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The Duel: Timo Boll vs. KUKA Robot - YouTube

Man against machine. The unbelievably fast KUKA robot faces off against one of the best table tennis players of all time. Who has the best technique? Who wil...

Via Ionut Anton, Andrea Graziano
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Man against machine

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Ionut Anton's curator insight, March 11, 2014 2:32 AM

Table tennis - robot vs human. who wins?

dana tanase's curator insight, March 11, 2014 2:40 AM

robot fairplay

thierrydenys's curator insight, March 13, 2014 3:27 AM

Film sublime....qui pose mille questions sur l'aventure homme / robot. Une poésie inaccessible (pour l'instant) aux robots ? 

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With Biodesign, Life is Not Only the Subject of Art, But the Medium Too

With Biodesign, Life is Not Only the Subject of Art, But the Medium Too | nature tech | Scoop.it
Artists are borrowing from biology to create dazzling biodesigns that challenge our aesthetics—and our place in nature

Via Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby
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Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby's curator insight, March 1, 2013 11:19 AM

How could this idea be translated into our schools? Could science and art teachers work together & get kids involved in creative uses of science materials? Isn't this what STEM (which IMHO should be STREAM) is all about?

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8 Must-See TED Talks for Architects

8 Must-See TED Talks for Architects | nature tech | Scoop.it
TED Talks are one of the easiest ways to gain knowledge quickly from some of the smartest people on the planet, and the field of architecture is no exception...
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Rescooped by Pedro Santiago from biomimicry as design strategy
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Harvesting energy from humidity: Free, green energy from leaping water droplets

Harvesting energy from humidity: Free, green energy from leaping water droplets | nature tech | Scoop.it
The study of a super-hydrophobic surface has led to discovery of a method for generating power from condensation. Condensing water droplets literally leap off the surface and produce an electric charge that can be harvested.

Via Digital Sustainability, Kalani Kirk Hausman, Rowan Edwards
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Digital Sustainability's curator insight, July 15, 2014 10:57 AM

It’s time to get rid of that dehumidifier — you are just throwing awayfree energy by sucking all the moisture out of the air, according to some new research published by a team from MIT. Postdoc researchers Nenad Miljkovic and engineering professor Evelyn Wang figured out last year that water droplets jumping off a hydrophobic surface could gain an electric charge, but now they’re worked out how to capture that energy, essentially pulling power out of thin air.

The team happened upon this mechanism quite by accident. The goal when the leaping water was discovered was to design a more efficient heat transfer material for power plants. That’s not nearly as sexy as conjuring power from humidity, but Miljkovic and Wang noticed something odd when working with a super-hydrophobic surface (pictured above). The condensing water droplets sometimes spontaneously jumped away from the hydrophobic surface, which was the goal as it cools much more efficiently. They didn’t expect the water droplets to produce an electric charge in the process, and that may have significant ramifications.

It’s the natural tendency of water to flow away from a hydrophobic surface, but in turning the leaping water into a viable method of power generation, the researchers had to give it somewhere to go. To encourage the water droplets to take a leap, a hydrophilic surface was placed just above the hydrophobic one. So the water really wants to make the trip from hydrophobic to hydrophilic, and it brings a few electrons along for the ride. The charge difference between the two plates can then be used to provide power.

Marcelo Errera's curator insight, January 22, 2015 7:46 AM

New frontiers are found as we deepen our understanding of natural systems.

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No need for water, enzymes are doing it for themselves even under hydrophobic conditions

No need for water, enzymes are doing it for themselves even under hydrophobic conditions | nature tech | Scoop.it
New research by scientists at the University of Bristol has challenged one of the key axioms in biology - that enzymes need water to function. The breakthrough could eventually lead to the development of new industrial catalysts for processing biodiesel.

 

Enzymes are large biological molecules that catalyse thousands of different chemical reactions that are essential for all life, from converting food into energy, to controlling how our cells replicate DNA.

 

Throughout this diverse range of biological environments in which enzymes perform their various roles, the only constant is an abundance of water.

However, new findings published today [6 October] in Nature Communications, show that water is not essential for enzymes to fulfil their biological role.

 

This discovery could pave the way for the development of new thermally robust industrial enzymes that could be utilised in harsh processing conditions, with applications ranging from detergent technologies to alternative energies via biofuel production.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Rowan Edwards
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Rowan Edwards's curator insight, October 6, 2014 12:27 PM

yet another reason to re-connect with nature. 

Rescooped by Pedro Santiago from SMART URBANISM + PARAMETRIC DESIGN
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Urban Layers. Explore the structure of Manhattan’s urban fabric. | MORPHOCODE

Urban Layers. Explore the structure of Manhattan’s urban fabric. | MORPHOCODE | nature tech | Scoop.it
Urban Layers is an interactive visualization created by Morphocode that explores the structure of Manhattan's urban fabric.

Via Diego Pacheco Gonzalez
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Rescooped by Pedro Santiago from Sustainable Futures
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Sustainable Solutions: Water in the Walls

Sustainable Solutions: Water in the Walls | nature tech | Scoop.it
People who study ecological design understand the importance of thermal mass for keeping places cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As water issues continue to plague many parts of the planet, the notion of rainwater harvesting beco...

