Saturday, May 29, 2010

Awesome new futuristic city in Korea

Netherlands based architects MVRDV has come up with this great design of an incredible new city called Gwanggyo Power Center, located south of Seoul, South Korea. Several organic hill structures combine to form this magnificent city which will be completely self-sufficient and would support 77,000 residents.

The city includes everything (almost) …housing, offices, shops and educational facilities. There is even an internal irrigation system which stores extra water from the buildings and uses it to sustain these green facades. As MVRDV states, “This diverse program has different needs for phasing, positioning and size. To facilitate this all elements are designed as rings. By pushing these rings outwards, every part of the program receives a terrace for outdoor life.” Construction will begin sometime after 2011.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lemon turns juice into energy, runs a clock

You thought lemon only goes with food and beer? You were wrong. It can even run a clock, effortlessly. The theory behind the lemon clock is based on the principle of electrolysis. The combination of zinc and copper, (basically the plug under the lemon), when reacts with any acidic medium (in this case, the lemon) causes oxidation, ultimately resulting in electricity. The device below allows you to keep the clock active for over a week using just 1 lemon. Good old chemistry, makes me remember my school days.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

World’s largest airship finally surfaces

The Hindenburg disaster took place in May 6, 1937, after which people completely lost their confidence on airships. But what you see here is yet another attempt of a helium-based airship,albeit based on a much modern technology. The airship called Bullet 580, measures 235ft in length and 65ft in diameter. It can easily lift 2,000lbs and take it up to 20,000ft in the air. With its sheer size and mass, the Bullet 580 is also the world’s largest inflatable craft.

Developed by E-Green Technologies, the airship can take you ‘places’ for sightseeing and provide you with some breath taking experience. Overall manufacturing cost for the airship stands at $8.125 million and it was inflated at the Garret Coliseum in Montgomery, Alabama.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Amazing rechargeable battery concept that fits all shapes and sizes

Different battery sizes have always been a concern. Although AA batteries are relatively popular, you never know what your next gadget will need. It may require a AAA, C or even a D. No wonder every one on Earth probably wishes if only we had a battery that will fit everywhere…something that will convert itself into AA or AAA or C or D, whenever we need. Well…here’s a cool concept from designers Pyeong Joo Goh, Jong Seung Choi and Ji Soo Hong, that seems to resolve the problem.

The battery will be made from MemoryForm, so it can be squeezed into any of the required shape & size and fit into the product. It is appropriately named, AtoD, to show the fact that it can work as any of the four types i.e. AA, AAA, C or D. Inside, it will be powered by 1.5 Volts of Nickel Hydroxide, so recharging will never be an issue either.

Ultra-thin paper capacitors

If you think that thinner electronic devices are the future, then you are probably right. As time passes by, electronics is becoming smaller, to a scale that is now being referred as nanotechnology. But to power these devices you will probably require a similarly thin power-source. Thanks to Stanford University, researchers there identified that Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs) can be printed on paper, and then treated with polyvinylidene fluoride to create ultra-thin super-capacitors, that will be able to store energy.

The source of energy will also be very stable. “The device also showed an excellent cycling stability, with very little loss of capacitance after 2500 cycles.” In short, these paper-capacitors are the future. We have seen significant developments in nanotechnology in the last ten years. But in order to make ultra-thin computers (a.k.a. computers of the future) a similarly sized power supply has always been necessary. And it sure looks like we are heading to the right direction!

In the paper supercapacitor, all the necessary components are integrated onto a single sheet of paper in the form of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). High-speed printing could be used to print the SWNTs directly onto a piece of paper - anything from paper to newspaper and even grocery ads will work. At first, the researchers found that the SWNTs were so small that they penetrated the paper through micron-sized pores, which would cause the device to short-circuit. To solve this problem, the researchers first coated both sides of the paper with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), which blocked the pores but still allowed for electrolytes to be transported through the paper. As such, the treated paper could function as an membrane and separator without short-circuiting.

“The key design is that SWNTs stick well on paper and do not penetrate through paper completely to avoid shorting,” Yi Cui of Stanford University

Once the SWNTs were printed onto the treated paper, they experienced strong bonding forces similar to those experienced when writing with a pen or pencil on paper. Even when rubbed or subjected to tape, the SWNTs remained attached to the paper. After printing SWNTs on both sides of single sheets of paper, electrolyte was loaded to form a supercapacitor. The SWNTs served as both the electrodes and current collectors in the supercapacitor, which had a capacitance of about 3 F/g. The device also showed an excellent cycling stability, with very little loss of capacitance after 2500 cycles. The researchers say the same concept could be extended to make batteries, as well.

