have to be on board for charging stations. In the U.S. for example, Walgreens installed more than 800 EV charging stations at its stores, but only a fraction of them could be DC fast chargers because in many store locations the power infrastructure could not support the chargers.
For nations or states that are bullish about electric vehicle networks, however, utilities will increasingly have to comply. California is also building a $122 million network of about 200 DC fast chargers and laying the groundwork for up to 10,000 240-volt level 2 chargers, which will be deployed by NRG Energy.

If a true statewide charging network is built across California, it would dwarf the system in the Netherlands, which is a little bigger than Maryland. A superhighway across the entire U.S. is even more elusive, although EV carmaker Tesla wants to do just that. Unlike the Fastned stations, however, they will be about every 130 to 160 kilometers, instead of every 50. And while the charging would be free on the Tesla network, which it won’t be in California or the Netherlands, it will only be available to owners of the Tesla Model S.

self driving car

Self-driving cars that allow drivers to take their hands and minds completely off the road won't come cheap if they go on sale in the next decade or two. But a Dutch and Israeli company called Mobileye envisions its relatively inexpensive driver assistance technology becoming widespread by 2016.
Mobileye has raised $400 million to back its development of semi-autonomous driving technology in partnership with automakers such as General Motors, BMW, and Volvo. The company, valued at $1.5 billion, aims to deploy technology that can take over for drivers during stop-and-go traffic or handle long stretches of highway driving—features that won't cost nearly as much as Google's famous self-driving cars, according to the New York Times:
"In some ways, the goal is not dissimilar to the already famous Google driverless cars, though the search giant’s systems allow for completely hands-off driving. But Mobileye is aiming to get most of the functionality into cars for much less, with fewer cameras and computer equipment that cost hundreds of dollars, rather than the tens of thousand of dollars that Google’s array of sensors is estimated to cost at the moment."
The existing Mobileye technology can already alert drivers to road dangersand automatically brake when necessary. Future features scheduled for deployment in 2016 include the ability to read traffic and street signs or help cars automatically keep their distance from other vehicles, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Over three million cars will have used Mobileye's technology by the end of this year, says Ziv Aviram, co-founder and CEO of Mobileye, in the New York Times story. He added that fully driverless vehicles would likely not become practical for another 15 or 20 years.
The gradual roll out of smart car technologies makes sense for Mobileye and many other companies: why wait on the fully autonomous car package when driver assistance technologies already exist? But don't count Google out for being obsessed with the self-driving car concept just like in my previous article. The U.S. internet giant is well positioned to profit from the rise of smart cars—a $200 billion opportunity—by the end of the decade, says Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray.

atlas robot

This imposing humanoid machine will be used in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC), which aims to develop robotics hardware and software that can be used to handle extreme emergencies, such as an accident at a nuclear power plant. This is a video which includes interviews with some of the key figures and team members involved in the DRC.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Honda asimo be amazed

ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, is a humanoid robot designed and developed by Honda. Introduced on 21 October 2000, ASIMO was designed to be a multi-functional mobile assistant. With aspirations of helping those who lack full mobility, ASIMO is frequently used in demonstrations across the world to encourage the study of science and mathematics. At 130 cm (4 feet, 3 inches) tall and 54 kg (119 lbs), ASIMO was designed to operate in real-world environments, with the ability to walk or run on two feet at speeds of up to 6 kilometres per hour (3.7 mph). In the USA, ASIMO is part of the Innoventions attraction at Disneyland and has been featured in a 15-minute show called "Say 'Hello' to Honda's ASIMO" since June 2005. The robot has made public appearances around the world, including the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), theMiraikan Museum and Honda Collection Hall in Japan, and the Ars Electronica festival in Austria.

A robot suitcase


If you love travelling and you are keenly interested, what the future travel accessories will look like, imagine a suitcase that follows you at a permanent distance during your journey. The Hop is a new prototype suitcase, which has receivers that communicate with your smartphone to keep your luggage rolling along with you — hands free. A microcontroller counts the suitcase’s position relative to the phone, and keeps the case moving on its caterpillar tracks based on compressed air.In case the signal is lost the suitcase locks itself and a vibration is sent via the phone to alert the user. It is possible to program the bags to follow one another or to be controlled together by any staff, handling your luggage.


