This week in engineering and design delivered seed planting drones to help fight the depletion of our forests, Elon Musk’s plans for colonizing Mars, and a new 3D printable ink for producing synthetic bone implants.
This week we discovered just how far behind forestry is with automation. Currently trees are harvested by massive machines, but replanted by hand and shovel. That’s why the forestry startup, Precision Forestry, has developed DroneSeed, a drone that fires pellets of tree seeds into the ground, which they believe is a more efficient replanting process than sending in people on the ground.
This week also brought Elon Musk’s announcement for his project to get people to Mars on the largest rocket ever. SpaceX plans to get us to the Red Planet with the Interplanetary Transport System that has two wing-like solar arrays. The ITS is capable of carrying up to 100 tons of cargo (that’s supplies and people) and it will rely on a few different power sources to make it all the way to Mars. Musk also spoke in detail about his plans for colonizing Mars and it’s a really great video if you have some time to watch.
3D PRINTING NEWS
This week we heard about engineers that have developed a 3D printable ink that produces a synthetic bone implant that rapidly induces bone regeneration and growth. This hyperelastic “bone” material, would potentially be most beneficial for treatments of bone defects in growing children, with the ability to easily customize the shape of the printed part.
We also heard about L’Oreal partnering with a French bio-printing company called Poietis, which has developed a form of laser printing for cell-based objects. L’Oreal believes that hair follicles created by a process similar to 3D printing could one day be used as implants. Hair follicles have yet to be created this way and the firms expect it to take at least three years to adapt the process, but the project sounds like it will be well worth the wait since billions are already spent annually on hair loss treatments.
This week Nissan used another smart chair stunt to showcase it’s ProPILOT driving system. The smart chairs autonomously move themselves while people are seated in them, modeled off of the car maker’s ProPILOT driving system. Restaurants in Japan are temporarily renting these chairs to keep people neatly in line outside and when one chair has been vacated, it moves itself to the end of the row, while everyone else is bumped up.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
This week we bring you a trailer for an upcoming movie due to premiere at the London Film Festival on October 8th. The movie, In The Robot Skies: A Drone Love Story, is one of a kind, being filmed entirely with, you guessed it, autonomous drones. We’ll have to wait to see the complete work some time after the festival, but by the looks of it, this film might be the truest representation of a modern day love story… with our electric devices.