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Infrastructure

Robotics

Robotic 3D printer on wheels looks to fill the potholes of the future

From filling potholes to repairing busted power lines, maintaining a city's infrastructure involves some serious man hours. This labor-intensive task has recently become the target of some roboticists and engineers, who have set their sights on automating at least part of the process. Now startup Addibots is looking to get in on the action, wheeling out a roving 3D printing robot it imagines will scoot around town mending dodgy road surfaces. Read More

Architecture

Droneport will enable drone deliveries of urgent supplies in Rwanda

Foster + Partners has drawn upon its considerable experience designing airports to conceive a Droneport for Rwanda. Gimmicky-sounding name notwithstanding, the ambitious project could save lives if successful. Working alongside École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, and Afrotech, among others, the aim is for delivery drones to fly out from the hub and travel up to 100 km (62 miles) to take medical and other urgent supplies to where they're needed.Read More

Architecture

BIG crowdfunds steam ring generator for ski slope power plant

Back in 2011, we reported on BIG's Amager Bakke project: a waste-to-power station near Copenhagen billed as "the world's cleanest power plant." It should certainly be the world's most fun, as it's due to get a ski slope and an art installation which expels a steam ring each time a ton of carbon dioxide is released. The Danish firm recently turned to Kickstarter to fund development of the steam ring generator.

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Frank Gehry reportedly redeveloping Los Angeles River

According to the Los Angeles Times, Canadian-born architect and L.A. resident Frank Gehry is to significantly redevelop the L.A. River system. The changes will primarily focus on turning the river into a water reclamation system, in addition to increasing public access to the area.

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Environment

Plastic road surface might be streets ahead of asphalt

Asphalt covers more than 94 percent of the paved streets in the US, but have we gone down the wrong road with our choice of building material? Dutch firm VolkerWessels thinks so and has unveiled plans for roads crafted from recycled plastic, claiming the approach would significantly cut construction and maintenance time, as well as extend their expected lifespan.Read More

Automotive

Mini demos street lights that also charge your car

Mini is demonstrating a new technology that would allow electric vehicle (EV) drivers to charge their vehicles from street lights. The Light and Charge system would also provide efficient LED lighting. The system is being showcased the carmaker's plant in Oxford, UK, as part of Low Carbon Oxford Week.Read More

Science

MIT develops technique to see tiny vibrations in large structures using high-speed video

While it might appear that large structures, such as bridges and buildings, remain entirely unmoved by everyday forces like rain and wind, the truth is that they do experience very slight vibrations, too small to be seen by the human eye. Those vibrations can be indicative of structural damage or instability, but current methods of detecting them are impractical and costly. A new technique developed by MIT researchers is designed to spot those telltale signs of weakness using high speed video and a computer vision technique. Read More

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