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Energy Efficient

Tiny Houses

More than just an RV: ESCAPE injects some style into the tiny house movement

Perhaps due to the fact that the challenge of designing viable tiny homes pushes architects to come up with creative space-saving solutions, the tiny house movement is bursting with great ideas. The latest such dwelling to come to our attention, dubbed ESCAPE, is a 37 sq m (400 sq ft) home that boasts a handsome design, lots of customizable options (including operating completely off-grid), and legal status as an RV. Read More

Science

Scientists demonstrate a robotic muscle 1,000 times more powerful than a human's

If a so-called "rise of the machines" ever comes to fruition, our chances of survival may have just taken a big hit. A team of scientists from the US Department of Energy ’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has demonstrated a new type of robotic muscle with 1,000 times more power than that of a human's, and the ability to catapult an item 50 times its own weight.Read More

Environment

Cleanup Array concept aims to rid the oceans of plastic waste

Boyan Slat, an aerospace engineering student at the Delft University of Technology, is working to combine environmentalism, technology, and his creative outlook to rid our oceans of plastic debris. His Ocean Cleanup Project aims to utilize the oceans’ natural gyres (five circular currents in the oceans around the world – two in the Atlantic, two in the Pacific, and one in the Indian) to collect plastic waste. Read More

Environment

Watery windows mimic blood vessels to boost building efficiency

Researchers at the University of Toronto say they can improve the energy of efficiency buildings by fitting window panes with tiny channels of water. The scientists says that these channels, inspired by vascular systems in nature such as the network of blood vessels in the human body, can provide 7º to 9º C of cooling in the summer, and reduce heat loss during winter.Read More

Around The Home

Recordura electronic door lock generates its own electricity

Smartphone-enabled electronic door locks such as the Unikey, Lockitron and Goji do have advantages over their traditional counterparts – digital “keys” can be sent to multiple users’ phones, access to locked rooms can be limited to specific dates and/or times for certain users, and keys stored on lost phones can simply be deactivated. However, as with just about any electronic version of a purely-mechanical device, they do introduce one complicating factor: they require a power supply. The Recordura lock, however, generates its own electricity when users push on its handle. Read More

Architecture

Offshore floating prison concept would create electricity for the mainland

However efficient a prison may be, it still typically expends significant energy resources. But what if a prison could actually create power, rather than just consume it? That's the thinking behind lecturer in architecture Dr. Margot Krasojevic's futuristic offshore floating Hydroelectric Waterfall Prison concept, which isn't just self-sustaining, but produces excess energy for homes on the mainland too. Read More

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