Innovations Q1 2018: our five favourites
The first quarter of 2018 has started well. Numerous innovations have passed in the past three months. We are happy to share our five favourite innovations with you!
Tinybot Tessa (Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen)
With her round body and a plant growing out of her head, social robot Tessa looks like a friendly plant pot. Tinybot Tessa can support relatives and (informal) caregivers with the care for people with dementia. Since a while Tessa lives together with a few dozen elderly people suffering from dementia. A few times a day Tessa starts talking, to help her friends remember to eat, take their medication, brush their teeth, etcetera. Many people with dementia are struggling to have a natural daily rhythm. Tessa makes sure that the people regain this structure and get a bit more in control of their own lives again.
More info: https://bit.ly/2uNUbyu
Hybrid meta-biomaterial to favour bot ingrowth (TU Delft)
Researchers of TU Delft have developed a meta-implant that combines conventional meta-biomaterial with auxetic meta-biomaterial. In contrast to natural materials auxetic bio-material has a negative Poisson’s ratio. This means that the material expands laterally and thus becomes thicker when it’s stretched. With this property the material can ensure, for example, better anchoring of hip implants. Very useful, especially when looking at the near future: in 2020 the worldwide number of hip prostheses will rise to 2.5 million per year.
More info: https://bit.ly/2q6H3Qe
Directly rechargeable electric car (Gautham Ram Chandra Mouli, Tu Delft)
In association with Power Research Electronics and Last Mile Solutions, researcher Gautham Ram Chandra Mouli developed a system that allows electric cars to be charged directly and quickly with solar power. Normally, direct current from solar panels need to be converted into alternating current in order to charge an electric car. Converting to AC voltage leads to unnecessary conversion steps and losses. In addition, two DC-AC converters are required, one for the vehicle and one for the solar panels, which increases the costs and size. Gautham Ram Chandra Mouli uses one converter. He designed a converter (10kW) with an internal DC-link and three terminals. This converter can charge the vehicle both from the solar panels and from the electricity grid. With this charger, you no longer need the grid as an intermediate step to charge. An extra advantage: the system works in two ways. Not only can you charge your electric car with solar power, but the energy from the charged battery of the car can also be used to provide your house with electricity.
More info: https://bit.ly/2El3S70
Energy harvester (Nima Tolou, TU Delft)
Nima Tolou developed a device that gains energy from irregular movements. When something shakes or vibrates, the devices turns this movements into electrical energy. Tolou calls his device the ‘harvester’. The harvester is as big as a D-battery and can generate a few milliwatts of energy. That’s enough to provide, for example, a pacemaker or GPS tracker with energy.
More info: https://bit.ly/2IuolZs
The use of artificial intelligence and gentech to produce vegan or even allergic-proof food
Khosla Ventures recently invested in a company that can modify peanuts genetically in such a way that they are safe to eat for people with peanut allergies. In addition to allergies gentech and artificial intelligence are also used for the production of vegan food. According to founder Matias Muchnick of the start-up NotCo artificial intelligence can help to make the production of food completely vegan. The NotCo algorithm can analyse information about the taste, mouthfeel and other properties of all kinds of food. It then links that information to a large database about what people like. They claim that they can make very precise alternatives for e.g. fish, meat and other animal foods.
More info: https://bit.ly/2pP966t
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