The next step for 3D printing
Researchers have developed a bioinspired approach to 3D print recyclable materials using cheap desktop printers that outperform state-of-the-art printed polymers and rival the highest performance lightweight materials. This will finally enable the manufacturing of complex parts that mimic natural structural designs on the mass market.
Research helps make buses smarter
A rather unusual trolleybus has been navigating the streets of Zurich in recent months. With its large windscreen and covered wheels, it could easily be mistaken for a tram. It features a hybrid electric drive system that allows it to draw power from an on-board traction battery as well as overhead wires. But this bus is also "smart", boasting specially designed software that automatically gathers information on the route.
Rotational 3D printing technique yields high-performance composites
Nature has produced exquisite composite materials—wood, bone, teeth, and shells, for example—that combine light weight and density with desirable mechanical properties such as stiffness, strength and damage tolerance.
Roads Generate Electricity for Even the Toughest Tasks
A solar roof on a road will make twice as much electricity per unit area compared to a solar road and be more easily upgraded to affordable higher efficiency PV as it becomes available.
When solar-powered drones meet Arctic glaciers
Solar-powered flying platforms have yet to prove their real-world applicability outside of targeted demonstrations. Monitoring glaciers in polar regions is in pole position to become a primary application, as the midnight sun offers ideal conditions for perpetual flights.
There will soon be nothing that cannot be produced with 3D printing. However, the materials used for this process are still "dead matter" such as plastics or metals.
Ultra-thin concrete roof with thin-film photovoltaics
A prototype for an ultra-thin, sinuous concrete roof using innovative design and fabrication methods. A second, exterior layer of the concrete sandwich structure encloses the roof, onto which thin-film photovoltaic cells are installed.
Biodegradable microsensors for food monitoring
A new generation of microsensors could provide the vital link between food products and the Internet of Things. Researchers have developed an ultra-thin temperature sensor that is both biocompatible and biodegradable.
Drones can almost see in the dark
Researchers have taught drones how to fly using an eye-inspired camera, opening the door to them performing fast, agile maneuvers and flying in low-light environments.
Green light for ultra-fine display colours
Chemical engineers have succeeded in generating ultra-pure green light for the first time. The new light-emitting diode will pave the way for visibly improved colour quality in a new generation of ultra-high definition displays for TVs and smartphones.
Improving understanding of the quantum world with quantum dots
Quantum behaviour plays a crucial role in novel and emergent material properties, such as superconductivity and magnetism. Unfortunately, it is still impossible to calculate the underlying quantum behaviour, let alone fully understand it.