Scientists in India 3D Print an Ear That Survives and Grows Inside the Body


via 3D The quest to develop viable, transplantable 3D printed body parts continues, with major victories coming here and there as scientists successfully implant organs like thyroids and ovaries into mice. But while accomplishments like those make the headlines, there are far more times when scientists 3D print a body part in a lab only to have it turn out to be structurally unfit for transplantation or unable to survive as part of a living thing. One area of focus has been 3D printing body parts made of cartilage, such as the ear. While 3D printed ears have been created using cartilage taken from elsewhere in a patient’s body, the goal is to 3D print an entirely new ear from stem cells, without the need to remove cartilage from anywhere else within the patient. A group of researchers from SRM University and SIMS Hospital in India are making their own progress toward 3D printed ears, an area where they have dedicated almost two years of work. Earlier this week, the scientists revealed an ear that they had 3D printed, and stated that the technology was used to 3D print pieces of cartilage that continued to survive and grow when implanted in rabbits. “We still have a long way to go before we give this to a child with a birth defect, but we now have a definite path,” said SIMS Hospital Medical Director Dr. K Sridhar, a senior plastic surgeon. “We will be doing a large scale animal study to… Read more

I-Kanda Places Angular Cabin Stop Granite Rock in New England


via dezeen: American studio I-Kanda Architects has created a prefabricated cabin in the woods of New Hampshire, to provide a family getaway surrounded by evergreens. Measuring 900 square feet (84 square metres), the one-bedroom home Cabin on a Rock was designed as a weekend residence for a couple and their two young children by Boston-based firm I-Kanda Architects. The home is located in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, with a mound of bedrock supporting the unit as a timber porch cantilevers over its slope. The cabin has strong geometries, and is clad in black metal and timber to accent its varied lines. Its structure comprises concrete footings and a prefabricated frame. “Instead of levelling the granite ledge, the topography is embraced; the structure is lifted on nine hand-poured concrete footings – a system selected in order to tread lightly on the sloped site,” said the architecture studio. To construct the remote house more easily, the studio worked with Bensonwood to create a pre-manufactured timber frame and deliver it to the site. “All wood framing members were engineered and CNC-cut before being delivered to site wrapped, labelled, and ready for assembly, thus shortening construction time and reducing site disturbance,” said the studio. A rectangular outdoor deck leads to the main entrance. Inside is a sitting room and kitchen, which features items like a built-in cabinet and refrigerator, and a wood-burning fireplace. The small footprint dictated the number of rooms, and led to a lofted area overlooking the home’s main living space. Past the… Read more

Building with Waste and Recycled Material


via A residential module fully constructed from reusable, recyclable, and compostable materials: This is the premise for the newest unit in NEST, the modular research and innovation building run by Empa and Eawag in Dübendorf. On 8 February 2018, the NEST “Urban Mining & Recycling” unit will open its doors and henceforth house two students. At the same time, as an active lab it will also help to advance the construction industry’s transition to a recycling economy. A growing scarcity of resources, along with the resulting desire to move away from today’s throwaway mentality, means that the building sector must give more thought to the multiple use and recyclability of materials, as well as to alternative methods of construction. The newest NEST unit called “Urban Mining & Recycling” implements these ideas; the result is a residential module featuring structures and materials that can be fully reused, repurposed, recycled, or composted, following deconstruction of the module. The concept was devised by Werner Sobek with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel. Werner Sobek is Director of the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design at the University of Stuttgart and founder of the Werner Sobek Group. Dirk E. Hebel is the Director and Felix Heisel is the Head of Research at the Chair of Sustainable Construction at KIT Karlsruhe and the Future Cities Laboratory at the Singapore-ETH Center. “The ongoing, sustained growth of the global population as well as dwindling resources urgently require us to do some rethinking in the construction industry”,… Read more

