There are innovative and flexible designs in the work at MIT to address overcrowding in cities, by using folding cars, “quick-change” apartments with robotic walls, and energy saving lighting fixtures.
‘Smart Materials’ Open Source
Smart materials are coming into daily use – including fabrics that light up, paints that conduct electricity, pigments that change color in windows and walls, or kitchenware depending on temperature.
Vortex Wind Generator
Vortex Bladeless is a new model of wind generator that bends in the wind and produces power at its base by utilizing the vortex created when wind moves around it. It’s silent and completely safe for birds.
Teen Built Homemade Windmill
A 14 years old Malawian inventor William Kamkwamba built an electricity-generating windmill from spare parts, working from rough plans he found in a library book “Using Energy.”
‘OMEGA’ Floating Algae Pods Biofuel
OMEGA – Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae – is a project developed by NASA to clean wastewater, producing biofuel, fertilizer and more in the process.
‘The Ocean Cleanup’ Project
Eighteen year old Boyan Slat came up with a plan to clean pollution in the ocean using passive flotation devices and the ocean’s own current to pull the sea life under and plastics into the floatation devices.
Electricity From Living Plants
Plant-e is a company that develops products that can generate electricity from living plants. Based on natural processes electrons are harvested from the soil and electricity is produced while plants grow.
Natural Gas From Biogas Digester
A biogas generator produces natural gas by transforming grass clippings, food waste and livestock manure, with a fertilizer as a bi-product.
Turning Plastic Waste Into Biofuel
Egyptian teenager Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad discovered that an inexpensive catalyst called aluminosilicate can efficiently turn plastic waste into biofuel.
High Tech Applications Of Silk
Silk has over 20 new incredible uses in high tech – transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength and making medical leaps, from replacing a vein or a bone to delivering medicine in the desert.
World’s Smallest 3D Printer
World’s smallest affordable 3D printer could make customized hearing aids, joints, or other miniatures that can help those in need around the world to get the necessary items without extensive waiting.
Rainwater harvesting is one of the oldest and most effective forms of water collection and can help decentralize the water supply. The rain is drained from the roofs into barrels, cisterns, or tanks.
‘pAge’ Book – Water Filter
pAge is the Drinkable Book filled with pages coated with silver nano particles that can filter water, while also teaching proper sanitation & hygiene. One page can filter up to 100 litres of drinking water.
Lifestraw and Lifesaver Water Filters
Engineer Michael Pritchard invented the Lifesaver water filter. The portable filter makes the most revolting water drinkable in seconds, removing all viruses and bacteria, and lasts for up to 6,000 liters.
Eliodomestico Solar Water Filter
Designer Gabriele Diamanti invented Eliodomestico, an eco sea water distiller running on solar power to provide safe bacteria-free drinking water for people in developing countries.
Solar Water Heating Systems
Solar water heaters – also called solar domestic hot water systems – can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water at home. They can be used in any climate, and they use free fuel – sunshine.
Solar Bottle Lamp
Alfredo Moser came up with the solar bottle lamp – it illuminates dark spaces during the day without electricity, by using a plastic bottle filled with water and a bit of disinfectant.
‘Sunplace’ Solar Powered Grill
The SUNplace is a “solar cooking table,” a collaborative project by designers Francesca Lanzavecchia and Hunn Wai, intended for a group of chefs to cook together and prepare a meal using sunlight.
‘Powerwall’ Home Solar Batteries
The Powerwall is the new Tesla solar battery unit to power households. The battery is affordable, comes with a 10 year warranty, and has an elegant design that easily mounts on the wall.
Transparent Solar Concentrator
Michigan State University researchers designed a transparent luminescent solar concentrator that can be used on buildings, cell phones, and other devices with a clear surface that harvests energy.
Smart Power Outlets Prevent Fires
Intelligent power outlets can conserve energy and prevent deadly accidents like house fires. John La Grou is working on the Electrical Fault Circuit Interrupter – EFCI – using microprocessors and RFID tags.
‘AMBRI’ Large Scale Batteries
Donald Sadoway is working on a large scale battery – an inexpensive, efficient, three-layered battery using “liquid metal” – to provide storage for renewable energy, for supply to meet the demand, rain or shine.
Ancient ‘Baghdad Battery’
Dated to 200 BC, the so called ‘Baghdad Battery’ can produce almost a volt of energy. It consists of a clay jar, a copper tube wrapped around an iron rod, and an acidic fluid transferring electrons.
Hot Water With Rocket Wood Stove
Using some recycled parts and a small rocket stove you can heat and pump hot water without the need for electricity. You can also easily make the rocket stove yourself from four concrete blocks.
Mohammed Bah Abba, a teacher in rural Nigeria, developed the Pot-in-Pot Preservation Cooling System that keeps food and medicine fresh by storing them in two clay pots, and requiring no electricity.
‘GiraDora’ Pedal Washer
Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You created GiraDora – a $40 pedal-powered washing machine that can spin wash and dry clothes in a fraction of the time that it takes to do it by hand, without using electricity.
Gramofone Fighting Poverty
Iqbal Quadir started a mobile phone operator connecting 80 million rural Bangladeshi and encouraging bottom-up development, using connectivity to increase productivity and fight poverty.
‘One Laptop Per Child’ Project
Nicholas Negroponte started the One Laptop Per Child project to distribute the “$100 laptop” to children around the world – as a way to connect and teach children technological skills early on.