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plastic bottles

The New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize is calling for for designers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and academics 18 years of age and older, to create a plastics system that works. The competition aims to advance the design and recycling of plastics—particularly packaging—to keep valuable material out of the ocean. To achieve the goal of eliminating plastic packaging waste, the Prize is composed of two parallel challenges:

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movie patrons

Check out this great article from Google about how machine learning is shedding light on gender bias in movies. 

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sorting table

As part of the EPICS in IEEE program, students at Clarkson University developed a solution to enhance the productivity of workers with disabilities at their local Arc chapter.The students designed a counting table to assist workers in their efforts to sort and count recyclables such as glass, aluminum, and plastic.

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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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