Goodyear Comes Up with Innovative ‘Eagle 360’


via Aninews: Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb.10 (ANI): A key and innovative offering at this year’s Auto Expo is the “Eagle-360”, a spherical-shaped and future-oriented tyre, from Goodyear. Experts in the automotive industry and the gneral public at large are viewing this tyre as a breakthrough technology in the tyre sector, as it is promising to ensure smoother manouverability, connectivity and bimimicry for autonomous mobility in self-driven cars. Once offered in the commercial space, this spherical-shaped tyre will allow any car to move in all directions, while at the same time ensuring passenger safety. It promises to take care of the problem of space limitation, particualrly when it comes to parking in the city centre or in crowded market places. A Goodyear representative told ANI that each tyre has embedded sensors that look after driver and passenger safety through communication of road and weather conditions to the control panle of a vehicle. He also said that each Eagle 360 tyre is connected via magnetic levitation that allows a vehicle to be suspended enough to allow for a smooth and quiet ride. #D printed treads behave like natural sponges that stiffenin dry conditions and soften in wet to deliver a driving performance that is excellent and ensures acqua-planning resistance. P.K.Walia, Vice President (Consumer Business), described Goodyear as a pioneer in tyre technology and as a company that was constantly and consistently challenging itself to innovate, be future smart and reliable in terms of the products that it would be offering to… Read more

Battery Technology Will Define the Future of Renewable Energy


via thehill: It is an exciting time to be involved in energy innovation. There have been developments on multiple fronts at the consumer level with the introduction of new models of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, and perhaps more importantly, at the utility level with massive commercial investments in renewable energy generation and storage technologies. Renewable energy, especially solar and wind power, is quickly becoming the dominant locus of new electricity generation investment. The Bloomberg 2017 New Energy Outlook predicts that $10.2 trillion will be spent on new power generation worldwide through 2040, and a massive 72 percent of this will be invested in new wind and solar plants. The broader availability of clean power is an encouraging development from both an environmental and an economic perspective. However, as energy markets accelerate along the transition from conventional to sustainable energy generation, there will be a growing problem that the industry must address. The challenge is that a growing reliance on wind and solar energy can cause electrical grids to become unstable. Everyone can understand that the output of solar and wind farms naturally fluctuates due to cloud cover and wind speeds. As these intermittent sources of power grow in importance, so does the potential for damaging jolts to local and regional grids. Risks range from localized voltage drops that wreak havoc on modern electronic devices to blackouts of the kind that, in 2016, plunged almost all of South Australia into darkness for nearly 48 hours in some areas, an event that was… Read more

The Bright, Bold World of Maximalist Workspace Design


via allwork: Creating a distinctive environment infused with maximalist design can be a multi-pronged tool in the operator’s toolbox. It’s capable of wowing clients, attracting and retaining talent, expressing branding, and even balancing risk in a real estate portfolio, according to a multi-location European firm. What exactly is maximalism and where did it come from? Maximalism spaces are layered and rich, full of pattern and color and mixed finishes; they play with scale and proportion and aren’t afraid to be fun and eclectic, according to Ruth-Anne McMillan of McMillan Interiors of Dublin. In addition to wildly juxtaposed colors, patterns and textures, it might also encompass visible collections, art and artifacts sourced over time and travels. Much like politics, design cycles swing in popularity. Some call the “more is more” mode a response to restraint that many years of minimalism and modern design imposed. Maximalism has been noted as modern design’s expressive side, a style that allows designers more freedom and consumers the opportunity for personal expression. Another theory points to maximalism’s excess providing a multi-sensory counterpoint to today’s overdose on two-dimensional screens. Up until recently, maximalism has been associated primarily with fashion and residential environments, where disparate elements are blended into a single environment and collectibles. But it is now being used to create high impact work spaces. For Ireland’s Iconic Offices, the design is a business strategy first and foremost, according to CEO Joe McGinley, whose firm leverages a portfolio of historic buildings and unrestrained design to successfully compete in… Read more

Drone Trends to Watch Out for in 2018


via TECHWIRE Asia: LAST year saw the increase use of drone technology across a wide range of industries. From delivering pizzas to scanning unreachable military bases, today many people are using this technology in weird and wonderful ways, achieving great success in both their operations and marketing initiatives. The drone is also flying full speed ahead in the consumer market, though some uses of the flying tech have been controversial. For instance, criminals have been using drones to smuggle drugs, and citizens, to spy on their neighbors. Despite the obvious challenges, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology has been shown to have a great impact on the world, even saving the lives of hurricane victims. And this year, this trend is only set to continue, with an expected total addressable value of US$127 billion by 2020. Set to disrupt various markets including security, infrastructure inspection, and agriculture, The Next Web have outlined four reasons as to why 2018 will be a defining year for the drone industry. The evolution of drone technology This year, drones are set to evolve in a variety of ways. Firstly, by an increase in Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) missions. Currently, users must be able to see the drone they’re using in sight. But with the development of BVLOS, the flyer can be in one location, while the drone is carrying out its job in another. This will especially impact security and surveillance systems. Today, drones tend to work by collecting data and then bringing it back… Read more

A New Type of Solar Cell is Coming to Market


via The Economist: SOMETIMES it takes a while for the importance of a scientific discovery to become clear. When the first perovskite, a compound of calcium, titanium and oxygen, was discovered in the Ural mountains in 1839, and named after Count Lev Perovski, a Russian mineralogist, not much happened. The name, however, has come to be used as a plural to describe a range of other compounds that share the crystal structure of the original. In 2006 interest perked up when Tsutomu Miyasaka of Toin University in Japan discovered that some perovskites are semiconductors and showed particular promise as the basis of a new type of solar cell. In 2012 Henry Snaith of the University of Oxford, in Britain, and his colleagues found a way to make perovskite solar cells with an efficiency (measured in terms of how well a cell converts light into electric current) of just over 10%. This was such a good conversion rate that Dr Snaith immediately switched the direction of Oxford Photovoltaics, a firm he had co-founded to develop new solar materials, into making perovskites—and perovskites alone. Progress has continued, and now that firm, and also Saule Technologies, a Polish concern founded in 2014 to do similar things, are close to bringing the first commercial perovskite solar cells to market. Today 10% is quite a modest efficiency for a perovskite cell in the coddling conditions of a laboratory. For lab cells values above 22% are now routine. That makes those cells comparable with ones made from… Read more

Lightweight Robots Harvest Cucumbers


via Automation-intensive sectors such as the automotive industry are not the only ones to rely on robots. In more and more agricultural settings, automation systems are superseding strenuous manual labor. As part of the EU’s CATCH project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK is developing and testing a dual-arm robot for the automated harvesting of cucumbers. This lightweight solution has the potential to keep crop cultivation commercially viable in Germany. In Germany, cucumbers destined for pickle jars are harvested by hand with the aid of “cucumber flyers” – farm vehicles with wing-like attachments. Seasonal workers lie on their stomachs on the vehicle’s wings and pluck the ripe cucumbers. This labor-intensive and energy-sapping type of manual harvesting is increasingly becoming uneconomical. In addition, the per-unit costs of harvesting have risen since Germany introduced a minimum wage. Many of the country’s agricultural regions consequently face an uncertain future; cucumber farming has already begun relocating to Eastern Europe and India. There is thus an urgent need for improved harvesting technologies to maintain the economic viability of cucumber farming in Germany. Experts from Fraunhofer IPK in Berlin, along with other German and Spanish researchers, are studying the potential for automating cucumber harvests in the scope of the EU project CATCH, which stands for “Cucumber Gathering – Green Field Experiments.” Project partners are the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy in Germany and the CSIC-UPM Centre for Automation and Robotics (CAR) in Spain. CATCH researchers want to develop and test… Read more

Grey Griffiths Architects Completes Garden Studio from Waste Material, East London


via designboom: The potting shed by peckham-based grey griffiths architects is designed to meet the needs of a ceramicist in walthamstow, east london. situated in the client’s garden, the challenge was to create a generous sized studio that did not damage mature planting or feel overwhelming in a moderate sized plot. The additional complication of a particularly tight budget meant an inventive use of materials was required. the grey griffiths architects’ response was to create a studio with two set-back enclaves — the first to envelop the mature apple tree and a second to reveal the extent of the garden and provide storage. constructed tightly against far boundaries, the potting shed fits onto underutilised space leaving the existing garden intact. The new 18 sqm building is divided into designated areas for making, relaxing and working. budget constraints gave the project an unexpected advantage. the project team reached out to manufacturers and suppliers to find out if any waste material could be used for the studio. this research revealed that with some design flexibility high-quality materials could be afforded throughout. Off-cut external-grade birch plywood is used for interior and exterior cladding and ex-display bi-folding doors complete the front façade. all this was destined as waste. a functional concrete workshop floor contrasts with the warmth of the interior joinery which leaves the plywood exposed in a smooth, uniform patchwork finish. a discrete hidden side-door gives easy access to outdoor storage. the result is an inviting, practical ceramic studio created on a budget. off-cut… Read more