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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.

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— 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.

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— 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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— 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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