This week on TreeHugger, Ford Explorer gets delivered via 9000 horsepower chopper, bike rides for blind people, robot powered by sewage, caterpillars inspiring softbots, and win a powermeter in our sweepstakes.
This says a lot about how far the "green" movement is from where the private, profitable transportation business is headed. A Ford Explorer, featuring inflatable seat belts, was recently copter-delivered before a large air show audience - at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture.
In a very interesting initiative that began last January, a group of three non governmental organizations from Mexico City are organizing bike rides for the blind and visually impaired. The rides are guided by volunteers on tandem bikes, and are offered on Sunday mornings, when a few streets in the historical center of the city are closed for pedestrians and human powered vehicles. What does this do for these people? More than you would think.
Forget those Terminator movies — new research into self-sustaining machines hints at a future where the scariest thing about robots may actually be their breath. In an attempt to created a robot that can power itself indefinitely, researchers from the Bristol Robotics Lab have developed the Ecobot-III, equipped with a synthetic gut that processes sewage to power its fuel cells. In other words, pee may be the perfect energy drink for robots of the future.
These stunning images of far away galaxies and other astronomical beauties — and the fascinating stories behind them — are for those who have never failed to be filled with a sense of wonder, awe, and profoundness upon gazing up on a clear, starry night.
Scott Huler, author of On the Grid, makes a very important point in a guest post on The Infrastructurist : Nobody is really off the grid. Well, maybe the Amish, but almost nobody. Everyone else is part of an enormous mesh of grids that every back-to-the-land off-gridder is dependent on. So can it happen?
British engineers are hoping that a new design that mimics the way sycamore seeds spin through the air will help lighten up the weight of offshore turbines. While the challenge remains to boost efficiency and durability while making it ever lighter, the new design looks promising — and big. Check out a video of the next wave of wind power.
A team of researchers at Massachusetts' Tufts University is working on soft-bodied robots and has looked at the quirky movement of caterpillars as biomimetic inspiration for their designs.
Tucked into the financial reform bill that passed this week is a provision many sustainable electronics advocates will be happy about. Publicly-traded companies and electronics corporations will now be required to reveal whether or not they use "conflict-free" minerals.
Microsoft and TreeHugger have launched a sweepstakes and giving away Blue Line PowerCost Monitors. We'll have three opportunities for you to win throughout August.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.