Researchers investigate seeds’ natural “armor”

October 8, 2018

Biomimicry has revealed ways that nature can be copied to create new products and improve existing ones. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of New Hampshire in the U.S. has shown how the seed coats of certain plants could help in the development of flexible materials that are

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Printing 3D sand: strength and design freedom in concrete

August 20, 2018

Glass fiber-reinforced concrete is sprayed on the 3D printed formwork in several consecutive layers. Photo: Digital Building Technologies (DBT) ETH zürich / andrei jipa Researchers in Switzerland have fabricated a lightweight 80-square-meter concrete slab ceiling that uses 3D sand printing for its formwork. The ceiling consists of 11 segments of

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Giant space blanket serves a communal purpose

August 6, 2018

Photo: Alex Shtanuk Moscow-based designer Alex Shtanuk will be contributing a piece of space travel nostalgia to the 2018 Burning Man gathering later this summer in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, while giving festival attendees a place to escape the desert heat. A giant “space blanket” will provide a

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Functioning QR codes are woven into a jacket

July 23, 2018

Photo: Julie Helles Eriksen Artist Julie Helles Ericksen has created a jacket with QR codes woven into it that can access digital information as the wearer shares it. According to Ericksen, “We communicate to others through what we wear, what we post on social media and what we choose to

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Wearable controller tracks hand and finger gestures

July 10, 2018

Photo and video: Vicara A hand-wearable device called Kai enables the wearer to control any digital device by tracking hand and finger gestures. Human augmentation start-up Vicara has created the device, a smart band that fits over the hand, that’s meant to increase productivity. Kai features gesture-based computer interaction technology

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Facial recognition technology used in adidas display

June 25, 2018

Adidas has commissioned designer Behnaz Farahi to create a display case with the ability to “read” facial expressions and respond to them. According to the designer, the emotive display called “Mesolite” was designed to showcase an adidas concept shoe. The name is a reference to Mesolite crystals, which it closely resembles

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Textile art pays homage

June 19, 2018

Photo: Tamara Kostianovsky Textile artist Tamara Kostianovsky’s latest creations, a series called Tree Stumps, uses strips of fabric gleaned from her late father’s clothing. The intricately layered detailed forms are an allusion to her father’s body returning to the environment after his passing. Kostianovsky was inspired by Andean people who believe

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Fabric has user-controlled color and pattern function

June 11, 2018

Photo: College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida. The College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) announces that it has produced a fabric that allows the user to change the color or pattern of the fabric via smartphone. According to

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Snake skins used in tribology study at Drexel University

June 11, 2018

Dr. Hisham Abdel-Aal has collected and studied hundreds of snakeskin samples from 40 different species. Photo: Drexel University. A Drexel University professor is studying snakes and their skins to better understand traction and to help engineers improve the design of textured surfaces such as engine cylinder liners, prosthetic joints and

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Paradiddle: a 3D-printed drumming prosthesis

June 6, 2018

An open-source 3D-printed upper-extremity prosthesis gives drummers who have lost a hand or arm a new way to play. Working with renowned drummer Greg Anton, who lost his left hand, “Paradiddle” designer Dominic Siguang Ma developed unique features that allow the drummer to play intuitively and comfortably. One of Siguang Ma’s main challenges was to

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