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Recent Invention and Innovation News

Here is some of the latest news on inventions and innovation as of December 2011.

Big Bus

A giant bus was in the news early in 2011. This idea comes from China, and the bus, which designed to hold up to 1,200 passengers, will straddle highway lanes in order to pass over cars and alleviate traffic congestion. Work on the bus was expected to begin this year. It will be powered by electricity from solar panels as well as from the electrical grid.

New Jet Pack

Glenn Martin, of New Zealand’s Martin Aircraft Company, has created a jet pack that allows people to fly up to 30 minutes and as high as 8,000 feet up. The basic idea is not new, but this one runs on premium gasoline, and is the first to be considered practical. Their website says that the jet pack will be available soon, and "Martin Aircraft Company is targeting an initial sales price of US$100,000 for the recreational version of the aircraft."

Google Innovation

Google X, a laboratory in an undisclosed location (somewhere near Google headquarters), is a place where "out there" ideas are explored and tested, and invention is the goal. Robots walk freely through the facility, and a cable anchored to Earth but going into space is under serious consideration, according to a recent article in the New York Times;

Google may turn one of the ideas — the driverless cars that it unleashed on California’s roads last year — into a new business. Unimpressed by the innovative spirit of Detroit automakers, Google now is considering manufacturing them in the United States, said a person briefed on the effort...

Robots figure prominently in many of the ideas. They have long captured the imagination of Google engineers, including Mr. Brin, who has already attended a conference through robot instead of in the flesh.

The logistics and software work is thought to be done at Google's Mountain View campus. The work with robotics and artificial intelligence is done at a secret location somewhere in the Bay Area. The various roboticists and electrical engineers are said to have been hired away from many top university facilities as well as from Microsoft and Nokia Labs.

More Inventions and Innovations in the News

Watch for more on these recently released or soon-to-be-released innovations and inventions:

The BodyGuard - This is a crime-fighting armored glove that will do all sorts of things.

The Stark Hand - An artificial hand that can safely catch a ball or pick up an egg.

Katal Landing Pad - This safety pad for ski jumpers was already used at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

The PrintBrush - A handheld printer that recently made it to market.

The Bed Bug Detective - This is just what it sounds like; it is designed to work like a dog's nose.

Zero Liquid Discharge - We hope this works as well as claimed, since it is supposed to oxidize and evaporate sewage from boats, airplanes and RVs, discharging nothing more than a harmless, odorless aerosol.

Medical Mirror - Look at it and it will tell you your current heart rate.

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