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Environment


— Robotics

Riverwatch uses robotic symbiosis to study waterways

The string of disastrous floods currently plaguing Britain demonstrate that managing rivers and other waterways is about more than protecting curlew nests and counting otters. To help provide a better understanding of riverine areas, a team headed by José Barata and Pedro Santana of the University of Lisbon are developing a “marsupial” robotic system called Riverwatch that teams a robotic catamaran with an on-board hexacopter to survey areas beyond the reach of the hip-boots and rubber raft brigade. Read More
— Good Thinking

goBin smart textile-recycling bin makes donating a snap

Goodwill of San Francisco has launched a smart donation bin called goBin that aims to make donating old clothes and other textiles a snap. Instead of having to make a regular trip to a Goodwill store, the bin will allow residents of apartment towers to donate their stuff from the comfort of their buildings. Developed in collaboration with the global product strategy firm, Frog Design, the high-tech textile-recycling bin is expected to help the city's environmental department reach its goal of making San Francisco a zero waste city by 2020. Read More
— Environment

PLEASED project working on "plant-borgs" to act as environmental biosensors

Many claim that talking to plants helps them grow faster. But what if the plants could talk back? That’s what the EU-funded PLants Employed As SEnsing Devices (PLEASED) project is hoping to achieve by creating plant cyborgs, or "plant-borgs." While this technology won't allow green thumbs to carry on a conversation with their plants, it will provide feedback on their environment by enabling the plants to act as biosensors. Read More
— Environment

Magnetic nanosponges more effective at soaking up spills

A new type of carbon nanotube (CNT) sponge that contains sulfur and iron has been developed and is proving to be more effective at soaking up water contaminants, such as oil, fertilizers, pesticides and pharmaceuticals, than previously seen. The magnetic properties of these nanosponges also make them easier to retrieve from the environment once the clean-up job is done. Read More
— Science

Thousands of Australian bees are getting tagged for research

Bees are integral to the pollination of major crops around the world, so the more that we understand how they go about their business, the better we can facilitate the process and thereby boost yields. With this in mind, scientists from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) are taking the unprecedented step of equipping up to 5,000 honeybees with RFID (radio frequency identification) tags. Read More
— Holiday Destinations

ION Adventure Hotel basks in the glow of the northern lights

While the use of geothermal energy and recycled materials would normally be starting points for Gizmag's look at a new holiday destination like the ION Adventure Hotel, there's one element here that stands well above the pack – location. The hotel is nestled amidst the diverse Icelandic landscapes in the heart of the Mt. Hengill region, offering guests the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the spectacular aurora borealis or midnight sun, depending on which time of the year it is. Read More
— Environment

Huge reserves of freshwater lie beneath the ocean floor

Scientists in Australia have reported the discovery of huge freshwater reserves preserved in aquifers under the world's oceans. The water has remained shielded from seawater thanks to the accumulation of a protective layer of sediment and clay. And it’s not a local phenomenon. Such reserves are to be found under continental shelves off Australia, China, North America and South Africa. Read More
— Marine

XPrize announces Ocean Health competition

Since 1995, XPrize has been promoting science and technology by setting “Grand Challenges” with cash incentive prizes. On Monday, the organization announced the launch of three new competitions by 2020 as part of its XPrize Ocean Initiative, which is aimed at improving the health and understanding of the world’s oceans. Read More
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