The fully integrated supercapacitor is based on an earlier version that the researchers made, in which nanomaterials were coated separately onto different anode and cathode substrates and then assembled together with a separator. The advantage of the new integrated structure is that it allows for high-speed printing, which greatly reduces fabrication costs and brings disposable, flexible, and lightweight electronics closer to reality. Cui said that, in the future, the researchers plan “to use this new design for real applications.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tap-based music creation tool

Here’s a quick look at a very innovative music creation tool from designer Petr Hampl. And…no it does not have a key-bed or strings. This device has friction-sensitive sensors on the glove’s fingertips. The recorder on the back of the gloves records all the beats and rhythms from the taps by the user, which can later be edited. The recorder also sends the music to the headphone wirelessly. Great design !

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Dual Music Player

Entertainment is a must for all, in which music occupies an unique position. Be it classical, jazz, rock, pop, eastern or western, the beauty charms us in one way or the other. With ample opportunities for satisfying our auditory senses we find yet again an innovation from designer Kim Young Seong.

It is a dual music player, DMP, a combination of a MP3 and CD player. Portable and compact, it is nice to see how a mp3 player gets converted to a CD player. It is also compatible with blue tooth headphone. The following pictures detail you more about the design.

World’s fastest MagLev train operational in Japan by 2025

The highest recorded speed of a MagLev (Magnetic Levitation) train was tested in Japan in 2003. So how much was the speed? A mind-boggling 581 km/h (361 mph) which is 6 km/h faster than the conventional TGV speed record.

Now, the same trains will be operational and by 2025 Tokyo will be connected to Osaka. The construction begins in another 2 to 3 years.

Monday, May 17, 2010

World’s most luxurious jet even has a convertible viewing platform

If you are a millionaire who got bored with his private jet, then you could consider this one as a replacement. The new British ’safari jet’ called Avro Business Jet Explorer Four takes luxury to a whole new level. You can even transform this into an open air viewing platform for passengers. The jet even includes a high-end gallery kitchen and also an eight-seat dining area. Done with your site seeing? No problem…just push a button and everything falls back right into place. You are all set for your destination!

The jet is 100ft in length, has a state of the art entertainment center, includes sleeping quarters and even marble floors! If you can afford £16 million ($23.6 million), this sure sounds like a great investment, especially if you like traveling.

BioFuel Powered Flying Car

Everybody dreams of taking a ride in a flying car. No exceptions. Looks like our prayers may just well be answered. Designer Giles Cardozo is the brainchild behind…well…a flying car. The car called ‘Parajet Skycar’, has a range of 110 miles and is fueled by bioethanol.

“The flying car relies on the most modern advances in flexible wing technology which enable lifting the kind of weight a vehicle implies.” The vehicle is powered by 140bhp Yamaha R1 superbike engine with a lightweight automatic CVT (continuously variable transmission) gear-box. Skycar has successfully passed every harsh road tests. As for the real air test…”The flight across the English Channel will be the first airborne challenge for pilot and designer Cardozo”. Good luck Cardozo !

Saturday, May 15, 2010

MIT to design environment friendly aircraft by 2030

NASA wanted some assistance from other bright people for designing aircrafts of the future. A group of people/scientists from MIT have been chosen. They have till 2030 and a funding of $2 million to help achieve NASA’s goals. As of now MIT professor, Edward Greitzer has come with the following exterior design. Next comes how to make the airplane more ‘greener’ and environment friendly. We plan to keep you posted on this.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Braille Credit Card

A concept from Yongsuk Kim, the Braille Credit Card empowers a visually challenged person to know the amount of money that has been charged on their card. The card is able to generate the amount in Braille which makes it easier for the user to know the sum that is needed to pay. The card also has an inbuilt miniature speaker which reads aloud the figures for further assistance.

This special card could also be useful for old aged people who suffer from poor eyesight. It wouldn’t be possible for them to understand Braille but the integrated speaker could lend a helping hand.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Towel Folding Robot, a must-have for all laundry rooms

There are times when people feel like owning robots which could help with the usual household chores. That could sound like a far-fetched idea but here is one robot developed by doctoral studentJeremy Maitin-Shepard and Assistant Professor Pieter Abbeel [Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences] which can fold towels of different size and colors with great perfection.The robot has been built by the robotics company Willow Garage.

Robots are generally made to handle objects with a given shape or a rigid shape. The problem arises when they have to face a variety of shapes in case of a deforming 3-dimensional object, as in a cloth. The video explains how this Towel Folding Robot takes care of it all.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rain Drum umbrella is as amusing as it sounds

You may have come across various umbrella designs, but this one really sets a new benchmark. Check out the Rain Drum umbrella. As you can predict, this umbrella literally makes sound of drums when rain drops fall on it. Consisting of tom, snare, crash, hi-hat and bass, this umbrella covers all the important drum parts. To make the sounds possible, it consists of five different sized wax-cloth made ’shades’, with different elasticities. And depending on the elasticity and size of the ’shades’, the frequency of sound emitted differs accordingly.

Of course you cannot rule out the fact that the person standing closest to you may not enjoy the sounds as much as you do, nonetheless this is a new idea, and will find its place especially in the teenage crowd. The Rain Drum umbrella is the brain child of designer Dong Min Park.

