Foster + Partners DJI HQ will be a creative community in the sky

May 10, 2018 by  
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Foster + Partners have unveiled designs for the new headquarters of DJI, the makers of the world’s most popular commercial drones . Currently under construction in Shenzhen, the new building will comprise twin towers linked by a sky bridge that will be used to showcase the latest drone technology. The headquarters, conceived as a “creative community in the sky,” will not only include research and development spaces, but will also engage the public with exhibition spaces and even robot fighting rings. Envisioned as the “heart of innovation” for DJI, the new Shenzhen headquarters takes inspiration from drones with its glass-enclosed forms that evoke lightness. Large steel megatrusses anchor the twin towers and allow for large, column-free spaces throughout. Floating volumes are cantilevered on all sides of the building and comprise offices, R&D space, and other public functions. Related: Foster + Partners’ Bloomberg HQ opens in London as “world’s most sustainable office building” “Our aim is to create a unique workplace environment that embodies the spirit of invention and innovation that has allowed DJI to lead the world in robotics and technology,” said Grant Brooker, Head of Studio of Foster + Partners. The building is optimized to test and showcase the latest drone technology, from the unique quadruple-height drone flight testing labs to the ceilings and floors that slide open for the deployment of drones outdoors. The ground floor will house a public exhibition space and a new theater for product launches. + Foster + Partners

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Foster + Partners DJI HQ will be a creative community in the sky

UNStudio unveils Danube bridge for sustainable transit in Budapest

May 10, 2018 by  
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UNStudio has swept the competition for the New Budapest Bridge, a much-needed bridge over the Danube in the south of the city. Coated in a reflective white paint, the landmark bridge will serve as a gateway between Ujbuda and Csepel, and help spur further development in the surrounding post-industrial area. The multi-use bridge “enables sustainable transportation” and will accommodate road, tram, pedestrian, and cycle crossings. Created in collaboration with Buro Happold Engineering , the New Budapest Bridge proposal was selected by the Municipal Government of Budapest in the first international bridge design competition in Hungary for over 120 years. Conceived as a welcoming symbol, the contemporary cable-stayed bridge features angled pylons that mimic the “inviting gesture of hands,” said Ben van Berkel. “It was essential that the bridge would be in harmony with Budapest – which owes much of its configuration to the surrounding landscape – and its future vision. It was also important that the bridge enable unobstructed views below and above the bridge deck.” Related: Unusual Dutch bridge embraces flooding in a thought-provoking way With a main span of 711 feet, the bridge stretches over 1,600 feet from shore to shore. The white paint finish will reflect the surrounding environment and give the bridge an ever-changing appearance. In addition to catalyzing nearby development, the project aims to make the area around the Budafoki interchange more human and urban friendly. + UNStudio Images by VA Render

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UNStudio unveils Danube bridge for sustainable transit in Budapest

These robots assembled an IKEA chair in 20 minutes without having a meltdown

April 19, 2018 by  
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Who hasn’t found themselves ready to throw a half-assembled IKEA chair across the room in a fit of frustration? If you are one of the many humans that still struggle to piece it all together, don’t despair: the robots are coming. In a study recently published in Science Robotics , scientists created two robots that are capable of performing the complex movements and possess the planning skills necessary to construct an IKEA chair. The robots are able to assemble a chair in a little over twenty minutes, with 11 minutes and 21 seconds dedicated to planning and 8 minutes and 55 seconds devoted to actual construction. While computers seem to have surpassed humans in certain cognitive tasks, such as playing chess and Go, until the development of this particular robot, even the most advanced robots struggled to emulate the manual dexterity possessed by humans to complete a complicated task like chair assembly. Additionally, the task requires integration of sight and precise calculation of force necessary to complete a particular step in the process. The team that designed the IKEA assembly robot from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore  utilized 3D cameras and force sensors , combined with full-range robotic arms, to equip their machine with the parts necessary to get the job done. Related: Scientists develop tiny robots that drill into cancer cells to kill them To start, the robots recorded images to properly identify each component of the chair. Next, the robots followed a complex algorithm to plan the movements needed to complete the task without bumping into anything. Finally, the robot arms assembled the parts, guided by sensors to determine the force necessary to secure each component. Although the robots were not fully autonomous, the researchers predict that with ever-advancing artificial intelligence , assembly robots may someday be able to piece together your furniture simply by flipping through the manual. Via Science Magazine Images via Science Magainze

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These robots assembled an IKEA chair in 20 minutes without having a meltdown

Beware of losing your building’s Energy Star standing as updates loom ahead

March 16, 2018 by  
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Early adopters of the ratings system, in particular, could suffer lower scores. But it’s not too late to act.

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Beware of losing your building’s Energy Star standing as updates loom ahead

Master class: Why a career is a series of apprenticeships

March 16, 2018 by  
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Insights and inspiration from a four-decade-long career in sustainability.