Via Flora Moon
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Rescooped by Pedro Santiago from Tech and urban life
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Video: Stephen Goldsmith on Data and Cities

Video: Stephen Goldsmith on Data and Cities | nature tech | Scoop.it
Data-Smart City Solutions is working to catalyze local government efforts to more effectively solve local problems through the use of integrated, cross-agency data combined with community data to better discover and preemptively address civic problems.

Via Manu Fernandez
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Rescooped by Pedro Santiago from Biourbanism & Smart Design
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New York City's Protected Bike Lanes Have Actually Sped Up Its Car Traffic

New York City's Protected Bike Lanes Have Actually Sped Up Its Car Traffic | nature tech | Scoop.it
Don't listen to the angry drivers shouting at you. By reducing pedestrian and cyclist injuries and easing car congestion, protected bike lanes are...

Via Bentejui Hernández Acosta
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A New Smart City Cloud Platform in Boston | StateTech

A New Smart City Cloud Platform in Boston | StateTech | nature tech | Scoop.it

A new cloud-based smart city system being developed in Boston could be a model for other state and local governments.

The project is called SCOPE, and it stands for Smart-city Cloud-based Open Platform & Eco-system. Boston University’s Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering is spearheading the project in collaboration with several private-sector firms and multiple state and local agencies, including Massachusetts’ lead agency for technology — MassIT — and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

SCOPE’s primary goal is to “develop and implement smart-city services that aim to improve the quality of urban life”...


Via Rob Kitchin
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Understanding the Basic Principles of Organic Design - Landscape Architects Network

Understanding the Basic Principles of Organic Design - Landscape Architects Network | nature tech | Scoop.it
This organic design of The ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion developed by a multidisciplinary team at the Institute for Computational Design.
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The Non-Linear Code of Dextro – Observation in Nature

The Non-Linear Code of Dextro – Observation in Nature | nature tech | Scoop.it
The following is a collection of new generative pieces created by Walter Gorgosilits aka dextro from Austria, one of the pioneers of generative Macromedia Director programming.
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Top Ten Generative Design Patterns 2014

Top Ten Generative Design Patterns 2014 | nature tech | Scoop.it
Discover why generative design is quickly becoming a popular discipline for artists across the world. Pick your favourite from our top ten designs of 2014.

Via Alessio Erioli, Ionut Anton, Diego Pacheco Gonzalez, Manuel Muehlbauer
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Ionut Anton's curator insight, May 29, 2014 1:56 AM

top 10 generative designs of 2014

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Thermodynamics with Continuous Information Flow

Thermodynamics with Continuous Information Flow | nature tech | Scoop.it

We provide a unified thermodynamic formalism describing information transfers in autonomous as well as nonautonomous systems described by stochastic thermodynamics. We demonstrate how information is continuously generated in an auxiliary system and then transferred to a relevant system that can utilize it to fuel otherwise impossible processes. Indeed, while the joint system satisfies the second law, the entropy balance for the relevant system is modified by an information term related to the mutual information rate between the two systems. We show that many important results previously derived for nonautonomous Maxwell demons can be recovered from our formalism and use a cycle decomposition to analyze the continuous information flow in autonomous systems operating at a steady state. A model system is used to illustrate our findings.

 

Thermodynamics with Continuous Information Flow
Phys. Rev. X 4, 031015 – Published 28 July 2014
Jordan M. Horowitz and Massimiliano Esposito

http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.4.031015


Via Complexity Digest
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Biomimicry: Very Intelligent Design

Biomimicry: Very Intelligent Design | nature tech | Scoop.it
Biomimicry: Very Intelligent Design

Biomimicry or biomimetics refers to the direct study of nature, its organisms, ecosystems, and processes to inspire solutions to anthropogenic problems.


Via Anne Caspari, Flora Moon
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Animated Apertures : Biomimicry in Architecture

Animated Apertures : Biomimicry in Architecture | nature tech | Scoop.it
... and Technology Biomimicry or biomimetics is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems Los Angeles based B+U Architects, a design office recognized ...

Via Rowan Edwards
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Metropolis Magazine, March 2014 | Bionic City®

Metropolis Magazine, March 2014 | Bionic City® | nature tech | Scoop.it

How biomimetics could be the key to our urban future (RT @BionicCity: How Do We Make Our #Cities More Resilient?


Via LuizQuaglia, Rowan Edwards
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High Efficiency Achieved for Harvesting Hydrogen Fuel From the Sun using Earth-Abundant Materials

High Efficiency Achieved for Harvesting Hydrogen Fuel From the Sun using Earth-Abundant Materials | nature tech | Scoop.it

Today, the journal Science published the latest development in Michael Grätzel’s laboratory at EPFL: producing hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water. By combining a pair of solar cells made with a mineral called perovskite and low cost electrodes, scientists have obtained a 12.3 percent conversion efficiency from solar energy to hydrogen, a record using earth-abundant materials as opposed to rare metals.

