This robot crawls along wind turbine blades looking for invisible flaws

Wind turbines are a great source of clean power, but their apparent simplicity — just a big thing that spins — belie complex systems that wear down like any other, and can fail with disastrous consequences. Sandia National Labs researchers have created a robot that can inspect the enormous blades of turbines autonomously, helping keep […]

Scientists discover a new way to provide plants the nutrients they need to thrive

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered a new method for delivering key nutrients to plant roots – without having to ensure they’re present in the soil where the plants are growing. The landmark study greatly increases the efficiency of surface delivery of nutrients and pesticides to plants. Currently, when crops are sprayed with stuff […]

Nissan’s zero-emission ice cream van uses old EV batteries to keep things cool

File ice cream vans under ‘things I never thought posed a significant risk to the environment but might actually.’ Nissan has developed a new concept vehicle that addresses the problem of all the emissions generated by conventional ice cream vans, and older models in particular, which pump out a lot of greenhouse gases while idling […]

Simone Giertz’s converted Tesla Model 3 pickup truck is wonderful

YouTuber Simone Giertz, celebrated DIY inventor, roboticist and general maker of cool stuff, decided not to wait for Tesla’s forthcoming pickup truck. Instead, she bought a Tesla Model 3 direct from the company new and then used elbow grease, ingenuity, some help from friends and power tools to turn it into a two-seater with a […]

Climate justice and environmental ethics in tech, with Amazon engineer Rajit Iftikhar

Nearly 8,000 Amazon employees, many in prestigious engineering and design roles, have recently signed a petition calling on Jeff Bezos and the Amazon Board of Directors to dramatically shift the giant company’s approach to climate change. By deploying a kind of corporate social disobedience such as speaking out dramatically at shareholders meetings, and by engaging […]

Zume buys packaging company, with eyes on plant-based plastic alternative

Zume Inc. (they of the robotic pizza) has acquired Southern California-based Pivot, designer of plant-based packaging material. Along with the deal, Zume will be opening up a 70,000 square foot manufacturing plant in the area. Zume notes that it has actually been in the food packaging industry in one form or other since 2016, when […]

Tesla says solar roof is on its third iteration, currently installing in 8 states

Tesla is currently installing its solar roof product in eight states, according to Elon Musk, speaking at the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday. The solar roof-tile project has had a relatively long genesis since being unveiled three years ago, in 2016. In 2017, the company claimed its first-ever installations of the Tesla solar roof, […]

Google offers new treasure trove of air quality data to researchers

Google has employed its network of street-view vehicles to also measure street-level air quality in recent years, through an initiative it calls “Project Air View.” Today, it’s making available to scientists and researcher organizations more of the resulting data from that ongoing initiative. The company is releasing an updated version of its air quality data […]

KLM Airlines wants to help build a more efficient jet with in-wing seating

Air travel accounts for a significant chunk of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, and the amount of air travel has risen steadily over the past few decades, with emissions from aviation predicted to grow significantly through 2020 and beyond. Electric passenger planes are in the works, but unlikely to replace our workhorse passenger jets […]

‘Weirdo’ fintech VC Anthemis marches to its own drummer

Entering into the world of Anthemis is a bit like stepping into the frame of a Wes Anderson film. Eclectic, offbeat people situated in colorful interiors? Check. A muse in the form of a renowned British-Venezuelan economist? Check. A design-forward media platform to provoke deep thought? Check. An annual summer retreat ensconced in the French […]

‘Weirdo’ Fintech VC Anthemis marches to its own drummer

Entering into the world of Anthemis is a bit like stepping into the frame of a Wes Anderson film. Eclectic, offbeat people situated in colorful interiors? Check. A muse in the form of a renowned British-Venezuelan economist? Check. A design-forward media platform to provoke deep thought? Check. An annual summer retreat ensconced in the French […]

These ‘microbe-grown’ headphones could be the future of sustainable electronics

The culture of planned obsolescence in electronics produces a huge amount of toxic waste unlikely to go anywhere but a landfill for the next millennium or so. Nature produces some of the strongest and most versatile substances we’ve ever encountered, so why not use them instead? That’s what Finnish design house Aivan has attempted with […]