Researcher in Singapore have succeeded in building a robot, which are able to assemble an IKEA chair. Though the robots are still a bit slower than a human being, this kind of technology is interesting.
As many countries are facing an aging population, automation will be necessary to avoid a labor shortage. Also space settlements will benefit from this technology, as it will allow them to achieve economic independence by reducing the need to import manufactured goods.
Nowadays most plastic made of petroleum (better known as “oil”), but as oil is becoming increasingly scarce alternative sources for the production of plastic is needed. Scientists have succeeded in producing a biodegradable plastic from sugar and carbon dioxide. Continue reading Plastic in the post-oil age
According to the crime opportunity theory the main cause of crime is the opportunity for prospective criminals to commit crime. Consequently crime can be reduced by eliminating opportunities for committing crimes, a strategy also known as situational prevention. In other words, by making it harder for people to commit crimes, more would-be offenders will abstain from illegal activities. Continue reading Situational crime prevention
At The Guardian I found a very interesting article:
Look, no lithium! First rechargeable proton battery created.
According to the article, a team of researchers at the RMIT University in Melbourne have created a battery that instead of scarce lithium, uses carbon and hydrogen. The main benefit of this new type of battery, is that carbon and hydrogen are abundant and hence cheap materials.
With the increased popularity of electric vehicles, the demand for batteries increases and hence the demand for lithium and also its price. The limited abundance of lithium is a serious bottleneck for a more sustainable fleet of cars.
According to the scientists who made this proton battery it will take five to ten years, before it will be commercially available.
The employee-less shop is one step closer. Recently Amazon announced to open a grocery shop without check out lines. Now researchers at MIT have developed a robot-picker, that me used to stock shelves. We only need to add some kind of system to detect empty shelves, to run a shop without any human involvement. Continue reading Shop automation
Cosmic radiation is one of the most serious dangers to human spaceflight and hence a serious issue for space colonization. Consequently radiation protection is no luxury for space settlers and without this space colonization is unlikely to succeed.
Researchers at the Australian National University have developed a new nano material that could reflect cosmic radiation. A thin film of the material could provide radiation protection of astronauts and space settlers. Compared to other shielding techniques this material appears to offer a light-weight protection.
Apparently there are plans to introduce an opt-out system of organ donation in England, after the Scottish government has announced to introduce such system there. An opt-out system means that every person is automatically an organ donor unless he/she or his/her next of kin objects. Continue reading Organ donation
Apparently there is a new trend in the world of architecture: building with wood. Though one might think timber construction is old-fashioned, wood is back. There are even skyscrapers of wood! Continue reading The Comeback of Wood
Two students at the Delft University of Technology have developed a printer that does not need ink:
Though their printer only produces black and white pages, the inventors argue that 80 percent of printing is black and white.
On the site Why Linux is better there is an article about backdoors in proprietary software. The author writes that because the source code of proprietary software is secret: Continue reading National security and open source software