Tag: innovation

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Sixteen year old Elif Bilgin turned banana peels into a bioplastic

After two years of research, experiments, and failed trials, 16-year-old Elif Bilgin developed a new process for turning banana peels into a non-decaying bioplastic, a more eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based ...

Self-Folding Crawler: A Transformer-style Origami Robot

From flat-packed to self-folding, Harvard graduate student Samuel Felton was inspired by origami when he created a laser-cut robot that could assemble itself and autonomously scurry away. The basic ingredients: two mo...

The Solar Do-Nothing Machine by Charles and Ray Eames

Designed by husband and wife team Charles and Ray Eames, this is the Solar Do-Nothing Machine, a whimsy-maker of sorts, but also "one of the first devices to convert solar energy to electricity. The Eames office asked...

Made with Code: Limor Fried and Erica Kochi

Adafruit's Limor Fried talks about why writing code is "like being able to write your own story in technology." As one of many women in science, tech, engineering, and math (STEM) careers, she's featured as a part of ...

Modular, self-assembling robots from EPFL and MIT

"Furniture that changes functionality completely depending on the needs of the person..." Like life-size LEGO pieces, these robot modules can gyrate and reconfigure in order to create furniture or move furniture in an...

Making paper from elephant dung: Poo Paper

Elephant dung is ideal for making paper, and Indonesia's Taman Safari Park is demonstrating this fact by upcycling a daily total of 2.5 tons – yes, that's 2.5 tons of Sumatran Elephant dung every day – t...

Poop Guy: A dad that’s revolutionizing sanitation in Pune, India

Swapnil Chaturvedi refers to himself as the Chief Toilet Cleaner, and is known as “Poop Guy” in the community of Pune, India. Officially, he’s the founder of Samagra Sanitati...

Biodegradable mushroom packaging from Ecovative Designs

What if we could replace plastics and styrofoam with something much more sustainable? Something that wouldn’t fill our landfills, pollute our beaches, or float out into our ocean gyres? ...

The AIRPod: the car that runs on compressed air

With three wheels, pneumatic motors, and driven by a joystick, this ladybug of a car is compelling for both its unusual form and its power source: compressed air. The AIRPod was developed as a...

The Giant Magellan Telescope

In the year 2020, seven of the largest mirrors on Earth — 20 tons each — will come together in a 22-story, rotating building located in the southern Atacama Desert of Chile. They will form the Giant Magell...

Moser Lamps: 60 watts of free, natural light

In 2002, Brazilian engineer Alfredo Moser invented a simple way to bring the sun’s light indoors: fill a clear plastic 2 liter bottle with water and two capfuls of bleach, then make a hole in the roof and secure it wi...

How Biomimicry is Inspiring Human Innovation

How Biomimicry is Inspiring Human Innovation: …we human beings, who have been trying to make things for only the blink of an evolutionary eye, have a lot to learn from the long proc...

Swaziland teens engineer hydroponic solutions for farmers

Two teenagers from the southern African country of Swaziland have won Scientific American’s inaugural Science in Action award, part of the Google Science Fair. The prize is awarded to a pr...

IMAGINE: How Creativity Works

When we tell stories about creativity, we tend to leave out this phase. We neglect to mention those days when we wanted to quit, when we believed that our problem was impossible. Instead...

The Landfill: how different kinds of trash can be harvestable resources

The Landfill is a three minute film by documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit and director Jessica Edwards about how our different kinds of trash can be used as harvestable resources. The Unite...

Casa ecológica de botellas (The Ecological Bottle House)

Built from thousands of plastic bottles, La casa ecológica de botellas was designed and constructed by Alfredo Santa Cruz and his family in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. Lit with outside light, s...