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Submission + - Google working on wireless charging for self-driving cars (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: New FCC filings suggest that Google is currently installing wireless charging systems for self-driving cars at its headquarters in Mountain View. The documents suggest that the systems will be installed by Hevo Power and Momentum Dynamics. Both companies offer technology that can wirelessly charge an electric car via plates that are embedded in the ground.

Submission + - World's first robotic farm to produce 11 million heads of lettuce per year (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: Japanese company SPREAD is preparing to open the world’s first robot-controlled farm. The facility is designed to produce 11 million heads of lettuce each year, and it’s expected to ship its first crop in Fall 2017. The new 47,300 square feet Vegetable Factory in Kansai Science City will also reduce construction costs by 25 percent and energy demand by 30 percent.

Submission + - An 'E-mailable' house that snaps together like a puzzle (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: Your next house could snap together like a jigsaw puzzle without the use of any power tools. Clemson University students designed and built Indigo Pine, a carbon-neutral house that exists largely as a set of digital files that can be e-mailed to a wood shop anywhere in the world, CNC cut, and then assembled on-site in a matter of days.

Submission + - Lexus just unveiled a working hoverboard (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: The hoverboard is one of those keen technologies promised to us by Hollywood that simply hasn’t become part of our every day world. Lexus wants to change that. This week the automaker introduced their latest contribution to high-tech transportation with SLIDE, a cool-looking magnet-driven hoverboard that really works.

Submission + - Scientists harvest renewable energy from evaporation (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: Evaporation is a key component of the Earth’s water cycle, and one of the world’s most dominant forms of energy transfer. Now researchers at Columbia University have found a way to tap the process for renewable energy. The lab has developed two devices that it believes could be scaled up to produce electricity from large floating power generators, or from rotating machines akin to wind turbines that sit above water.

Submission + - First electric hoverbike takes to the skies (whatisflike.com)

MikeChino writes: A team from Hungary has developed an all-electric flying bike that just took off on its first test flight. The tricopter vehicle—dubbed Flike—has so far stayed aloft in controlled tests for over a minute, and with lithium-polymer batteries to power the cycle’s six rotors it has the capacity to sustain a 30-40 minute flight.

Submission + - California is giving away free solar panels to its poorest residents (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: Oakland-based non-profit GRID Alternatives is giving away 1,600 free solar panels to California’s poorest residents by the year 2016. The initiative was introduced by Senator Kevin de León and launched with funds gathered under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GCRF), the state’s cap-and-trade program.

Submission + - SPAM: Chevrolet unveils 2016 Malibu Hybrid at the NY Auto Show

MikeChino writes: At a time when gas prices are nearing record lows, Chevrolet is investing in fuel-efficient vehicles. The automaker just unveiled its brand new 2016 Malibu Hybrid at the New York Auto Show – and it’s stylish, lighter, and more efficient thanks to a jolt of technology borrowed from the 2016 Chevy Volt.
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Submission + - Gogoro to launch battery-swapping electric Smartscooter this summer in Taipei

MikeChino writes: Gogoro's electric vehicle battery-swapping network just got a home. Today the start-up announced plans to blanket Taipei with battery swap stations in anticipation of a summer launch date for its upcoming Smartscooter. A six-second battery swap gives the scooter a full charge, and Taipei City and New Taipei City will be offering increased subsidies for electric vehicle purchases and preferred EV parking spots.

Submission + - O2 reveals cell phone made from grass (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: In collaboration with designer Sean Miles of DesignWorks, O2 Recycle has created the UK's first cell phone made from reclaimed cell phone parts and glass clippings collected from southwest London's Twickenham Stadium. The phone took over 240 hours to build, and is made from tens of thousands of blades of grass collected from the rugby stadium. The grass components make up the phone’s casing, and locally-sourced wood was used for the buttons.

Submission + - The World's Largest 3D-printed Building Made From Powdered Cement (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: Emerging Objects' Ronald Rael just unveiled the world’s largest 3D printed building made from powdered cement at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. Measuring 9 feet high by 12 feet wide and 12 feet deep, the swirling Bloom pavilion is composed of 840 custom-printed blocks. The project's construction process and materials sets it apart from other 3D printed structures. Most 3D printed buildings are created by extruding wet cement through a nozzle. This process creates durable buildings, however the finished product is rough and imprecise. Bloom was constructed over the course of a year by 11 3D Systems printers using powdered cement, polymers, and fibers. This process minimized waste and yielded strong, lightweight bricks printed with high-resolution details.

Submission + - Financial supporters pull the plug on climate change denier Wei-Hock Soon (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: Financial backers are abandoning Dr. Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon after documents were released that proved the prominent U.S. climate change denier accepted $1.2M from oil and gas companies in exchange for lying about the causes of climate change. Exxon Mobil and the American Petroleum Institute were among the sources of funding revealed by the documents, and now companies like that are questioning whether they should continue their relationship with Soon.

Submission + - Google's new California HQ is a greenhouse-filled utopia (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: Earlier this week Google announced that Heatherwick Studio and BIG are collaborating on the design of the company’s new Mountain View campus — and today they published a video giving the world a first look at the upcoming Googleplex. The video offers a glimpse at renderings and models of what looks to be a stunning biosphere-filled utopia for the Silicon Valley giant.

Submission + - Tesla's next product is a battery for your home (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: According to Tesla's latest investor call, the company is working on a house battery that could help you break up with your expensive utility company, essentially turning any home into an off-grid abode. Before you know it, a home in the suburbs could even generate enough energy to turn a profit by selling the excess back to a traditional electric company.

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