[12/11/17 - 12/15/17] 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
💡 The invention gap: children from families in the top income percentile are 10 times as likely to have filed for a patent than those from below median income families.
🍷 Over the past three centuries, wine glass size has increased almost sevenfold.
🚂 Hardware heroes: Isambard Kingdom Brunel was a mid-19th century engineer whose work in construction and transportation shaped the UK.
🏭 AI expert Andrew Ng is turning his eye toward manufacturing with his new startup, Landing.AI.
🔩 UPS and SAP are teaming up to launch a 3D printing business for spare parts.
🏗 After natural disasters, building materials manufacturers scramble to meet 400% spikes in demand. Digital tools help them respond to these unpredictable situations.
🤝 Researchers at NTU Athens are prototyping adaptive techniques for human-robot collaboration in manufacturing using virtual reality.
🌳 Take a look at the creation process of the gorgeous clay animals and trees in the Forming Fables design series.
🚫 China has been very progressive in supporting some aspects of automation - Alibaba will soon sell cars with a vehicle vending machine, for instance - but foreign car companies are currently banned from thoroughly mapping Chinese roads in the name of national security.
🚗 Shared autonomous vehicles could have a slew of positive effects, but if their ease of use results in a large increase in the amount people travel, there could be new problems to solve.
🎓 Government investment in education and training programs could usher in a prosperous automation age.
👍 Don’t worry - when the robots take your job, you can use your body heat to mine cryptocurrencies.
🤖 Electric cars are impressive as hell, but they’re just the beginning. Robots are fueling the quiet ascendance of the electric motor.
🖐 Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a Luke Skywalker-caliber prosthetic arm that detects residual muscle activity accurately enough to have fully-controllable fingers.
🔥 Humanoid robot HUBO carried the Olympic torch through a brick wall in South Korea.
⚒ Queensland University of Technology researchers have developed new technology to help underground mining vehicles navigate through dust, blurred cameras, and bad lighting.
👌 Researchers at Ben-Gurion University non-dexterous robotic grippers how to effectively regrasp objects through in-hand reorientation.
🔌 UCSD professor Nicholas Abi-Samra is fighting to make the US power grid more resilient.
💠 An international team of researchers has opened up more electronic materials through a new metal organic framework.
🍟 How long before sodium batteries are worth their salt?
🍣 UofM and UCSD researchers have developed a new power source for medical implants inspired by the electric eel.
🔋 Water-bearing compound “lithium titanate hydrate” is a promising new battery material with superfast charging and stable operation over many thousand cycles.
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