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MIT Professor Dava Newman wants to build better astronaut suits. The modern spacesuit, while highly protective and functional, presents unique problems with regards to the pressures exerted on the human body. Prof. Newman’s research, with the help of the Dainese Technology Center and with the backing of NASA, aims to highlight specific problem areas for redesign the body and suit interface. With the resources available at D-Tec in Italy, MIT engineer Allison Anderosn along with Dainese engineers have created a suit undergarment that utilizes sensors to detect pressure points (impact and abrasion). The results of the study will be made available to other space agencies, with the Russian space agency being among the first to benefit.

Unveiled at the COP15 United Nations Climate Conference in Denamrk, the Copenhagen Wheel system was developed by Ducati Energia, MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, and Progical Solutions for the Kobenhavns Kommune (City of Copenhagen), and is an electrical drive system that can be added to any bicycle to help assist the rider with a boost of extra power. Along with its motor assist, the Copenhagen Wheel has a variety of sensors that relay information back to the rider via a Bluetooth connection that syncs with the rider’s smart phone (iPhone used in the demonstration). It’s a pretty cool concept, check after the jump a video and more.