Before "Surface" referred to a line of tablets, it was the name of Microsoft's massively multitouch platform, used on the $8,400 Samsung SUR40 LCD table. Microsoft has now acknowledged this: a small note at the bottom of the Surface page reads "Looking for the Samsung SUR40 with Microsoft Pixelsense? Visit" PixelSense was always the name of Microsoft's optical sensor for the SUR40, but now the company has removed the Surface branding altogether, even if the product page URL for PixelSense still reads "whatissurface.aspx."
Table-based Surface has been around since 2008, but at $12,500 its first hardware never saw wide adoption. Even the cheaper SUR40 is a bit of a white elephant. From what we've seen so far, the new Surface tablets don't share anything but touch capabilities with the original, so we're not sure yet if there's supposed to be a link between them. As some have noted, it could have been a way to develop branding without creating new pages that would be seen by prying eyes, or Microsoft could simply have decided it was too good a name to leave on a product far fewer people will ever use.

ThyssenKrup straight stairlift

Spark was commissioned by ThyssenKrup to develop the new Levant straight stairlift. In close collaboration with designers from ThyssenKrupp, Spark has been able to come up with a really well thought out design that opens up a global market.
The design team achieved significant savings on the production costs by drastically reducing the number of components and making use of mass production techniques. For instance, all the exterior parts are plastic. Producing these parts in sufficient numbers delivers big cost savings. A similar specialist product can only achieve these kinds of returns through global sales.
To be able to put the Stairlift on the worldwide market, the design had to conform to a wide range of very specific standards and requirements. These vary considerably just between Europe and the United States, where there are different requirements that are in certain respects almost contradictory.

delipresso expresso machine

Spark and Veromatic have combined traditional espresso-making with an appealing design to create the Delispresso - an attractive and user-friendly espresso machine for the professional market. The eye-catching glass front curves (or bows) gracefully outwards and has LED lighting, which, in every possible color  subtly and chicly decorates the background. The illuminated screen can be adapted with a image that suits the house-style of the purchaser. Simple and safe to use Usability is paramount. The coffee, made from freshly-ground beans, flows in a variety of combinations with milk, sugar and cocoa from the specially developed Veromatic brewer. 

Strength, taste and quantity are set intuitively via the bilingual touch screen. Sensors under two spouts ensure that, after the beverage choice has been made, the cup is put in the right place. If misplaced, a graphic indicator appears on the touch screen, which also flashes an LED signal above the correct dispensing position. This technology is not only convenient, it also prevents waste and injury. The latter may occur if a user holds the cup while the hot coffee or tea flows out of the spout. Waste is also eliminated because the height of the spouts is automatically adjusted to the chosen beverage.

Rescue tip board

The fire service is constantly innovating, both in the technical and in the social areas.
Design a solution for the Dutch fire service that guarantees a safe rescue up to 200 metres from shore’. This was the task that the Haaglanden Safety Region came calling on Spark design & innovation with. 
In response, Spark has developed a progressive solution, the Rescue Tip-Board: a fully inflatable life-raft for rescue workers. HONOR Safety & Consultancy played an advisory role in the development process in relation to the safety aspects.
Rescue workers can reach a drowning victim quickly with the inflatable life-raft and provide effective assistance. This increases the chances of survival for the drowning person significantly.

The Rescue Tip-Board is an ergonomic tool that allows rescue workers to pluck drowning victims from shallow water without having to use excessive force. By standing on the back of the raft, the craft tilts. The rescue worker can then easily haul the drowning person out of the water and on board the life-raft by simply holding onto the victim and leaning backwards. In this way, manhandling is reduced to a minimum.

The innovative life-raft is inflated with a compressed air cylinder that is coupled to the craft. The life-raft is towed with the Seabob, a powerful electric jetski. During the design process, various prototypes were developed and tested by the fire service. An earlier version of the life-raft used a polyester board with inflatable edges, but, in the end, it was decided that the final design should be completely inflatable. This has the advantage of making the raft lighter, more compact, easier to fold up and transport and it is cheaper. A valuable addition is the handy storage bag that can be carried on the back.

pal v a car that morphs into a helicopter




For a hundred years, designers and engineers have been dreaming of the ‘flying car’. Countless prototypes have been developed, including cars with wing attachments. Until now without technical or commercial success. Spark and PAL-V Europe NV, however, are on the brink of realizing this dream with the PAL-V: an innovative new vehicle that drives like a car and flies like a gyrocopter.

PAL-V means the long-awaited technical and commercial breakthrough for the flying car. As a result of the right technical choices, the vehicle performs just as well on the road as it does in the air and it can be quickly and simply converted from drive- to fly-mode. A driving and flying prototype of the PAL-V has already been developed and tested extensively.