Brainwave Heating Device, microwave of the future

Care for another desktop appliance? Called the Brainwave, it is actually a desktop microwave oven which can warm up your packaged food without having you to leave the desk. You just open up the packaged food, insert it, [there's a little scanning part] and the rest is done by the device in the picture.

To make the experience more user friendly the ‘Brainwave’ meal has been designed to come with a fork that has a Radio Frequency Identification tag attached to it. There’s a scanner with the machine through which the fork is swiped just like an electronic card, so that the information about the particular meal [heat setting and time] is automatically recognized by the microwave.So it makes heating your food that easy.”The microwave is powered through a C8 port connected to the mains and controlled through a computer application connected via USB.This Brainwave Desktop Microwave has been designed by London based designer Steve Gates.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Ever imagine a building could be built from water? Brick, wood and steel are the materials one normally thinks of when it comes to creating buildings - hard substances that don’t flow, change or move over time. That’s why we are amazed by the creativity and ingenuity of some architects from MIT who designed a building which is composed in large part by water. Water makes up the walls and even the roof of this amazing new “Water Pavillion” from MIT.

Designed by brainacs from MIT in collaboration with dozens of other partners, the Digital Water Pavilion will make a huge splash at the Expo Zaragoza in Spain next year, the theme of the Expo being Water and Sustainable Development. Continuously recycled water cascading from the roof of the pavilion will form the four exterior walls and several interior partitions, while displaying various digital messages and pre-programmed graphics formed by actual breaks in the water. The pavilion itself will house a café, public area, and exhibition space for the water-focused Expo.

The covered roof, which can be lowered in case of too much wind, will be covered by what else, a thin layer of water. At the end of the day, the roof of the structure lowers itself into the ground, making the entire structure of the exhibit disappear. And if you’re wondering how to get into the building without getting drenched, not to worry, the MIT engineers have thought of that: the same technology that creates air gaps in the graphics also uses integrated sensors, giving anyone (or thing) that approaches the ability to part water, coming out dry on the other side.

Nicknamed Liquid Pixels, Carlo Ratti, head of MIT’s SENSEable City gives his simplistic explanation of the artistic water walls, “To understand the concept of digital water, imagine something like an inkjet printer on a large scale, which controls droplets of falling water.” The more technical aspect of the water wall technology explains how a row of closely spaced solenoid valves are opened and closed at high frequencies, controlled by a computer creating gaps at specific locations in the wall.

Expo Zaragoza 2008 promises to be a gathering of sustainable minds, all there to discuss issues of Water and Sustainable Development. And what better piece of stunning architecture to bring that theme home than the Digital Water Pavilion.

Whether or not you’re more interested in the technology of the Digital Water Pavilion or just the fact that its so darn cool, one thing’s for sure: the Digital Water Pavilion will leave you thirsting for more.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The World’s Largest Basket

You might have already come across a picture of this unique building. Well if not, then you are by now surprised to see this Basket Building! Situated in Newark,Ohio, this basket shaped building is actually the Longaberger [basket-maker] corporate headquarters.The design of the gigantic basket is in fact an imitation of the Longaberger’s ‘medium market basket’ style. The building stands seven-stories tall, has 84 windows and scale wise is “160 times longer, wider and taller than the medium market basket”.

Dave Longaberger is said to be the mind behind this creation who dreamt of handling his company from a replica of one of its products itself. The World’s Largest Basket that houses 500 employees started its operation on 9th December 1997. For more details you might like to visit

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mazda to design new vehicle KAAN with electonic tires

Electric cars are not new, but few companies have been as pioneering as Mazda in this area. Now they are coming up with something no one has seen before…KAAN. The car has been designed to compete in the E1 races. It uses Mazda’s patented electronic tire system technology and can reach speeds upto 250 mph with absolutely no harmful emissions !

“Inspiration for the KAAN comes from electric fields and textures seen in nature, particularly those in a lightning bolt. The car is uniquely designed around its powerful electric wheels while the cockpit acts as a capsule to safely house the driver, allowing for tighter peloton formations and a team victory. “

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Robot specializing in handling household chores

So what’s this cute looking bot up to? Looks like it is filling the cup with water or else could it be washing it? Do not mistake it for a scene from a sci-fi movie; it is truly a Dishbot. Startling as it may sound but this HRP-2 humanoid bot is real and has been developed to take care of the cleaning process that involves dish washing starting right from the table itself!

The robot is able to act with technology which involves human motion capture and video game simulations. The researchers from University of Tokyo’s Jouhou System Kougaku Laboratory have employed the aforementioned techniques so that the robot is able to distinguish the different flatware and wash them accordingly. They are also in the process of making use of 3D sensors for the bots so that the robot can smoothly move in the house. As you may have already noticed, the robotic palms that involve contact with water have been taken care of with special waterproof gloves. With the looks of the pictures below it seems that this robot is quite capable of handling numerous other domestic chores.