Flow Hive takes the hassle out of honey harvesting

June 10, 2019 by  
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Stuart and Cedar Anderson come from a long line of beekeeping, but the father and son duo are revolutionizing the beekeeping world with their own invention, the Flow Hive . The innovative beehive lets beekeepers reduce stress on their bees by harvesting fresh honey without opening the beehive, instead letting the honey flow freely on tap. As many beekeepers know, harvesting honey is a long, arduous process that not only disturbs the hard-working bees and their homes, but is also back-breaking work for the beekeeper. Related: BEEcosystem observation hives can be installed inside or outdoors Coming from three generations of beekeepers , Stuart and Cedar Anderson knew that there had to be a better way to reap the rewards from keeping hives. According to the father and son team, “It all started because Cedar felt bad about bees being crushed during the honey harvest. He was sick of being stung and having to spend a whole week harvesting the honey from his small, semi-commercial apiary.” Putting down their protective veils and putting on their designer hats,  Stuart and Cedar designed a new beehive , built with an integrated honey harvesting system that eliminates the need for removing honey cell frames. The Flow Hive is a compact timber structure made out of laser-cut sustainable Western red cedar. The apiaries come with a pitched roof with sliding observation windows on both sides and a front window that sits over the honey shelf. The hives can contain three or more frames, which are comprised of a partially completed honeycomb matrix. The bees fill the remaining cells with nectar, which eventually evaporates into honey. Once the honey is ready to be harvested, the beekeeper only has to insert a Flow Key into the top of the frame. When turned, the wax runs down a trough and into a tube, eventually flowing like liquid gold into jars. The process is much less stressful for all of the parties involved, but especially for the bees , who, after the harvesting process, realize that the comb is empty and begin to repair and refill the cells once again. + Flow Hive Images via Flow Hive

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Flow Hive takes the hassle out of honey harvesting

Navigating the fast-changing landscape of bioplastics and biomaterials

June 7, 2019 by  
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From sugar to flax to algae, entrepreneurs and multinationals are racing to cultivate plant-based solutions meant to downplay the world’s dependence on single-use plastics.

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Navigating the fast-changing landscape of bioplastics and biomaterials

How Novozymes and Intel use citizen scientists

May 30, 2019 by  
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Who better than to help scale applications than the people most likely to benefit from them?

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How Novozymes and Intel use citizen scientists

Self-shaping Urbach Tower twists itself into a unique, curvaceous shape

May 29, 2019 by  
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Wood warping typically creates unwanted and undesirable effects, yet the creators behind a unique new landmark in Urbach, Germany have found a way to harness the naturally occurring deformity into an unexpected architectural possibility. The University of Stuttgart completed a nearly 47-foot-tall timber structure that gets its curvaceous form from the “self-shaping process” of its curved wood components. Constructed from spruce wood cross-laminated panels, the Urbach Tower is the first wood structure made from self-shaped components and offers a more sustainable alternative to energy-intensive, mechanically formed structures. Created as one of 16 architecture-designed installations for the Remstal Gartenschau 2019, the Urbach Tower offers high performance and strength with low environmental impact . The landmark building’s prefabricated, self-shaping components are made from spruce wood CLT sourced regionally from Switzerland and CNC cut into 12 flat panels that deform autonomously into predicted curved shapes when dried. Computational models were developed to design, predict and optimize the material arrangement that would achieve the desired look through moisture-induced swelling and shrinking. “The Urbach Tower is the very first implementation of this technology on building-scale, load-bearing timber parts,” the designers said in a press release. “The distinctive form of the tower constitutes a truly contemporary architectural expression of the traditional construction material wood. It celebrates the innate and natural characteristics of self-shaped wood in its upward spiraling shape.” Related: Playful gable-roofed home in Atlanta champions the power of CLT The design team also clad the tower in a custom-made protective layer of glue-laminated larch with a titanium oxide surface treatment to protect the wood from UV radiation and pests. Four craftsmen assembled the tower in a single working day without the need for extensive scaffolding or formwork. The Urbach Tower, which is a permanent installation, serves as shelter, a landscape overlook and a showcase for efficient, economical and expressive wood architecture. + University of Stuttgart Images via University of Stuttgart

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Self-shaping Urbach Tower twists itself into a unique, curvaceous shape

Ford’s CTO on robotaxis, delivery bots and automotive disruptions

May 29, 2019 by  
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Five takeaways from a chat with the automaker’s chief technology officer, Ken Washington.

