New SafariSeat wheelchairs made from bicycle parts help East Africans roam rough terrain

October 20, 2016 by  
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One in 200 people in East Africa need wheelchairs , but don’t yet have them. SafariSeat has developed an all-terrain, open source wheelchair that could allow those people to live their lives with more independence. Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter , SafariSeat hopes to use money collected to build more wheelchairs and create a manual with the open source designs. SafariSeat wheelchairs are inexpensive and can be made with bicycle parts. They’re designed to be built and repaired in developing countries . A mechanism that imitates car suspension keeps all four wheels on the ground so users can navigate difficult terrain easily. The wheelchair is designed to minimize pressure sores, and rolls via pump levers that a rider can use. Related: Google.org awards $20 million to groups developing tech for people with disabilities Designer Janna Deeble was raised in Kenya , and met a Samburu man named Letu as a child. Polio left Letu disabled and dependent on other people. But the difficulty of Letu’s condition really hit home when Deeble himself was wheelchair-bound after an accident in design school. Deeble went back to Kenya to create SafariSeat, working with a team and with local workshops. The SafariSeat wheelchair has granted Letu independence, and now he’s able to teach his son the Samburu way of life. Deeble and his team want to create a pictograph manual that a person can use no matter what language they speak. Their goal is for local workshops to build the wheelchairs, creating jobs and allowing locals to repair the wheelchairs. They note on their Kickstarter page that while wheelchair donations can help people for a time, when the chairs break there’s often no way to repair them. SafariSeats are designed to be made with locally accessible parts and repaired in basic workshops. SafariSeat is the first project of social enterprise Uji, and they are crowdfunding on Kickstarter so more people can access the innovative wheelchair. With just under a month to go, they’ve raised over $24,000. Their goal is $36,889. You can back the campaign here . + SafariSeat + SafariSeat Kickstarter Campaign Images courtesy of SafariSeat

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New SafariSeat wheelchairs made from bicycle parts help East Africans roam rough terrain

New Source solar panels pull clean drinking water from the air

October 20, 2016 by  
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A new kind of solar panel is being tested in water scarce regions of Ecuador, Jordan, and Mexico where the device, called Source, pulls moisture from the atmosphere to provide clean drinking water. Developed by the Arizona-based startup Zero Mass Water , the setup uses solar energy to produce potable water for a family of four or an entire hospital, depending on how many panels are in use. Last year, the company raised $7 million to back a series of pilot programs to prove how simple and cost-effective access to clean water can be. Founder and CEO Cody Friesen is also an associate professor at Arizona State University’s School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy. Zero Mass Water is the second startup to stem from Friesen’s work at ASU, and it promises a reliable source of affordable drinking water without the need for additional infrastructure. Because the devices can be used alone or in groups, the solar-powered system can scale up or down to meet the water needs of as many or as few people as desired. Related: Wind-powered Water Seer pulls up to 11 gallons of clean drinking water from thin air A single solar panel can produce enough clean water for a family of four, and it’s easy to use because the water flows from a faucet on the back side of the solar panel setup. Source works by passively absorbing moisture from the air using a special humectant material. The solar panel converts solar energy to electricity, which is used to power the process that drives the water back out of the collection material. The water is then evaporated to remove pollutants, leaving behind clean, safe drinking water. Around the world, there are many places primed for this type of sustainable, standalone passive water source. ZMW plans to use Source to provide fresh water to Syrian refugees in Jordan and to Jordanian families, affecting 100,000 households by the end of 2017, with funding from the Clinton Foundation , Duke Energy International, and other investors. Although the pilot programs to date have been conducted in developing countries and areas where water supplies have been contaminated or disrupted by violent conflicts, Friesen sees no reason that residents of the United States couldn’t put Source to work for them as well, and effectively skirt problems with municipal lead contamination and the other threats that increasingly limit access to clean drinking water across the country. Via FastCo Images via Zero Mass Water , Duke Energy , and Arizona State University

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New Source solar panels pull clean drinking water from the air

New $150 gadget lets your smartphone detect cancer with laboratory precision

October 20, 2016 by  
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While smartphone spectrometers are already being used to help detect cancer, they have only been able to evaluate one sample at a time, making the work slow and tedious. A breakthrough by a Washington State University research team led to the creation of a low-cost multichannel smartphone spectrometer that uses optical sensors to scan multiple samples simultaneously . The team, led by Lei Li, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, found their spectrometer to be highly accurate and sensitive, thanks to the custom prism array designed especially for this device. The WSU team has created a device, perhaps the first of its kind, with the same sensitivity level as existing laboratory equipment, capable of detecting proteins and cancer biomarkers with a high degree of accuracy. The team used a customized prism array they built through a hybrid manufacturing process, which makes it possible for the smartphone spectrometer to scan several samples at once in search of cancer biomarkers. The eight-channel smartphone spectrometer can detect human interleukin-6 (IL-6), a known biomarker for lung, prostate, liver, breast and epithelial cancers. Related: World’s first pocket spectrometer lets you measure the molecular makeup of nearly anything The smartphone-based cancer screening device is also a cost-effective solution, with a price tag around $150. The design was based on the iPhone 5, but the team is currently working to make it compatible with other smartphone models. A portable, low-cost spectrometer that produces lab quality results is just the sort of device in high demand in rural areas and especially in developing countries where hospitals lack high-tech cancer screening equipment or are absent altogether. The team’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation along with a WSU startup fund, and the report on their results was recently published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Via WSU Images via Wikipedia and Lei Li/WSU

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New $150 gadget lets your smartphone detect cancer with laboratory precision

