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This app lets blind people “see”

GUTE-URLS

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Vertical farming

Vertical farming allows for food production using a tiny fraction of the water and land of conventional agriculture and without the use of pesticides or fertilisers. San Francisco-headquartered Plenty, with funding from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, is building enormous indoor farms to grow fresh produce – mainly greens at this point – close to or inside cities where they will be eaten, which cuts down on the CO2 required to transport food. https://www.plenty.ag/

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A wearable breast pump

Mountain View-based startup Willow has developed a discreet, battery-powered breast pump that follows the shape of the breast and is small enough to be slipped into a bra. The milk is sucked into freezer-safe bags that fit into the cups. Because it’s so much quieter, it allows the wearer to continue with her day while pumping, whether at work or leisure. An accompanying smartphone app keeps track of milk volume, pumping time and past pumping sessions. The device is currently in beta testing, but will be available to purchase in 2018. https://www.willowpump.com/

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A social robot that helps autistic adults find work

Researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have built Alyx, a robot that teaches autistic people to recognise social cues. Learning to identify and process these facial expressions is critical to workplace interactions. The team plans to turn the Alyx prototype into a full-bodied, autonomous version, operating in a mock workplace, with clinical trials then planned. http://www.straitstimes.com/world/social-robot-could-help-autistic-adults-find-work

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An implantable artificial kidney

There are 2 million people in the world who require kidney dialysis every week to clean their blood. This is a time-consuming and cumbersome process, without which you die. A team at the University of California, San Francisco, has developed the first implantable artificial kidney, that can be connected to your circulatory system and bladder to clean your blood 24 hours a day. After 20 years of development, the Kidney Project is due to start clinical trials in early 2018. https://pharm.ucsf.edu/kidney

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World’s first solar highway

The world’s first solar highway has opened to the public in eastern China’s Shandong. The 2-kilometer-long road can convert sunlight into electricity and directly transfer it to the power grid. The highway can also recharge electric vehicles on the move. http://www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/the-solar-highway-that-can-recharge-electric-cars-on-the-move?

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A new global standard to foster innovation

The ISO 50501 standard relates to the topic of innovation management and is expected to be launched in 2018 to provide the world’s first common standard for innovation processes. Experts from 47 countries have worked on this guideline for several years. They plan to endow companies with tools they can use to map their innovation management processes. Innovation management principles will describe what characterizes an innovative organization and will operate as guidelines for improvement. https://www.itonics.de/2017/12/new-iso-50501-to-foster-innovations/

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