0:15Solar powered car drives 1000kms – The Sunswift 7 weighs just 500kg. While an average car weighs between 1,500 and 2,000kg and boasts incredibly low rolling resistance due to its shape. A team at UNSW Sydney designed and built the car. Which completed 240 laps of a special test circuit. Equal to driving from Sydney to Melbourne, plus 100km.
1:323D printed bionic arms – Cure Bionics 3D-printed prosthetics are lightweight and muscle-controlled. They can be attached without surgical intervention and are charged wirelessly by solar power. The arms can be printed and ready within a week at the cost of just $3,000. Other providers can take months and charge up to $100,000. Cure Bionics’ arms are available for children with limb differences aged 8 and up. The low weight makes them easy for kids to operate. An immersive VR training programme helps patients learn to use their arms even before it’s made. Cure Bionics was founded in Tunisia, where the start-up has already launched a prototype. In spring 2023, it’s releasing a public version.
3:17 Geneva introduces driverless buses – 15 self-driving minibuses will be deployed in 2025. Providing an on-demand, door-to-door service, 24 hours a day. This pilot project will run for 1 year alongside similar schemes in Germany and Norway.
4:55Implants restore vision to blind people – The implants were given to 20 people by scientists at Sweden’s Linköping University and LinkoCare Life Sciences. 14 were blind and 6 were on the verge of losing their sight. After 2 years, none of them were blind.
Our annual look at 10 Breakthrough Technologies—including CRISPR for high cholesterol, battery recycling, AI that makes images, and the James Webb Space Telescope—that will have a profound effect on our lives. Plus care robots, 3-D printing pioneers, and chasing bugs on the blockchain.
Freethink – Robotics are helping make minimally invasive surgeries even less invasive. Case in point: single-port robotic surgery, a relatively new type of approach where a robotic system controlled by a human surgeon executes the procedure by making only one incision into the patient.
Although still relatively uncommon, single-port surgery has been gaining momentum in recent years. The benefits are noticeable. Compared to traditional surgery, single-port surgery might leave patients with shorter recovery times, less scarring, and overall better outcomes.
The technique is also transforming how surgeons think about and execute surgery itself. “It’s allowing us to do surgeries differently than we do with [multi-port surgery],” said Michael Stifelman, M.D., director of robotic surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center. “What every patient wants is to get back to their life. Single-port robotics is allowing us to get them to that point more quickly.”
Learn more about the future of single-port surgery in this episode of “Operation: Reimagine Surgery,” a Freethink original series produced in partnership with Intuitive, which created the world’s first commercially available robotic surgery system in the 1990s.
0:15 Global Population Reaches 8 Billion – That’s 8 times more humans than existed in 1800. Even so, the world’s population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950 due to a declining global fertility rate. Today there are an average of 2.3 births per woman. In 1950 it was 5. The world’s population is projected to peak at 10.4 billion by 2080.
1:49 The Economic Case for Climate Adaption – Climate adaptation means preparing our ecological, social and economic systems so they can cope with the future impacts of climate change. Heatwaves, storms, wildfires: the costs of climate change are already mounting but so far only 20% of climate finance has gone towards adaptation.
3:44 French Start Up Blends Wind and Solar Energy – Unéole’s energy system combines a photovoltaic rooftop panel with 2 compact wind turbines, generating 40% more energy than an ordinary rooftop panel. Solar panels work best in strong sunlight but Unéole’s units generate power when it’s overcast or during winter and can turn through the night to ensure a steady flow of power. The turbines are silent, so they don’t disturb building occupants and they’re built from mostly recycled aluminium and steel.
4:54 Lab Grown Blood Used in World First – UK scientists have transfused lab-grown blood into humans for the first time. It could revolutionize treatment for people with rare blood types, especially those who need regular transfusions. Two people were injected with 1-2 teaspoons of the synthetic blood to see how how their bodies respond. So far, so good – the trial participants are fit and healthy with no reported side effects.
Chaperone robots have helped the world’s elderly overcome loneliness and social isolation worsened by the pandemic. But where most bots need prompting, ElliQ is proactive: the voice-operated AI-powered “personal sidekick” initiates conversation and helps its human companion develop healthy habits—social, physical, and mental.
Hearing aids are often stigmatized as a device for the old or infirm. But the latest hearing aids are anything but old–fashioned: they’re teched out with AI, fitness trackers, streaming capability, and more. Now Phonak is out with the first commercially available hearing aid with a heart-rate sensor. Audéo Fit’s receiver-in-canal device tracks fitness data, such as steps, activity level, and distance walked, while also monitoring the wearer’s heart rate when paired with the MyPhonak app.
Capitalizing on advances in artificial intelligence and digital signal processing, Esper Bionics’ prosthetic hand is the first AI-powered, cloud-based robotic prosthetic that gets smarter over time. The lightweight device has up to 24 wearable sensors that detect and process muscle activity and brain impulses; machine learning from Esper’s platform enables the hand to act more “intuitively” over time.
00:16 Why more people than ever are short-sighted – The trend is worst in children and young adults, and half the world’s population could be short sighted by 2050.
01:37 Six species saved from extinction – Recent ecosystem restorations have rescued some species from the brink of extinction.
03:30 You could soon 3D-print furniture at home – Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a new wood-based ink that can be used for making 3d printed furniture
04:48 How Dark Data Affects Your Carbon Footprint -Companies generate 3.5 trillion gigabytes of dark data every day. But what is dark data?
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