Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Retail
April 17th, 2015
5:38
 

With the almost continual reliance on staying connected nowadays, a dead cell phone battery can be a catastrophic event in one’s daily life.  Remembering to charge that device to keep it functioning has been added to the list of daily items on almost everyone’s “to-do” list.  Now there’s a possible solution to that dilemma…

Tejas Shastry’s busy creating AMPY, a device he and fellow Northwestern Ph.D. students Alex Smith and Mike Geier invented in class. They say it’s a cure for the dead cell phone, turning energy from a person’s physical movement, called kinetic energy, into battery power.

Smith said. “The secret for AMPY really came from taking somewhat existing technology and shrinking it into a form factor that can fit right here in your pocket.”

 

Read about this invention, profiled by CBS News, here:

Run, walk, bike your way

 

to a full charge

 

Not only is this concept a great way to relieve your brain of having to remember to add charging your cell phone into your everyday routine, it’s got the added benefit of stimulating your physical activity to new heights.  The payoff isn’t just being fit and toned, but having a working phone to brag about your exercise accomplishments, as well!  And you’re being ‘green’ by not consuming electricity to recharge your phone!

If you’re interested in this gadget, the unit – along with various accessories – can be pre-ordered on their site:  AMPY cell phone charger logo    Estimated ship date: July 2015, base pricing cost ~$100 USD

 

 

Bookmark and Share

Ever think about the machines behind the machines?  I really hadn’t given it much thought myself – until I stumbled on this particular announcement about a machine that performs laser deposition welding and precision milling.  What’s so great about it?

“By combining both, additive manufacturing via powder nozzle and the traditional cutting method in one machine, totally new applications and geometries are possible. Especially large workpieces with high stock removal volumes are now possible to be machined in an economical way.”

Read more on the actual product specs here:  LASERTEC 65 3D

Having made its debut at IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) 2014, the new machine by DMG Mori was pulled straight off the line from its Davis California plant – machines, the company says, that are “made in the USA for the USA.”  Read the pre-announcement about the product at American Machinist.

DMG Mori

Part 3-D printer, part machine tool, the Lasertec 65 3D can produce parts in steel, nickel and cobalt alloys, brass or titanium.  (Photo Credit: americanmachinist.com)

 

And, it you’re not convinced that this is a way cool technology – watch the video on Gizmodo!

If this stuff fascinates you, check out job opps at DMG Mori by clicking here:  DMG Mori logo

Bookmark and Share
April 6th, 2015
6:39
 

I’m talking about textiles from banana, coconut and pineapple.  Just the latest in sustainable fashion.  As many people know, cotton makes up about a 3rd of the fiber consumption worldwide.  Traditionally, cotton has a been a very unsustainable crop.

Around a billion tons of banana plant stems are wasted each year.  In 2012, the Philippine Textile Research Institute stated that banana plantations in the Philippines alone can generate over 300,000 tons of fiber.

Eco-textile company Offset Warehouse has identified the banana’s potential in fabric production.  They claim that producing the fabric is nearly carbon neutral and its soft texture has been likened to hemp and bamboo making it perfect for jackets, skirts and trousers.

Outdoor clothing companies Tog 24 and North Face are two brands adopting cocona – a textile operating under the name 37.5 Technology that is produced from a combination of coconut shells and volcanic materials – and becoming less reliant on synthetic materials as a result.

Pineapple leaves as a sustainable alternative to leather has been developed by Ananas Anam, producing Piñatex as an alternative to leather and petroleum-based textiles.  The industrial process used to create Piñatex produces biomass, which can be converted into a fertilizer that farmers can spread into their soil to grow the next pineapple harvest.  The material, which has a similar appearance to canvas, is also biodegradable.

blog pineapple

Felt-like fiber Piñatex can be made into shoes, bags, chairs and even car upholstery.

I don’t know about you, but these pineapple leave products look pretty stylish!  Would you be a convert?

 

Bookmark and Share
April 3rd, 2015
5:26
 

Population growth and over-reliance on resources that have ‘given us all they’ve got’ has caused overcrowding and problems the world over that have created shortages of many kinds – lack of materials, poor nutrition, healthcare & medicine being unavailable – you name it!  Here is a story concerning the Asian sector of the globe about the need for better methods that will serve to help people and the environment!

Asian countries urged

 

to plan for sustainable

 

urbanization

 

Urbanization drives Asia’s position as an economic powerhouse, but for this growth to be sustainable, careful planning is being urged to create more resilient cities that are not only resource-efficient, but also promote quality of life.”

 

Shell brought around 300 leading thinkers together for its 2015 Powering Progress Together Asia forum in Manila, Philippines, on February 26 to discuss how each sector of society can help cities become more resilient and liveable in the face of rapid urbanisation and resource pressures.  Click the pic to visit the site and learn about the forum!

Crowded street

Here are a couple of sites for the companies mentioned in the article posted on Inquirer.net that you should visit if you are interested in getting involved with Smarter Planet Planning for better urban life around the world:

Xyntéo: “Xyntéo’s mission is to reinvent growth.”

The Manila Observatory: “At the turn of the 21st century, the Observatory finds itself at the nexus of global concerns for environment and development.”

Shell Corporation: “At Shell, we use human ingenuity, innovation and technology to unlock the energy our customers need to power their lives in the years ahead, while aiming to limit our impact on the environment.”

Is there work that you’re doing along these lines?  Will you propose the next great system or technology that pushes urbanization to the new levels needed to keep our planet humming along?  There’s much to do – be a part of it!

Bookmark and Share

This story featured in Smithsonian almost brought actual tears to my eyes.  While a chocolate flavor crisis is not at the top of most peoples’ minds, my love of that particular food-stuff is unquenchable. Sooo – I thought I’d share this article, as well as links to some of the organizations that are working to keep chocolate chocolatey.

We’ve done a LOT of tinkering with food – chemicals, cloning, grain-free, organic, gluten-free, etc., etc.  Undeniably, food shortages remain a CONSTANT source of concern world-wide.  “Waste not, want not” are words to live by – but, if foods become “Taste not”, will that lead to ‘want not’, too? That’s the concern of food manufacturers…

What cookery wizardry can you add to the recipe?  If you can bring out some new technology that’s safe for the Earth and helps save the flavor of foods, you’re sure to be popular!

How to Save the Chocolate Tree

Without Sacrificing Flavor

 

Choco splash

Check out these programs dedicated to being “flavor savers”

Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative—a partnership between the FCIA and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

Wilbert Phillips-Mora is head of the Cacao Genetic Improvement Program at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica.

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to this category Subscribe to Retail

 
ChatClick here to chat!+