The 3Doodler is a 3D printing pen developed by Peter Dilworth and Maxwell Bogue of WobbleWorks LLC. 3Doodler began funding in February 2013 on the crowd funding platform Kickstarter. It utilizes plastic thread made of either acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or polylactic acid that is melted and then cooled through a patented process while moving through the pen, which can then be used to make 3D objects by hand.
The 3Doodler has been described as a glue gun for 3D printing because of how the plastic is extruded from the tip, with one foot of the plastic thread equaling “about 11 feet of moldable material”.
WobbleWorks launched a Kickstarter campaign for the 3Doodler on February 2013 with an initial fundraising target of $30,000. The $50 reward level was the minimum needed to receive the product, with higher reward levels of $75 and $99 including more bags of plastic thread, and the highest level of $10,000 including a “membership in the company’s beta testing program for future products” and the opportunity to spend an entire day with the company’s founders, along with the backer’s 3Doodler being personally engraved.
The reward levels were expanded due to demand, with the added tiers of the product shipping in 2014 rather than in September, October, November or December 2013 for the earlier backers. The company also teamed up with several Etsy wire-artists to showcase the abilities of the 3Doodler and to create “limited edition art pieces” for the campaign.
The fundraising target was reached within a matter of hours and many of the reward levels were sold out within the first day, along with all the Etsy art pieces.By end of February, more than $1 million had been pledged.
- First 3Doodler 3D Printing Pens Ship to Kickstarter Backers (inhabitat.com)
- The $75 3Doodler is a simple, handheld 3D-printing pen (venturebeat.com)
- 3Doodler Finally Shipping to Early Backers, Retail in 2014 (news.softpedia.com)
- IFA 2013: Hands-On Alone Time With the 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen (news.softpedia.com)
- 3Doodler 3D printing pen starts shipping to Kickstarter backers, retail models arriving in early 2014 (engadget.com)
For being the first to bring electric to public transportation. The ever-innovative Chinese automobile company created the world’s first purely electric bus.
BYD’s e-BUS 12 releases zero emissions, can go for more than 150 miles on a single charge, and uses solar panels located on the roof to convert solar energy into electricity. The buses have been tested in China, Southeast Asia, and Europe; Hertz car rentals will use the buses to transport passengers at LAX.
BYD Electric Bus for U.S. consumer market
Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD has its eye on the U.S. consumer market, even though it’s focused on fleets for the time being. “We want to sell cars to consumers in the U.S. in the next several years,” BYD senior vice president Stella Li told reporters yesterday. BYD could localize production of passenger cars here in about 10 years, she said.
Li was in Lancaster, a desert city about 70 miles north of Los Angeles, where BYD just opened a production plant. The plant will initially produce electric buses, starting in October. BYD aims to turn out 50 units in the first year. The plant will have an annual capacity of 1,000 units, said Li.
“The is the first time a Chinese bus company is opening a manufacturing plant in the U.S. and the first North and South America plant for BYD,” Li told a gathering that included officials from Lancaster, Los Angeles County, the state of California, and several municipal transit companies.
BYD already has a contract with the Long Beach Transit for 10 ebuses, which will be in service in the first half of 2014, Long Beach Transit spokesman Kevin Lee told PluginCars.com. Stanford University has also placed on order for three ebuses, said BYD fleet sales manager Joel Reikes.
Made in U.S.A., By a Chinese Company
BYD has plants that assemble buses from imported parts—known as knock-down assembly—in numerous other countries, including Egypt and Bulgaria. Though some of the parts for the plant in Lancaster will be imported from China, Long Beach Transit used federal funds to buy the BYD buses, and one of the funding conditions is that the BYD ebuses must have at least 60 percent U.S.-produced content.
That isn’t a problem, said Li. The buses will have more than 70 percent local content, she said, and that is before considering the inductive chargers that will be used in Long Beach. If they are included, “It is close to 80 percent,” said Li. Those chargers are from Wave Inc., a Utah startup, and are considered part of the local content, said John Inglish, a Wave director, in an interview with PluginCars.com. It will install two chargers in Long Beach.
