Time to look up from your stupid phone

Why not just say it with some poetry?

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inForm, the shapshifting display from MIT

MIT_inFormA team of researchers from MIT has developed an interactive shapeshifting display which adds another dimension to long distance communication (among other things). The system is capable of recording the interaction, projecting colors and elevating the display.

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Hand control of Lego EV3

The developer German Vargas has put together the hand tracking device from Leap Motion and a Lego EV3, resulting in a quite cool remote control.  He uses the MonoBrick communication library (C#) to combine the Lego vehicle with the Leap Motion SDK. The source code is available from his homepage.

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SpotiMC beta 5 released for XBMC

SpotiMC_logoThe Spotify addon SpotiMC is now available in beta 5 for the media platform XBMC. It can be downloaded from the developers release  page or from this unofficial mirror.

It now supports running in the background of XBMC which is a long sought after feature. Some minor bug fixes have been addressed as well.

Big thanks to developer Mikel Azkolain for providing this wonderful add-in.

 

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First self healing polymer

A team of researchers has managed to manufacture a self healing polymer that doesn’t need added heat, pressure or other external catalysts. The discovery was published in Materials Horizons in 2013 and a video is available demonstrating the process.

A polymer cut in half will heal itself back with 97% efficiency in around 2 hours.

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Is life really a marathon?

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The foldable kayak

Foldable_kayakThe company Oru Kayak Inc have developed a foldable kayak that won the best product award on ISPO 2014 in Munich. It started out as a kickstarter project in 2012 and is now a blooming company that sells kayaks all over the world.

It’s easily unfolded from its backpack state in around 5 minutes and it weights around 12 kg. The product designer Anton Willis got his inspiration when he moved into a tiny appartment in San Fransisco and was forced to put his cayak into storage.

It’s an interesting example of where classic materials and manufacturing techniques can bring innovation when brought into a new product segment.

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Robot steel origami

Robot_folded_sheet_metal_2011The group Robofold have developed a method of using industrial robots for complex folding of metal sheets. Founder Gregory Epps started the project 2010 and have grown to at least at least three individuals. With their two ABB robots, named R2D2 and C3Po, they have produced the following demo video:

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Exoskeleton suits for walking

robot_legsExoskeleton suits, also known as wearable robotics, have been around the last couple of years, but are still a bit too pricey for the everyday consumer. One of the leading companies, Ekso Bionics, have been around since 2005 and have a walking suite for rehabilitation that has been used widely. With last months public offering to private investors the company has raised 20,6 milion dollar making it a publicly traded company on the OTC markets. Hopefully this will help the company expand further and bring these devices closer to our every day life.

Most applications for these walking devices are in rehabilitation and prosthetics, but a few attempts are also made towards industry. The Honda bionic legs were shown to the world in 2008 and was intended for load reduction for workers in crouching positions, but not much have been heard from them since.

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Printed sensors enables new products

printed_biosensors_liuWith new techniques for printing circuitry a new range of disposable sensors are being developed. The electronics are printed at a speed of a few meters per seconds enabling large volumes each day. Temperature sensors for package control and biosensors for medical diagnosis are just a few of the applications. Linköping University is one of the key players behind this research in Sweden, together with a few local companies.

These products will be in our homes in a not to distance future, well worth keeping an eye on.

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