Futurologist Predicts Construction Technology by 2075


via pbctoday: A report examining the role that technology will play in the construction industry in the future has highlighted that drones, 3D printing and roofs made from recycled plastic bottles will all be possible by 2025 The report, written by well-known future gazer, Dr Ian Pearson BSc DSc(hc), and commissioned by Colmore Tang Construction and Virgin StartUp, also revealed that floating buildings and apartments will be possible by 2050 thanks to carbon foam, which is lighter than air. By 2025 drones will be able to carry large materials up construction sites and, even more extraordinarily, plastic bottles recovered from the world’s oceans will be recycled to create a roof. Over the next decade, artificial intelligence (AI) will be commonplace, linking to sensors and cameras around construction sites, ensuring that buildings are being developed according to the architect’s plans. Humans will work alongside AIs. Looking more than 50 years into the future, by 2075 Dr Pearson suggests that self-assembling buildings under AI control will allow a new form of structure – kinetic architecture – where a structure is literally thrown into the sky and assembled while gravity forms the materials into beautiful designs. However, it is 3D printing that will steal most of the construction headlines in the immediate future, according to Dr Pearson. Cheap homes, built quickly using 3D printing, will essentially put an end to the housing crisis. The report was launched by Colmore Tang Construction, who has partnered with Virgin StartUp to deliver a £10m innovation fund that… Read more

Stretching Electronics Give Circuits Healing Power


via engineering.com: The seeds of discovery often come from the desire to make things easier for humans. Sometimes, innovation happens because non-human elements are given human-like abilities. The ability to repair oneself tops the list. The automotive industry has tires that can self-inflate if they go flat and metals that can bounce back after a ding. Other research focuses on creating concrete that can fill its own cracks. Mimicking the self-healing ability of humans is about to go robotic. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University recently announced the creation of a soft-matter material which can create soft, stretchable electrical circuits that instantly repair after sustaining extreme mechanical damage. “If we want to build machines that are more compatible with the human body and the natural environment, we have to start with new types of materials,” said Carmel Majidi, an engineer at Carnegie Mellon University who directs the Integrated Soft Materials Laboratory. The researchers found that the technology of stretchable electronics is a key component for progress in wearable computing, soft robotics and inflatable structures that use soft materials such as elastomers, polyelectrolyte gels and liquid metal. The downside to these is their vulnerability to tears, punctures and mechanical damages that can cause electrical failure. Their solution was to create a composite material consisting of liquid metal droplets suspended in a soft elastomer. If damage occurs, the droplets instantly rupture to form new conductive pathways with nearby droplets and reroute electrical signals. The spontaneous self-repair means no manual repair or external heat is… Read more

New Puncture-Free Tyres Could Save Lives On The Road


via CANSTAR: A new “self-healing” car tyre is being heralded as a potential life-saver, putting an end to often dangerous tyre-changes by the side of the road. The puncture-free tyre, known as the ASV-P free tyre, is set to provide additional safety for motorists through self-sealing gel, allowing any punctures suffered while driving to be repaired almost instantly, with little affect on the driver or safety of their passengers. Produced by ASV Euro Car Parts, the Australian-made, puncture-free tyre is said to be a world-first and was patented last year. The ASV-P free tyre is now available for Aussie motorists to buy. “The ASV-P free tyre is a huge leap forward in safety-first technology,” ASV CEO Aron Soghomonian said. The tyre’s sealing gel comprises of three essential ingredients, as well as a thermoplastic elastomer, resin and rubber processing in addition to extender oil. When punctured by a foreign object such as a nail, the gel seals around the puncture, even if the object becomes dislodged. Despite the puncture, the tyre remains inflated without a change in tyre pressure, ensuring that there is no impact on driving safety or car performance. While existing run-flat tyres can last for up to 100km before they need replacing, drivers with the ASV-P free tyre may not have to visit a service center until the end of the tyre’s life. The new tyre is also tipped to have a major impact on the auto industry as a whole, with ASV suggesting that vehicle-reliant industries such as… Read more

