Tech entrepreneur renovates UK castle into a giant happy office space

January 20, 2017 by  
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When entrepreneur Chris Morling decided to renovate a historic castle into his company’s UK headquarters, he looked for a designer who would think out of the box, and well … that’s exactly what he got. Morling hired famed designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen who teamed up with Interaction to take on the massive task of transforming the “ugly, unfriendly and un-creative” interior into a dizzyingly vibrant office space with plenty of sustainable features for money.co.uk . https://youtu.be/KiSFafxBGpk Located in Cirencester, UK, the 10,000-square-foot Victorian Castle is now filled with a dizzying hodgepodge of colorful paints and quirky design features , from Rolling Stone-inspired toilets and suits of armour to a Star Wars-themed cinema and even an ice cave meeting room. Although certainly flashy, the office space is really geared to the comfort of the employees. There are plenty of distinct areas for team meetings or quiet nooks like the library for a little bit of solitude. Nature lovers can enjoy the large vertical garden wall in the reception area, which is equipped with automatic water release system. Related: Medieval Italian Castle Transformed into Modern Mountain Museum Mr. Morling told the Daily Mail that the inspiration behind the renovation was to make his employees happy, “It is about making this a wonderful place, a productive place to work,” he said. “What we have done is modeled all the design around the needs of the team. Some people want to stand while they work, some people to work alone. Ultimately it boils down to creating a space where you feel comfortable.” Thankfully though, this design isn’t purely in-your-face aesthetics. The castle was installed with a super-efficient high specification energy recovery system that provides fresh air ventilation into every single room in the castle, cutting down on the office’s energy needs. For further energy conservation , each room is equipped with passive infrared sensors that light up when people are in the room and turn off when they aren’t. + Money.co.uk + Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen + Interaction Via The Daily Mail Images courtesy of Interaction

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Tech entrepreneur renovates UK castle into a giant happy office space

The world’s "most compact folding bike" fits in your carry-on luggage

January 16, 2017 by  
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Imagine a bike that folds down so small you can take it on an airplane in your carry-on luggage. It exists – and it’s called the Kwiggle . The sleek, city-ready vehicle designed by German engineer Karsten Bettin can be folded up and stowed under a subway seat, in a car trunk, or even in an airplane’s overhead compartment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6My3Xd40YI4 The Kwiggle is the “most compact folding bike in the world,” according to the company . The unique vehicle allows riders to speed through cities upright, and it can be folded in a snappy 10 seconds. The bike weighs in at about 19 pounds, and it can hit a top speed of nearly 20 miles per hour. And it folds up small enough to fit into a 55 by 40 by 25 centimeter carry-on bag, or a 1.8 by 1.3 by 0.8 foot carry-on. Related: World’s lightest folding bike weighs less than a watermelon A wrought alloy bike frame makes the Kwiggle stable and tough, and its aluminum wheels are highly corrosion resistant. An adjustable seat allows riders from 4’6 to 6’2 to ride the Kwiggle with ease. The upright riding position has other benefits beyond a higher point of view. According to the company, orthopedic specialists love the Kwiggle. The bike “uniquely supports the mobility of the back and prevents tension in the should and neck area,” the company says on their website . That makes the bike not only a perfect fit for swift urban travel, but for exercising as well. Bettin has developed the Kwiggle over seven years, and he’s now selling the bike on Kickstarter . Backers can snag a one-speed Kwiggle for 1,240 Euros, or around $1,315. Two-speed Kwiggles start at 1,340 Euros or about $1,421. You can check out the campaign here . + Kwiggle Via Treehugger Images via Kwiggle Facebook and screenshot

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The world’s "most compact folding bike" fits in your carry-on luggage

IKEA introduces Sladda, a chainless bike built for urban mobility

January 13, 2017 by  
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The next time you walk into an IKEA store , you might just be able to leave with a new bicycle. While it may seem to be a strange direction for a furniture company to take, the expansion into transportation connects with the company’s larger vision of sustainability . With more and more people moving to dense urban areas, car ownership is becoming increasingly impractical for many. As part of its push toward sustainability and elegant, everyday solutions, IKEA has designed an innovative new chainless bike that can be adapted for just about any need.