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Ford’s CTO on robotaxis, delivery bots and automotive disruptions

The toll of tourism: Can Southeast Asia save its prized natural areas?

May 29, 2019 by  
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From Thailand to Bali, a huge increase in tourists, many from China and other rapidly developing economies, is straining sensitive ecosystems to the breaking point. Some countries are trying to control the boom, with a few closing popular destinations to allow damaged areas to heal.

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The toll of tourism: Can Southeast Asia save its prized natural areas?

UK-based company is making home delivery as green as possible with e-cargo bikes

May 28, 2019 by  
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Electric Assisted Vehicles Limited unveiled its new e-cargo bike designed to reduce the carbon footprint of urban home deliveries. The Project 1 eCargo bicycle, nicknamed P1, has a range of 7-20 miles depending on battery size, making it a great addition to any courier or food delivery service with little to no carbon emissions. At just under 6.5 feet in length and 3.4 feet in width, the quadricycle can easily wind its way through streets and roads without causing added congestion. A stable platform allows for the transportation of 330 lbs of cargo. The P1 is peddled and steered like a regular bicycle and a thumb switch makes the vehicle accelerate to 6 mph. A turn crank operated by pedal adds the extra electrical assistance necessary to tackle longer journeys, all with zero carbon emissions . The bikes are compatible with charging stations, as well as can be charged offsite due to the removable batteries. Related: Meet ‘Blade’, the world’s first 3D-printed hypercar “We’ve created a vehicle with Project 1 that will lead on to an entire range of mobility solution vehicles. All highly functional, exceptionally environmentally aware, easy and great fun to use. Also, they have to be very cool to look at which is another crucial cultural point,” says Nigel Gordon-Stewart, managing director of EAV. The company is working to make the P1 completely weather resistant so the vehicle can be usable year-round, regardless of bad weather. EAV is also considering ways to add more passengers and make the vehicle rentable with an app. Businesses can rest assured that the modular chassis design allows for the customization of the P1 whether it needs to be extended, shortened or widened. DPD, the UK’s leading parcel delivery company, worked alongside EAV to help develop the quadricycle. DPD’s CEO commented on the partnership, saying, “Our aim is to be the most responsible city centre delivery company, which means neutralising our carbon footprint and developing smarter, cleaner and more sustainable parcel delivery services. Not only does the P1 look amazing, it is also incredibly smart, flexible and future-proofed. As a result, the P1 is perfect for UK city centres and we are really looking forward to adding it to our rapidly expanding zero emission fleet in July.” + EAV Images via EAV

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UK-based company is making home delivery as green as possible with e-cargo bikes

Meet Solar Cat, a cute and creative take on renewable energy

May 24, 2019 by  
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Solar power just got an adorable new makeover. New York-based technology company Grouphug opened Solar Cat at the New York Hall of Science on Earth Day 2019 as an exhibit to demonstrate the fun and creative side of renewable energy. While conducting preliminary research for the project, Grouphug founder Krystal Persaud interviewed 100 New Yorkers and found that many of them had misconceptions about solar power. Wanting to erase the stigmas about solar panels being an eyesore and only available to people with a certain type of home, Persaud set out to integrate more industrial design into solar technology. Related: Scientists invent a solar panel that produces hydrogen “At Grouphug, our mission is to change the perception that renewable energy is a boring utility purchased by the most privileged,” Persaud explained on the company blog . “The technology itself can be designed to be more relatable, have a personality and be fun.” With a team of NYSCI “Explainers,” students and an electrical engineer, the Solar Cat project was brought to life. The 140-watt cat-shaped solar panel is mounted to the window at the New York Hall of Science, harnessing the sun’s rays to power an adjacent interactive pedestal with educational facts about sustainable power . Flipping a switch on the solar panel can send real energy into a model home, and a pair of USB ports can be used to charge a visitor’s phone, all using the power harnessed by Solar Cat. Adding an extra educational aspect, the cells that make up the cat are made of transparent plastic, meaning that visitors can see the different components inside unobstructed. Grouphug isn’t stopping with Solar Cat. The company has even more plans for projects focused on sustainable design . Combining solar panels with a consumer’s personal interests (such as cats) will hopefully inspire more citizens, in New York and otherwise, that renewable energy isn’t just for the affluent or tech-savvy. The company also hopes to show that solar technology doesn’t just have the power to harvest the sun’s energy but also the power to make people smile. + Grouphug Images via Grouphug

