2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show

Lightweight

Version.3 by Leaf House (Photo: Laird Herbert)

Back in 2012, we reported on Version.2 by Canadian small living firm Leaf House, which is headed by Laird Herbert. Now Herbert is back with a new and improved tiny home that he intends to use as a case study for small living in cold climates. Version.3 is designed to take temperatures of -50 °C (-58 °F) in its stride, and also packs a number of other benefits over its predecessor, including increased interior space and decreased weight.  Read More

Double- and triple-delta robots are light and flexible, but take up little volume (Photo: ...

The design of a standard robot arm is, more or less, a mechanized representation of an idealized human arm, replete with elbow and wrist joints. Such designs tend to be unwieldy in confined spaces, and unsuitable for many industrial production line processes. As a result, delta arms – a series of interconnected parallelograms which restrict movement to the X, Y or Z directions and do not rotate – have become popular for use in tight workspaces. But, when faced with a requirement for both flexibility and compactness, a design that incorporates the best of both types is required. That's where the double-delta robot comes in.  Read More

The Nutshell, by designer Eden Lew

If you spend your workday in a busy office, you'll know how difficult it can be to switch off and take a proper break. With this in mind, designer Eden Lew has conceived a wearable isolation pod called the Nutshell that aims to improve the quality of break times.  Read More

Empa ceramics specialist Jakob Kübler, with some of the materials used in the brake rotor ...

When it comes to making cars more energy-efficient – whether they're battery- or gas-powered – getting their weight down is one of the best things you can do. Unfortunately, the cast iron brake rotors currently used in most vehicles are quite heavy. Lighter ceramic rotors certainly do exist, although their high price mostly limits their application to expensive sports cars. Soon, however, ceramic-coated aluminum rotors may be a cost-effective lightweight alternative for economy cars.  Read More

Only six of the Lightweight E-Type watches will be built – one for each car

Over at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance this week, Jaguar unveiled its continuation Lightweight E-Type sports car, and to keep it company, British watchmaker Bremont chose the same venue for the début of its Lightweight E-Type wristwatch. No prizes for guessing, but the bespoke watch with a limited run of six is a commemoration timepiece on offer to the buyers of the Jaguar replica racers.  Read More

The Compact Shelter designed by Alastair Pryor pops up and down in less than two minutes

Young Australian humanitarian and social entrepreneur, Alastair Pryor has created a foldable crisis relief shelter for disaster victims and the housing displaced. Dubbed Compact Shelter, the portable dwelling boasts an innovative design that is simple to use, collapsible and lightweight. What's more it pops up and down in less than two minutes  Read More

Ford's Lightweight Concept vehicle based on the Fusion weighs less than a Fiesta

At NAIAS in January, Ford showed the world its new lightweight F-150 truck, which slashed 700 lb (318 kg) from its predecessor's weight to improve handling and fuel economy. Now the automaker has taken the weight-saving techniques from the F-150 and applied them to a new Lightweight Concept vehicle based on a Ford Fusion sedan.  Read More

Jaguar plans to build the last six of original Lightweight E-Type run

It’s not unheard of for a car’s production to be interrupted for a few months or even a couple of years, but half a century is pushing it a bit. Jaguar announced today that it plans to complete the 18-car production run of the Jaguar Lightweight E-Type, which was suspended in 1964 after only 12 of the high-performance sports car were built.  Read More

The new Tension comes in two- and three-person models

Tent poles have to be one of the most hated types of sports equipment in the world. They represent the long, difficult process of setting that huge, overly complex base camp tent up at quarter to midnight. If you're really unlucky, they get twisted and knotted into an unkempt pile or break in the middle of the night. One tent manufacturer has identified an interesting way of eliminating a few of those poles, trading the multi-prong tent pole system for a tent body with integrated elastic cord in a design aimed at saving weight and hassle.  Read More

The framework construction made of a ceramic-polymer composite created at KIT (Picture: J....

Researchers in Germany have developed a lightweight, high-strength material inspired by the framework structure of bones and wood and the shell structure of bees' honeycombs. Created using 3D laser polymer printing combined with a ceramic coating, the material is less dense than water but, relative to its size, boasts strength comparable to high-performance steel or aluminum.  Read More

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