Steelcase and Microsoft Unveil 5 Spaces to Boost Creativity

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via Interior Design : Steelcase and Microsoft unveil 5 spaces to boost creativity Steelcase and Microsoft are partnering to develop a range of technology-forward spaces. The collaboration follows research conducted by both companies that explores creativity’s role in future business success and how it is impacted by the integration of technology and furniture in the office. The two companies concluded that, throughout the entire process, creativity requires diverse work modes as well as various types of technology, such as Microsoft’s Surface Hub, an interactive whiteboard for use in collaborative settings. To fully maximize creative thinking, designers must tailor the workplace to accommodate working in solitude, pairs, and larger groups, which requires inspiring, high-tech spaces designed with the worker in mind. “The problems people face at work today are much more complex than they used to be,” says Sara Armbruster, vice president of strategy, research, and new business innovation for Steelcase. “They require a new creative way of thinking and a very different work process.” Today, organizations tend to invest in technology and space as separate entities rather than approaching them holistically, resulting in creative conditions that are less than ideal. “Most employees are still working with outdated technology and in places that are rooted in the past, which makes it difficult for them to work in new, creative ways,” said Bob O’Donnell, president, founder, and chief analyst at California-based technology research and consulting firm TECHnalysis Research. Microsoft also announced that select Steelcase dealers have become authorized resellers of Microsoft’s Surface Hub… Read more

Elon Musk Sent a SpaceX Rocket to Its Doom

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via Observer : Elon Musk sent a SpaceX rocket to its doom CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—The ground shook at NASA’s historic Kennedy Space Center early this morning as SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket. It took off along with a communications satellite for a delivery to an extremely distant orbit. And for the first time in two years, the private spaceflight company did not attempt to recover the rocket by landing it on ground at nearby Landing Zone 1 or at sea on an autonomous drone ship. The Falcon 9 rocket lit up the former Apollo 11 launch pad 39A (now leased by SpaceX) at 2 a.m. and blazed through the predawn sky to deliver the EchoStar-23 satellite to orbit so that it can provide data services to Brazil. The launch marked the very first commercial satellite mission facilitated at Kennedy Space Center and the second launch for SpaceX on its new pad which is still being refurbished to support future deep space missions and human spaceflight. SpaceX launches have come with the added drama and thrill of a rocket flying back to Earth for a recovery attempt. And after a few early explosions at sea, they are now regularly and safely bringing the Falcon 9 home to live another day. For this morning’s mission, though, the first-stage of the rocket was discarded into the Atlantic ocean—a throwback to how it’s been done since the early days of the space industry and how it’s still done by any aerospace company that isn’t… Read more

Robotic Legs Give The Paralyzed a New View of Their World

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via Cnet : Robotic legs give the paralyzed a new view of their world Arthur Renowitzky can’t help but command attention as he walks down the street on a sunny autumn morning. A driver lowers her window to flash a smile and a thumbs-up. “You got this,” she says. A neighbor waves from his front yard. “Go get ’em A.R.” Renowitzky has been paralyzed since 2007 after being shot in the chest for $20 and a fake gold chain. But he can stand and walk, using crutches for balance, when wearing an exoskeleton suit with motorized hips and knees powering his movements. Wearable robots aren’t new. DARPA has been funding their development since the early 2000s with the aim of building motorized armor to enhance soldiers’ strength and endurance. Panasonic, Ekso Bionics and others offer upper-body suits that help construction and factory workers lift heavy loads. But their most powerful promise may be in helping people regain control of their bodies. Therapeutic exoskeletons are found mainly in hospitals and rehab centers, where they help increase strength, fight muscle atrophy and encourage blood circulation. The current generation, from companies like ReWalk, Ekso Bionics, Rex Bionics and SuitX, can be bulky, with a gait best described as robotic. Users can walk with them only on solid, level surfaces and need crutches for balance and support. Still, they’re life-changing for paraplegics like Renowitzky. “It brought tears to my eyes to be eye level with the world again and know that technology is advancing so… Read more