Among additional local content, the batteries for the ebuses will be assembled at a nearby plant using imported cells. And, the multiplex electronic control is sourced from I/O Controls Corp. in Azusa, Calif., Michael Kuang, vice president of engineering at I/O Controls, told PluginCars.com
- Dutch Island to Become First Area in Europe Where Public Transport has Been Completely Electrified Thanks to BYD (elonmusktesla.wordpress.com)
- Buquebus, CTS Auto launch BYD Electric Bus in Uruguay (transportsustainability.cleantechnology-business-review.com)
- BYD to begin making electric buses in California, delivers 6 electric buses in the Netherlands (greencarcongress.com)
- China’s BYD Builds Buses In The USA (gas2.org)
- BYD may supply VW with batteries for plug-ins (reviews.cnet.com)
Atheer company, based in Mountain View, Calif., employs 20 people and is not venture capital funded so far. Atheer hopes to integrate its augmented reality and gestural control platform into existing mobile operating systems, such as Android, iOS, and Xbox.
Atheer’s technology demo at D11
Stealth startup Atheer came out of the shadows at the D: All Things Digital conference here, unveiling its wearable 3D augmented reality platform that works on top of Android and potentially other mobile operating systems.
Atheer’s technology employs stereoscopic glasses and a 3D camera to track hand movements to manipulate virtual objects in real space, similar in concept to the portrayals of gesture control in movies like “Minority Report” and “Avatar.”
“We are the first mobile 3D platform delivering the human interface. We are taking the touch experience on smart devices, getting the Internet out of these monitors and putting it everywhere in physical world around you,” said founder and CEO Sulieman Itani. “In 3D, you can paint in the physical world. For example, you could leave a note to a friend in the air a restaurant, and when the friend walks into the restaurant, only they can see it.”
Another startup: Meta
Another startup, Meta, is making similar claims about commercializing 3D glasses and gestural interfaces with mobile features such as Wi-Fi, GPS, accelerometer and voice control. But unlike Meta, which grew out of a Columbia University project, Atheer doesn’t want to go the route of Apple, creating a new, proprietary device.
More power efficient than SmartPhone
“We are aiming to make it significantly more power efficient than a smartphone,” Itani said. “We want to create a portable device you can put in your pocket and the interface is as big as possible.”
Atheer’s platform, which has been in development for a year and a half, is a bridge between existing mobile apps and games and those purpose-built for 3D augmented reality and gestural control. The platform will work with apps built on the open source Android platform, and could be integrated with Apple’s iOS, Microsoft Xbox, or Windows Mobile if they grant access to Atheer.
For Android apps not optimized for Atheer, users see a virtual tablet in front of them that they can manipulate by touch, just like a physical tablet. “This is important for people moving to a new platform. We reduce the experience gap and keep the critical mass of the ecosystem,” Itani said. “We don’t want to create a new ecosystem to fragment the market more. Everything that runs on Android can be there, from game engines to voice control.”
User experience like better than reality
Like other 3D augmented reality pioneers, Atheer, is facing an uphill battle and dependent on partners making the devices low-cost and easy to use. “In the end, it’s all about giving an experience will make their live easier and happier, whether a doctor or someone selling sandwiches,” Itani said.
One of the significant barriers to adoption for the wearable augmented reality glasses is creating an immersive user experience that doesn’t make it feel like a worse version of reality.
About Atheer and Meta
- Atheer bringing 3D augmented reality and gesture control to Android (news.cnet.com)
- Atheer Labs unveils 3D augmented reality mobile platform and a natural human UI (hands-on) (engadget.com)
- Atheer Looks to Add Human Touch to Futuristic Wearable Computers (allthingsd.com)
- Atheer’s Augmented Reality Glasses Tech Looks Cool (techland.time.com)
HB-SIA, Solar Impulse prototype A
With its huge wingspan equal to that of an Airbus A340, and its proportionally tiny weight – that of an average car – the HB-SIA prototype presents physical and aerodynamic features never seen before. These place it in a yet unexplored flight envelope.
