Category Archives: Innovation


World’s first cable-free elevator travels horizontally and vertically, driven by maglev technology.  Link here.  

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Vantablack, the Darkest Substance Ever Made

The photo above shows two identical sculptures, one of which is painted with Vantablack, a carbon-fiber coating from surrey nanosystems. It is the darkest substance known to man, absorbing more than 99.96% of incident light; so dark that details disappear and … Continue reading

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What’s Stored in DNA? An Old French Movie and a $50 Amazon Gift Card

So many people are now tapping into the internet and social media that the torrent of data they’re creating is outstripping the storage capacity of traditional devices such as hard drives, optical discs, and magnetic tape. New research advances hope … Continue reading

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How Ikea’s Billy Bookcase Took over the World

The Billy bookcase is perhaps the archetypal Ikea product. It was dreamed up in 1978 by an Ikea designer called Gillis Lundgren who sketched it on the back of a napkin, worried that he would forget it. Now there are … Continue reading

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A fleet of trucks just drove themselves across Europe

About a dozen trucks from major manufacturers like Volvo and Daimler just completed a week of largely autonomous driving across Europe, the first such major exercise on the continent. The trucks set off from their bases in three European countries and completed … Continue reading

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SpaceX sticks the landing

  SpaceX Dragon 9 booster lands safely on an autonomous floating platform, after launching a payload into space. Potentially a 10-fold reduction versus current launch costs.  Game.  Changer. Video at: And Blue Origin isn’t far behind. Update: The payload was the inflatable … Continue reading

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Liam – Apple’s Robotic System for Recycling iPhones

One of the more interesting topics this week at Apple’s product event was the introduction of Liam, a robotic system for disassembly of iPhones: Click here for a cool YouTube movie. When an iPhone is finally discarded, Liam detects, disassembles, and separate parts … Continue reading

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A comeback for incandescent light bulbs as MIT makes them more efficient than LEDs

Researchers at MIT have demonstrated a new kind of incandescent light bulb which uses nanocrystal structures surrounding the filament to bounce heat back and re-emit the energy as light.  The new technology would allow incandescent light bulbs to be more efficient … Continue reading

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SpaceX makes history by launching, then landing rocket booster

A new age of space exploration dawns as SpaceX has for the first time landed a first stage rocket booster used on an orbital mission. Some estimate that launch costs can be reduced 10 or even 100-fold if boosters — and their … Continue reading

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Biopharmaceutical Innovation Hubs and the Future of Work

Innovation hubs such as metro Boston are all the rage.  Urban living is back in style, face-to-face communication trounces teleconferences, and innovation-starved pharma companies are looking to academic centers for new targets and new enabling technologies.  Academic institutions in turn are looking … Continue reading

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