eSight – Restoring sight for legally blind and improving Lives

Sustainable Issue: Safety/health

Technology:

Visual impairment impacts every aspect of a person’s life. Simple things that sighted individuals may take for granted like navigating an unknown street or recognizing a loved one’s face can be immensely challenging for the visually impaired. Of the 285 million people worldwide considered blind, 86% are legally blind with low vision caused by macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other eye conditions. Rather than experiencing “complete blindness,” most visually impaired people exist on a spectrum of sight that varies based on individual condition.

In 2013, eSight launched the first pair of electronic glasses that allow the legally blind to see – the first and only patented assistive device of its kind anywhere in the world. Wearable, hands-free and non-surgical, eSight electronic glasses can help those with low vision improve their sight and regain independence.

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eSight delivers a life changing solution to its audience. eSight houses a high-speed, high-definition camera that captures everything the user is looking at. Its algorithms enhance the video feed and display it on two, OLED screens in front of the user’s eyes. Full colour video images are clearly seen by the eSight user with unprecedented visual clarity and virtually no lag. Users can adjust the device to the precise position that, for them, presents the best view of the video while maximizing side peripheral vision.  This ensures a user’s balance and prevents nausea – common problems with other immersive technologies.

Hands-Free Design – eSight is a sleek, wearable device that allows a legally blind individual to use both of their hands while they use eSight to see. It is lightweight, worn comfortably around the eyes and designed for various environments and for use throughout the day.

Versatile – eSight is a comprehensive customized medical device that can replace all the many single-task assistive devices that are currently available but do not provide actual sight.

Instant Sight – eSight provides sight with virtually zero latency. It allows a user to instantly auto-focus between short-range vision to mid-range vision to long-range vision

Enables Mobility – eSight is the only device for the legally blind that enables mobility without causing issues of imbalance or nausea. A legally blind individual can use eSight not just to see while sitting down but while being independently mobile.

eSight is an all-in-one solution for the workplace. From commuting and travelling to delivering and reading presentations and using various tools and technologies, eSight empowers the legally blind with independence in life.

 Stake Holders:

  • Manufacturing companies
  • Public/ Government body
  • School/ Companies
  • Utilities
  • Communities

Deployment / Implementation:

Step one: Showcase the reliability of the technology to the public and private entities. Attract more investors and spread awareness about the usage to this technology.

Step two: Find companies that could use this technology in their buildings to demonstrate the efficiency of the technology.

Step three: Educate schools, communities and other companies about the usage and benefits of the technology.

Source: https://www.esighteyewear.com/technology

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Smart Solar Systems for Street Lighting by Cecil Philip

Street lighting is one the most important – and expensive – responsibilities of a city: Lighting can account for 10–38% of the total energy bill in typical cities worldwide. Energy efficient technologies like these can cut street lighting costs dramatically often by 25-60%; these savings can eliminate or reduce the need for new generating plants and provide the capital for alternative energy solutions for populations in remote areas.

Increase the efficiency of solar cells by 200%

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Sustainable Issue: Energy Efficiency
Technology: Butterfly wing inspires photovoltaics: Light absorption can be enhanced by up to 200 percent. Sunlight reflected by solar cells is lost as unused energy. The wings of the butterfly Pachliopta aristolochiae are drilled by nanostructures (nanoholes) that help absorbing light over a wide spectrum far better than smooth surfaces. Researchers have now succeeded in transferring these nanostructures to solar cells and, thus, enhancing their light absorption rate by up to 200 percent.
Scientist reproduced the butterfly’s nanostructures in the silicon absorbing layer of a thin-film solar cell. Subsequent analysis of light absorption yielded promising results: Compared to a smooth surface, the absorption rate of perpendicular incident light increases by 97% and rises continuously until it reaches 207% at an angle of incidence of 50 degrees. However, this does not automatically imply that efficiency of the complete PV system is enhanced by the same factor. Hence, the 200 percent are to be considered a theoretical limit for efficiency enhancement.”