Carbon fiber structure, propulsion chain, flight instrumentation, everything has been designed to save energy, to resist the hostile conditions facing airplane and pilot at high altitudes and to marry weight restraints with the required strength.
Solar Impulse is a Swiss long-range solar powered aircraft project being undertaken at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The project eventually hopes to achieve the first circumnavigation of the Earth by a piloted fixed-wing aircraft using only solar power. The project is led by Swiss psychiatrist and aeronaut Bertrand Piccard, who co-piloted the first balloon to circle the world non-stop, and Swiss businessman André Borschberg.
Piccard initiated the Solar Impulse project in 2003. By 2009, he had assembled a multi-disciplinary team of 50 specialists from six countries, assisted by about 100 outside advisers. The project is financed by a number of private companies. The four main partners are Deutsche Bank, Omega SA, Solvay, and Schindler. Other partners include Bayer MaterialScience, Altran, Swisscom and Swiss Re. Other supporters include Clarins, Semper, Toyota, BKW and STG. The EPFL, the European Space Agency and Dassault have provided additional technical expertise, while Bay Area based SunPower provided the aircraft’s photovoltaic cells.
HB-SIB, the new plane will flight in 2015
It was not built to fly round the world. Its purpose was rather to demonstrate the feasibility of the program by making the first ever whole day-and-night flight without fuel, a task that it accomplished brilliantly in July 2010. The lessons learned by the team are now being applied to the construction of Solar Impulse HB-SIB, which is due to circumnavigate the Earth in 2015.
Question of energy defines the project
At midday, each square meter of land surface receives, in the form of light energy, the equivalent of 1000 watts, or 1.3 horsepower of light power. Over 24 hours, this sun energy averages out at just 250W/m². With 200m² of photovoltaic cells and a 12 % total efficiency of the propulsion chain, the plane’s motors achieve an average power of 8 HP or 6kW.
That’s roughly the amount of power the Wright brothers had available to them in 1903 when they made their first powered flight. And it is with that energy, optimized from the solar panel to the propeller, that Solar Impulse managed to fly day and night without fuel!
FIVE world records established by HB-SIA
Absolute height: 9235 m (30300 ft)
Height gain: 8744 m (28690 ft)
Duration: 26 hours, 10 minutes, 19 seconds
Free Distance along a course: 1116 km (693.5 miles)
Straight distance, pre-declared waypoints: 1099.3 km (683 miles)
Across America 2013: Golden Gate end of April
- Solar Impulse site (solarimpulse.com)
- Solar plane sets off again across US (bbc.co.uk)
- Solar Impulse takes fuel-free flight to Dallas (nbcnews.com)
- Solar Impulse flight across America … (beartales.me)
- Solar Impulse Departs Phoenix, Headed To Dallas (earthtechling.com)
- Solar Impulse airplane is setting solar-powered flight record in Texas (nbcnews.com)
- Solar Impulse: interviewing a man on an 18-hour solar-powered flight (slashgear.com)
- Solar Impulse: Flying from San Francisco to New York City in a solar plane (treehugger.com)
BCI, what’s that?
BCI means Brain Computer Interfaces. Using sensors, the brain can control computer programs. These man-machine interfaces are developed, and their operation reveals a huge potential.
Emotiv is a neuroengineering company that has brought to market affordable, consumer friendly, high-resolution, multichannel, wireless EEG systems. Their advanced algorithms allow these headsets to detect subconscious emotional states, facial expressions and user-trained mental commands which can control existing and custom applications and games.
This technology utterly transforms the way we interact with computers. Emotiv is revolutionizing human-computer interactions (BCI) by allowing computers to react to your moods and deliberate commands in a more natural way. This capability is available to consumers with a range of new and existing applications. Using their SDK, developers and researchers can integrate Emotiv data directly into new applications, driving an exciting range of novel uses.
