Future Tech: Plus…an exoskeleton for older adults & an autonomous garbage truck.
A man-made island covered in wind turbines could power multiple European countries
From Popular Mechanics:
Among ideas to increase use of wind power in the world, the North Sea Wind Power Hub might be the most ambitious. The plan is to build an artificial island in the North Sea that would supply energy to up to 80 million people in Europe by 2050. The plan has attracted three nationalized European energy transmission companies who are hoping more join in soon.
The island would be around two square miles in size and would be located in the Dogger Bank, a windy shallow sandbank around 60 miles off the coast of England. The island would have a harbor and a small airport, but the main attraction would be the estimated 7,000 wind turbines surrounding it.
"We haven't let our fantasy gain the upper hand, although it may sound a little crazy and like something out of science fiction," says Torben Glar Nielsen, the technical head of Danish national energy provider Energinet.dk to the Copenhagen Post.
An exoskeleton to keep older adults from falling
From Popular Science:
Over the past six million years, humans have become extremely adept at walking on two feet. We’ve even developed numerous strategies to keep us from falling down. But most of these strategies involve quickly engaging multiple muscle groups, and as we age these rapid muscular reflexes fade. This is a main reason why falling, and injuries resulting from it, are such a major problem among older adults.
A new exoskeleton, reported in a study out today in the journal Scientific Reports, is meant to prevent these falls from happening, by using adaptive mechanisms that activate only when it senses that the wearer is about to fall. The researchers say that this easy-to-use exoskeleton could improve the quality of life in older adults.
This autonomous garbage truck could be the ultimate driver
The garbage industry is going high tech, with the help of Volvo. The automaker this week debuted an autonomous garbage truck it said has the potential to reduce emissions and increase safety in the industry. Volvo is currently testing the vehicle with the help of Swedish waste management and recycling company Renova, and said it may one day be used across urban environments.
Volvo's automated garbage truck can navigate obstacles more accurately than humans, since it never gets distracted or stressed. With its many cameras and sensors, the truck also has a better view of the road than a human would. Sensors continuously monitor the area around the truck, which will stop immediately if an obstacle (like a rogue basketball from the neighborhood kids' game) suddenly appears in its path.
See more IT & Tech innovation stories and let us know the interesting technology stories you come across.