The Future of Building and 3D Printing in Space

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via Engineering : The future of building and 3D printing in space The first 3D printer from Made In Space was installed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in November 2014. The idea sounds cool, but many ordinary earthlings have yet to feel its impact. The start-up, based at NASA Ames Research Center in California, has since installed a second 3D printer on the ISS. The Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) is the first commercial 3D printer in space. Brought to the ISS in 2016, the AMF is already printing orders for commercial customers, including the first 3D-printed advertisement in space, a crowdsourced sculpture and projects for educational programs, such as Enterprise In Space. With the AMF, the implications are starting to become clear. 3D printing in space isn’t just meant to be a novelty, but a technology that enables humanity’s proliferation throughout the cosmos. Now, it’s possible for customers with a small wad of cash to 3D print plastic objects on the ISS, but, if Made In Space’s plans pan out, we may see a future in which those customers can head to space themselves. ENGINEERING.com spoke with Made In Space President Andrew Rush to learn about the company’s latest projects, including 3D printing a small satellite as well as organic matter in microgravity, developing a robot that can build satellites in space and a partnership dedicated to the first commercial space station. The AMF The AMF platform uses fused deposition modeling (FDM) to melt thermoplastic filament and extrude it onto… Read more

The L.A. Architecture Critic Who Helped Bring The Story of Mexican Design to The U.S.

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via L.A. Times : The L.A. architecture critic who helped bring the story of Mexican design to the U.S. Esther McCoy is best known as the architecture writer who helped shape the story of Modernism in Los Angeles. Less known is the nearly year-long period she spent in Mexico in 1951. During this time, she wrote about key architectural developments in the country — such as the early designs of Mexican Modernist Luis Barragán and the construction of the National Autonomous University in Mexico City, the iconic campus designed by Mario Pani and Enrique del Moral that is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. A small exhibition at the Museo Jumex in Mexico City, on view through Sunday, examines this period in McCoy’s life, when she settled in the city of Cuernavaca for nearly eight months. There, she became good friends with photographer Lola Alvarez Bravo and artist Helen O’Gorman, the botanist and painter who was known for her delicate depictions of Mexican flora — and for being the wife of famed muralist Juan O’Gorman. “Cuernavaca was called the ‘City of Eternal Spring,’” says exhibition co-curator Jose Esparza Chong Cuy, who is based at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. “It was a time when a lot of left-wing and radical thinkers were spending time in Cuernavaca. A lot of Americans were there.” Rather than fighting nature, she saw architecture that embraced it. — Jose Esparza Chong Cuy, co-curator of “Passersby 02: Esther McCoy” The exhibition, titled “Passersby 02: Esther McCoy,”… Read more

Tomorrow’s Engineers Need to Learn IoT

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via Design Engineering : Tomorrow’s engineers need to learn IoT Future engineering careers will depend on present education in cyber-physical systems and IoT integration. The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the jobs landscape. The interconnection of physical “things” is due to the increasing integration of “cyber” with hard technology. More and more sensors and intelligent controllers are being embedded into objects that are being increasingly integrated with our clothing or worn on our bodies. They gather data and communicate with artificial intelligence. Far from being novelties, IoT applications involving cars, fitness wearables, appliances and industrial machines are now mainstream. The Internet is ubiquitous and we treat it just as we treat electricity. Agnostic to the energy source that created it, we expect immediate access to electricity. We plug our devices into sockets and assume that they will function instantaneously. Our activity and heartbeat are monitored using sensors and apps. We don’t often get directions from static paper maps. Instead, we use GPS apps, which also provide real time traffic and congestion information. As news is freshly unveiled, we access it on the web and then connect immediately with others over social media to discuss its significance. In the workplace, we collaborate over the “cloud” to generate and share documents. Our work and careers advance as we find internships, jobs and other opportunities online. We submit our resumes electronically through email or cloud-based drop boxes. To do all this, we use our interconnected wearables, smartphones, tablets and computers. Estimates suggest that… Read more

Tech Leaders Share Their Advice On Closing The Gender Gap This IWD 2017

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via We Are The City : Tech leaders share their advice on closing the gender gap this IWD 2017 To mark International Women’s Day 2017 several technology leaders have shared their comments on why diversity in the workforce is so important to business. Below they share their views, tips and advice on what industry can do to close the gender gap. Mandi Walls, Technical Community Manager EMEA, Chef Software, said: “Greater diversity has consistently been found to lead to greater organisational performance – from a profit, market share and customer retention perspective. Embracing inclusivity makes your workplace more attractive to a wider range of people, thus expanding the potential pool of talent you have to call on. It also leads to better products and services because a more diverse team is more likely to create solutions which address the needs of a wider range of users. “More still needs to be done to pique young people’s interest in technology from an early age, in order to promote and educate a more diverse potential workforce about an industry that has, traditionally, been dominated by men.” Barnaby Parker, CEO of Venquis, said: “Culture is at the root of the lack of diversity. The technology industry has essentially been designed, developed and implemented by men. Even the language used in training material is rooted in masculinity and it doesn’t exactly create a welcoming environment or allow female professionals to know that technology is even an option for them. “Too few organisations make a real,… Read more