Robert Barnhoorn (Director Spark) and promoter John Bakker have shared the same dream since 1999: to develop a car that can fly. They decided to collaborate and to work together to investigate the feasibility of such a vehicle and to develop a concept. Much has been achieved since then: a consortium of entrepreneurs has embraced the idea and invested in the product. The Ministries of Economic Affairs and of the Infrastructure and Environment are supporting the plan to build short take-off and landing runways alongside motorways in the future; so-called PAL-V ports.

Spark has been busy with the (concept) development of ground-breaking hybrid vehicles for more than 18 years. Examples include an electric amphibious vehicle and the Carver One, a three-wheeler vehicle with the tilting sensation of a motorbike and the comfort and safety of a car. The application of existing knowledge and technology makes the concept of the PAL-V both financially and technically viable. The PAL-V meets the most stringent certification requirements of RDW en ILT (formerly IVW). Because it makes use of the lower atmosphere (under 1200 metres), below the busy commercial flight paths, it can be flown under VFR conditions.

Spark and PAL-V worked very pragmatically to develop a flying car without the major shortcomings of previous concepts. Many of the older designs had to compromise a great deal in terms of good driving qualities in order to be able to fly or vice versa. And, they usually made use of wing attachments or propellers that had to be stored at the airfield, or transported in a trailer. Spark developed the basic concept for PAL-V,  the rotor control system, the rotor mast with the righting mechanism. This includes a number of support systems such as the prerotator, the brakes, the trim and the righting cylinder. Spark has also made a significant contribution to the exterior design en has made the visualizations of the exterior.

The Carver was chosen as the basis for driving the PAL-V. It steers like a car and in the corners leans like a motorbike. The slim, lightweight cab, with two seats placed one in front of the other has minimal drag and takes up little room on the road. The rotor folds up and sits on the roof. The patented hydromechanic tilting mechanism - the Dynamic Vehicle Control (DVC) system – from Carver Engineering delivers unprecedented stability on the road.

The renowned autogyro technology was chosen from all the known flight principles. This technology is not too complex, relatively simple to steer, safe and reliable. A fold-able propeller shaft behind the vehicle ensures that the forward speed, which drives the main rotor, generates aerodynamic lift. Converting from drive- to flight-mode is fundamentally simple: hydraulically raise the mast that holds the tail section, release the rotor and the PAL-V is ready to take-off. The DVC tilting mechanism compensates for the relatively high center of gravity, caused by the rotor on the roof and the tail section.

The flying car is ideal for, among other things, professional use by both business people and as an ambulance or police vehicle and for use in areas with minimal transport infrastructure. The vehicle drives as comfortably and economically on the road as a car. You can take off in an instant from any existing airport or airstrip. In this way, people can avoid traffic jams or other obstacles and achieve long distances faster.

vacuum robot


There are those of us who clean once a week, and there are those of us who clean when the in-laws come to visit. The appeal of the robotic vacuum reaches both camps: Either way, the house is a bit more spotless with minimal human input.

Today's robotic vacuums are a far cry from the first models that you had to track down, stranded somewhere in your house, by their melancholy, "I'm out of power" beeping. The latest products clean your house, remember the layout to increase efficiency, dump their own dirt in a receptacle and find their way back to the charging station so they can rejuice.
In this article, we'll learn about robotic vacuuming, do an in-depth examination of the iRobot Roomba Red and check out some of the other vacuuming robots on the market.

There are a lot of models of robotic vacuums available today, and they range in price from $50 all the way up to $1,800. These vacuuming robots are typically low-slung and compact, meaning they can get under furniture that a regular upright vacuum cleaner can't. 

Most manufacturers will tell you that a robotic vacuum is meant to supplement a standard, human-pushed vacuum cleaner, not replace it. They're meant to perform daily or weekly touch-ups to keep your home cleaner in between regular vacuuming cycles. Still, if you're someone who never vacuums in the first place, a little robotic helper can certainly get your floor cleaner than it is right now, and you hardly have to lift a finger.
By far the most popular robotic vacuum in the United States is iRobot's Roomba, which comes in various models ranging from the base-model Roomba Red to the super high-tech Roomba Scheduler. HowStuffWorks has a Roomba Red ($150 MSRP) that we're going to try out and dissect for this article. Let's start by checking out what's under the hood.