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Archive for the ‘habitats’ category

Jul 30, 2016

Mars City Design wants to 3D-print prototypes of Martian habitats in the Mojave Desert

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, habitats, space

Growing up in Jakarta’s polluted slums, Vera Mulyani loved building things. As a child, she dreamed of becoming an architect.

More than two decades later, Mulyani is a self-proclaimed “Marschitect,” and spends her time brainstorming how human life might be sustained on the red planet. After studying at École d’Architecture de Nantes in France and at New York Film Academy, in January 2015 she founded Mars City Design, a think tank of sorts aimed at developing blueprints for the first self-sustaining city on Mars.

Earlier this month, Mars City Design raised $30,382 on Kickstarter to realize the next phase of its mission: Within the next three years, the group wants to 3D-print three to-scale habitat prototypes of Martian cities at Reaction Research Society’s test area in the Mojave Desert.

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Jul 29, 2016

Smart bricks would enable walls capable of generating electricity, clean water and oxygen

Posted by in categories: biological, habitats, robotics/AI

A lot of things are becoming “smart” these days, but bricks might not be something you’d expect to be added to the list. On the way to buildings that act like “large-scale living organisms,” scientists at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) are developing smart bricks that would make use of microbes to recycle wastewater, generate electricity and produce oxygen.

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs), which will be embedded in the bricks to give them their “smart” capabilities, have proven handy in the past, with researchers demonstrating how they can be used to generate electricity from human urine, dead flies or just plain old mud.

“Microbial fuel cells are energy transducers that exploit the metabolic activity of the constituent microbes to break down organic waste and generate electricity,” says Ioannis Ieropoulos, professor at UWE Bristol’s Robotics Laboratory. “This is a novel application for MFC modules to be made into actuating building blocks as part of wall structures. This will allow us to explore the possibility of treating household waste, generating useful levels of electricity, and have ‘active programmable’ walls within our living environments.”

Jul 29, 2016

Smart bricks will transform how buildings work

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, habitats, sustainability

Smart bricks capable of recycling wastewater and generating electricity from sunlight are being developed by a team of scientists from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). The bricks will be able to fit together and create ‘bioreactor walls’ which could then be incorporated in housing, public building and office spaces.

The UWE Bristol team is working on the smart technologies that will be integrated into the in this pan European ‘Living Architecture’ (LIAR) project led by Newcastle University. The LIAR project brings together living architecture, computing and engineering to find a new way to tackle global sustainability issues.

The smart living bricks will be made from bio-reactors filled with microbial cells and algae. Designed to self-adapt to changing environmental conditions the smart bricks will monitor and modify air in the building and recognise occupants.

Jul 27, 2016

How eco-friendly communes could change the future of housing — By Autumn Spanne | The Guardian

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, economics, energy, engineering, environmental, ethics, food, government, habitats

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“An increasing number of US landowners want to build commune-style villages that are completely self-sufficient and have a low carbon footprint”

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Jul 22, 2016

Let’s all move to Mars! The space architects shaping our future

Posted by in categories: food, habitats, space travel, sustainability

We’ve had starchitects. Now we’ve got space architects. Oliver Wainwright meets the people measuring up the red planet for inflatable homes and farms made of moondust concrete.

Jul 20, 2016

Voila! Ori Robotic Furniture Can Change Your Living Room to a Home Office in Seconds

Posted by in categories: habitats, robotics/AI

With the need for smaller more cost effective living spaces in mind, Ori Systems has developed a line of modular furniture that makes the most of the space that is becoming more and more of a premium. And, though not yet applied outside the residential market, the technology has clear applications for maximizing precious office space as well.

The Ori in Ori Systems comes from the Japanese word origami, which makes a lot of sense when you see the furniture as it transforms a room with just the push of a button. And in so doing it can quickly transform a small living space with a variety of possible configurations. See the video below.

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Jul 19, 2016

Time to get a robot to do the selling

Posted by in categories: habitats, robotics/AI

Here’s a concept; you’re next open house showing is conducted by a robot.


UAE marketers get a first glimpse of the humanoid robot Pepper.

Jul 19, 2016

Why the Cost of Living Is Poised to Plummet in the Next 20 Years

Posted by in categories: economics, education, employment, food, government, habitats, health, robotics/AI, transportation

Powered by developments in exponential technologies, the cost of housing, transportation, food, health care, entertainment, clothing, education and so on will fall, eventually approaching, believe it or not, zero.


People are concerned about how AI and robotics are taking jobs, destroying livelihoods, reducing our earning capacity, and subsequently destroying the economy.

In anticipation, countries like Canada, India and Finland are running experiments to pilot the idea of “universal basic income” — the unconditional provision of a regular sum of money from the government to support livelihood independent of employment.

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Jul 18, 2016

5 Reasons To ‘Farm’ In Low-Earth Orbit

Posted by in categories: food, habitats, space travel, sustainability

Large Earth-orbiting greenhouses will someday likely be as commonplace as peanut acreage on Georgia’s coastal plains.


Low-Earth orbit (LEO) would hardly appear to be the best place to take up farming. But both NASA and the burgeoning commercial space industry are already planning for a time when in addition to on-orbit space hotels and new research stations, there will also be Earth-orbiting greenhouses. Such structures will provide a horn of plenty for growing numbers of LEO residents and astronauts venturing beyond Earth orbit to the Moon, Mars or even the Main Asteroid Belt.

The initial case for LEO agriculture would be to feed a growing population of space-dwellers — either using a greenhouse that remained permanently attached to the LEO habitat, or a greenhouse that was free-flying and uncrewed.

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Jul 8, 2016

Inside Microsoft’s plan to outsmart Google

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, habitats, internet, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Satya Nadella bounded into the conference room, eager to talk about intelligence. I was at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, WA, and the company’s CEO was touting the company’s progress in building more intelligent apps and services. Each morning, he told me, he puts on a HoloLens, which enables him to look at a virtual, interactive calendar projected on a wall of his house. Nadella appeared giddy as he described it. The system was intelligent, productive, and futuristic: everything he hopes Microsoft will be under his leadership.

No matter where we work in the future, Nadella says, Microsoft will have a place in it. The company’s “conversation as a platform” offering, which it unveiled in March, represents a bet that chat-based interfaces will overtake apps as our primary way of using the internet: for finding information, for shopping, and for accessing a range of services. And apps will become smarter thanks to “cognitive APIs,” made available by Microsoft, that let them understand faces, emotions, and other information contained in photos and videos.

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