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Prior to transferring the nanostructures to solar cells, the researchers determined the diameter and arrangement of the nanoholes on the wing of the butterfly by means of scanning electron microscopy. Then, they analyzed the rates of light absorption for various hole patterns in a computer simulation. They found that disordered holes of varying diameters, such as those found in the black butterfly, produced most stable absorption rates over the complete spectrum at variable angles of incidence, with respect to periodically arranged monosized nanoholes. Hence, the researchers introduced disorderly positioned holes in a thin-film PV absorber, with diameters varying from 133 to 343 nanometers. The scientists demonstrated that light yield can be enhanced considerably by removing material. According to the researchers, however, any type of thin-film PV technology can be improved with such nanostructures, also on the industrial scale.
Thin-film PV modules represent an economically attractive alternative to conventional crystalline silicon solar cells, as the light-absorbing layer is thinner by a factor of up to 1000 and, hence, material consumption is reduced. Still, absorption rates of thin layers are below those of crystalline silicon cells. Hence, they are used in systems needing little power, such as pocket calculators or watches. Enhanced absorption would make thin-film cells much more attractive for larger applications, such as photovoltaics systems on roofs.
Stake Holders:
Manufacturing units
Public/ Government body
Commercial building users
Utilities/communities
Researchers/Scientists
Deployment / Implementation:
Step one: Showcase the reliability of the technology to the public and private entities. Attract more investors and spread awareness about the usage to this technology.
Step two: Set up some full-scale prototype units to prove the principles in real-world conditions.
Step three: Find companies that could use this technology in their buildings to demonstrate the efficiency of the technology.
Source: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/10/e1700232.full
UNI: SN2754

Response to Another post

Plastic Roads by Drb2171

Plastic Roads, are found to perform better compared to those constructed with conventional bitumen. This means no more stripping and no potholes. Plastic roads will also address the major issue of disposing plastic waste. But as I read more on plastic roads I learnt that the first rain will trigger leaching as plastics will merely form a sticky layer and once laid plastic roads are inert. These problems need to be addressed before implementing plastic roads on large scale.

Solar Roadways !!

Sustainable Issue: Energy Efficiency

Technology:  Solar roadways

The Solar Roadway is a series of structurally engineered solar panels that can be driven upon. It replaces all current petroleum based asphalt roads, parking lots, and driveways with Solar Road Panels that collects energy to be used by our homes and businesses. Solar Roadways Incorporated is a start-up company based in Sandpoint, Idaho founded by Scott and Julie Brusaw in 2006. The company envisioned in replacing asphalt roads with solar panels. The proposed system would require the development of strong, transparent, and self-cleaning glass that has the necessary traction and impact resistance properties. Their technology includes a transparent driving surface with underlying solar cells, electronic and sensors to act as solar array with programmable capability.

solar roads

There are three layers for the solar roadways –

  1. Road Surface Layer.
  2. Electronics Layer.
  3. Base Plate Layer.

For solar roadways to be successful, the three layers of solar road panels need to work in unison. The road surface layer needs to be clear enough to let the sunlight pass through it to the electronics layer. The electronics layer collects solar energy. It consists of photovoltaic cells which converts this energy into electricity. This energy received is transmitted to the base plate layer and also it keeps the road functioning properly, and the base plate layer determines where the energy is supposed to go and distributes power (collected from the electronics layer) and data signals (phone, TV, internet, etc.) to all homes and businesses connected to the Solar Roadway. Because the road lines on solar roadways are LEDs, the baseplate layer needs to ensure that the roadway has enough energy needed before sending the rest of the energy out towards the grid. Solar cells produce DC energy. Homes and businesses currently use AC energy, so the DC solar energy is converted to AC energy by a DC-to-AC converter or solar micro inverter and then is fed to the homes and other places.

Stake Holders:

  • Manufacturing units
  • Energy Manager
  • Commercial building users
  • Utility Company
  • Federal highway department
  • Engineer


Deployment / Implementation:

Step one: Showcase the reliability of the technology to the public and private entities. Attract more investors and spread awareness about the usage to this technology.

Step two: Set up some full-scale prototype units to prove the principles in real-world conditions.

Step three: Form partnership with utility companies (Solar and automobile industry) that could use this technology to demonstrate the efficiency of the technology.

Step four : Implementation of the technology along with the government.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2016/12/22/14055756/solar-panel-road-electricity-france-normandy

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Portable Toilets by Harleen

I think the concept of Portable toilets should be appreciated for their durability, easy to use functionality, and modern design, light weight, easy to wash and move. However, my only concern is about cleaning. Proper knowledge about the cleaning process should be taken from the retailer from where you buy the mobile toilet to maintain healthy hygiene of the users.

Smart Transportation & Smart Waste Management.

Sustainable Issue: Waste Management
Technology: Smart Bin with IoT Sensors
Waste is collected on a regular schedule to ensure that the streets, neighbourhoods and businesses are clean, safe and able to be enjoyed by all. This has been achieved by scheduling regular or static collections by waste collection staff in trucks to empty our bins.
SmartBin’s Intelligent Monitoring solution enables waste management and recycling companies to optimize their collection operations and maximize the use of valuable resources. By deploying SmartBin wireless ultrasonic sensors to a wide range of containers, and using the data intelligence to drive operational efficiencies including optimized routes, asset tracking and cost analysis. SmartBin sensors leverage the latest in IoT and cellular network technologies.
Key Features
• Ultrasonic fill-level, geo-location & temperature
• Optimizes the dumper route to landfill.
• Zero maintenance with a non-corrosive protective shell
• Know the fill-level of your containers at all times.
• Send optimized routes directly to dumpers to schedule pickup.
• Cut your service costs by up to 50%.
• Provide a world class service.
• Reduce your company’s carbon footprint.