John Deere Floats Drones as the Next Big Tool for Construction Workers

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via Fortune : John Deere Floats Drones as the next big tool for construction workers John Deere sees a future where construction workers use drones to help with their jobs. The equipment manufacturing giant said Tuesday it’s partnering with drone technology startup Kespry, a deal that will involve John Deere’s sales teams selling drones and related services to the construction industry. Kespry currently leases to construction and insurance companies drones that can take pictures of work sites and transfer the photos to Amazon Web Services (AMZN, -0.09%), where the custom software processes the imagery. In September, insurance titan Allstate said Kespry was one of the drone startups it used to inspect homes for storm damage in Texas. Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter. As part of the deal, John Deere’s network of more than 400 American and Canadian dealers will “introduce customers” to Kespry’s various drone services, while the startup handles customer support and flight training, said Andrew Kahler, a product marketing manager with John Deere. One of the ways drones can help construction workers is by flying over their construction sites while taking pictures. These pictures can help construction workers keep tabs on their productivity, track their materials, and monitor how their projects come together, Kahler explained. Construction companies are still able to take photos of their construction sites using rovers or by having workers climb up high edifices to take pictures themselves. But compared to drones, these methods are slower, Kahler said. Kespry vice president of marketing David Shearer… Read more

Dell Ships First Recycled Ocean Plastics Packaging In Computer Industry

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via Nation Multimedia : Dell ships first recycled ocean plastics packaging in computer industry Dell announced that it has become the first computer manufacturer to ship ocean plastics packaging, the result of an innovative, commercial-scale pilot program. Dell said in its press statement that it has recycled plastics collected from waterways and beaches for use in the new packaging tray for its Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, building on Dell’s broader sustainable supply chain strategy. In 2017, its ocean plastics pilot will keep 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean, the statement added. Dell will transition its award-winning XPS 13 2-in-1 to ocean plastics packaging beginning April 30, 2017. The company also will include educational information on its packaging to raise global awareness and action on ocean ecosystem health solutions, an area of shared interest between Dell, its Social Good Advocate, Adrian Grenier and the Lonely Whale Foundation. To help ensure the packaging does not end up back in the oceans, Dell will stamp each tray with the No. 2 recycling symbol, designating it as HDPE (which is commonly recyclable in many locations). Dell’s Packaging team designs and sources its product packaging to be more than 93 percent recyclable by weight so that it can be reused as part of the circular economy, the statement said. The ocean plastics supply chain process is made of multiple stages: Dell’s partners intercept ocean plastics at the source in waterways, shorelines and beaches before it reaches the ocean. It then processes and refines the… Read more

The Future of Driverless Cars In The UK: A Roadmap

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via Tech City News : The future of driverless cars in the UK: A roadmap In the Spring Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a £270m investment fund for ‘disruptive technologies’ including driverless cars. This is in line with the government’s Modern Transport Bill, which aims to ensure autonomous vehicles (AV’s) are on Britain’s roads within four years. They are already being piloted in London, Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) predicts driverless cars will add £51bn to the UK economy by 2030 if Britain is to dominate the technology. Assisted driving Operates at present Cars are already fitted with assistance systems, from autonomous emergency braking (AEB) which makes vehicles brake in advance of crashing; to lane departure technology, which ensures motorists remain safely in their lanes. These systems use cameras and radars help monitor hazards. Some cars, such as the Volvo 590, have semi-autonomous driving systems for speeds of below 30mph, but drivers are required to keep their hands on the steering wheel. ‘Hands off’ self-driving On the roads by 2018 By 2018, it’s expected cars will be smarter with a greater ability to steer, accelerate and brake. Although drivers must remain alert, they will be able to remove their hands from the wheel for up to three minutes at a time. More advanced assistance systems will exist for the driver when they are in control, including real-time data-driven navigation. Automated driving and connected cars On the roads by 2021 By 2021, it’s thought… Read more