Using Artificial Intelligence to Address Society’s Real-Life Problems


via livemint: Given its wide and growing range of capabilities and applications, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be effectively used to improve the state of public healthcare in many parts of the world. And while AI is being increasingly used in clinics to treat individual patients, its application in public health systems has been far less in comparison. From my experience of studying the social impact of computing in developing worlds and multiple areas of public health, I strongly believe that AI can strengthen public health systems and transform medical logistics. AI can, for instance, supplement the ongoing worldwide efforts to improve immunization logistics and ensure adequate supply of vaccines for children at every local health centre. It can also address many other issues that surround the vaccine cold chain; for instance, the challenge of storing the vaccines at the right temperature in fully operational refrigerators. AI can open ways to improve every aspect of logistics, from transport to storage. Effective application of AI, however, is possible only if the intervening organizations are armed with a combination of relevant government data and advanced AI analytics. Over the years, there have been significant advancements in AI, which have increased its potential to apply computational game theory, machine learning, automated planning, and multi-agent reasoning techniques to socially relevant problems. But, without proper data, it is impossible to analyse a social crisis. The primary reason for the lack, or absence, of relevant data in most cases is that the population in those areas does not… Read more

MINI LIVING + Freelandbuck’s Urban Cabin Offers Living Quality Within 15m2


via DesignBoom: The 2018 los angeles design festival has begun and with it, one of the most anticipated installations has opened its doors: the MINI LIVING urban cabin. the new site-specific installation, which resides on the rooftop of the ROW DTLA, is the first in the series to house overnight guests. it follows the project that started in 2017, with stops in london and at A/D/O, brooklyn, NYC. ‘we’re working on our own very distinct interpretation of co-living. our aim is to enable a genuine sense of community, opening doors and creating public space,’ explains esther bahne, head of strategy and innovation MINI. ‘our installations and visionary formats seek to explore a whole new range of possibilities in the creative use of space, and we’re now putting what we’ve learned into practice in the form of real-life construction projects.’ MINI’s urban cabin is a continuous installation project comprised of a small living unit that travels to various locations across the world, adapted for each city by local architects. each variation is designed with limited space and inspired by local surroundings, demonstrating creative approaches to the challenge of saving space while creating unique identities. the concept has been designed to demonstrate how a living space can be smart and flexible while, at the same time, make its inhabitants feel at home. the LA cabin, with a footprint of just 15-square-meters, is a downtown oasis that allows visitors to embrace nature at the heart of the city. furthermore, the design focuses on enhancing… Read more

Michelin Plans To Make Tyres Using 80% Sustainable Materials


via moneycontrol: French tyre major Michelin aims to produce all its products using 80 percent sustainable materials, with 100 percent of tyres to be recycled by 2048. Announcing its Vision Concept: From Ambition to Action, at Movin’On event here, the company said the target would be achieved by research programmes into bio-sourced materials like Biobutterfly and advanced technologies and materials that are developed through partnerships. The world-wide recovery rate for tires is 70 percent today and the recycling rate is 50 percent, Michelin said in a statement. At present the company’s tyres are made using 28 percent sustainable items — 26 percent bio-sourced materials like natural rubber, sunflower oil and limonene and 2 percent recycled materials such as steel or recycled powdered tyres, it added. For a sustainable future, Michelin is investing in high technology recycling technologies to be able to increase this content to 80 percent sustainable materials, it added. In order to develop sustainable materials Michelin had launched the Biobutterfly programme in 2012 in partnership with Axens and IFP Energies Nouvelles to create synthetic elastomers from biomass such as wood, straw or beet. With an eye on developing new sustainable technologies, Michelin had recently acquired Lehigh Technologies, a specialist in high technology micro powders which are derived from recycled tires. Christophe Rahier, Director of the High Technology Materials Business Line at Michelin, said: “This acquisition demonstrates Michelin’s strategic determination to capitalise on its expertise in high-tech materials, in areas that extend beyond the field of tires. In particular, by… Read more

Google’s Virtual Assistant Mimics Human Voice To Book Appointments


via CBS Minnesota: PHILADELPHIA (CBS/CNN) – Imagine not having to spend time making appointments. Well, Google is unveiling technology that can save you the hassle. Google’s Virtual Assistant will now be able to place phone calls for you and accomplish simple tasks, such as making an appointment. It even sounds like a real person. In theory, the assistant will interact as naturally as a real human, and the hair salon or dentist will have no idea they’re not talking to a real person. It even says “um” and “mm-hmm” like an actual human. It’s the only voice assistant without a human name, but it’s finally serving up more personality. Google’s voice assistant has six new voices, including a gender neutral option and one from John Legend. He won’t be able to tell you the news or weather, but he recorded a series of custom responses. For example, he’ll gladly sing you “Happy Birthday,” if you ask. Google also announced an optional feature that will reward polite kids with replies, such as “Thanks for saying please,” “What a nice way to ask me,” and “You’re very polite.” Amazon recently added a similar feature. Google showcased the new technology on Tuesday. The new features will launch later this summer. (©Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)