Emotiv’s vision is to democratize brain research by enabling access to affordable, user-friendly, high-resolution brain measurement systems; and encourage and catalyze innovation in this field.
Applications for the Emotiv technology and interface span an amazing variety of industries – from gaming to interactive television, everyday computer interactions, hands-free control systems, smart adaptive environments, art, music, accessibility design, market research, psychology, medicine, robotics, toys, automotive, transport safety, education, self-improvement, defense and security.
Emotiv is established with developers and researchers in over 90 countries already working with the technology.
More Information about Emotiv
4 automobiles manufacturers experimenting diverless prototype: Audi, Mercedes, Toyota and Volvo.
Audi First automaker driving in Nevada
Watch the film about Audi TT prototype driverless car in the video below.
Mercedes is working on driverless car
Watch the video about Mercedes prototype driverless car tested with dangerous scenario.
Driverless Cars Future Road Trains Volvo
Toyota Lexus Active Safety Vehicle
- The future of travel: How driverless cars could change everything (diarraeg.wordpress.com)
- Who will dominate the emerging driverless car market? (ireport.cnn.com)
- Google car: first driverless prototype (worldofinnovations.net)
- Driverless cars expected to go mainstream by 2025 (bgr.com)
- I Saw an Audi Drive Itself (jeanknowscars.com)
- Elon Musk Will Take That Whole ‘Driverless Car’ Idea for Himself, Thanks Very Much (betabeat.com)
- Driverless Cars (visual.ly)
- Nearly 9 in 10 Indians willing to ride driverless cars (zdnet.com)
The Google driverless car is a project by Google that involves developing technology for driverless cars. The project is currently being led by Google engineer Sebastian Thrun, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google Street View.
Driverless car in Nevada, Florida and California
The U.S. state of Nevada passed a law on June 29, 2011 permitting the operation of driverless cars in Nevada. Google had been lobbying for driverless car laws. The Nevada law went into effect on March 1, 2012, and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles issued the first license for a self-driven car in May 2012. The license was issued to a Toyota Prius modified with Google’s experimental driverless technology.
As of April 2012, Florida became the second state to allow the testing of driverless cars on public roads. California became the third state to legalize the use of self-driven cars for testing purposes as of September 2012 when Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law at Google HQ in Mountain View.
Watch video about the California legalization
Watch the second video about Steve Mahan
Steve Mahan is visually impaired and use Google car to be independent.
- Who will dominate the emerging driverless car market? (ireport.cnn.com)
- Tesla talking to Google about driverless electric cars (usatoday.com)
- China hot on Google’s heels with driverless car (reviews.cnet.com)
- Joseph Rose: The driverless car’s time has come in Oregon (oregonlive.com)
- Congress To Hold Hearing On Google’s Driverless Cars This Week (webpronews.com)
i3D top rated polish company in 2012
Poland’s top-ranked company, software developer i3D, reported a whopping 2,254 percent growth over the past five years, according to the ranking. Yet a number of reports and statistics show that Poland lags in the innovation stakes compared to the rest of the European Union.
Interactive applications and 3D visualization
The firm i3D is specialized in the development of interactive applications and 3D visualization. As a result, the development team is made up mostly of the university’s scientists and students and the lines of communication between the academic institution and the company are always open. One of the visible results of this cooperation is the Virtual Reality Laboratory, established at the university in 2007. This one-of-a-kind facility in Central and Eastern Europe is used for academic purposes.
The company has also reached beyond the borders of Poland and has now signed a contract with IBM Deep Computing in Houston for joint research and development projects. According to a statement provided by the company’s press office, its involvement in projects for global giants such as Boeing, ExxonMobil or Saudi Aramco helped to build valuable know-how for the construction of objects in virtual reality, a skill which is hard to find among researchers in the region.
