At the forefront of innovation, engineering is changing the world in endless ways. To keep you up to date with the latest developments, we’re starting Engineering Weekend: 5 inspiring articles from the engineering world.
Here are our best five for this week, and stay posted for more highlights every week:
- Batteries Running on Shrooms
- Lexus Unfolds the Origami Car
- Adidas Futurecraft Series Set to 3D Print Your Sole
- This Simulation Rat Brain is Amazing, But Won’t Solve Brain’s Mysteries
- A Yacht that Pilots Itself
Engineering 1) IEEE Spectrum: Batteries Running on Shrooms
“Soon the fungi may be powering your Prius or getting your Galaxy phone to run longer.”
Engineers at the University of California have shown that mushrooms can create long-lasting, environmentally friendly anodes for lithium-ion batteries.
Started as research on natural alternatives to graphite that is used in today’s batteries, this innovative solution based on the properties of portobello mushrooms could solve the problem of contaminated waste-water that comes with graphite usage.
Engineering 2) the ENGINEER: Lexus Unfolds the Origami Car
Lexus has commissioned the so-called Origami Car. The Origami Car is a replica of the Lexus IS, but is built almost entirely from card. The vehicle has a fully fitted interior, functioning doors, rolling wheels and an electric motor mounted on a steel and aluminum frame. The CAD model used for this project was divided into a series of parts, which were then prepared for laser cut.
As interesting as this car might be, it might not stand a chance in the event of summer rain!
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Engineering 3) DEVELOP3D: Adidas Futurecraft Series to 3D Print Your Sole
Adidas is embracing 3D printing in the company’s strategy to stay ahead of the competition.
“Driving material and process innovation, bringing the familiar into the future. Marrying the qualities of handcrafting and prototyping with the limitless potential of new manufacturing technologies. Futurecraft is stripped back—fast, raw and real—it is our approach to design.”
Collaborating with 3D printing experts, Adidas is starting the Futurecraft Series with lightweight shoe soles.
Engineering 4) POPULAR SCIENCE: This Simulation Rat Brain is Amazing, but Won't Solve Brain's Mysteries
Image source: https://www.popsci.com/
Neuroscientists have succeeded in simulating the circuitry of a sand-grain-sized piece of rat brain. Representing 31,000 brain cells that are connected by about 37 million synapses, the simulation of this tiny area of the rat’s brain is one of the most complex models created so far.
This result was achieved by the Blue Brain Project, which is led by neurobiologist Henry Markram, who believes that this type of simulation could present new ways to perform experiments by manipulating the neurons in the simulation and seeing the results, instead of doing a real experiment. However, the topic is disputed by scientists, which you can read about in the article.
Engineering 5) Phys.org: A Yacht that Pilots Itself
Buffalo Automation Group, a robotics startup founded last year by three University of Buffalo undergraduate engineering students, is developing technology to create autonomous boats aiming to reduce fatalities and injuries occurring as a result of recreational boating accidents.
“The success we’ve had illustrates there is a market for safe, highly-effective and easy-to-use marine autopilot systems that provide recreational boat owners with well-deserved peace of mind,” says Thiru Vikram, the company’s CEO.