This week we look at replacing plaster casts, using drones to cut down on herbicide use, and bins that tell you when they want to be emptied.
3D-printed Limb Cast
Plaster casts are useless. They stink, they itch, you can’t take them off and they are completely inflexible. Also, they’ve been our go-to technology for broken limbs for over 200 years. About time for a change, then. Enter Cortex, a modern take on the cast concept by designer Jake Evill. This cast is 3D-printed based on scans of the limb. It is lightweight, shower-friendly, flexible, and can be easily removed. In addition, the biologically inspired structure offers extra support around the damaged area, where it is needed most. Pretty darn cool, I think.
Scientists in Denmark are trialing a drone system that will automate weedkilling in agriculture. They use a UAV to autonomously scan fields for signs of weeds (such as colour changes), log the coordinates, and then send out a little ground drone to the weed hotspots to investigate and wipe out the offending plants. And the whole thing is automated, the only human input is to define the limits of the filed to be watched. This is so awesome; not only do we have a cool technology being used to automate labour-intensive tasks, but it will also save hugely on herbicide by only using it where it is actually going to be effective. Win-win. Except for the weeds. They lose hard.
Wireless Bins Tell You to Empty Them
A company called Enevo has designed bins with sensors that detect when the bin is close to full, and wirelessly signals the company that they need to be collected. While this sounds a bit gimmicky, it will actually make bin-collection way more efficient and save quite a bit of money in the process. I find this exciting because it is another step towards the Internet of Things, where items in the physical world are connected to each other. Mostly, I want all my things to be able to tell me where they are when I lose them.
also via PSFK