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IKEA introduces Sladda, a chainless bike built for urban mobility

Nissan seeks zero emissions and zero fatalities with snazzy new Vmotion 2.0

January 11, 2017 by  
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The automotive industry is on fire with several new concepts unveiled this week at the Detroit Auto Show . Joining Chevy, Volkswagen, and others with progressive new designs, Nissan unveiled the new Vmotion 2.0 concept, which is not only a preview of Nissan’s future design language, but also a look at the autonomous Intelligent Mobility technology the company is pioneering. The Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept features Nissan Intelligent Driving, one of three core elements of Nissan Intelligent Mobility – Nissan’s roadmap to achieve zero emissions and zero fatalities. Nissan Intelligent Driving helps provide a safer driving experience through technology such as ProPILOT, which is envisioned to ultimately allow the vehicle to drive in autonomous mode – not just on the highway and in heavy traffic conditions, but also on urban roads with intersections. Related: The new Nissan Leaf will be able to drive autonomously on the highway The overall design of the Vmotion 2.0 concept is an evolution of the design that is currently used on many of Nissan’s models, like the Maxima. While it has been reworked with crisper lines, what we’re more interested in is how the design incorporates unique details that are connected to the autonomous self driving technology . For example, the lighting around the front Nissan emblem and rear diffuser glow to indicate when the vehicle is in the autonomous ProPILOT mode. We won’t have to wait too long for the ProPILOT system to be offered in a production vehicle, since an early form of the technology has already been confirmed for the next-generation Nissan Leaf . + Nissan All images @ Nissan

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Nissan seeks zero emissions and zero fatalities with snazzy new Vmotion 2.0

Wind power now runs all electric passenger trains in the Netherlands

January 9, 2017 by  
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All of the electric passenger trains running in the Netherlands are now powered entirely by wind . One year ahead of schedule, Dutch railway company NS announced its entire electric train fleet is running on 100-percent wind power as of January 1, 2017, ushering in a new era of green transportation . Renewable energy advocates hope the early success will inspire planners to incorporate wind-powered trains in other high-speed rail projects around the world, including some proposed in the United States. In late 2015, the Dutch government announced its goal to power the country’s electric trains entirely with wind power by 2018. However, early successes in rolling out the clean energy program resulted in 75 percent wind power for the trains in 2016, so the initiative made a final push and achieved 100 percent effect January 1, 2017. One of the Netherlands ’ largest railway companies, known as NS , partnered with the Eneco energy company in 2015 to funnel renewable energy into its fleet of electric trains, which carry 600,000 people per day. Related: All Netherlands Railways trains will be 100% wind powered by 2018 Electric trains on the NS use around 1.2 billion kWh of electricity a year, which is roughly the equivalent of all the households in the city of Amsterdam. Switching to a renewable source for the energy-hogging transportation will make a huge dent in the nation’s carbon footprint, which has already been shrinking over the years due to investments in renewable energy projects. The electricity used to power the Dutch trains comes from wind farms in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Finland, many of which were just recently built. Because some of those farms opened ahead of schedule, it became possible to move up the timeline for powering electric trains with clean energy. Via Clean Technica Images via Wikipedia ( 1 , 2 )

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Wind power now runs all electric passenger trains in the Netherlands

