Opinion: Four Disruptive Technology Trends in Trucking


via Transport Topics : When it comes to the trucking industry, we deal with a pace of change that has been constant for years: changing fuel costs, increased regulations, driver shortages, etc. These issues definitely have an effect on industry revenue; however, they are not technically disruptive. But now four distinct trends are currently disrupting the trucking industry. It’s essential to recognize the advantages these trends offer, realize the challenges they pose and identify how to deal with them. 1) Telematics: This integration information and communication technology enables vehicles to send, receive and store information related to that vehicle via telecommunication devices. • Advantages: Full visibility into every aspect of your vehicle’s situation (location, detention time, equipment issues) provides the data necessary to optimize your entire fleet’s performance. • Challenges: New technologies add extra cost to the truck, which can be difficult for smaller fleets or owner-operators to absorb. For all sizes of fleets, consideration must be given to the time it takes to install equipment and train drivers and technicians. • Dealing with challenges: Fleet managers need to look at telematics as more than just a way to be compliant with new and potential regulations. The data provided also give information that can be used to make more strategic decisions for fleet operations and performance. 2) Uberization: Capitalizing on the concept of the “gig” econ-omy represented by Uber and Lyft, trucking now has apps to locate empty truck space. The concept is not new; it’s just a new way to… Read more

Made in Malaysia Solar-Powered Catamaran Sets Sail


via MalayMail Online : LANGKAWI, Aug 19 — Nine young marine engineers scored a first of sorts by designing the country’s first battery-powered electrical engine for a catamaran. In a rare feat, the nine, part of the engineering unit of the tourism cruiseline operator — Tropical Charters Sdn Bhd, converted the engine from diesel-based circuit to one dependent on batteries in order to electronically operate the vessel. The energy source for the batteries came from the solar power cells installed on the catamaran. All aged 24, they were led by Langkawi-born Hamieaznuar Hamizan, assisted by Azhar Azizan, Harrie Kamarulzaman, Muhamad Syazwan Shahril from Malacca and Penang-born Muhammad Syafiq A’zmed. The others were Muhammad Afnan Syazwan Mohd Fuad, Adib Haris, Mohamad Amirul Yusri and Mohd Faiez Suliman. They were also assisted by four interns from Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute of Marine Engineering Technology in Lumut. The company was believed to be the first local yachting operator to utilise green technology. “The conversion took place on our catamaran called Kasi Chan La,” said the Tropical Charters’ owner Datuk Issac Alexander. He told Malay Mail he gave the task to his in-house engineering team to come out with an eco-friendly model for his fleet of yachts and catamarans at the island. Alexander amassed a fleet of five large cruise vessels and six small crafts such as speedboats and cabin cruises over the last decade. “I realised we relied too much on the traditional mode of energy-diesel, which can be costly and harm the… Read more

Designer Public Dunnies: Civic Dignity in Small Public Architecture


via architectureau : Three recently completed public amenities blocks represent the importance of small projects in the discourse of public architecture. Andy Fergus considers the history and phenomenon of loo architecture, which offers small and emerging practices an opportunity to cut their teeth in public works and as a result, fosters diverse, context specific and rich architecture. In recent years, ArchitectureAU has featured a number of articles on designer public dunnies, encompassing delightful little amenity blocks set in public parks with a level of ambition disproportionate to their modest volumes. Across the Australian Institute of Architects 2017 state architecture awards, a trio of awarded and commended projects comprising CHROFIʼs Lizard Log Amenities, Sam Crawford Architects’ North Bondi Amenities (both in New South Wales), and Terroirʼs Princes Park Toilets in Salamanca, Tasmania are testaments to the importance of these small projects within the discourse of public architecture. Viewed in isolation each project represents a deftly considered response to their respective settings, which transcends mere utility. However viewed at a city or even national scale, this pattern of public agency investment in the design quality of such essential small public works offers an opportunity to promote civic dignity and architectural value in an unexpected typology. In inner and middle ring Sydney in particular, an analysis of the spatial distribution and quantity of designer dunnies reveals the extent of the phenomena. Viewed as a total body of work, it could conceivably catalyze a new form of architectural tourism for avid design nerds. This is… Read more

