Tech Universe: Friday 13 April

By Miraz Jordan

The Kamp-Rite Bushtrekka.
The Kamp-Rite Bushtrekka.

SLEEP BEHIND THE WHEELS: Picture a pop-top camper and I'm sure you see a motor vehicle. The Kamp-Rite Bushtrekka though is designed to be towed by a bicycle. The 4-wheeled trailer has 3 main compartments with over 180 litres of storage. Add a Tentcot on top and you're set for a good night's sleep. The 20 Kg trailer unit includes fully adjustable levelling jacks to make sure it's set up solidly on even rough ground. Loaded up, that's going to be quite some extra weight to push.

WHALES ONLINE: There aren't many North Atlantic Right Whales left in the world, and one of the main causes of death for the animals is collisions with ships. The problem, of course, is knowing where the whales are. That's where a new iOS app has a part to play. Acoustic buoys listen for whale calls and send the data to an iOS device in a nearby ship's bridge. Between the whale calls, GPS and a vessel's Automatic Identification System it manages to mark the locations of the whales in near real-time.

The Whale Alerts app is free to use, and designed for vessels that travel along the East Coast of North America where the whales live. Two words: Maui's Dolphins. Wired.

BLEEDING PLANES: If you damage your skin the bleeding lets you know. But if materials such as plastic are damaged there may be no way to tell. Now researchers have created a new genre of thermoplastics that bleed when they're damaged and then heal themselves. When the links that connect the plastic's molecular chains are broken it produces a red warning colour. The materials are likely to be used for aircraft or ground vehicles to help indicate damage. Hooray: more scope for
horror movie blood excesses. io9.

BUDDY BACKUP: Firefighters, soldiers and others sometimes need to carry an injured person out of harm's way. The traditional method is to load them across the shoulders in a fireman's carry. The Injured Personnel Carrier is a simple backpack-like harness that holds them securely, while allowing the person doing the carrying to keep both hands free. The special harness is easy to apply while the injured person is on the ground. Then the person who will carry them lies down, slips the straps over their shoulder, rolls over and stands up with the injured person on their back like a backpack. Simple but effective. Agilite.

Watch the video:

QUBIT OR NOT QUBIT: Looking for a computing challenge? The Rainier processor in the D-Wave One computer system is designed to perform a single mathematical operation called discrete optimization. It does so alongside your normal computing platform running its usual operations. The superconducting 128-qubit processor chip is housed inside a cryogenics system within a 10 square meter shielded room. To program the processor you just need some basic quantum physics and machine learning skills. So not one for hobbyists then. D-Wave.

- Miraz Jordan,

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