Hyundai foldable electric Ioniq scooter will make your commute awesome

January 6, 2017 by  
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Hyundai is taking an inventive approach to mobility with a foldable electric Ioniq scooter . The cool “first and last mile mobility” Ioniq vehicle that makes your 2000 Razor scooter jealous can be stored in the Ioniq Electric car’s front door. Unveiled at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the shiny scooter is targeted for transportation after parking or en route to a public transit station. Hyundai’s tackling hybrid and electric travel through Project Ioniq , and the new scooter is one of their latest concepts. There’s scant information on the scooter as of now, but Hyundai used the terms ‘lightweight’ and ‘portable’ prominently in their announcement. We don’t know how fast or far it will travel, or how much it will cost. Related: Hyundai’s new hybrid Ioniq is the first car to take on the Toyota Prius Hyundai did dangle a few tantalizing details, such as the digital dashboard on the scooter’s handle. Users can check their battery life, speed, and range on the digital dashboard. Scrolling up or down on a thumb switch lets a rider accelerate or brake, or they can brake via a rear wheel pad. Riders can unfold and fold up the scooter with one hand. Front and rear lights keep a rider safe, and there are even sensors incorporated so the scooter only switches to riding mode when a person is safely on the device. The scooter can be charged while in the electric car’s front door. In a statement, Head of Hyundai Motor Central Advanced Research and Engineering Institute Tae Won Lim said, “As we look ahead, our vision is to be a world leader in hyper-connected living and to offer our customers seamless, end-to-end transport solutions.” We don’t yet know when – or if – Hyundai will release the Ioniq scooter. Via The Verge and Hyundai Images via Hyundai

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Hyundai foldable electric Ioniq scooter will make your commute awesome

Massive chunk of Antarctic ice shelf likely to break away soon

January 6, 2017 by  
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The 70-mile-long rift in Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf that had scientists fretting last year is close to breaking away. Nothing but about 12 miles of ice is keeping the iceberg from calving—an event scientists say is “inevitable.” If or when the massive chunk does float away, it will be one of the 10 largest icebergs ever recorded. Scientists of United Kingdom-based Project Midas called attention to the Larsen C rift last year, but in December the rift’s growth drastically sped up. Larsen C is around 1,148 feet thick, and is one of the most major ice shelves in the north of Antarctica. The whole shelf might break up in the future should the iceberg break off soon, which at this point seems highly likely. Project Midas project leader Adrian Luckman told the BBC, “If it doesn’t go in the next few months, I’ll be amazed…it’s so close to calving that I think it’s inevitable.” Related: 70-mile crack in Antarctic ice shelf could create Delaware-sized iceberg The iceberg would be about 5,000 square kilometers, or around 2,000 square miles, large. The probable event follows the 1995 collapse of the Larsen A ice shelf, and the 2002 break-up of the Larsen B shelf. The rift in Larsen C has been around for decades, according to scientists, and is not a climate but a geographical event. But climate change could have hastened the Larsen C rift’s downfall, although the scientists told the BBC they don’t possess direct evidence for that hunch. The iceberg itself probably won’t increase sea levels , but if the remaining ice shelf breaks up in the future, pushing glaciers into the ocean, there’s a high probability sea levels will rise. Project Midas said in an article : “When it calves, the Larsen C Ice Shelf will lose more than 10 percent of its area to leave the ice front at its most retreated position ever recorded; this event will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula.” + Project Midas Via the BBC Images via NASA/John Sonntag and © MIDAS Project, A. Luckman, Swansea University

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Massive chunk of Antarctic ice shelf likely to break away soon

