Robotic tail for humans developed

August 23, 2019

Researchers at Keio University in Japan have developed “Arque,” a robotic tail that humans can wear to improve balance. The device was informed by the ways animals passively use their tails to shift their center of gravity. Arque consists of interlocking plastic vertebrae that use a spring-based structure to handle shearing and

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Touch-sensitive robotic e-skin developed

August 12, 2019

Robots and prosthetic devices may soon have a sense of touch equivalent to, or better than, the human skin with the Asynchronous Coded Electronic Skin (ACES), an artificial nervous system developed by a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Sciencedaily.com reports that the new material has

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Conductive origami creates novel light switch

August 12, 2019

Industrial designer Yael Akirav has explored a new way of turning on light fixtures by using 3D printing of conductive filament directly on a textile, which is then folded using origami techniques. When the printed material conducts electricity, the origami-like intersecting folds of the fabric turn on the light by contracting and stretching the

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Probiotic clothing activated by sweat

July 29, 2019

Researcher and designer Rosie Broadhead recently unveiled Skin II, a probiotic clothing concept activated by sweat to reduce odor and promote healthy skin. The clothing was developed in collaboration with microbiologist Dr. Chris Callewaert of Ghent University, to explorethe beneficial effect good bacteria can have on our skin. Photo: Karl Felix.

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Biopack offers use, plant and grow packaging

June 27, 2019

Greek designer George Bosnas thinks the traditional waste management process is lengthy and uses a lot of energy. In response, he created the sustainable approach to a traditionalegg carton – the Biopack. For this designer, an alternative to “reduce, reuse, recycle” is “use, plant, grow.” According to an Inspiralistarticle, Bosnas was looking for a

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Seafood shells for better plastic, packaging and textiles

June 24, 2019

Langoustine claws are a source of chitin and chitosan, which are biodegradable materials that could be used to make eco-friendly food packaging. Scientists are tackling the world’s need to keep plastics out of landfills and waterways. One method may be found in making the most of seafood waste. A Science News article

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Poncho design “explodes”

May 9, 2019

A transformative poncho is the latest collaboration between Nike and Tom Sachs. The poncho has taken four years to arrive at this patent-pending stage of design, according to a report on designboom.com. Jarrett Reynolds, Nike’s senior design director for apparel special projects, developed the slim-line pack containing a quick-deploy and easily repacked

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Knit canoe buoyed by 3D

May 6, 2019

Photo: Composite Creations. VISIONknit, a technical knitting company based in Toronto, Canada, and Canadian collaborators Composite Creations, have launched a 3D knitted canoe. The VISIONknit material can be used on modern flat (v-bed) knitting machines and knit into patterns, accompanying logos and other design features.  According to an article in Knitting

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Decay as part of design

April 29, 2019

Photo: Mediated Matter Group. Could microbes combined with water be guided to selectively disintegrate and then be harnessed as agents of assembly? What would the ecology of a system that included microbes, biocompatible substrates and the contextual environment look like?  Those are some of the questions a team of MIT

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Shape-shifting aircraft wings offer new concept

April 22, 2019

MIT and NASA’s morphing wing assembly is seen under construction, assembled from hundreds of identical subunits. The wing was tested in a NASA wind tunnel. Photo: Kenny Cheung, NASA Ames Research Center. MIT and NASA researchers have developed a new shape-shifting approach to aircraft wing construction. An article in MIT

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