[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.
TOOLS & MATERIALS
💯 Instrumental rounded up their 10 best posts of 2017, on everything from building a hardware team to testing your product for reliability.
💠 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.
🔮 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.
🚗 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.
🤖 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.
🔆 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