Seismically-safe cave home in Spain replaces informal shelter for shepherds

January 6, 2017 by  
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Living in caves is becoming increasingly trendy. The 104-meter-square Cuevas del Pino estate designed by UMMO Estudio was carefully built into calcarenite stone caves near Córdoba, Spain. The hollow geological formations found in the area were traditionally used as small shelters by wandering shepherds, but this one has been converted into a stunning modern home . Located in the Sierra Morena foothills just outside of Córdoba, some of the unique rock formations that have stood for centuries are now being converted into rural housing or for public activities. For the Cuevas del Pino estate, the architects began by “sculpting” the layout in harmony with the existing rock wall formation. The spacious square footage then allowed the designers to create a warm and fluid living space. Related: 6 Awesome Caves to Call Home Respecting the tectonic nature of the project from the beginning was a main focus of the design, according to the architects. Although some may have been tempted to use contrasting, ultra-modern materials, the designers relied on more natural elements to enhance the existing environment. Stone materials (concrete or marble) were used for the flooring, while timber furniture warms up the interior aesthetic. Glass windows and large doors open to the south to provide optimal natural light . + UMMO Estudio Via Archdaily Images via Ignacio Amián and David Vico

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Seismically-safe cave home in Spain replaces informal shelter for shepherds

The new Nissan Leaf will be able to drive autonomously on the highway

January 6, 2017 by  
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With the arrival of electric cars like the Chevy Bolt and the upcoming Tesla Model 3 , the Nissan Leaf hasn’t received the attention that it did when it first went on sale at the end of 2010. Nissan is getting ready to bring the spotlight back on the Leaf with an all-new model set to launch in the “near future.” While we’ve heard reports about a much longer driving range, Nissan’s CEO has also confirmed that the next Leaf will be able to drive autonomously on the highway. Without going into to too much detail, Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn revealed at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show that the next-generation Leaf will feature the automaker’s new ProPILOT technology. Related: Nissan’s next-generation Leaf prototype can drive over 310 miles on a single charge “At Nissan, from the beginning, we work to bring the right technologies for the full spectrum of our vehicles and the most amount of people,” said Ghosn in his keynote. “This takes more than innovation. It takes ingenuity. And it’s exactly what we deliver through Nissan Intelligent Mobility.” Nissan’s autonomous driving technology, called “Seamless Autonomous Mobility,” or SAM has been co-developed with NASA. The technology partners in-vehicle artificial intelligence with human support to help autonomous vehicles make decisions in unpredictable situations. According to Nissan, the technology could potentially enable millions of driverless cars to co-exist with human drivers on an accelerated timeline. Ghosn also confirmed that Nissan is working with Microsoft to build the next generation of connected car technologies. Although Nissan says that the next Leaf will arrive in the near future, we don’t have an actual confirmed date. + Nissan All images @ Nissan

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The new Nissan Leaf will be able to drive autonomously on the highway

Chrysler unveils all-electric self-driving Portal car "designed by millennials for millennials"

January 4, 2017 by  
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While Tesla and Google are busy developing the technology to make cars drive themselves, other auto companies are dreaming up what those autonomous cars of the future might look like . Fiat Chrysler just gave us a first look at its all-electric, self-driving car of the future ahead of the vehicle’s official debut this week at CES in Las Vegas. Far from a sporty coupe, the Chrysler Portal is a family car primed to leave present day minivans in the dust. The self-driving Portal looks rather similar to the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, although it sports a slightly narrower wheel base. The Portal also does away with the driver and front seat passenger doors in lieu of a single sliding door on each side. It’s worth noting that Chrysler isn’t actually calling the Portal a minivan, despite its appearance. Rather, Chrysler says the Portal is “next generation family transportation designed by millennials for millennials” which serves as “an open and serene atmosphere that bridges work and home.” Related: Chrysler and Google team up to create a self-driving minivan Among its many enticing attributes is the promised range of the all-electric vehicle – a whopping 250 miles or more on a full battery charge. Chrysler promises a 350-kilowatt fast charger that can juice up the battery enough in 20 minutes to travel up to 150 miles. The Portal’s cockpit looks drastically different than any car currently on the road, of course. Stripped down and minimalist in design, the self-driving concept car still features the essentials for human driving: a gas pedal and brake as well as a steering ‘wheel’ that looks more fit for a sci-fi set than a family van. Via The Verge and Autoblog Images via Fiat Chrysler

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Chrysler unveils all-electric self-driving Portal car "designed by millennials for millennials"

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