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Dario Borghino

Robotics

Robo Wunderkind is a modular robot even a five-year-old can program

Minecraft has partly replaced Lego bricks as a creative platform for young tinkerers, but while it is a fantastic avenue for training computer and block-building skills, Mojang's hit videogame also does little to improve handcrafting. Robo Wunderkind, from the German "wonder child," is a modular toy that promises to marry the old with the new by letting even the youngest hands and minds (aged five and up) build and program their own robot creations.Read More

Good Thinking

Tempescope brings you the weather in a box

A Japanese startup is raising funds through Indiegogo for Tempescope, a sleek-looking device that will fetch the weather forecast from your smartphone and recreate rain, lightning, fog and sunshine inside a clear plastic box sitting in your living room. The idea for the Tempescope first came to its inventor Ken Kawamoto after returning from a holiday in the Pacific Northwest. Wishing to take the skies back home with him, he created a prototype (out of shampoo bottles, a fan, LEDs and a mist diffuser) that could physically reproduce weather conditions in a confined space.Read More

Electronics

"Designless" brain-like chips created through artificial evolution

Scientists at the University of Twente in the Netherlands have devised a new type of electronic chip that takes after the human brain. Their device is highly power-conscious, massively parallel, and can manipulate data in arbitrary ways even though it doesn't need to be explicitely designed to perform any task. The advance could pave the way for computers that think more like we do.

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Environment

Transparent coating keeps solar cells cool and efficient throughout the day

Stanford engineers have developed a transparent silicon overlay that can increase the efficiency of solar cells by keeping them cool. The cover collects and then radiates heat directly into space, without interfering with incoming photons. If mass-produced, the development could be used to cool down any device in the open air for instance, to complement air conditioning in cars.Read More

Wearables

"Unique" hand-made strap discretely adds smart features to any watch

Polish startup uBirds is seeking funding on Kickstarter for Unique, a discrete, handmade, and highly customizable "smart strap" that can fit nearly any wrist-worn timepiece and add smartwatch-like functions to it. Where similar products have gone all-out in the features department, arguably at the cost of style and comfort, the approach for Unique is to blend in through a minimal footprint and a barebones, single-LED interface.Read More

Robotics

Volvo's robots will quietly pick up and empty your garbage bin

Volvo has announced a collaboration with companies and universities in Sweden and the US on ROAR (Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling). The project aims to build robots that will assist garbage truck operators by doing all the heavy lifting for them, picking up and emptying refuse bins autonomously (under the driver's supervision) and as quietly as possible.Read More

Physics

New invisibility cloak hides tiny three-dimensional objects of any shape

Scientists at UC Berkeley have developed a foldable, incredibly thin invisibility cloak that can wrap around microscopic objects of any shape and make them undetectable in the visible spectrum. In its current form, the technology could be useful in optical computing or in shrouding secret microelectronic components from prying eyes, but according to the researchers involved, it could also be scaled up in size with relative ease.Read More

3D Printing

World's largest delta 3D printer could build entire houses out of mud or clay

WASP (World's Advanced Saving Project) is set to unveil Big Delta, reportedly the world's largest delta 3D printer, later this week. This 12-meter (40 ft) tall behemoth was brought to life with the purpose of building nearly zero-cost housing through the use of local materials and as little energy as possible, offering quick and inexpensive relief to disaster areas and addressing the future housing needs of a rapidly growing world population.Read More

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