Back in February, Sydney, Australia-based One Laptop Per Child spin-off, One Education, officially unveiled its concept for a modular laptop called the XO-Infinity. Aimed at being so simple to put together that a 4-year-old could do it, the (slightly renamed) Infinity project has now blossomed into a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to get the colorful portable computer into the hands of school kids around the globe.
Whether they've been crossing the English Channel, traversing the Alps, or attempting to fly around the world, solar-powered planes have been in the news a lot this year. While the aircraft are certainly fascinating and inspiring, there's no way that most of would ever be able to afford one … or is there? If a new Kickstarter campaign is successful, you'll be able to get a Volta Flyer solar airplane for just US$40. The only thing is, it'll be a little on the small side.
The 2015 RIBA Stirling prize has been awarded to Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) architects for Burntwood School. AHMM’s transformation of Burntwood School is said to reimagine a 1950s modernist secondary school campus for 2,000 girls and 200 staff. It was selected from a shortlist of six finalists.
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.
A project in Kenya is claimed to be the country's largest solar classroom roll-out to date. UK-based computer company Aleutia is building a classroom in each of Kenya’s 47 counties, which will serve over 20,000 primary school children.
If you want to know what time it is, you’ll have to do a little work with this clock. Albert (named after Albert Einstein) is a wall clock for children that breaks down the current time in math problems.
At about the size of a credit card, the original Makey Makey (now called the Classic) isn't exactly a behemoth, but it's not really something you could wear around your neck or dangle from your ear either. Aiming for portability, the boffins at JoyLabz have redesigned the board, stripping it down to its bare essentials, then adding a magnet (so tinkerers can stick it a fridge door between uses) and some LEDs (for colorful visual feedback), and wrapped it in protective plastic bumpers. The Makey Makey Go is now about the size of a USB thumb drive and, like the original, can be used to turn everyday objects into touch-enabled "buttons" – everything from bananas to someone's ear to jello to a potted plant. So long as it's able to conduct even the tiniest amount of electricity, it's fair game for some Makey Makey magic.
Zaha Hadid Architects has completed work on a striking new £11 million (US$17 million) addition to the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Contrasting markedly with nearby Brutalist and Victorian architecture, the modernist Investcorp Building is clad in stainless steel and sees the architect's distinctive flowing style used to great effect.
Google I/O was light on new consumer products this year (and by "light," we mean there were none at all), but the company made up for the lack of marquee sizzle with some important under-the-radar innovations. While Google Cardboard is still, well, made of cardboard, the company's VR strategy is anything but paper-thin.
Unless you work for a medical school or a research lab, you probably
haven't priced out cadavers lately. If you were to do so, however, you'd
find that they generally cost anywhere from nothing up to around
US$10,000. On top of that, however, there are transport and disposal
fees, the need for specialized storage facilities and staff, and the
fact that they're not reusable. That's why SynDaver Labs has been
creating ultra-realistic synthetic human bodies and body parts for
several years now. Instead of filling in for a dead body, its latest
product plays the part of a live patient.