Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
March 13th, 2015

Along with modernization has come an increase in noise pollution worldwide.  Although this technology was introduced approximately a year ago, its relevance remains timely.  As we move further along the path to more organized and efficient mass transportation worldwide, consideration must be given to the impact the noise will have on the surrounding environs and inhabitants (both human and other…)  Sustainability of the materials is another concern – and that, too, is addressed.

Take a look at the: BREMEX ANNSYS for railways – watch the videos posted there!  The system was designed by  ELPA logo

a company based in Slovenia, and has been installed in Russia and Germany.  Visit their website by clicking on the logo above.  Their purpose is developing systems that solve worldwide railway problems relating to noise, wear and tear, friction, vibrations, jolts, corrugation, maintenance problems, and railway working conditions.  All their solutions are supported by revolutionary WONROS™ (Wear Out and Noise Reduction On Source) technology.

And, read about their involvement in the Better Cities for Better Life conference held in Prague in 2014.

Advantages of the BREMEX system:

  • 99 % reduction of high frequency braking noise
  • Reduces vibrations and strokes on the rail brake
  • Effective anti-wear protection of rail braking segments and wagon wheel flanks
  • Effective anti-noise and anti-wear protection for exposed parts on the switches, check rails, etc
  • Operates at all extreme weather conditions with the same material (DBM 50)


What noise reduction systems do you envision to make the world a more soothing place to inhabit, while providing increased mobility to the masses?

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This article appeared in the Wall Street Journal…  If you don’t have a sibling, maybe Pepper could fill the void for you, too?  Bet he won’t eat the last of your favorite snack like a human little brother!

SoftBank Unveils Pricing


for Humanoid Robot Pepper


By Eric Pfanner

A man poses as SoftBank’s humanoid robot Pepper takes a picture.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images


SoftBank says it will sell its new humanoid robot, Pepper, at less than the cost of production, but it will charge hefty monthly fees for the pleasure of its company.

The Japanese telecommunications giant plans to offer 300 of the ‘bots to developers, starting this Friday, at an upfront price of ¥198,000 (about $1,660). Monthly fees, however, will range up to ¥24,600 for a three-year contract.

SoftBank, which owns Sprint Corp. and a mobile network in Japan, recently delayed consumer sales of Pepper until the summer, but it plans to offer 300 of the robots to application developers in the meantime.

As of Friday, developers will be able to place orders for the first sizable production run; an undisclosed number of Peppers were previously shipped to encourage developers to create smartphone-style apps for the robots.

The monthly costs comprise a basic service fee of ¥14,800, which will offer cloud artificial intelligence capabilities, using SoftBank’s mobile network. That way, the robots—and app developers—can learn from each other by gathering data on what their owners do with them. SoftBank says about 100 apps will be available as of Friday.

SoftBank will also offer an “insurance plan,” at ¥9,800 a month, providing support and preferential pricing on repairs.

The company envisions Pepper as a companion for the elderly, a teacher of schoolchildren and an assistant in retail shops, among other uses. It is one of a number of robotics projects that are aimed at dealing with labor shortages as Japan’s population ages.


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The University of Michigan Ann Arbor is taking driving to roads hitherto untraveled!  They’re testing vehicles in a ‘fake city’ constructed on their campus under the auspices of the Mobility Transformation Center, a partnership with industry and government to lay the foundations for a commercially viable ecosystem of connected and automated mobility.  Read the story straight from the school:

U-M’s cityscape will test driverless vehicles

UMich Mobility

Photo Credit © The Regents of the University of Michigan, Mobility Transformation Center

Called M City, the one-of-a-kind facility will include a network of roads with up to five lanes, intersections, roundabouts, roadway markings, traffic signs and signals, sidewalks, bus facilities, benches, simulated buildings, streetlights, parked cars, pedestrians and obstacles like construction barriers.


The story is getting play from the UK tabloids as well…   The Fake City Helping Create Tomorrow’s Cars

While it might seem like an image out of a Hollywood movie clip, the advances that are made on this “stage set” are hoping to lead to the implementation of a connected and automated mobility system on the streets of southeastern Michigan by 2021.

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If you’re interested in experiencing all the tech and machinery that is part of the world of recycling, you may want to book yourself a flight to Germany! In June 2015, the 4th RecyclingAktiv Demo Trade Show will be held on the fairground of the Baden-Baden airport.

During the three days of the fair the exhibitors will be provided free of charge with approximately 8,000 tons of the following materials for the live demonstration of the exhibits!

  • Scrap
  • Paper/cardboard/cardboard packaging
  • Wood
  • Plastics
  • Building rubble
  • Other materials

Learn more here: RecyclingAktiv


And here’s a short synopsis re: the trade show, with some stats about Germany’s investment in paper recycling from the Pulp and Paper News.

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Most every American that attended school in the 20th century is familiar with the story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, who opened a new world to her through Braille.  But, our younger generations may not have had this lesson as part of their curriculum, as is evidenced by the story of Shubham Banerjee…  Here’s a great, inspirational piece about a young inventor who is challenging the concept of how Braille text can be delivered to the visually impaired – and it all starts with a much-beloved “toy”.

Lego — Silicon Valley entrepreneur’s

building block to technical innovation


While Lego Robotics has been drawing a large following in the halls of academia, his invention could take things to a new level for those with a medical need.  Here’s an article from Smithsonian that talks about the whys and wherefores of how this tech has caught on:  How Lego Is Constructing the Next Generation of Engineers

There’s a drive to reinvent and repurpose across the globe – what will you create that brings the once impossible to life?

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