bin
Stake Holders:
• Manufacturing units
• Government
• Commercial building users
• Communities
• Waste Management Utilities
Deployment / Implementation:
• Work with the local government to implement in the city
• Educate local bodies for waste management about the technology; have three to four sessions.
• Awareness among the community
Source: https://blog.boltiot.com/smart-transportation-smart-waste-management-d35f1e141629

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Lab-grown meat: fantasy or reality? By Agathetech

I believe lab grown meat is one of best solution to meet the food scarcity issue without killing any animals around the world. But my only concern is how healthy is this meat and will it really suffice the purpose of reducing GHG Emission? As I read more one this technology, I learnt that all lab-grown meat so far requires a product called fetal bovine serum which is a by-product made from the blood of cow fetuses. And thus, Millions of fetuses are slaughtered for this purpose. I think Cultured meat grown by way of FBS doesn’t, at all, address that problem.

‘Air-breathing’ battery could cut costs of renewable energy storage.

Sustainable Issue: Energy storage/Efficiency

Technology:  Wind and solar power are increasingly popular sources for renewable energy. But intermittency issues keep them from connecting widely in the world. They require energy-storage systems that, at the cheapest, run about $100 per kilowatt hour and function only in certain locations. MIT researchers have developed an “air-breathing” battery that could store electricity for very long durations for about one-fifth the cost of current technologies, with minimal location restraints and zero emissions. The battery could be used to make sporadic renewable power a more reliable source of electricity for the grid.

The rechargeable flow battery uses cheap, abundant sulphur dissolved in water. An aerated liquid salt solution in the cathode continuously takes in and releases oxygen that balances charge as ions shuttle between the electrodes. Oxygen flowing into the cathode causes the anode to discharge electrons to an external circuit. Oxygen flowing out sends electrons back to the anode, recharging the battery. The battery’s total chemical cost—the combined price of the cathode, anode, and electrolyte materials—is about 1/30th the cost of competing batteries, such as lithium-ion batteries. Scaled-up systems could be used to store electricity from wind or solar power, for multiple days to entire seasons, for about $20 to $30 per kilowatt hour.

It is a type of flow battery, where electrolytes are continuously pumped through electrodes and travel through a reaction cell to create charge or discharge. The battery consists of a liquid anode (anolyte) of polysulfide that contains lithium or sodium ions, and a liquid cathode (catholyte) that consists of an oxygenated dissolved salt, separated by a membrane. Upon discharging, the anolyte releases electrons into an external circuit and the lithium or sodium ions travel to the cathode. At the same time, to maintain electroneutrality, the catholyte draws in oxygen, creating negatively charged hydroxide ions. When charging, the process is simply reversed. Oxygen is expelled from the catholyte, increasing hydrogen ions, which donate electrons back to the anolyte through the external circuit. This battery literally inhales and exhales air, but it doesn’t exhale carbon dioxide, like humans—it exhales oxygen.

Because the battery uses ultra-low-cost materials, its chemical cost is one of the lowest—if not the lowest—of any rechargeable battery to enable cost-effective long-duration discharge. Its energy density is slightly lower than today’s lithium-ion batteries.

Stake Holders:

  • Manufacturing units
  • Energy Manager
  • Commercial building users
  • Utility Company
  • Engineer

Deployment / Implementation:

Step one: Showcase the reliability of the technology to the public and private entities. Attract more investors and spread awareness about the usage to this technology.

Step two: Set up some full-scale prototype units to prove the principles in real-world conditions.

Step three: Form partnership with utility companies (Solar and wind energy) that could use this technology in their buildings to demonstrate the efficiency of the technology.

Source: https://phys.org/news/2017-10-storage-renewable-energy-greatest-challengethis.html#jCp

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Fog Harvesting for Water Resources by Dominic Bell

I think fog harvesting can be proven as a sustainable and scalable solution to water scarcity. But my only worry is about the reliability of the water source for these fog harvesting technologies, because occurrence of fog is very much uncertain. Further, calculation of even an approximate quantity of water that can be obtained at a particular location is difficult. The technology might represent an investment risk unless a pilot project is first carried out to quantify the potential water rate yield that can be anticipated in the area under consideration.

UNI SN2754

A Sustainable Future Powered by Sea

Sustainable Issue: Green Energy generation

Technology:
Professor Tsumoru Shintake at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) yearns for a clean future, one that is affordable and powered by sustainable energy. Professor Shintake and the Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit at OIST began a project titled “Sea Horse,” aiming to harness energy from the ocean current. This project uses submerged turbines anchored to the sea floor through mooring cables that convert the kinetic energy of sustained natural currents into usable electricity, which is then delivered by cables to the land.

