Technology:

The world might finally make use of graphene’s amazing abilities in a few months

In recent years there's been a lot of fuss about graphene’s marvel-like abilities and how it could make our world much more efficient, but until recently, scientists haven’t actually been able to wrap their heads around a way to produce the material on a commercial scale. A recent University of Cambridge spin-out company, Paragraf, is claiming to have started producing graphene – a sheet of carbon just one atomic layer thick – at up to eight inches in diameter, large enough for commercial electronic devices. The applications for graphene are nearly endless. Despite its remarkable small size, it’s the strongest…

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  • Futurism
  • Date:03/15/2019

The inventor of Roomba designed a subaquatic robot to hunt invasive lionfish

While the lionfish may look spectacular, this venomous fish is a disaster for marine ecosystems. In the Bahamas alone, the invasive lionfish will eat 72 different species, far more than any other local predator; a single lionfish in a coral reef can reduce native reef fish by 79 percent. Reducing lionfish populations is a must if we want to save coral reefs, but the problem with these fish is that they don’t respond to bait, meaning they’re very difficult to catch. To solve this problem, the inventor of the self-driving vacuum Roomba has designed a subaquatic robot that can capture…

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  • Fast Company
  • Date:03/14/2019

This robotic system can feed people who can’t feed themselves

A million people around the US cannot feed themselves. Whether they’re living with a disability or age-related challenges, they require a caregiver to spoon food into their mouths for meals or snacks. For this reason, researchers at the University of Washington have been developing a robotic arm for the past year that could enable anyone capable of opening their mouth to feed themselves. The robot can be hooked onto a wheelchair, where it holds a fork, pokes at bites of food, and delivers those bites right into someone’s mouth. To be able to pick up certain foods properly, the researchers…

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  • Futurity
  • Date:03/14/2019

This startup is 3D-printing beautiful low-cost homes in Latin America

In Haiti, where progress to rebuild after 2010 was painfully slow, a nonprofit developed a new process to build more efficiently. But it realized that the pace of traditional construction would always hamper its ability to address the global need for better housing. After analyzing various options to speed up construction and decrease costs—including prefab homes—the team realized that 3D printing could be a viable solution. Now the nonprofit has developed a machine that can build walls and floors by squirting layers of concrete and can finish a house in a day or less. Adding a conventional roof, windows, and…

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  • Fast Company
  • Date:03/13/2019

New council to help hyperloop and self-driving car projects cut though red tape

While transportation projects such as hyper loops and self-driving cars could hold the key to more efficient means of transportation, bureaucratic structures can hinder progress and slow the development of these projects. For that reason, the Secretary of Transportation has announced a council specifically aimed at supporting such transportation projects. The council will give companies a central access point to talk about their ideas and proposals and will help to streamline permit, approval, and funding processes. It also hops to make sure that the Department of Transportation’s complex structure of various administrations doesn’t impede companies from deploying such tech. The…

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  • Engadget
  • Date:03/13/2019

This autonomous robot can collect up to 132 pounds of floating debris at a time

It’s estimated that at least 8 million tons of plastic waste ends up in our oceans each year, and more than 5 trillion pieces of microplastics are currently contaminating the marine ecosystems. Governments around the world have started to curb plastic production with new initiatives and scientists everywhere are working on finding sustainable alternatives to plastic products. However, there is still an urgent need to rid the oceans of plastic. That’s what inspired a Dutch technology company to design the WasteShark – an electric vehicle that traverses waterways and autonomously gathers up to 132 pounds of plastic waste at a…

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  • Global Citizen
  • Date:03/11/2019

These robots provide a win-win scenario for farmers and the environment

When you think about Silicon Valley, you probably don’t think of companies that specialize in farming equipment. But there’s one startup by the name of Blue River Technology that’s making waves in Silicon Valley with their special robotic farming machines. The robots they develop help farmers manage their fields more efficiently, combining computer vision and sophisticated machine learning algorithms to spray pesticides selectively. The old-school approach is to drench an entire field with weed-killing chemicals, but these machines can zero in on just the crops that need pesticides, cutting down on overall chemical usage. How it works is the machines…

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  • Inc.
  • Date:03/08/2019

Smart city tech is getting it’s time to shine in Brooklyn

In Downtown Brooklyn, Fulton Street–the neighborhood’s commercial thoroughfare–is closed to cars. Technically, at least. Fulton is designated as a bus-only street, but around 3,000 cars each month use the corridor illegally. This creates issues for the buses and their 20,000 daily riders, which rely on clear lanes to make up time on their otherwise crowded routes, and for the pedestrians and cyclists that also depend on the road being car-free for a safer trip. A nonprofit in the area wanted to end the illegal car traffic on the street for a while but didn’t know where exactly the traffic was coming…

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  • Fast Company
  • Date:03/07/2019

In the near future, you may not need a password to log into your online accounts

While certainly necessary, using passwords as a way of securing our online accounts can be a pain, particularly when tasked with devising and remembering passwords for multiple online systems. And if someone gets a hold of your password, the consequences can be dreadful. For those who feel the struggle, the good news is a viable alternative is emerging on the horizon. Recently, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) approved WebAuthn – a new authentication standard that aims to replace the password as a way of securing our online accounts. At its core, the new system allows websites to communicate with…

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  • The Verge
  • Date:03/06/2019

IBM has come up with a quick way to recycle all kinds of plastic

The problem with recycling is quite straightforward: only a small percentage of the plastic items we throw away are recyclable. Some items such as plastic bottles can easily be repurposed, but others that use different assortment of plastic or have special coatings cannot. New solutions are needed for handling all this non-recyclable plastic if we want to spare the planet from further plastic pollution, which is why IBM has been working diligently over the last few years to create a process that can recycle all kinds of plastic. Now the company has one in the form of VolCat, which is…

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  • GreenBiz
  • Date:03/01/2019
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