A 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.
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.
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.
The 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:
Exoskeleton 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.
With 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.