wooden electronics

So I’m keen on the recent trend of infusing real wood into the list of materials used in the design of electronics.   Partly, just because I like it, but also because I think the growing number of electronics that are being designed to include wood as a material reflects a growing desire to stay connected to the analog elements of our world (i.e. where things grow linearly over time, things moving slowly is ok and even feels right, and where uncertainty is embraced, and where the experience is about feeling and interpretation; not computation, nor exponential growth, nor optimization).   We cannot help but be drawn to mother nature; and the opportunities to feel connected to her in this digital age are growing slimmer  by the moment.    Headphones and other electronics built out of wood is evidence of this.  These designs are telling us that people have so little opportunity to engage with the analog mother-nature part of world, that we have to integrate this part of world into our digital experiences.

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the Universal Jamming Gripper

What I love about this robot arm design is that part of it’s cleverness lies it’s in it’s simplicity.  The robot hand solves a major problem of dexterity, in that it is able to pick up the range of objects other robot arms cannot.   So far, the  hand-sized version of the gripper has been able to pick up a pair of gallon jugs of water, weighing a total of about 15 pounds [6.8 kilograms].  Amazingly, the technology is scalable, and inventors believe a larger gripper, about 3 feet across [0.9 meters], would be able to lift up a car.

Source: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/universal-jamming-gripper