Researchers Use 3D Printing Technology and Chemistry to Develop a Way to Power Wearable Electronics Using Human Sweat


via 3D Print.com : Sometimes, if the weather is nice and I’m feeling motivated enough, I’ll go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood, but I can’t make it very far if I don’t have my phone with me…sassy dance workout tunes keep me going. Wouldn’t it be great if, before you went for a jog or hit the gym, you didn’t have to worry if your iPhone or portable Bluetooth radio was fully charged? A team of engineers from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has announced a breakthrough invention that could fix this issue – stretchable biofuel cells which extract energy from human sweat and can power wearable electronics, like Bluetooth radios and LEDs. These cells actually generate 10 times the power per surface area than existing wearable biofuel cells. Just yesterday, we told you about how NASA is using astronauts’ recycled urine to make omega-3 fatty acids and 3D printable material – so why not use human sweat to power the electronics we wear while exercising? It works because the cells have an enzyme that oxidizes lactic acid in sweat and generates current. The team built a stretchable electric foundation by using screen-printing, lithography and 3D printing to create carbon nanotube-based cathode and anode arrays. This summer, the team published a paper about their work, titled “Soft, stretchable, high power density electronic skin-based biofuel cells for scavenging energy from human sweat,” in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, in which they explained how they connected the… Read more

The New Cheap and Fast Way to Make Supercapacitor Electrodes For Electric Cars

To go with AFP story China-auto-show-environment-Tesla,FOCUS by Bill Savadove
This picture taken on  March 17, 2015 shows a Tesla Model S being charged at a car dealership in Shanghai. Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk has launched spacecraft into orbit, but popularising his Tesla electric cars in China is proving to be tougher than rocket science. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE        (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

via Trendin Tech : A team of University of Washington researchers, led by Peter Pauzauskie, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, developed a system for manufacturing *supercapacitor electrodes that is faster and cheaper than traditional methods. Supercapacitors are similar to regular batteries in that they store and provide energy. However, they do so much faster and with more power, which is required for high tech devices like electric vehicles and high-powered lasers. Currently, the manufacturing process for the electrodes required to make *supercapacitors work is time-consuming and expensive, two drawbacks that hinder widespread use. The UW electrode uses an aerogel infused with inexpensive carbon rich materials and only take a few days to create. The full details of the research are in a paper available in Nature Microsystems and Nanoengineering. Aerogels start as wet, gel-like polymers that are processed to remove the moisture which is replaced with gas instead. The treatment maintains the three-dimensional structure, makes it lightweight, and significantly increases its surface area. According to Pauzauskie, a gram of aerogel has a surface area of 100 yards. Surface area is key because of a *supercapacitor stores energy by separating negative and positive charges across its surface, the more surface available, the more charge it can hold. To make the electrodes, researchers combined aerogels made of formaldehyde and other carbon-based substance with molybdenum or tungsten disulfide, adhesives, and other materials until it resembles a ‘dough.’ The dough was then rolled out to millimeters of thickness and sliced into discs.… Read more

The Changing Role of Quantity Surveyors


via infrastructurene.ws : Quantity surveyors need to embrace change and the technology it brings with it. This was the message at the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) conference held in Midrand earlier this month. The theme of the conference, Agility, Swift and Strong, aimed to embrace the winds of change to better decide whether you should build walls or windmills. All the speakers said changes in the technological, economic and political landscape need to be embraced by the quantity surveying profession. Larry Feinberg, Executive Director of the ASAQS said over the past three years the association has been incrementally growing the value proposition of the ASAQS annual flagship Conference. “Certainly not in the last three decades has it been more important for practicing quantity surveyors to understand and embrace the ever changing technological and political landscape and become adaptable and agile in using these new powerful tools to their own advantage,” he said. At the ASAQS annual flagship Conference numerous tools were discussed. One of the highlights at the Conference was a presentation by Craig Howie from AECOM on Building Information Management (BIM) and how this new technology is creating new potential opportunities. “In the near future clients and other practicing professionals within the built environment will most likely increasingly require the professional team to employ BIM and pass on the savings that this platform can generate when used on large construction projects,” said Feinberg. Commenting on a presentation on sustainability by Rudolf Pienaar, Feinberg said, “Green building and… Read more

Are These Thin, Low-Power Semiconductors The Future of Computing?


via Futurism : HAFNIUM DISELENIDE AND ZIRCONIUM DISELENIDE Silicon may no longer be the go-to material used in electronics, if two recently discovered materials are implemented. Electrical engineers at Stanford recently observed that two semiconductors — hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide, two forms of the same inorganic compound — share similar qualities with silicon, but outperformed the material in other aspects. A study published in the journal Science Advances explains the finding. Co-authored by Eric Pop, an associate professor of electrical engineering, with post-doctoral scholar Michal Mleczko, the report places the biggest emphasis on how all three materials cause rust. It’s the same kind of rust that’s usually deemed harmful to metals and other materials, but within the context of electronics and circuitry, it’s actually a good thing: when silicon is exposed to oxygen, it rusts and becomes an insulator for circuitry, protecting it from harm. Other materials can be used to achieve the same effect, but they require additional work and layers of insulation, making silicon the preferred material to use. Hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide both rust in a similar way to silicon, but their benefits go beyond this. They’re able to form what are known as “high-k” insulators, which ultimately require less power than silicon and silicon oxide insulators. The Stanford engineers also discovered the diselenides can be shrunk down to about three atoms thick; silicon cannot do the same and still be usable. “Engineers have been unable to make silicon transistors thinner than about five nanometers, before… Read more

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Sustainable Architecture in Ladakh


via AD : Leh-Ladakh has always been on India’s map as the emplacement de l’exotique. But one man’s dreams and efforts to change the educational and cultural landscapes of the mountain peoples and the Himalayan countries, has taken root in the form of SECMOL (The Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh) and HIAL (Himalayan Institute of Alternatives). Part of this initiative is to break away from conventional thinking and approach, and engage and encourage learning through practical application. The Sun and Earth Natural Building Festival, an international natural building festival organized by HIAL and the first of it skind, is a step in this direction. It brings together experts and interested participants from around the world to share and learn how to build with locally available natural resources like earth, stone and using the energy from the sun. Sonam Wangchuk, the multi-faceted educational reformist and engineer-innovator—the real life Phunsukh Wangdu of the Raju Hirani film 3 Idiots—is the man behind SECMOL & HIAL that organized the festival. Deepthi Radhakrishnan interviews festival co-ordinator and organizer Faiza Khan to learn about the festival. Faiza Khan holds a degree in architecture from Rachna Sansad Academy of Architecture, Mumbai and then went on to pursue her Masters from the Barcelona Institute of Architecture. She and her partner, Suril Patel, also an architect, are currently travelling across India, learning and sharing their knowledge and creating an experiential library of vernacular built forms. Eventually, they plan to start their own architectural practice Deepthi Radhakrishnan (DR): What… Read more

What Is 5G And When Will We Get It?


via Kroll Ontrack : The development of new mobile network communication technologies is always in progress. In a highly interconnected world, the demand for increasingly efficient, high performance communication protocols is relentless. So, while there are still areas not covered by 4G, many of the major telecommunication players are moving to be the first in offering their customers the 5th generation ultra-speed connection – more commonly known as ‘5G’. How will 5G be delivered? In 2013 the European Commission allocated 50 million euro for research on 5G technology for the introduction of 5G by 2020 and has also recently published a 5G action plan. In the United States, in 2016 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a plan to make the United States ready for 5G networks and opening up airwaves that allow for faster data speeds. 5G technology was one of the most important topics during the last Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where Borje Ekholm, President and CEO of the Ericsson Group, presented some examples on how the 5G network will change our daily lives. At the moment, the largest mobile operators have already begun or are about to experiment with 5G networks. This is of course pre-commercial experimentation, as at present no universal standard for the 5G exists, even though a draft document with guidelines has been published by the International Communication Union. Key players in the telecommunications industry such as Verizon, AT&T, Ericsson, Huawei, Samsung, Vodafone and many more are involved in these tests at a national… Read more

iSprout: Where Design Sprouts Creativity


via The Hindu : iSprout’s workspace design is an ideal mix of visual elegance and practicality Sundari Patibandla, a chartered accountant, had many overseas clients who had requested for temporary workspaces when they came here for work-she at best could arrange for a three workstation-space for a few. Such demands only increased over time and so did the expenditure, that’s when she founded a business centre of her own to cater to her client base and meet the burgeoning needs of the co-working space market. She had visited almost every business centre and co-working space in the city to visualise her idea of an office space and its design. No wonder, iSprout’s interiors (designed by Cutting Edge Design Studio) are a class of their own-the elements, the hues and the vibe tell a unique story. Isprout’s design is mounted on a grey canvas-the colour being an ideal complement to all other hues that exist in every palette. The lounge opens with a cycle in a corner (this is only for the design-you can’t ride it)- to its right on the wall is a quote that says ‘Believe in yourself’. The furniture comes alive on a four-wheeler themed stand while the murals, porcelain work contribute to the visual language. With a flattering start, we think it would be tough for other elements in the workspace to match up to the start-but we’re proved wrong. The sprawling open space (for their co-working space clients) exudes a global outlook. There are out-of-the-box pendant lights,… Read more