Wifi Mesh Technology Could Kick-Start The Smart Home


via telecoms.com: An emerging technology designed to create a seamless domestic connectivity experience could create a bunch of other opportunities, according to Qualcomm Atheros. We spoke to Irvind Ghai, VP of Product Management at Qualcomm Atheros, at a briefing in London. After covering the recent announcements of some new 5G NR small cells and a collaboration with Facebook over its Terragraph FWA project, we moved onto wifi, which is one of the areas Ghai’s bit of Qualcomm focuses on. One of the most interesting concepts we covered was wifi mesh, which involves installing multiple (typically three) wifi nodes in the house to extend the range of a router. Unlike current fixes such as wireline wifi extenders, a mesh has additional cleverness that enables your connected devices to dynamically hand over between nodes depending on which provides the best signal. The really clever bit, however, lies on some of the ancillary stuff this technology enables. Of greatest interest to CSPs could be a radar-like ability to map the interior of the home, which enables localised responses to voice commands. For example you could say “lights on” when you’re in the kitchen and the smart home system would only turn the lights on in the kitchen. In fact these sorts of systems can apparently support their own voice UI systems and, such is the precision of this domestic radar that it can also support things like gesture UI. On top of that it can detect when doors and windows are open, so it… Read more

Editorial: Will Wind Energy Deliver?

Wind turbines are seen at Thanet Offshore Wind Farm off the Kent coast in southern England September 23, 2010. Thanet farm is the world's largest operational offshore wind farm.   REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: ENERGY ENVIRONMENT) - RTXSKIH

via Boston Herald: Last week, Massachusetts announced the winner of a new offshore wind contract — which means the Bay State is about to get its first offshore wind farm. The Vineyard Wind project will be located at least a dozen miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and is expected to generate 800 megawatts of energy — enough to power 400,000 homes. Vineyard Wind is aiming for 2021 to be up and operational. There is a lot to like about wind. The rows of wind turbines standing 397 feet tall (that’s 92 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty), rising out of the water are visually striking with their sleek blades turning in concert. Wind energy is completely green energy, powered by a vast and inexhaustible resource. It does not pollute the water or the air. There is no ugly byproduct to contend with nor does the apparatus itself take up a lot of space. According to its website, “Vineyard Wind will offer $3.7 billion in energy related cost savings over the life of the project while eliminating 1.68 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions — the equivalent of taking 325,000 cars off the road.” It sounds very promising as do a lot of the carefully worded­ highlights on the Vineyard Wind’s “Benefits” page. “Vineyard Wind’s turbines, totaling up to 800 MW, are expected to reliably produce the amount of energy used by over 450,000 Massachusetts homes. Offshore wind delivers much of its power in the winter, when Massachusetts needs the… Read more

UNF: ‘Pioneer’ Female Engineering Students Design Water System for Guatemalan Village


via Jacksonville: Collecting water for cooking, cleaning and other household chores used to be an all-day affair for the women of La Esperanza, a rural village of about 1,000 people in the highlands area of Guatemala. But the University of North Florida’s first all-female senior civil engineering team designed a new water distribution system for the community, which was built by local workers and began operations this spring. The system not only benefited an entire community and freed hours of time for its women, but showcased the skills and potential of the five members of the team who graduated in early May. “We hope that we have helped to show that engineering isn’t just a man in a suit working in a cubicle, it is about passionate people solving problems in the world,” said team leader Taylor Broussard, 22. “Helping other people to get their basic needs in life taken care of is one of the most important things you could do,” said team member Amber Slack, also 22. Christopher Brown, their civil engineering associate professor at UNF, said he “couldn’t be more proud.” “This team of engineering students was not only the first all-female civil engineering team in UNF history, they were truly one of the best teams I have ever worked with,” he said. “This was obviously more than just a senior project to them, they truly care about the villagers. They engineered an incredible project on an international scale, overcoming language barriers and successfully organizing with our partners.”… Read more