Monday, 9 May 2016


Tasty Tech Eye Candy of the Week (May 8)
By Tracy Staedter,
Discovery News, 8 May 2016.

This week we feature transparent cable cars, glowing concrete, and a flying car with vertical lift-off that's coming to market in 2018.

1. Aerial Gondola


A proposed public transportation project in Chicago could see passengers riding in transparent cable cars. The Chicago Skyline, designed by Marks Barfield Architects and Davis Brody Bond, would connect Navy Pier with downtown stops on the Loop. The video here shows the project in more detail.

2. Flexible Smartphone


A smartphone called the HoloFlex combines a flexible body with a 3-D holographic display. It's not a commercial model yet, but was developed by researchers in a lab at Queens University. The display uses a layer of tiny lenses to disperse light in a way that lets everyone see the 3-D graphic. And bending the phone is not just a novelty here, it actually functions as a command. In one example, bending the phone moved an object in the foreground closer to an object in the distance.

3. Sea Urchin Pavilion


As part of an annual pavilion design event at the University of Stuttgart, students used robots to mold and stitch together laminated plywood. The result is a surprisingly curvy dome inspired by the shape of a sea urchin. See more in the video here.

4. Lightweight Electric Bike


Electric bikes don't have to weigh a ton. The All-Go from M2S is made with a carbon-fiber frame and weighs 33 pounds. A 500-watt pedal-assist electric drive gets you going up to 28 mph. See more here.

5. Sundial with Flowery Shadows


As the sun moves across the sky, the shadows from this 3D-printed, fan-shaped sundial create the motion of a blooming flower. It was designed by a team at Prescription, built by Arup and is currently on display in Amsterdam.

6. Robotic Surgery


For the first time ever, a robot was able to successfully stitch soft tissue during an experimental operation. The machine called the Smart Tissue Automation Robot (STAR) was developed at Johns Hopkins University. It uses a 3-D imaging system and near-infrared sensors to suture the delicate, squishy tissue of a bowel.

7. Glowing Concrete


This concrete absorbs light by day (top) and glows at night (bottom). The material, which has a lifespan of 100 years, was developed by José Carlos Rubio, from Michoacan’s University of San Nicolas Hidalgo. It can be used as pavement, in roads, or in buildings to increase visibility at night.

8. Bee Flight Computer Model


A new computer model shows how motion-direction detecting circuits in a bee's neural system are wired together to help the insect fly and avoid crashing into walls.

9. Self-Driving Hybrid


This week, Chrysler and Google announced they were teaming up. Chrysler will be integrating and testing Google's self-driving technology into the 2017 Pacifica to see how well it works in the passenger minivan.

10. Vertical Lift Flying Car


Lilium Aviation, based in Germany, is building the Lilium Jet, a super-compact flying car able to lift off vertically from any 50-foot-square flat area. The aircraft will travel 250 mph with a range of about 300 miles. And because this vehicle will be classified as a Light Sport Aircraft, no pilot's license is required. According to Lilium, the vehicle will go on sale in 2018.

Top image: The Lilium Jet. Credit: ESA Business Incubation Centre.

[Source: Discovery News. Edited. Top image and some links added.]

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