Inside The Lamborghini Lab That’s Reinventing Carbon Fiber


via Digital Trends : Inside The Lamborghini Lab That’s Reinventing Carbon Fiber It’s easy to draw parallels between a Lamborghini and an airplane. Both boast a wind-cheating design, both are incredibly quick, and both are coveted by the rich and the famous. The fighter jet-style start switch on the center console of the brand’s most recent models adds substance to the comparison, as do the toggle switches on the dashboard. But, the similarities are more than skin-deep. Like airplane and helicopter manufacturers, Lamborghini relies heavily on advanced composite materials such as carbon fiber to make its cars as light as possible. Some of the technology – and the way it’s applied during the development process – comes straight from the world of aerospace. Lamborghini handles every step of the production process in-house; its engineers call this a building block approach. To find out how it’s done, we flew to the company’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, put on a uniform, and spent a day shadowing workers. THE SEATTLE CONNECTION Lamborghini began dabbling in carbon fiber in 1982. At the time, its cars were largely built using various types of sheet metal, and the composites department was just a tiny fragment of the brand’s research and development effort. By chance, some of the engineers who founded the department were Italians that had previously worked for Boeing in Seattle, Washington. They diligently applied the lessons learned while developing the 767 airliner to the world of high-end, high-performance cars. The team was made up… Read more

GM’s Cruise Driverless Car Unit Gets Into High-Definition Mapping


via TechCrunch : GM’s Cruise Driverless Car Unit Gets Into High-Definition Mapping The tech used in making cars drivereless can also be very well suited to building HD maps of roads and cities, which are then in turn used to make driverless cars better. So it isn’t surprising when companies working on autonomous tech also focus on building their own high-definition maps, which go beyond regular maps by fusing LiDAR, radar and visual information for a very accurate milimeter-level detail. That’s why it makes perfect sense to see GM’s Cruise Automation do more in HD mapping, as the WSJ reports, with a new role being recruited to head up a dedicated HD mapping team within the company, which the automaker acquired last year. GM’s mapping efforts via Cruise will eventually cover over 100 cities, the job offer says, and could help to give the company an edge over would-be rivals in the autonomous car tech field, including Alphabet’s Waymo. There are a range of companies working on HD mapping for self-driving cars, including Ford-backed Civil Maps and HERE, the mapping service co-owned by Daimler, BMW and Audi following its acquisition from Nokia. Likewise, Mobileye is working on real-time mapping solutions for autonomous in tandem with HERE. Many automakers seem content to leave HD mapping to partners in the supply chain, rather than something they do in-house, but it becomes a more important piece of the puzzle to own if you want to create a solution you can offer turn-key to other… Read more

This Startup Is Disrupting The Construction Industry With 3D-Printing Robots


via Forbes : This Startup Is Disrupting The Construction Industry With 3D-Printing Robots0But now, thanks to Silicon Valley-based entrepreneurs Chris Kelsey and Fernando De los Rios, we can expect to see 3D printing robots on building sites rather than hundred of masons in Dubai, and around the world. Interestingly, Dubai has set a target for 25% of buildings to be 3D-printed by 2030. “It’s an incredibly exciting time to be involved with this technology, as it presents great promise in terms of efficiency and capabilities,” says Kelsey, CEO and cofounder of Cazza, a 3D printing construction technology launched in 2016. The startup plans to create large-scale developments in Dubai using its 3D printing robots — a giant, mobile piece of crane-like equipment. “Our technology will change the construction industry, as we are able to drastically cut labor and material costs, and time.” According to Cazza, its 3D printing robots are capable of constructing low-rise buildings, while the technology for skyscrapers is still being tested. A serial entrepreneur, Kelsey, who grew up in California, began to seriously look at the market for 3D printing in construction early last year, using the proceeds generated from the sale of an earlier company – an app and website development business known as Appsitude that he founded when he was 17. After he sold his business, Kelsey says, “I was planning to invest in a construction company developing technology in 3D printing space but I couldn’t find any that matched what I was looking for.” That’s… Read more

