Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Sustainability
November 21st, 2014
3:36
 

Some believe in a form of external ‘cosmic’ guidance concerning seemingly random events.  Others simply don’t.  Then along comes FATE  (FAll DeTector for the Elderly) which could be a key to assisting the elderly to have more independent lifestyles.  This product is literally putting fate in the hands of those who may feel a keen sense of loss of control of their own destinies!

This is done by implementing an accurate, portable and usable fall detector that runs a complex and specific algorithm to accurately detect falls, and a robust and reliable telecommunications layer based in ZigBee and Bluetooth technologies, capable of sending alarms when the user is both inside and outside the home.

The system is being tested and validated in 3 pilot studies involving real living scenarios, one in each of 3 different EU countries (Spain, Italy and Ireland), in close collaboration with the relevant public authorities (regional authorities in Spain, municipalities in Italy and National authorities in Ireland).

Read about it and watch the videos here:

Fall Detector for the Elderly

 

FATE

(The research is being conducted in partnership with Polytechnic University of Catalonia/Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech.  They are one organization among those forming a consortium for the project.  Job opps for you perhaps?)

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November 20th, 2014
12:22
 

The FlyKly Smart Wheel fits practically any bicycle or lifestyle. And turns any bike into an electric bicycle and any commuter into a joyrider in no time. Just start pedaling and Smart Wheel delivers a boost up to 20 mph and a 30 mile range on a single charge – more than enough to power your every day. And it can be recharged in just 2-3 hours.

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In combination with a smart phone app, this technology encompasses all aspects of bike riding: setting your top speed, locking the bike, GPS tracking if the bike should happen be stolen and saving and sharing your favorite routes. There are plans to manufacture a glow-in-the-dark version in the near future.

While the cost of the FlyKly Smart Wheel isn’t inexpensive, it looks like a great product for cycling enthusiasts.

FlyKly products are exclusively available online. They ship orders on a first come, first served basis. Your credit card will be charged when your order goes into production; FlyKly will confirm with you before the charge.

This looks like just the incentive I need to get out my old bike and go for a ride!

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November 19th, 2014
6:23
 

As a college student, I did my laundry more than most of my friends (and didn’t take it home to Mom at the end of the semester, either).   “Clean” water seems to be decreasing in supply – although there’s an abundance of the salty variety covering the planet.  We’ve come up with a bunch of de-salination methods that have been in the news.  This ‘fresh’ water is being used in many applications – farming, animal husbandry, drinking water for humans…

But what if we just decreased CONSUMPTION of the water that IS available? Or in any case, used the supply more efficiently?  Here’s a look at technology that aims to minimize the amount of water being used for the laundering of fabrics.  Although it’s not strictly new tech, having been around for several years, it is being used with greater frequency in industrial applications and may be available for household consumers in the near future.

Scientists develop waterless washing machines

 

Almost waterless washing could come to American homes

 

Read about one company that is on the manufacturing end of things:   Polymer beads  Maybe you’ll be inspired to go them one better?  (Or at least do some of that laundry that you’ve been piling up?)

 

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November 18th, 2014
10:03
 

Fourteen flooring tiles from London-based clean-tech company Pavegen Systems were installed outside the Saint-Omer subway station in northern France. The tiles, each roughly 7 by 24 inches, generate renewable electricity from the otherwise wasted energy of footsteps.

When a walker’s foot makes contact with the tile, it bends inappreciably, depressing an average of five millimeters each step and creating approximately seven watts of converted kinetic energy in the process. The slabs, made from 100 percent recycled rubber, can store energy for up to 72 hours via small built-in batteries.

The concept was conceived in 2009 by Laurence Kemball-Cook, then a graduate student in industrial design at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

The concept was conceived in 2009 by Laurence Kemball-Cook, then a graduate student in industrial design at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

“I realized that although wind and solar alternatives were progressing exponentially, they were inefficient in urban environments due to high-rise infrastructure and pollution,” he says. “Given that 60 percent of the world’s population would be residing in urban environments by 2030, I decided to investigate further. I discovered footfall as an untapped, renewable resource that is efficient, constant, and literally all around us, to be used when and where it is needed.”

The tiles were also installed at the Simon Langton Grammar school in Kent, UK. Check out the students’ reaction to this exciting new technology:

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This is a win-win situation for all involved: the students who get inspired to think of ways to contribute to a smarter planet at a very young impressionable age, the company looking to expand operations into different venues to capture greener energy production, and, of course, the entrepreneur who profits from this great new technology!

What a great world we live in – that young minds can shape a very (literally) bright future!

 

 

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Are pesticides really helpful to producing more strawberries? Researchers are trying to find out.

The projected is funded by a $172,663 USDA specialty crop block grant administered by Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, led by Cecilia Nunes, an assistant professor in USF’s department of cell biology, microbiology and molecular biology. This project initially made headlines in December, 2013. This initiative is still underway, and it will continue for an estimated 2 years.

She is working with Natalia Peres of UF’s Gulf Coast Research Center, where initial research on the reduced use of pesticides by strawberry growers was already underway. Nunes and Peres are working with a Florida grower to produce side by side strawberry crops – one grown with the customary levels of pesticides, the other reduced by 50 percent.

The project is still underway, so there is no definitive conclusion. The important part, however, is the question this research is trying to answer. Researchers want to know what change in already applied methods may be a positive one in the future of farming. For example, the reduction of pesticides may allow for more or equal strawberry production. In that case, farmers will have the information they need to safely move ahead with safer practices for the environment and their own bottom line. Farmers use pesticides to kill pests, and the potential problem farmers face is using too little of the pesticides they currently use. This study will provide critical data for strawberry farmers, if reducing pesticide utilization actually doesn’t change the outcome farmers want to see.

Read more here

Are pesticides really helpful to producing more strawberries? Researchers are trying to find out.

Are pesticides really helpful to producing more strawberries? Researchers are trying to find out.

- See more at: http://highlandstoday.com/list/highlands-agri-leader-news/usfuf-researchers-explore-path-to-better-strawberries-20131225/#sthash.eg5WCkRc.dpuf

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