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Meet Solar Cat, a cute and creative take on renewable energy

An Australian dairy farm is updated with solar-powered grass-to-gate facilities

May 22, 2019 by  
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People around the world have been demanding ethical treatment of dairy cows for years, and one brilliant Australian firm, Bosske Architecture , has listened and delivered. The Bosske team has designed a new solar-powered dairy farm facility with a robotic creamery in Northcliffe, Western Australia. The only dairy production facility of its kind in the world, Bannister Downs Dairy is a massive operation that is powered by a 100 KW array of roof-mounted solar panels that generate enough power for the entire ‘grass-to-gate’ facility. The gorgeous exterior of the dairy manages to pay homage to the long history of the farming sector, while at the same time provides an ethical and sustainable milk production system that revolves around the health of the herd. The entire complex is clad in red anodized panels that catch the sun’s reflection throughout the day, changing from deep rust-hued red to purple to a shimmery gold. Related: New floating dairy farms could produce 260 gallons of milk each day The dairy is split into two areas: the public area for visitors and events like conferences and workshops, and the working end, which houses the milking production. The entrance is through a typical barn, inspired by the traditional Australian sheds found on local farms. An elongated gabled barn then stretches toward the milking end, which has an internal viewing gallery of the entire production. At the end of the building there is a cafe that overlooks the expansive farmland. The gorgeous exterior of the dairy farm conceals a very modern interior with state-of-the-art robotic milking and other large-scale dairy processing equipment. The innovative design allows milking, processing, bottling and packaging to take place in one location. The milking process is developed around a voluntary milking system for the cows that operates 24 hours a day. The herd, which grazes out in the field surrounding the creamery, is milked by rotary robotic milking machines that can also analyze and help maintain the health of the cows. To keep the creamery as sustainable as possible, the entire process runs on a massive 100 KW array of solar panels . Additionally, water conservation is integrated into the building with water collection and reuse systems throughout. + Bannister Downs Dairy + Bosske Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Silvertone Photography and Peter Bennetts via Bosske Architecture>/em>

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An Australian dairy farm is updated with solar-powered grass-to-gate facilities

Meet ‘Blade’, the world’s first 3D-printed hypercar

May 21, 2019 by  
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At first glance, any motorhead would be head over heels for Blade — a sleek sportscar with shimmery deep magenta facade. The aerodynamicity of the car is obvious from its low, curved volume. Yet, this isn’t just any supercar that has just hit the market. Created by San Francisco-based startup  Divergent Microfactories,  Blade’s chassis was entirely 3-D printed. 3D printing is already revolutionizing the manufacturing process around the world. Printing in 3D makes products such as furniture, jewelry, machinery and even cars, more lightweight, but without sacrificing durability. Not only does 3D printing offer a new, faster and more reliable way of manufacturing, but it is also more affordable and sustainable. Related: World’s first mass-producible 3D-printed electric car will cost under $10K Within the automotive industry, sustainability is an aspect that, according to Divergent founder and CEO, Kevin Czinger, can no longer be ignored. “We have got to rethink how we manufacture, because — when we go from 2 billion cars today to 6 billion cars in a couple of decades — if we don’t do that, we’re going to destroy the planet,” Czinger expains. The startup has been working on the Blade design for years. The car’s chassis is a 3D printed aluminum “node” joint, which is made up of carbon fiber tubes that plug into the nodes to form a strong and lightweight frame for the car, weighs just 1,400 pounds. According to the company, the 3D manufacturing process reduces the weight of the chassis by as much as 90 percent when compared to conventional vehicles. The Blade features a 700HP engine capable of running on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and gas. As for performance, its light weight enables the supercar to accelerate to 0-60 m.p.h in 2.2 seconds. But, in case you’re itchin’ to get the metal to the pedal in this sweet ride, you’ll have to wait. The company has only manufactured a few models, but hopes to start working with boutique manufacturers soon to start producing more. + Divergent 3D Images via Divergent 3D

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Meet ‘Blade’, the world’s first 3D-printed hypercar

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