When I watch the Keepon robot respond to the music, I feel like I could learn new dance moves from it; and I am really curious to learn what the design of the controlling software algorithms look like. My Carnegie Mellon University robotics friends and classmates of the inventor tell me the algorithms are not terribly innovative, however, but I digress. The technology is not why I am writing this post.
I am writing this post to share an exquisite piece of storytelling. Not one word is ever spoken in the video, and yet the value proposition and technology’s capabilities, such as the little bit of artificial intelligence built into it to generate human like responses to some situations it encounters, are clearly and amuzingly communicated.
Maybe this technology could take a CADD file and quickly generate an interactive 3D model, which could be sent to colleagues over the internet! …I think it offers a compelling sense for spatial aesthetics of a 3D product design, and then we wouldn’t have to wait for the 3D printer anymore.
Researchers have found a fungi in the Amazon rainforest that can degrade and utilize the common plastic polyurethane (PUR) for energy. What a thought…that after all our destructive consumption of plastic has done to hurt mother nature, that she might hold the fix to this problem!!!? Amazing! The fungi can survive on polyurethane alone and is uniquely able to do so in an oxygen-free environment (I’m thinking landfills).
As someone who cringes at the thought of how much plastics are being put into landfills and our environment, this is fantastically exciting news, and I want to see it implemented if it works, so I wonder about two practical matters:
- Can we force these fungi to consume the PUR, or–given other options–will it choose to consume other materials? That is, if we put them in the landfill, will they choose to eat paper instead of the PURs we want them to eat?
- What byproduct(s) if any are produced by the fungi when it degrades/consumes the PUR; and is it good/better for the environment?
I hope the scientists have come up with great answers for these questions!!
The Yale University team of researchers have published its findings in the article ‘Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi’ for the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal.
this could be a view into the future: