GoSunStove: Portable High-Efficiency Solar Cooker

Solar cooking

Using the free energy supplied by the sun to cook our food is a great way to get started with renewable energies and sustainable and appropriate technology, but because most of the solar ovens on the market are large and unwieldy, and not very efficient, solar cooking hasn’t been very widely adopted, except in places with no other alternative. But a new portable high-efficiency solar stove that can heat up quickly and efficiently, as well as hold the heat in during cloudy intervals, promises to bring solar cooking into the 21st century. The GoSunStove, weighing in at just 3.5 pounds,… read more

Artist Renders Amazing Upcycled Star Wars Series

Artist Renders Amazing Upcycled Star Wars Series

Gabriel Dishaw has a way with recycled materials. Specializing in upcycled art and sculpture, he combines items like metals and discarded electronic components and assembles them into quite imaginative works. Dated technology like typewriters, computers, miscellaneous keys and other machine parts are brought to life as mechanical displays. Utilizing cast off pieces from no longer needed objects allows the artist to create masterful pieces without attributing to landfill waste. One of his works, the Star Wars Series, is a collection of sculptures that are recycled replications of characters from the saga. Fans of the classic films will surely appreciate these… read more

Solar-Powered Laptop Never Needs to Be Plugged In

Solar-Powered Laptop Never Needs to Be Plugged In

Many of us have no need for a computer in the wilderness, but there are quite a few professions and projects that can benefit greatly from having access to a laptop while in the field. And let’s face it, if we had a computer that was built to take out of the office and off of the couch, most of us would probably end up finding a need for it and bringing one along on our outdoor excursions. Right now, if you want to do some off-grid computing, you can either use a standard laptop (but just until the battery… read more

Seahorse Tails Inspire Robotic Arm Applications

Seahorse Tails Inspire Robotic Arm Applications

University of California, San Diego researchers have noted some interesting behaviors regarding seahorses. Since they are composed of bony sliding plates, their tails are extremely flexible. So malleable, in fact, that they can be flattened to half their normal size before causing irreversible injuries. This natural design has led to inspiration for medical use and other field applications. The team of scientists and engineers involved in the project are looking at the way seahorses move in order to replicate the motion in a robotic arm. Other animals were looked at for potentially copying their armored exteriors, but the seahorse was… read more

Smartphone Batteries Can Help Predict the Weather

Smartphone Batteries Can Help Predict the Weather

Most smartphone owners are well acquainted with using their device to check the weather forecast, but now those same devices could also be used to help to make those weather predictions. The discovery of a correlation between the temperature of the battery in a smartphone and the actual local temperature has led to the development of a method for using the built-in temperature sensors to add to crowdsourced weather data. An Android app called OpenSignal, which has about 700,000 users, collects hundreds of thousands of temperature readings from across the globe, which allowed researchers to compare that data with the… read more

Conductive Paint Makes Electronics as Easy as Drawing

Conductive Paint Makes Electronics as Easy as Drawing

Teaching kids how to code and build their own electronics could go a long way toward enabling them to build a greener, more sustainable future, and what once required printed circuit boards or unwieldy wiring is now as accessible as picking up a pen. Goodbye, soldering iron. Hello, conductive paint. Bare Conductive offers a line of electrically conductive paint pens and kits, which are capable of producing electrical circuits on paper and creating interactive surfaces. “You can use Bare Conductive’s Electric Paint for a range of different applications ranging from creative to highly technical projects. It provides a great platform… read more

DIY Solar-Powered Bike Light

DIY Solar-Powered Bike Light

If you’ve got a solar garden light, an old deodorant stick, and some silicone, you’ve got all the ingredients to build your own solar-powered bike light. Using bicycles for transportation is not only efficient, but it’s also quite fun, with the added benefit of being a healthy activity for your body. However, cycling can be hazardous if you’re not visible to drivers or other cyclists, so adding lights and reflectors to your bike is one way to stay safer on the streets. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to illuminate your ride, because if you’re the… read more

Upcycle Old Tech With Computer Mods

Upcycle Old Tech With Computer Mods

In the U.S. alone, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that in 2010 there were a total of 423,000 tons of computers that were disposed of. Of this amount, 255,000 tons were added to the landfills and 168,000 tons were recycled. This is only a recycling rate of 40%. This doesn’t even account for monitors, keyboards or other parts. Throwing out an old, outdated computer doesn’t necessarily always have to happen, though. If you like to tinker with technology or have a junior technician in the midst, consider doing a modification project. Check out the following computer mods that give the look… read more

Machine Extracts Purified Water from Sweaty Clothes

Machine Extracts Purified Water from Sweaty Clothes

In a modern city, where clean water is available at the turn of a tap, the idea of extracting the sweat from your funky gym clothes in order to purify it into drinking water may seem like a huge stretch. But in some areas of the world, an idea like this might make a whole lot of sense. With the aim of raising awareness of the world’s water crisis, and the lack of clean water in many parts of the globe, the advertising agency Deportivo, along with engineer Andreas Hammar, have built a “sweat machine” that can safely and efficiently… read more

Electronics That Are Here Today Gone Tomorrow

Electronics That Are Here Today Gone Tomorrow

What if your smartphone was engineered to biodegrade when you wanted an upgrade? Or what if its components could even dissolve when they came into contact with water? That is what a team of investigators from 3 universities have been examining, and they have actually made it a possibility. The U.S. based researchers who developed the technology are from Northwestern University, Tufts University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The research study has been given the name “born to die” and essentially, that is what it is. A new way of manufacturing smartgear and other devices, called transient electronics,… read more