Virtual reality technologies
Application and hardware solutions produced by i3D take users to virtual worlds where historic sites, industrial equipment or even museum exhibits can be reconstructed. The company’s recent success can certainly be attributed to the rapid development of virtual reality technologies. The firm is hoping not just to benefit from this, but to set new directions and standards in the field.
Polish difficulties and opportunities
Of course, the picture isn’t all that rosy. The biggest barrier was to convince potential customers in Poland that it is time for a more modern approach. Even beneficiaries of the company’s laboratory at the Silesian University of Technology admit they were skeptical at first, although today they cannot imagine not having the technology available.
The CEO of the company also added that the matter of financing is always an issue. Joint projects with academic institutions are financed in part by the company, in part through EU subsidies. Some may require government aid, while in some cases external sponsors are involved. The problem today is that academic institutions in Poland do not have dedicated funding for independent projects and the financial puzzle needs to be put together every single time.
Yet despite these barriers, the company has no intention of changing its direction and has its plate full of new projects and innovative ideas.
Poland not so innovative?
The 2012 Global Innovation Index ranking, prepared by the World Intellectual Property Organization, ranked Poland as the EU’s third-least innovative economy in 2012, with worse results recorded only by Greece and Romania.
In parallel, the 2012 edition of the Technology Fast 50 Central Europe ranking from consultancy Deloitte features an impressive number of Polish companies. In fact, six positions in the top 10 of the list are held by businesses based in Poland.
A shift to innovation?
For the past 20 years, Poland has been very successful at building economic growth through attracting investments such as assembly plants or off-shore outsourcing centers. Those, however, require low production and labor costs – but those are gradually approaching EU averages in Poland. To compete, Polish companies must therefore focus heavily on innovation.
But in his recent book, “The Rebellion of the Net,” Edwin Bendyk, criticized the overall lack of interest Polish businesspeople have in innovative activities and in developing lasting relationships between the academic and business worlds. He places blame on the short-term vision of Polish business owners. The country’s private sector has until now been successful at developing simple products and services, in which the creativity of employees has lower priority than, for example, professional discipline or clear procedures.
There is no escape from a knowledge-based economy. While we can avert a discussion or difficult decisions, we will sooner or later face the challenges this new reality is bringing.
This is not to say, though, that Polish businesses and institutions have no desire whatsoever to develop innovative ideas. Take the case of VIGO System, a company which produced infrared detectors for NASA’s Curiosity rover, which is now exploring Mars. To get a jump-start on a new project involving the production of high-tech sensors, the company sought financing from banks. The procedure took over a year and although VIGO did receive the necessary funds, the time-sensitive project was seriously delayed.
The Institute of Electronic Materials Technology (ITME) discovered a new method to produce a one-atom thick film of carbon known as graphene, which was classified as one of the nine most interesting findings in the field in 2010-2011 by technology consultancy Future Markets.
The material is strong, transparent and conducts electricity, which could make it a perfect material for touch screens for smartphones. The CEO told Reuters how his institute has been trying for nearly two years to get state funding for equipment to help research the discovery. He also said his institute was barred by the Economy Ministry, which oversees it, from entering a joint-venture with a foreign investor to commercialize graphene. For now it seems the state does not really care.
The general opinion of experts involved in Polish science is that when Poland made its first steps to becoming a market economy two decades ago, few people were interested in investing in a research project when it was much easier to just import foreign technology. The direct effect is a system that fails to support innovation.
End of the tunnel?
But change may be on the way. According to recent data published by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, business spending on research and development has jumped by over 800 percent this year. The ministry explains that the leap in R&D expenditure comes as a result of recently implemented programs that encourage cooperation between business and academic circles.
The ministry itself is also contributing more. At a press conference at the end of October, Science and Higher Education Minister Barbara Kudrycka announced that the government plans to create a venture capital fund which would provide financing for Polish inventions. The program will be called Polish Innovations and aims to focus on providing financial support for private companies and institutions looking to introduce Polish technology to the market.