Top 5 Global Green Building Trends of 2017

via Interesting Engineering : Top 5 Global Green Building Trends of 2017  Thanks in part to the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, green building projects are increasing worldwide. As a matter of fact, from 2015 to 2018 the percentage of global builders with at least 60 percent of their projects certified green will double, according to the World Green Building Trends report. The main motivation behind green construction is to reduce carbon emissions. And the most successful ways to do that revolve around energy usage. Namely, to decrease energy consumption and increase energy efficiency in homes and buildings around the world. 1. Solar Panels in All Shapes and Sizes The worldwide acceptance of solar as the energy of the future is causing solar technology to get better and cheaper — fast. In 2016, India set aside $3 billion of state funding to ensure their capacity for solar power reaches 100 Gigawatts by the year 2022. On May 25, 2017, the UK made news when they generated nearly a quarter of their power needs from solar panels. And right now, China is smack in the middle of creating the largest solar thermal farm in the world. Huge, heavy panels with bulky grids are no longer the only options for a solar roof install. In the U.S., Tesla has already rolled out its new solar shingles — every conscientious, rich American homeowner’s dream — while Forward Labs’ standing seam metal solar roofing — an option for the more frugal U.S. sector —… Read more

5 Ways Artificial Intelligence May Help Us Live At Home Longer


via Forbes : 5 Ways Artificial Intelligence May Help Us Live At Home Longer Richard Adler knows a few things about the uneasy relationship between older adults and technology. It’s something that Adler, a distinguished research fellow at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, Calif., has been studying for more than 25 years. One thing, in particular, has struck him. “The truth is that a lot of older adults are technophobes,” he said. “They tend to be classically late adopters of almost any technology.” Even though they are the ones with the most to gain from embracing the latest technology, Adler said. Hesitant About Artificial Intelligence That wariness may especially be true when it comes to the digital innovation that seems destined to become the next game-changer — artificial intelligence or AI. The name alone conjures up notions of talking robots and other brainy devices. That can seem creepy to older adults, not to mention that the idea of being around thinking machines can make them anxious about losing privacy or perhaps even worse, constantly being reminded of their own slipping cognitive skills. Actually, artificial intelligence covers a lot of ground. But put simply, “intelligent” machines, instead of just being programmed to do a task step by step, are able to learn by recognizing patterns, classifying data and adjusting to mistakes they make. Helping Older Adults Stay at Home It’s that ability to draw conclusions from enormous amounts of data that’s making AI a key component of efforts to… Read more

Telcos Seek 5G Cutting Edge Growth


via China Daily : Telcos Seek 5G Cutting Edge Growth Chinese giants aim to gain advantage in expansion of ultra-fast technology Chinese telecom companies are accelerating their research and development of 5G, as they scramble to establish a beachhead in the next-generation mobile communication technology. China Mobile Communications Corp, the world’s largest telecom carrier by subscribers, said it aims to deploy more than 10,000 5G base stations by 2020, in a move to launch a commercial 5G service. With less than 1 millisecond needed for data to get from one point to another, 5G is expected to allow consumers to download an 8-gigabit movie in seconds, and make remote surgery and autonomous driving a reality. The Beijing-based company is building facilities for system verification and the development of pre-commercial 5G prototypes. China Mobile’s move is part of broad efforts by the nation to evolve from being a follower in the 3G era to an active participant that seeks to outcompete foreign firms in the 5G era. The mobile technology is so important that it was highlighted in this year’s Government Work Report. According to a report by the US firm Qualcomm Inc, 5G will help the global telecom industry create $3.5 trillion of output and generate 22 million jobs by 2035. To accelerate the development of 5G technology, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a draft proposal on Tuesday that the low-frequency bands-the 3,300 to 3,600MHz spectrum and the 4,800 to 5,000 MHz spectrum-will be used for 5G… Read more

‘Engineering with Soul’ Can Help Solve the World’s Problems


via Seattle Times : ‘Engineering with Soul’ Can Help Solve the World’s Problems I was in the Bolivian Andes, 14,000 feet up. The 1970s-vintage water pipeline that snaked from a seep, across a river and down to the village’s water tank was slowly failing. Our engineering team from the University of Washington — with me as a mentor — was stuck. We couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t performing. Was the pipe just old, broken, leaking; was someone pirating water; or was there not the same volume of water coming from the seep that had been used for hundreds of years? During that moment of frustration, I remember thinking: “We can’t just solve this with science and engineering know-how alone. We can’t analyze our way out of this. What do we do?” In the end, that project was successful. Why? Because our team held community meetings and we involved the villagers in the design process. The elders remembered a rudimentary water-rights treaty; others pointed to broken piping and poorly managed spigots. In essence, the whole system needed replacing. That was a light-bulb moment in my engineering career. My team saw firsthand the power of collaborating with the community to achieve science-backed goals. In other words, we practiced something I’ve come to embrace whether in Bolivia, or the U.S., as “engineering with soul.” In my science and engineering career, I often see that in our excitement to solve hard technical problems we diminish the key step of engaging with the people who… Read more

Snap is Developing a Second Version of Spectacles Which May Include Augmented Reality


via TechCrunch : Snap is Developing a Second Version of Spectacles Which May Include Augmented Reality Snap extended the sale of its Spectacles into Europe this month, but already the company is working on a second version of the video-recording glasses which could be quite radical, according to a source with knowledge of the plans. The first set of Spectacles went on sale last year and are priced at $129.99. They allow their owner to take photos and videos which can then be posted to the Snapchat service. The idea is to give users a way to create and share different types of content. The second-generation project is closely guarded inside the company — to the point that few of Snap’s 1,800 staff are aware of the product’s details or when it will ship, another source told TechCrunch. What we do understand, however, that the next version is billed as being “quite different” to the first gen glasses, although it isn’t clear at this point exactly what that entails. It seems increasingly likely that Spectacles II will ship with augmented reality features built in. A major clue came last month when a Snap patent application for AR glasses was discovered by Mashable. The filing, dated November 2015, details how Snap plans to use a dual-glass arrangement to sense a user’s location and then beam digital content into the space around them. Snap’s app is already primed to support such a move. It recently rolled out an augmented reality feature — called… Read more

Vipp Prefabricated Cabins Designed as “Battery-Charging Stations for Humans”


via dezeen : Vipp Prefabricated Cabins Designed as “Battery-Charging Stations for Humans” Danish retailer Vipp has created a factory-made, metal-and-glass micro dwelling that comes filled with the company’s line of homeware products. Called Shelter, the 55-square-metre structure is intended to serve as a nature retreat and “battery-charging station for humans”, said Kasper Egelund, who heads the brand. “Vipp has made a plug-and-play getaway that allows you to escape urban chaos,” said the company, which has a showroom in New York. Vipp got it starts more than 75 years ago with the invention of its pedal-controlled metal wastebin, which is part of MoMA’s collection. The company offers an extensive line of metal and ceramic homeware, with Shelter, first unveiled in 2015, marking its first venture into dwellings. Other product companies that now produce housing include Japanese brand Muji, which recently unveiled a nine-square-metre, blackened timber hut that will sell for £21,000. The Vipp cabin consists of a metal-and-glass rectangular box that is elevated off the ground by pilotis. Two chambers protrude from the roof – one of which contains a light chimney, while the other houses a compact sleeping loft. Prefabricated just north of Copenhagen, each steel-framed cabin takes six months to produce and three to five days to install. The cost is €485,000 (£410,700), which does not include transportation. On the main level, the dwelling contains a kitchen, a dining area, a bathroom and a daybed room with a fireplace. A ladder leads to the narrow sleeping loft, which has a… Read more

Dutch Engineering Students Build Bio-Based Electric Car


via hybridCars : Dutch Engineering Students Build Bio-Based Electric Car Student engineers from a Dutch tech university are working on bringing electric cars to roads made entirely from recyclable, natural bio-based materials. The engineering team from Eindhoven University of Technology this week presented their car, called Lina, at a media event in the Netherlands embassy in London. Flax has served as a key composite in the lightweight electric car. The team says that what makes Lina special is that the chassis, bodywork, and the interior of the car all come from natural materials. The car is very light at just 300 kilograms (661 lbs.). It’s considered roadworthy and safe enough to carry four people, and was given certification to do so by the Netherlands Vehicle Authority. The team, dubbed TU/ecomotive, was able to combine bio-composites and bio-plastic for the chassis, including honeycomb structure bioplastic coming from sugar beets. It’s been set within bio-composite sheets that come from flax. The flax-based bodywork is comparable to fiberglass in weight ratio. The students revealed Lina on May 17 during Dutch Technology Week. Later in the month, TU/ecomotive competed at the Shell Eco Marathon in London. Dutch automotive semiconductor specialist NPX has funded the project, and sees it as vital for the auto industry. “It is a wish, at the moment, that the automotive industry will explore ways of reducing the use of energy in its products,” said NPX Vice President Olivier Cottereau. “Of course, it’s still an uncertainty because everything has to be rigorously… Read more