Home Heating by a Robot

Warm Up Robot

Heating our homes in winter consumes vast amounts of energy and costs households a great deal. But imagine if there were a robot that could store heat and then moved around the house to warm cold areas? Drum roll please for…..Hagent, the mobile heater robot. This small robot shaped like a black box is amde up of movable wheels, sensors and Phase change materials (PCM). PCM  absorb heat from a hot body and change their phase (from solid to liquid or vice versa) and then release the heat by again changing their phase. Designed by Andreas Meinhardt and Daniel Abendrith… read more

Energy Leaks at Home

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It is widely said that the most expensive part of a building construction is its interior design and architecture. But there is one more important thing to check and that is “energy wastage”. In the US, it’s estimated that billions of dollars are wasted each year because of air seal leaks in doors, walls and windows. Nearly 40% of energy spent on cooling or heating a building is wasted because of this invisible problem. Any small improvements in each building can save the total power of the nation. Leaks in buildings are usually detected by a  “blower door test” which… read more

Designers Create New Inventions For Braille Users

Designers Create New Inventions For Braille Users

Braille is a printed communication system used by blind and visually impaired individuals. Shubham Banerjee has created a Braille printer that has gained worldwide attention for its ingenuity and real world application. Impressively, the printer is made from repurposed Lego pieces. Titled Braigo, the system is made from the Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit, which costs about $350. Banerjee stated that the retail price for a standard Braille printer can be upwards of $2,000. With such a decreased price, Banerjee’s invention could enable more Braille users to be able to print materials. What is even more impressive than his resourceful device is the fact… read more

Nissan Promises Driverless Cars By 2020

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When Google debuted their “driverless car” a few years ago, they caused quite a stir in the auto market. Were they considering launching their own line of automobiles? Was this just an experiment, or were they looking to share their technology? How long would it take for this to become mainstream? Google isn’t the only car company rocking the waves, however. Tesla, GMC, and Nissan currently build and sell some of the best electric vehicles on the market, with Tesla being the new startup in the industry. Just last year, Tesla was named the “Auto Trend Car of The Year”… read more

NASA Plans Europa Mission To Search For Life

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As we wrote two years ago, Jupiter’s moon Europa may actually be the best place in our solar system to seek out extraterrestrial life. It’s largely believed that the moon has an entire underwater ecosystem, ripe with the sort of conditions needed to support life, even if only on a bacterial level. A mission several years ago had been denied due to under funding, but renewed pushes seem to have been effective in swaying the minds that hold the money. So why should we detour money from the planned Mars mission and funnel it into this pipe-dream? For starters, it’s… read more

Melting Permafrost Could Release A Super Virus

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Recently, a giant virus was discovered in Siberian permafrost. The virus in question had been frozen for nearly 30,000 years, but had come to light when its frosty cocoon melted. Luckily, the virus strain — Pithovirus sibericum — is not harmful to humans. Giant viruses were discovered 10 years ago in the U.K. What differentiates them from regular viruses is the fact that they can be viewed under visible light microscopes, which is a terrifying prospect. When scientists revived the giant virus from the Siberian permafrost, it caused an infection, meaning it had been perfectly preserved under the ice. Researchers worry… read more

Stronger Than Metal — Spider Silk Nears Debut

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There aren’t a ton of elements with properties stronger than metal, so prepare to meet an unlikely competitor in the market — spider silk. You probably wouldn’t expect to see spider silk on the list of future replacements for metal, and you wouldn’t be alone in your disbelief. It’s a relatively new concept, but one that has many lasting and important meanings for the manufacturing world. Spider silk is naturally resilient, and 25 times stronger than steel. It’s extremely difficult to farm spiders, though, which is why it’s taken researchers so long to reach this milestone in their journey to… read more

3D Printing Gets Even More Intricate

3D Printing Gets Even More Intricate

The world of 3D printing has taken off, and one area that has seen an increase in the details and variety is with furniture and even larger products. One newer 3D printer allows plastic materials to be printed however; a process called fused deposition modeling (FDM) also makes it capable of utilizing blends of wood fibers, nylons and even polymers. Called the BigRep One, it is making quite a buzz in the ever developing printing arena. First shown at a 3D print showing in New York, it is now available on the consumer market. For a suggested retail price tag… read more

Transforming Skin Cells Into Liver Cells

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The technology has existed for a while now to grow certain organs in a lab to be used as replacements for organs in which finding a donor may be difficult. Those organs, however, were never complete copies — they were merely close replicas. Now, researchers at the Gladstone Institutes and UC San Francisco had announced that they’ve discovered a way to create fully mature liver cells. The organs have only been tested in lab animals whose bodies have been modified to imitate liver failure, but the tests showed that the liver cells were able to thrive on their own without… read more

Graphene Paint: A solar wonder

Graphene Paint

A little while ago, we wrote about the potential new uses for ‘Graphene’; a natural element similar to silicon in its uses. Today we’re showcasing the possibilities for graphene paint. Basically, graphene is a light, efficient, and cost-effective alternative to silicon and other such elements. It’s planned uses include solar farms, vehicles, and electronics. Graphene paint opens the door to wonderful possibilities, and makes it widely available to the public, rather than just commercial/industrial uses. For now, graphene paint won’t be available until some time in the future. Still, scientists are very optimistic about the development and conversion of paint. Since graphene… read more