Tetrapods are concrete structures shaped somewhat like pyramids that are often placed along a coastline to weaken the force of incoming waves and protect the shore from erosion. Similarly, wave breakers are walls built in front of beaches for the same purpose. 30% of the seashore in mainland Japan is covered with tetrapods and wave breakers. Replacing these with “intelligent” tetrapods and wave breakers with turbines attached to or near them, would both generate energy as well as help to protect the coasts. Using just 1% of the seashore of mainland Japan can generate about 10 gigawats of energy, which is equivalent to 10 nuclear power plants.

CPG WEC

The OIST researchers launched The Wave Energy Converter (WEC) project which involves placing turbines at key locations near the shoreline, such as nearby tetrapods or among coral reefs, to generate energy. Each location allows the turbines to be exposed to ideal wave conditions that allow them not only to generate clean and renewable energy, but also to help protect the coasts from erosion while being affordable for those with limited funding and infrastructure. The turbines themselves are built to withstand the forces thrust upon them during harsh wave conditions as well as extreme weather, such as a typhoon. The blade design and materials are inspired by dolphin fins—they are flexible, and thus able to release stress rather than remain rigid and risk breakage. They are also built to be safe for surrounding marine life—the blades rotate at a carefully calculated speed that allows creatures caught among them to escape.

Stake Holders:
• Manufacturing units
• Public/ Government body
• Commercial building users
• Utilities
• Communities
Deployment / Implementation:
• Step one: Showcase the reliability of the technology to the public and private entities. Attract more investors and spread awareness about the usage to this technology.
• Step two: Set up some full-scale prototype units to prove the principles in real-world conditions.
• Step three: Find companies that could use this technology in to demonstrate the efficiency of the technology.

Source: https://www.oist.jp/news-center/news/2017/9/20/sustainable-future-powered-sea
UNI: SN2754

Response to Another post – 10/2

Reducing GHG Impact Through Smart Bins by MK3883

Smart waste management technologies are cleaning up the sector, helping to reduce the operational costs and environmental problems associated with inefficient waste collection. The Solar-powered trash and recycling bins equipped with sensors – analyse data about what is being trashed and recycled and notify collectors about when a bin is too full and needs a pick-up. This can also help to optimize the trash pickup route and lesser trash going to the landfill. I believe Smart waste technologies are growing in value and will continue to play a bigger role in helping private corporations and public entities improve efficiency and meet the waste reduction goals worldwide.

FIRES !!

Fire brick Resistance-heated Energy Storage

Firebricks offer low-cost storage for carbon-free energy

Sustainable Issue: Energy storage/Efficiency

Technology: Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology have drawn from an ancient technology as their latest solution for enabling rapid expansion of wind, solar and nuclear power. Heat-storing firebricks could be used to level electricity prices for renewables.

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The researchers’ idea is to make use of excess electricity produced when demand is low — for example, from wind farms when strong winds are blowing at night — by using electric resistance heaters, which convert electricity into heat. These devices would use the excess electricity to heat up a large mass of firebricks, which can retain the heat for long periods if they are enclosed in an insulated casing. Later, the heat could be used directly for industrial processes, or it could feed generators that convert it back to electricity when the power is needed. The potential usefulness of FIRES is a new phenomenon has brought about by the rapid rise of intermittent renewable energy sources, and the peculiarities of the way electricity prices are set.

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The firebrick, insulation, and other storage components are like high-temperature firebrick industrial recuperates. The ceramic firebrick is used because of its low cost and durability, while also having large sensible heat storage capabilities. If one allows a 1000 °C temperature range from cold to hot temperature, the heat storage capacity is ∼0.5–1 MWh/m3. Storage capacity of FIRES is governed by the sensible heat capable of being stored in a volume of material over a chosen temperature range (minimum and maximum temperatures). The chosen temperature range and material will be determined by the needs of the industrial process. More firebrick will store more energy.

Stake Holders:

  • Manufacturing units
  • Public/ Government body
  • Commercial building users
  • Utilities
  • Communities

Deployment / Implementation:

Step one: Showcase the reliability of the technology to the public and private entities. Attract more investors and spread awareness about the usage to this technology.

Step two: Set up some full-scale prototype units to prove the principles in real-world conditions.

Step three: Find companies that could use this technology in their buildings to demonstrate the efficiency of the technology.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170906114617.html

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Solar Paint by Drb2171

I think Solar Paint could be the latest breakthrough in Renewable Energy. This may sound like a new kind of solar panel, but it’s a completely different technology, and one that should prove to be far less costly than the use solar panels to harvest energy. The paint that covers our home can be a source of clean energy.

UNI: SN2754