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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category

Mar 27, 2017

Solar Powered e-Skin Could Take Prosthetics to the Next Level

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI, sustainability

Ingenious e-skin invented by scientists from the University of Glasgow improves the performance of prosthetic limbs through sensitive sensors.

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Mar 25, 2017

Liquid energy storage system gets the “MOST” out of the Sun

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, solar power, sustainability

Solar power is potentially the greatest single energy source outside of controlled nuclear fusion, but the Sun is literally a fair weather source that relies on daytime and clear skies. To make solar energy a reliable, 24-hour source of energy, a team of scientists at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg is developing a liquid energy storage medium that can not only release energy from the Sun on demand, but is also transportable.

The Chalmers team has been working on variants of its system, called a MOlecular Solar Thermal (MOST), for over six years, with a conceptual demonstration in 2013. It differs from other attempts to store solar energy in things like heated salts and reversing exothermic reactions in that the MOST system stores the energy directly in the bonds of an organic chemical.

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Mar 25, 2017

Tesla Model 3 safest car on the road

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Safety has been a preoccupation of consumers and carmakers for the past few decades, with some companies — like Volvo — making it their key selling point.

Automobiles are already far safer now than ever before, but advances in technology keep raising the bar for what consumers expect. And Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas thinks the forthcoming Tesla Model 3, priced at $35,000 and expected to launch later this year, will lead the way in dramatic fashion.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 people are killed in car accidents every year in the US alone, so the stakes for drastically improved safety are high.

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Mar 25, 2017

Tesla Solar Roofs Tiles Are Coming Out Next Month

Posted by in category: sustainability

Tesla is finally rolling out their own solar roof tiles.

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Mar 21, 2017

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space, supercomputing, sustainability, transportation

I can conceive that in saner circumstances, Tesla Model X might never have come to be. But the strongest blades are forged in the hottest fires, and for those that survive the heat, something very special is born.

Model X is special in a way that the automotive industry hasn’t been able to conceive in a very long time. It is an all-electric SUV that can seat up to seven people with bucketloads of cargo space to spare. It is a sporty all-wheel drive car that can throw instant and ungodly amounts of torque at the tarmac. It is a serene cruiser with its silent drive and breathtaking panoramic windshield. It is, in essence, an eight-eyed falcon with a supercomputer brain that dreams of a future of fully autonomous driving. And I had to have it.

As a Model S owner, I had already experienced and enjoyed more than a year of zero emissions Tesla driving. I knew what great things the car was capable of. I’d felt the thrill of instant torque, I’d fallen in love with the one-foot, regenerative braking driving experience, and I’d been chauffeured up and down the M1 by my very own Autopilot. Where the Model S presented itself as an all electric car — a subtle statement and proof of concept about a future of green but powerful motoring, Model X presented itself as a bold vision for what a car could be, if its only blueprint were imagination.

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Mar 21, 2017

The world’s most efficient and environment-friendly solar cells

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

In the future, solar cells can become twice as efficient by employing a few smart little nano-tricks.

Researchers are currently developing the environment-friendly of the future, which will capture twice as much as the cells of today. The trick is to combine two different types of solar cells in order to utilize a much greater portion of the sunlight.

“These are going to be the world’s most efficient and environment-friendly solar cells. There are currently solar cells that are certainly just as efficient, but they are both expensive and toxic. Furthermore, the materials in our solar cells are readily available in large quantities on Earth. That is an important point,” says Professor Bengt Svensson of the Department of Physics at the University of Oslo (UiO) and Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN).

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Mar 18, 2017

Trump Should Make Space-Based Solar Power A National Priority

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

My take on why the Trump Administration should make space-based solar power a real priority.


Space-based solar power — technology that would harvest solar energy directly in space for use on Earth — is a concept whose time has come.

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Mar 16, 2017

Automation that could take away human jobs can also open the massive resources of the solar system

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI, space travel, sustainability

Massive and complete automation could enable industrializtion of the moon and space. By using some larger human colonies along with the robots then it would be more robust and less dependent on perfect automation.

Advances in robotics and additive manufacturing have become game-changing for the prospects of space industry. It has become feasible to bootstrap a self-sustaining, self-expanding industry at reasonably low cost. Simple modeling was developed to identify the main parameters of successful bootstrapping. This indicates that bootstrapping can be achieved with as little as 12 metric tons (MT) landed on the Moon during a period of about 20 years. The equipment will be teleoperated and then transitioned to full autonomy so the industry can spread to the asteroid belt and beyond. The strategy begins with a sub-replicating system and evolves it toward full self-sustainability (full closure) via an in situ technology spiral. The industry grows exponentially due to the free real estate, energy, and material resources of space. The mass of industrial assets at the end of bootstrapping will be 156 MT with 60 humanoid robots, or as high as 40,000MT with as many as 100,000 humanoid robots if faster manufacturing is supported by launching a total of 41 MT to the Moon. Within another few decades with no further investment, it can have millions of times the industrial capacity of the United States.

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Mar 15, 2017

Blockchain can dramatically reduce pollution and traffic jams

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, Elon Musk, energy, environmental, futurism, sustainability, transportation

The World Economic Forum has posted an article that hints at something that I have also suggested. (I am not taking credit. Others have suggested the idea too…But advancing tech and credible, continued visibility may help us to finally be taken seriously!)

I am not referring to purchasing and retiring carbon credits. I like that idea too. But here is a blockchain idea that can enable fleets of autonomous, shared, electric vehicles. Benefits to individuals and to society are numerous.

The future is just around the corner. Non-coin applications of the blockchain will support many great things. Goodbye car ownership. Hello clean air! The future of personal transportation.

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Mar 13, 2017

Scientists Have Found a Crazy New Way to Print on Paper Using Light

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, sustainability

A new method for printing on paper using light promises to be much cheaper, and easier on the environment than the traditional ink-based printing we’re used to.

Scientists have developed a special nanoparticle coating that’s easy to apply to normal paper and changes colour when ultraviolet (UV) light shines on it. The colour change can be reversed when the coating is heated to 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit), and allows for up to 80 rewrites.

The team of researchers from the US and China say that their new high-resolution light printing technique could be used everywhere from newspapers to labels, saving on the cost of ink and paper, and on the environmental cost of their recycling and disposing.

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