INDUSTRIAL EVOLUTION

[12/18/17 - 12/22/17] 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


💯 Instrumental rounded up their
10 best posts of 2017, on everything from building a hardware team to testing your product for reliability.


☠️ As one programmer uses 3D printing to
cope with having cancer, researchers in the Czech Republic are using the same process to fight it.


💠 The web-based version of the SketchUp 3D modeling app is now
out of beta.


📸 A team of Berkeley researchers has developed a new lensless camera that can create
detailed 3D images without scanning.


MANUFACTURING


🔮 IndustryWeek outlines their
top 10 predictions for global manufacturing in 2018.


📉 The Joint Research Center has found that the chemical industry can achieve a
36% reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 using existing and emerging technologies.


🏭 Factories
from Detroit to Dortmund are humming with activity as investment, orders, materials demand and shipping indices point to a “unified acceleration not seen in years”.


🗜 Core77 put together a list of their best workshop furniture and hacks from 2017 -
check it out!


🖨
3D printer manufacturers are increasingly focused on building platforms with the speed and precision necessary to move into mass production.


AUTOMATION


🚗 Navigant Research forecasts that self-driving cars will reach
level 4 autonomy in 2018, something they did not see happening “as little as a year ago”.


🏝 The Seasteading Institute aims to make
autonomous floating cities a reality in 2020.


💲 Walmart - in yet another step towards automation - is reportedly developing a
fully cashier-less store.


💸 Judith Donath believes that driverless cars could make transportation free - provided that you stop at a few
sponsored locations along the way.


🚙 Even when autonomous vehicles are behaving perfectly, so long as other drivers remain error-prone humans, self-driving cars must be the
ultimate defensive drivers.


ROBOTICS


🤖 Paul Salmon takes a look at what the
robots of Star Wars tell us about automation and the future of work.


💪 This minimally actuated
robot arm from Ben-Gurion University has a ton of joints, but just one very clever motor.


🛩 South Korea is forming a
drone combat unit to conduct reconnaissance missions on North Korean missile sites (and conduct swarm attacks “in case of a contingency”). You probably don’t have to worry about slaughterbots at your doorstep, though.


⚓ After
103 years, an underwater drone has found the wreck of Australia’s first submarine: the HMAS-AE1.


ELECTRONICS


🔆 A group of researchers from Korea and the United States has found a way to
control superconductivity using spin currents.


🔋 Jaromir Sukaba made a neat little
battery tab welder that gets its power from a coin cell.


🛠 Sam Zeloof is a 17-year-old high school student who is building
his own integrated circuits in his parents’ garage.


☀️ Putting solar panels in
unconventional places could generate heaps of energy with minimal environmental impact.


🛥 Researchers at Columbia have developed a solar-powered floating rig that can
harvest hydrogen from seawater.


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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