INDUSTRIAL EVOLUTION

[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.

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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.


MANUFACTURING


🔧 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.


AUTOMATION


📉 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.


ROBOTICS


🐞 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.


ELECTRONICS


📈 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

We’d love all of your feedback and any suggestions for articles to include in our next newsletter. Please email us!
See you all next week!

- Nick Pinkston & Katie Hoban

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