[11/27/17 - 12/1/17] Welcome to Industrial Evolution, Plethora’s weekly newsletter on technology and manufacturing. If you’re building something cool and need parts for it, we can help you make them.
TOOLS & MATERIALS
🍩 A team of engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Laboratory is working to reinvent the wheel for planetary rovers.
🍲 The next time you’re prying open a can of soup, take a minute to reflect on the 200-year history of the can opener.
📊 Bolt’s Chris Quintero wrote an excellent piece on big tech’s pivot to vertically integrated hardware and what it means for startups.
🐶 Christine Sunu gave a great talk at the Hackaday Superconference on using biomimicry in hardware design to elicit emotional reactions.
🖨 MIT’s souped-up FastFFF 3D printer builds objects 10 times faster than traditional FDM printers.
🔧 Joel Leonard is working to bring the ‘maker spirit’ back to a North Carolina town whose recently shuttered furniture factory left many unemployed.
🏭 Erika Earl has some excellent ‘manufacturing hacks’ for people trying to bring their idea to market.
👟 Take a look inside Adidas’ robot-powered, on-demand sneaker factory.
⚙ Elliot Williams swung by the Supplyframe Design Lab and wrote about his experience CNC milling an aluminum Jolly Wrencher.
🚲 Massachusetts bicycle-maker 1854 Cycling is creating jobs for released convicts.
📉 A new McKinsey report states that automation could displace 800 million workers worldwide by 2030 - including about a third of the US workforce.
🚗 GM says their self-driving cars will be ready for ridesharing in 2019.
🍷 After successful trials in Bordeaux and Portugal this year, robot workers may soon have a bigger role in some of the world’s most prestigious vineyards.
🛩 Fraunhofer’s autonomous submarine is finding 1950s aviation artifacts at the bottom of Lake Ontario.
🐞 A group of Singaporean scientists is developing controllable cyborg beetles for swarming search and rescue.
🎓 MSU researchers have found that robots in the classroom improve engagement for online students.
🕶 Those in the burgeoning field of material robotics envision a future where robots are so ubiquitous and innocuous that you don’t even realize they’re there.
💪 These interesting biohybrid robots rely on muscle tissue to get around.
🔩 Ars Technica dives into the mechanics of building 8,000lb, human-controlled mech suits.
📈 Samsung has found that adding graphene balls to batteries boosts storage capacity by 45 percent and charging speed by 500 percent.
🔋 Tesla just finished building the world’s largest lithium-ion battery - here’s how it works.
💡 This new optical trapping process is a light-based manipulation method that could someday be used to mass produce electronic components.
🔮 IEEE outlines four interesting new computation methods to keep an eye out for in the coming years.
🖥 Analog computers have been largely abandoned for decades, but Yannis Tsividis argues they could be used for efficient scientific computation today.
FEEDBACK & SUBMISSIONS
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See you all next week!
- Nick Pinkston & Katie Hoban