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— Robotics

Children's art goes high tech with WaterColorBot

Robots are already starting to make a mark on the adult art world with automated machines like the eDavid, which creates stunning painting in a variety of styles. But what about works at the other end of the artistic spectrum, like children's watercolors? Thanks to an invention from a 12 year-old, even young children can soon use robotics to make their own artwork. The WaterColorBot paints colorful pictures on paper based on existing graphics or follows along with users as they draw on a computer. Read More
— Marine

Electrolysis-based anti-biofouling system keeps hulls clean

Marine biofouling is the process in which organisms such as barnacles problematically colonize underwater surfaces. When it happens to the hulls of ships, the vessels become less hydrodynamic, having to burn more fuel in order to move through the water. Although hulls can be coated with paint that kills the offending organisms, that paint also releases toxic substances into the surrounding water. Now, however, scientists from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials have developed a more environmentally-friendly paint, that uses electrolysis to control biofouling. Read More
— Robotics

Prototype robots autonomously strip paint from aircraft using lasers

If you think stripping paint off an end table can be a messy, time consuming job, imagine removing paint and other coatings from an aircraft like the C-130 transport plane. Tasked with developing a robotic system that would take such a chore out of the hands of maintenance personnel, Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) and Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, developed a team of robots that gets the job done – using laser beams, no less. Read More
— Mobile Technology

NODE Chroma module lets you collect and reproduce colors

The NODE is a rather clever device. It’s a multi-function remote sensor, that links via Bluetooth with a paired smartphone. Different sensing modules can be swapped on and off of the main NODE platform, allowing it to serve as a 3-axis accelerometer, magnetometer or gyroscope. Additional modules were promised when the device was first announced, and an interesting one is now on the way. It’s the NODE Chroma, and it allows users to copy any color they encounter, for later use in things like paints or computer graphics. Read More

Kilo glow-bike ups cycling safety when the sun goes down

The best ideas are often, but not always, the simplest ones. So while there are many ways in which a cyclist can make themselves visible to motorists and pedestrians at night-time - these LED systems that light up your rims, for instance - perhaps all that is needed is a frame that glows in the dark. Bike manufacturer Pure Fix Cycles believes so and is introducing the GLOW series, of which The Kilo is the first. Read More
— Science

Strain-detecting, carbon nanotube-infused "strain paint"

While wireless sensors for detecting the strain placed on bridges and buildings, such as the SenSpot, are easier and cheaper to install than embedded wired networks of sensors, they still need to be in physical contact with the structure being monitored. Researchers at Rice University have now developed a new type of paint, infused with carbon nanotubes, that could make strain detection of materials in buildings, bridges and aircraft possible without actually touching the material. Read More

One Street Tweeter - the Twitter-powered road-painting printer

The G8 Summit, the annual meeting of leaders from eight of the world’s largest economies, is always a popular venue for protestors who don’t like what some of those leaders are doing. While you may not be able to make it to this year’s upcoming event in Maryland, an advocacy group known as One could still get your message out – by using what could best be described as a giant inkjet printer to paint it on the street. Read More