Le FabShop’s DIY 3D-Printable Accessories Transform Fruit and Vegetables into Fun Toys

November 28, 2014 by  
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French company Le FabShop has come up with a great way to make fruit and vegetables fun for kids. They have just released 14 3D-printable components that transform potatoes, carrots, eggplants and apples into planes, four-wheelers, helicopters and submarines. These accessories, called Open Toys, are open source and can be downloaded for free, then printed and attached to your kid’s favorite  – or not so favorite — fruit and veggies. Read the rest of Le FabShop’s DIY 3D-Printable Accessories Transform Fruit and Vegetables into Fun Toys Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printed toys , 3D printing , 3d printing technology , DIY toys , le Fabshop , makerbot , open source design , Paris , toys , vegetable toys

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Le FabShop’s DIY 3D-Printable Accessories Transform Fruit and Vegetables into Fun Toys

200+ Inspiring, Ethical and Eco-Friendly Gifts in Inhabitat’s 2014 Green Gift Guide

November 28, 2014 by  
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Have you heard that green is the new black? If you don’t particularly feel like having your feet run over numerous times by rabid shopping cart-pushers today, why not skip the Black Friday madness and peruse eco-friendly gifts from the comfort of your own computer screen? Inhabitat’s 2014 Green Gift Guide is full of unique, useful and eco-conscious presents for everyone on your list, from the gals to the guys , the big kids to the wee ones , the green thumbs to the gadget geeks , and everyone in between. We’ve also got affordable offerings under $20 and under $50 , and for those who choose to avoid consumerism altogether, we’ve got clever DIY tutorials for goodies you can make yourself and buy-nothing gifts of time . So get comfy, down some coffee, and get a head start on your holiday shopping here . GREEN GIFTS UNDER $20 > GREEN GIFTS UNDER $50 > MAKE YOUR OWN GIFTS > ECO GIFTS FOR HER > ECO GIFTS FOR HIM > GREEN GIFTS FOR MOM AND DAD > GREEN GIFTS FOR TOTS > ECO GIFTS FOR BIG KIDS > GREEN GIFTS FOR THE HOME > GIFTS FOR THE GREEN THUMB > GREEN GADGET GIFTS > GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK > COZY KNIT GIFTS > GREEN JEWELRY GIFTS > CUSTOMIZED GIFTS > HEIRLOOM GIFTS > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cheap green gifts , eco gift guide , eco-gifts , green gift guide , green gifts for dad , green gifts for guys , Green gifts for kids , green gifts for mom , green gifts for pets , green gifts for the family , green gifts for women , inhabitat gift guide , Inhabitat green gift guide , Inhabitat’s 2014 Green Holiday Gift Guide , sustainable gifts

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200+ Inspiring, Ethical and Eco-Friendly Gifts in Inhabitat’s 2014 Green Gift Guide

World’s First 3D-Printed Laptop Smashes Crowdfunding Goal With $116,000

November 3, 2014 by  
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The world’s first 3D-printed laptop teaches people how to create their own circuit boards, build 3D-printed objects, and understand electronics. The team behind the PiTop Raspberry Pi laptop launched an Indiegogo campaign two weeks ago. Not only did they manage to reach their $80,000 goal, they smashed it, raising a whopping $116,000. Read the rest of World’s First 3D-Printed Laptop Smashes Crowdfunding Goal With $116,000 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printed design , 3D printed laptop , 3D printing , 3d printing technology , Crowdfunding , Green Laptop , green technology , Indiegogo campaing , laptop design , open source design , Pi-Top , Raspberry Pi laptop

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World’s First 3D-Printed Laptop Smashes Crowdfunding Goal With $116,000

Tiny Floating SAFE+ Tsunami Shelters Double as Karaoke Booths in Non-Emergencies

April 28, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Tiny Floating SAFE+ Tsunami Shelters Double as Karaoke Booths in Non-Emergencies Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: emergency shelters , floating architecture , floating pods , floating shelters , natural disasters , natural disasters emergency shelters , open source design , Solar Power , Tajima Motor Corporation , Tsunami Floating Shelter , Tsunami Floating Shelter SAFE+ , tsunami japan , tsunami shelters , tsunami-resilient design

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Tiny Floating SAFE+ Tsunami Shelters Double as Karaoke Booths in Non-Emergencies

Elon Musk Unveils Plans for 700 MPH Solar-Powered Hyperloop Train!

August 12, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Elon Musk Unveils Plans for 700 MPH Solar-Powered Hyperloop Train! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Alpha Design Hyperloop , eco design , Elon Musk Hyperloop , Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop design , green transportation , Hyperloop design , open source design , railless trains , solar powered train , Space X CEO , sustainable design , sustainable transportation , Tesla Motors CEO , train between San Francisco and Los Angeles , trains faster than planes , trains of the future        

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Elon Musk Unveils Plans for 700 MPH Solar-Powered Hyperloop Train!

Elon Musk to Unveil High-Speed Hyperloop Train System Designs by August 12

July 16, 2013 by  
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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX just announced that the design for the high-speed Hyperloop transportation system will be published by August 12 under an open source license. The futuristic transportation design will, reportedly, be a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun and air hockey table and will transport passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a swift 30 minutes. Read the rest of Elon Musk to Unveil High-Speed Hyperloop Train System Designs by August 12 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: elon musk , Elon Musk Hyperloop , futuristic transportation design , green transportation , green transportation system , high-speed vehicles , Hyperloop , Hyperloop transportation system , open source design , public transportation , spacex , Tesla Motors        

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Elon Musk to Unveil High-Speed Hyperloop Train System Designs by August 12

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