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Master class: Why a career is a series of apprenticeships

How Allagash brews sustainable practices into its operations

March 16, 2018 by  
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From reusing carbon dioxide to the way it handles spent grain, there are many ways the craft beer maker is closing the loop.

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How Allagash brews sustainable practices into its operations

Synthetic Pollenizer uses 3D-printed robotic flowers to help save bees

March 2, 2018 by  
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Over the last 20 years we’ve seen a dramatic decline in bee populations as a result of harmful pesticides and other environmental challenges . So, Brisbane’s Michael Candy proposed a unique solution. The artist’s Synthetic Pollenizer project combines artificial pollination with 3D printing to provide a safe space for bees to continue their important work as pollinators, without some of the inherent risks. The Synthetic Pollenizer is a conceptual project that uses a system of robotic flowers safe for bees to pollinate compared to real plants (potentially contaminated with pesticides). The robotic petals can stand alongside real plants and feature pollen, nectar and a synthetic stamen. “It has taken several years to successfully coax bees into landing on the synthetic pollenisers,” said Candy. “The color and form of the unit are important for attraction as bees have a variety of ways to identify flowers.” Related: Over 700 North American bee species are heading towards extinction The flowers are connected to a network for motor and tubes which push a man-made nectar solution to the petal surface. A pollen trap fits over the hive entrance and collects leftover pollen pellets from the bees’ hind legs which Candy then feeds into the synthetic stamen. Bees pick up the pollen the same way they do from a real flower. “Perhaps in a future where designer crops are no longer able to produce pollen yet still receive it, Candy said, “then the Synthetic Pollenizer could rehabilitate the reproductive cycle of these genetically modified crops”. + Michael Candy Via Dezeen

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Synthetic Pollenizer uses 3D-printed robotic flowers to help save bees

Renzo Piano reveals designs for Toronto courthouse targeting LEED Silver

March 2, 2018 by  
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Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) teamed up with NORR Architects & Engineers to design the new Toronto Courthouse, located just northwest of Toronto City Hall. Designed to strengthen the city’s civic core, the new courthouse will embrace the streetscape and offer a variety of public amenities. The building will be RPWB’s first project in Canada and aim for LEED Silver certification. After over a year’s worth of collaboration between the two firms, the recently unveiled designs for the Toronto Courthouse present a vision of transparency with an emphasis on public space . At the heart of the project will be a 20-meter-tall glass atrium that RPBW says “creates an immediate and strong image which will extend the public realm into the building, as well as expressing the public nature of the courthouse within the city.” The new building will also help consolidate the law courts currently spread out across Toronto . Related: Toronto’s waterfront to undergo major futuristic redesign thanks to Google’s Sidewalk Labs Despite its highly transparent appearance, the Toronto Courthouse will be fitted with high-security features. The building will also house an education center on the history of and challenges facing the indigenous justice system. The project is expected for completion in 2022. + Renzo Piano Building Workshop Via ArchDaily Images by PIXELFLAKES and RPBW

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Renzo Piano reveals designs for Toronto courthouse targeting LEED Silver

3 industrial robots making operations safer, cleaner and faster

November 7, 2017 by  
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Sponsored: Meet the Cyclops, the Cobra and the Gator.

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3 industrial robots making operations safer, cleaner and faster

Scientists develop tiny robots that drill into cancer cells to kill them

September 5, 2017 by  
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Tiny new robots are proving to be life-saving tools in the fight against cancer. As first reported in the journal Nature , scientists at Durham University in England, in collaboration with researchers at Rice and North Carolina Universities in the United States, have developed nanomachines that are capable of drilling into cancer cells, killing them within minutes. These light-activated nanobots, the size of a molecule, move so rapidly that they can burrow through cell linings of cancer. The researchers found that in order for the nanomachines to function effectively, they need to spin two to three million times per second in order to not be inhibited by objects (or what is known as Brownian motion, or the erratic movement of tiny particles in fluid.) When triggered by ultraviolet light, the nanobots begin to spin, allowing them to cut through cancer cells either to destroy the cell or create space for the delivery of beneficial drugs. “These nanomachines are so small that we could park 50,000 of them across the diameter of a human hair, yet they have the targeting and actuating components combined in that diminutive package to make molecular machines a reality for treating disease,” said Dr. James Tour of Rice University. “For many years I never had envisioned the nanomachines being used medically, I though they were way too small, because they are much much smaller than a cell, but now this work has really changed my thoughts.” Related: Nanotech Robots Travel Through Blood to Turn Off Tumor Cells According to Dr. Robert Pal of Durham University, these micro cancer slayers may be well suited to target those cancers that are resistant to existing chemotherapy. “Once developed, this approach could provide a potential step change in non-invasive cancer treatment and greatly improve survival rates and patient welfare globally,” said Pal. After initial experiments on microorganisms and small fish are completed, the team will advance to rodent subjects, then eventually clinical trials on humans if prior results are positive. Via Yahoo News Images via Dr. Robert Pal/Durham University and Tour Group/Rice University

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