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TASTY TECH EYE CANDY OF THE WEEK XCI


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Robotic cargo ships, blue wine and the world's most powerful supercomputer round out this week's gallery.

1. Roll Royce’s Robotic Cargo Ship

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Roll Royce is serious about robotic cargo ships. This week, the company, which heads up the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications initiative, presented a white paper outlining the problems and solutions required to make these ships a reality by 2020. One of the advantages of a robotic cargo ship is that space normally set aside for the crew could be used for shipping containers. But since these ships are controlled and monitored from the shore, a major challenge is amping up the bandwidth needed to run the computer-controlled sensors and communications.

2. Funky NYC Building

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This 14-story building on the campus of Columbia University in New York City won’t win any awards for being tall, but it is turning heads on its asymmetrical lines and contorted windows. The redesigned Columbia University Medical Center, conceived of by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, has plenty of energy efficient technologies and ample green space to apply for a LEED Gold certification once complete.

3. Off-Road Concept Car

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Industrial designer Keith Dolezel envisions this concept car, named BMW iT, as an electric off-road vehicle. The large window keeps drivers and passengers in touch with the outdoors, while the lightweight carbon fibre body and heavy duty suspension allow it to go just about anywhere.

4. Autonomous Drone System

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Autonomous drones have the potential to improve all areas of business and industry. They can inspect roads and bridges, guard wildlife, survey disaster areas, scan forests. But deploying them might be a challenge for companies new to using drones. Israel start-up Airobotics have put together an all-in-one system to manage, maintain and deploy drones for just about any use. A drone can be deployed using intuitive software and maintained with the help of the box above, which has a robotic arm designed to swap out batteries. See a video here for more details.

5. Vegan Burger Bleeds

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In a recent interview for The Wall Street Journal, Impossible Foods founder Patrick Brown said, “The whole mission of this company is to make eating animals unnecessary. So, we don’t want our product to just be delicious, we want it to be as delicious as meat.” To that end, he’s developed a meatless burger that tastes, smells, and cooks like the real thing. Coconut oil gives it juiciness, a potato compound creates a crispy exterior when fried and oddly enough, a molecule from honeydew melon gives it a meaty aroma.

6. Blue Wine

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You might as well have a glass of blue wine with your juicy, vegan burger. Spanish winemaker Gik makes it by combining red and white grapes, adding a pigment found in grape skin and giving it a pinch of indigo, a dye extracted from the Isatis tinctoria plant.

7. Electric Road

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Sweden has become one of the first countries in the world to conduct tests for driving heavy transport vehicles using electric power. A stretch of road was opened for business this week and over the next two years will be used in experiments to see how electric roads work in practice, and whether it makes sense to develop them further as a way to achieve the country’s goal of a fossil fuel-free vehicle fleet by 2030.

8. Urban Mobility

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Yamaha’s three-wheeled 05Gen has been designed for urban drivers who need to cover short distances. It has electric assist pedalling and a large panoramic windshield that not only gives the driver some shelter against light winds and rains, but also folds down over the bike to protect it.

9. Underwater Skyscraper Reef

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The Aquarim Trinity is a concept from Malaysian designers Jethro Koi and Quah Zheng Wei for an artificial coral reef. Its shape and height provide a framework where corals can grow in water depths ideal for their health. Koi and Wei suggest that the towers could be used to farm corals, relocating them to ocean zones that could benefit from reefs.

10. Fastest Supercomputer, For Now

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China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer is officially the world’s most powerful supercomputer, according to Top500, which ranks supercomputers on a bi-annual basis. The 93-petaflop machine can perform around 93,000 trillion calculations per second.

Top image: BMW iT Concept Vehicle. Credit: Keith Dolezel/Bēhance.

[Source: Seeker. Edited. Top image and some links added.]

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