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Because solar panels are designed to accumulate as much light from the sun as possible, they’re typically very dark in colour. It makes them more efficient, but also kind of an eyesore, minimising their adoption. So researchers at the University of Michigan have developed what they believe to be the world’s first semi-transparent, coloured solar panels.
Inspired by Bridgestone’s puncture-proof tyres, and Michelin’s Tweel, Hankook has decided that it wants to get into the next-generation tyre market with its own i-Flex. Like the previous creations from its competitors, Hankook’s tyre trades an air-filled bladder that’s prone to leaks and punctures for an engineered rubber framework that provides support and shock absorption.
Getting to the top of a wind turbine is no small feat — akin to summiting the Washington Monument — and even more difficult when the wind farm is at sea. So rather than force human inspectors to make the perilous climb, Helical Robotics has developed a magnetic turtle to do it for us.
Are you worried about the eco-impact of all that tossed confetti at your upcoming nuptials? Or maybe you don’t want to have to pay someone to clean it all up. Either way, just opt for Niko Niko’s new Throw & Grow eco-friendly confetti. Made of a biodegradable paper-like material shaped like little blossoms, the confetti is filled with seeds that will eventually sprout into a patch of wildflowers.
Last night we talked about the Living Building Challenge, a certification system that rates the sustainability of a building over the course of a year. Here’s a followup about 23 Park Place, a Brooklyn Heights townhouse that’s probably the most energy efficient home in the city, thanks to its Passive House certification.
You’d assume that a foosball table made from 100 per cent renewable materials — cardboard and wood — would be best suited for students on a limited budget. But even with a handy cup holder, the odds are the Kartoni would be soaked in spilled beer after just a couple of games, destroying its structural integrity.
Nerf showed the world that toys made from soft foam could survive a kid’s abuse for weeks, even months at a time. But guns and arrow-launching cannons aren’t particularly educational. So if you want your kids to learn a little something while they play, consider these foam Volta Racers which run on the power of the sun.