Silent Running set my inventor mind wild as a child. The film is about a series of ecosystems transplanted into space and carefully regulated by automated systems and robotics. Could a miniature world be created in an enclosed space? After experimenting by jamming weeds into jars to watch them rot and die I realized that the natural environment was more caring than I could be. Upon research I discovered that plants don’t need just water, light and soil. Many other factors exist, such as the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide, levels of temperature and humidity.
Swedish mobile carrier Fogg has launched a campaign to promote their services by letting users send a tweet via a real life homing pigeon.
Overshadowed by their intellectual Arduino superiors are the BEAM robots. These plucky bots are governed by three laws – to extract power from radiation, to recycle and to be simple. Their form derives from their function and circuitry is strictly analogue. They are [probably] the simplest robots about.
The NSA’s (National Security Agency) PRISM program (created in 2007) on the face of it is a surveillance system that collects customer data using backdoor access to nine of the largest technology companies and services located in the US; Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Skype, Yahoo, Apple, Aol, PalTalk & Youtube with others in the pipeline including Dropbox. Some of the data that is collected and stored includes emails, chats (video and voice), photos, stored data, VoIP, file transfers, online social networking details, notifications of target activities (logins etc) and something called special request.
Evangelos Georgiou at King’s College London has kickstarted a campaign to bring about an Arduino powered robot controlled by Android devices and iPhones.
For CLICK Festival in Denmark designers Kyle McDonald and Jonas Jongejan have created a seemingly impossible light show using an array of disco balls and 3 projectors.
Research company Roke Manor Research in Romsey have developed a coin-sized transmitter that requires no batteries and can send a signal as far as 12 miles.
BAT Studio has engineered a modern day representation of a scriveners’ office for Chester Performs by replacing pen and paper with a speech-to-text engine and thermal printers.
London and Tokyo based Tangent have developed KIHOU – a bubbly lighting system. The light consists of a transparent viscous liquid and a thin layer of black silicone oil. Air is pumped from the bottom to create a bubble which oozes to the top and belches out revealing the light shining from below.
The Ressence Type 3 is an ingeniously designed watch which uses refraction to bend the image onto the edges of a dome, allowing the wearer to read the time from the side.
Amy Radcliffe of the University of the Arts has created a device which captures scents. The neat machine is made up of two chambers separated by a resin. Once the selected scent is inside the first chamber air is pumped into it, forcing the scent into the resin. This resign can then be submitted for analysis to determine it’s chemical makeup, allowing an approximation of the scent to be made into the form of a perfume.