The race is on to optimize solar energy’s performance. More efficient silicon photovoltaic panels, dye-sensitized solar cells, concentrated cells and thermodynamic solar plants all pursue the same goal: to produce a maximum amount of electrons from sunlight. Those electrons can then be converted into electricity to turn on lights and power your refrigerator.

At the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces at EPFL, led by Michael Grätzel, where scientists invented dye solar cells that mimic photosynthesis in plants, they have also developed methods for generating fuels such as hydrogen through solar water splitting. To do this, they either use photoelectrochemical cells that directly split water into hydrogen and oxygen when exposed to sunlight, or they combine electricity-generating cells with an electrolyzer that separates the water molecules.

By using the latter technique, Grätzel’s post-doctoral student Jingshan Luo and his colleagues were able to obtain a performance so spectacular that their achievement is being published today in the journal Science. Their device converts into hydrogen 12.3 percent of the energy diffused by the sun on perovskite absorbers – a compound that can be obtained in the laboratory from common materials, such as those used in conventional car batteries, eliminating the need for rare-earth metals in the production of usable hydrogen fuel.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Rowan Edwards
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"Nanograss" boosts the efficiency of organic solar cells

"Nanograss" boosts the efficiency of organic solar cells | nature tech | Scoop.it

Solar cells are built using two different types of semiconductors ("p-type" and "n-type"), each with a slightly different composition; when the two come in close contact, they form a so-called "PN junction." This junction is a critical component of any solar cell because it generates an electric field that causes charge inside the cell to flow in a set direction, creating a voltage. Voltage times current equals (solar) power.

 

After decades of trial and error, scientists now believe that the ideal geometry for a PN junction would consist of a series of vertical nanoscale pillars made from one type of semiconductor (either p- or n-type) and surrounded by a semiconductor of the opposite type. This shape is extremely effective at trapping light without reflecting it, resulting in a greater amount of charge being collected, while also allowing the use of cheaper, lower-grade materials in smaller volumes, which decreases the overall cost of the cell.

 

This "Holy Grail" structure has already been achieved in inorganic solar cells, but has been elusive for their organic counterpart due to some of the unique challenges they present. Now, however, a team led by Prof. Alejandro Briseno at UMass Amherst has developed a new simple and highly adaptable technique that can produce "nanograss" for use in organic solar cells, which could lead to a significant boost in their efficiency.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Large Wall is 3D Printed by Bot Laboratory in Just 10 Hours Using Euclid Robot 3D Printer

Large Wall is 3D Printed by Bot Laboratory in Just 10 Hours Using Euclid Robot 3D Printer | nature tech | Scoop.it
There are two main constraints preventing 3D printing from becoming a major factor in the manufacturing of large scale objects. First and foremost is speed, and

Via Kalani Kirk Hausman, Andrea Graziano
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Video: Susan Crawford on The Responsive City

Video: Susan Crawford on The Responsive City | nature tech | Scoop.it
The Responsive City

Via Manu Fernandez
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Aspern - The Efficient City Next Door: a test-bed city for smart technologies

Aspern - The Efficient City Next Door: a test-bed city for smart technologies | nature tech | Scoop.it

Vienna is engineering a nearby city where the buildings and power supply are so interconnected that synergistic effects are created. The vision: A world-class research project in a real environment, where the energy-saving technologies needed for the city of tomorrow can be analyzed and optimized.

At first glance, an abandoned airfield on the northeastern outskirts of Vienna, Austria may seem like a strange place to build a research center. But then again, this research center is going to need a lot of elbow room — enough, in fact, for about 20,000 people. That’s because the subject of the research will be a city — perhaps the first ever to be built so that scientists and urban planners can learn how buildings, renewable energy sources, local electrical distribution networks, and the entire grid can optimize their interactions in order to maximize their efficiency  and minimize their collective energy use. ...


Via Rob Kitchin
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designvagabond: nature and art

designvagabond: nature and art | nature tech | Scoop.it
designvagabond, designvagabond, design blog, decor blog, art blog, architecture, artists, ceramics, craft, design, designer, fashion, furniture, gallery, graphic design, home decor, illustration, interior design, packaging design, photography, product design, sculpture, stationery, technology, textiles, urban vinyl, web design, cleveland, ohio, highlights all that I find intriguing in the fields of art and design.
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Why biophilic architecture works: five reasons and case studies

Why biophilic architecture works: five reasons and case studies | nature tech | Scoop.it
Here are five case studies where biophilic design has made a positive impact to the lifestyles of those touched by it.
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The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance

The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance | nature tech | Scoop.it
Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature's own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that's both technical and deeply personal — with the help of ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and performs again for the first time on the TED stage.
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Synthetic Materials Mimic Living Organisms

Synthetic Materials Mimic Living Organisms | nature tech | Scoop.it
Biophysicists detail how they engineered synthetic materials that mimic the remarkable complexity of living organisms, successfully implementing a minimalistic model of the cell that can change its shape and move on its own.

 

 


Via Alessio Erioli
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