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Manufacturing as the next ‘big thing’

You’ll have probably come across the following phrase a lot over the last few months. A  writer will describe a new trend, movement, object or process and hail it as the second coming – well the second industrial revolution at any rate. I’ve now seen this phrase be attached to 3D Printing, renewables, open source … Continue reading

I bet Icarus is spitting feathers

Engineer Markus Fischer says man’s oldest dream was to fly like a bird, but replicating the flight of our feathered friends has been nigh on impossible. Turns out that evolution is pretty good at engineering. However the good folk at Festo – the folk that brought us the amazing flying penguins – have now created … Continue reading

TWTWTW: Er, did I hear that right…

A bit late, but another round-up of the web miscellany that tickled my fancy this week. And absolutely no mention of Hack Gate, apart from that one. Dammit… Let’s start with the Quote of the week Channel 4’s The Space Shuttle’s Last Flight: “”For the first time in its history, America can no longer put … Continue reading

Fully paid up member of the Pod Squad

BBC Click carried a report on the current appeal of podcasts. The article headline Podcasts: Who still listens to them?  was probably designed to be a little provocative, to hint at the decline of this new wave of citizen broadcasters. In fact it’s a nice piece, looking at the rise into mainstream consciousness  of a … Continue reading

3D printing – rapid PR-otyping

I was chatting today about manufacturing and engineering and the subject of 3D printing came up. The discussion centred around the arrival of personal fabrication into the mainstream, public consciousness. I first came across them via the Open University, but I think the Wired feature on the future of manufacturing was both the first time … Continue reading

TWTWTW: Build a better robot and DARPA will beat a pathway to your door…

Again this week the news has been dominated by the continued revelations at News International, so being a good former journalist – I’m leaving that to the Guardian. Instead here’s my run down of the non-telephone hacking related stories that caught my eye this week. Robot round-up There’s a great story in the New York … Continue reading

Playing catch with robots

I was watching the Tech Show on Discovery Science this week, and they covered the story of Justin the ball catching robot – with a nice sideline in coffee-making. It’s being designed to help with space exploration, but the visual recognition and tracking capabilities are already out of this world. I’ll fetch my coat…

Helping make Open Hardware a going con-CERN

The founder of MakerBot Bre Pettis, gave an insightful interview to TechCrunch TV last week – talking about the Hardware start-up scene. Pettis’ contention is that tools like Arduino and his own 3D printing technology now make it easier than ever before to launch a hardware start-up He describes how the open hardware scene resembles … Continue reading

TWTWTW: Brando, flying cars and robot footy

For those interested in the business of media, there was probably only one story in town this week – the News of the World. From the emergence of increasingly disturbing and heinous phone hacking allegations to its eventual closure, it was quite a week. Well this week’s internet roundup also includes Britain’s best-selling red-top, but … Continue reading

Freedom to roam

A few weeks ago I wrote about some amazing pedal powered machines from Low Tech Magazine. Engineers and not for profits had used bicycle-based technology to create useful machines to help people in the developing world. This project – the Leveraged Freedom Chair – is based on a similar idea. MIT Masters student Amos Winter … Continue reading