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Archive for the ‘habitats’ category: Page 68

Oct 30, 2015

3D-printing earthquake-proof towns, brick by brick

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, habitats

We can build structures that resettle after quakes, and self-cooling homes – the trick is to 3D print custom building blocks, not whole buildings.

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Oct 19, 2015

Amazing industrial 3D printer fits in a truck, can print an entire building in 24 hours

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

Created by Russian engineer Nikita Chen-yun-tai, the new Apis Cor 3D printer is powerful enough to print a building in one day, yet small enough to be moved with minimal preparation and transportation costs. This portability allows users to print a building in one location and easily move the Apis Cor the next day to another spot. It promises to revolutionize the use of 3D printers in construction, especially in developing nations where low-cost, efficient printing is critical.

The 3D printing of houses is not a new idea — companies have been using the tenets of additive manufacturing for years. What makes the compact Apis Cor printer unique is the unit’s small size — it measures 16.4 ft by 5 ft, weighs 2.5 tons and can be assembled within 30 minutes. As a result, the Apis Cor can be moved easily without the need for an expensive method of transportation and setup. It requires no site preparation and no testing before use, which means it can be dropped on site and deployed right away after assembly.

Related: A Chinese company assembled this 3D-printed home in just three hours.

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Oct 10, 2015

Massachusetts emerges as a robot industry powerhouse

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

Seventeen years ago, Helen Greiner was scrambling to find investors to back her company’s development of a robot that would clean people’s houses. As she made the rounds of venture capitalists, the responses ranged from “You’re not an Internet company” to “You’re too early stage” to “I would do this, but my partners would kill me.”

But Greiner and her partners, Colin Angle and MIT robotics professor Rodney Brooks, persevered, funneling money from their firm’s contract engineering work to fund the robot project. Today, that company, iRobot Corp. of Bedford, is one of the nation’s largest makers of home robots, generating more than $500 million in annual sales from its Roomba floor vacuum and other products, and employing 600 people, including 500 in Massachusetts.

iRobot is an anchor of a burgeoning Massachusetts robotics industry that includes more than 100 companies, employs more than 3,000, and attracts tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars of investments. Since 2008, at least 20 robotics startups have launched in Massachusetts. Venture capital funding of the local industry tripled to more than $60 million in 2012, the most recent year available, from less than $20 million in 2008, according to the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, a trade group in Burlington.

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Oct 8, 2015

Meet the laundry-folding washing machine of our lazy-ass future

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

Socks are the hardest. For a future washing machine that washes, dries and then folds the results, it’s one of the small barriers that remains in that latter stage. But as a research project that started back in 2008, Laundroid is finally getting there. Next year, the collaboration between housing firm Daiwa House, electronics company Panasonic and Seven Dreamers will start offering preorders, the year after that ‘beta’ machines, then folding machines for big institutions, with event full retail planned the year after that — we’ll be in 2019 by then. (That said, the all-in-one model is still at the in-development stage). There’s no price and the presentation we saw added in a bunch of mosaic filtering on top as the shirt gradually got folded so you couldn’t see how the thing actually works. But that’s okay. We can wait. It’s not going to stop us waiting our chore-dodging dreams to come true.

While the video teaser above gives you pretty much nothing of substance, at the on-stage demonstration, we saw a just-washed tee take a matter of minutes for the internal tech to sort, identify and fold. The tech involved is separated into two very separate parts: image analysis and robotics. With a hypothetical bundle of clothes, each item demands different folding (we’re going to say) techniques, so the machine needs to figure what that soft lump of cloth is, then prime it for folding. The presentation here at CEATEC elaborated (if only lightly) on the stages it’s taken to get to here: it’s been a pretty long journey.

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Sep 17, 2015

Roomba advances robot intelligence with a model that can map your house and remember where it’s cleaned

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

The future of household robots owes a lot to 19th century American explorers Lewis and Clark.

At least, that’s what iRobot CEO Colin Angle told a crowd of reporters at a press event in New York on Sept. 16, introducing the Roomba 980, iRobot’s newest trashcan-lid-shaped vacuuming robot. It may look like every other Roomba the company has released over the past decade or so, but this one has a new trick: It knows how to map out its surroundings and find its way home.

“Roomba’s mission is to clean, which is not as exciting as Lewis and Clark,” Angle said, “But nonetheless very important.”

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Sep 16, 2015

8 Printable Martian Habitat Designs That We Want To Live In

Posted by in categories: habitats, space

Day One: Arrive in lander. Day Two: Print out a habitat.

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Sep 5, 2015

7 real NASA technologies in sci-fi movie The Martian

Posted by in categories: food, habitats, space

1. The Habitat.

2. Farming in space.

Continue reading “7 real NASA technologies in sci-fi movie The Martian” »

Aug 29, 2015

Boeing’s new laser canon can destroy drones in mid-flight

Posted by in categories: drones, habitats, military, space

Drones are everywhere these days. They’re at your local park, they’re in the ocean, they’re hovering over the White House lawn, and they may even be hovering overhead armed with tear gas.

In a world that’s becoming increasingly drone friendly, there are some serious safety considerations that shouldn’t be ignored.

Continue reading “Boeing's new laser canon can destroy drones in mid-flight” »

Aug 28, 2015

Terminator-style ‘skin’ quickly repairs itself after a gunshot | New Scientist

Posted by in categories: habitats, materials, space

Other self-healing plastics exist, but they take much longer to repair themselves. The ability to instantly plug holes could be especially useful to protect structures in space, where flying objects can puncture spacecraft or orbiting habitats. The plastic could be incorporated into their walls, creating a seal if the atmosphere inside a vessel starts to leak out, putting astronauts at risk.

Other fabrics take a different approach: stopping projectiles altogether. A futuristic tissue combining human skin cells with spider silk can cushion a gunshot when fired at half speed. Pure graphene, which is made up of layers of carbon one-atom thick, is being investigated for use in bulletproof armour because it can handle blows better than steel.

Continue reading “Terminator-style 'skin' quickly repairs itself after a gunshot | New Scientist” »

Aug 16, 2015

Glass paint could keep metal roofs and other structures cool even on sunny days

Posted by in categories: habitats, transportation

Sunlight can be brutal. It wears down even the strongest structures, including rooftops and naval ships, and it heats up metal slides and bleachers until they’re too hot to use. To fend off damage and heat from the sun’s harsh rays, scientists have developed a new, environmentally friendly paint out of glass that bounces sunlight off metal surfaces—keeping them cool and durable.

The researchers present their work today at the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

“Most paints you use on your car or house are based on polymers, which degrade in the ultraviolet light rays of the sun,” says Jason J. Benkoski, Ph.D. “So over time you’ll have chalking and yellowing. Polymers also tend to give off , which can harm the environment. That’s why I wanted to move away from traditional polymer coatings to inorganic glass ones.”

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