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honeybee

Senior industrial design major at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Anna Haldewang was given an interesting project by her professor: "create a self-sustainable object that stimulates the growth of plants." Having been struck by reports regarding diminishing honeybee populations, Haldewang wanted to help. In response, she designed Plan Bee, a smartphone-controlled robotic drone designed to mimic the way honeybees pollinate crops and flowers.

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There were a number of engineering marvels recognized as part of the 2016 Beazley Designs of the Year Awards hosted by the Design Museum in London. The Design of the Year Award went to the Better Shelter by the Ikea Foundation and the UN Refugee Agency. The shelter, which is able to house a family of five, can be built out of only 68 components in as little as four hours.

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IOT City

A growing utilisation of sensors and the expanding IoT continue to make meaningful and useful impacts on society. Today, there are numerous examples of applications that not only make our lives easier, but that also bring both economic and environmental benefits, as well as setting the stage for more low-cost and easy-to-deploy future solutions.

Check out more of this great article on the future of The Internet of Things, by IEEE member Nicholas Kirsch at IoTnews: 

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pacemaker x-ray

A recent report by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offered evidence regarding a threat to implantable medical devices: cybersecurity. The report confirmed that St. Jude Medical's pacemakers and defibrillators are vulnerable to hacking. These devices, which control and monitor the heart and help prevent heart attacks, have the potential to be accessed by hackers. Battery depletion, abnormal pacing and electrical shocks are all potential ways with which these devices can be tampered. St. Jude's has developed a patch to correct this particular threat which is now being rolled out.

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Sensors placed on the insect monitor neural activity while they are freely moving, decoding the odorants present in their environment. (Photo: Baranidharan Raman)

Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis are developing a new biorobotic sensing system that will capitalize on locusts' highly advanced sense of smell. In studying locusts, the researchers found that they are able to correctly identify odors across a number of different situations, such as in the presence of other odors or overlapping scents, or in varying environmental conditions. They also found that odors prompt patterns of neural activity in the locusts' brains that can be analyzed.

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Andrew Mullen deploys the BUM during coral reef studies in Maui. Credit: Emily L. A. Kelly/UC San Diego, CC BY-ND

Researchers at the University of California have developed an underwater microscope that captures images of the sea floor and its inhabitants as tiny as one-hundredth of a millimeter. The Benthic Underwater Microscope, or BUM, employs miniature cameras and efficient LED lights to provide illuminated, focused, and stable underwater views of marine life.

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Laundry detergent flows off a piece of treated polycarbonate in a steady stream.

Frustrated when you can't get that last bit of shampoo out of the bottle? Engineers at Ohio State University have developed a coating that enables soaps and detergents to slide more easily out of their containers. The coating is made up of little y-shaped nanoparticles made of silica or quartz. After being treated, these y-shaped nanoparticles do not allow soap to stick to them.

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CO2 Symbol

Researchers in Iceland have made a significant breakthrough in the battle against climate change by developing a process that can turn carbon dioxide into stone. The Carbfix project, led by the University of Southampton in the U.K., developed an economal way to bury CO2 and turn it into stone, where it can no longer contribute to global warming. The research involved pumping CO2 into volcanic rock, while expediting processes where basalts react with the gas to create carbonate minerals.

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International Space Station and astronaut in outer space over the planet Earth

To celebrate the launch of BEAM, the first expandable habitat to the International Space Station, and the launch of AMF, the first commercial 3D printer in space, we are challenging students to think outside the box with 3D printing – literally.

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Bonnethead Shark

Researchers at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are investigating the use of drones to study, detect, and track bonnethead sharks. The primary aim of this research is to study shark ecology and aid conservation of shark species. The researchers are testing how well drones can locate sharks in different habitats and in various water conditions; a job that was previously accomplished using planes. The drones are equipped with cameras which can capture imagery of coastal areas that can be difficult to access.

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