Smart Bandage

Problem
Health problems continue to grow, both in developing country where education and health issues are poorly addressed, and in so called developed countries where healthcare is still seen as a luxury rather than a basic human necessity. One of the major health problems is diabetes, and the chronic skin wounds accompanied by it. More than 25 million Americans suffer from such wounds and with growing confusion regarding healthcare in the U.S. and diabetes cases expected to double or triple, the need for a new innovative and affordable solution to deal with this problem grows.

Solution
Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard Medical School and MIT have come up with a design for a new concept they are calling a smart bandage. These bandages can be customized depending on the specific health issue they are tackling. They use electrically conductive fibers coated in a gel that can contain anti-biotics or painkillers depending on the issue. The bandage contains a small controller operated by a smart device, this controller sends electric signals to the chosen fiber to release whatever was placed in the gel.

Stakeholders

  • Researchers working on the project
  • Hospitals and other medical centers that can adopt the technology and provide it to patients
  • Manufacturers of the microtechnology used in the bandage
  • Patients with limited access to healthcare
  • Organizations such as the WHO that can back and promote the technology potentially

Next Steps
The project is still in preliminary testing phase. The first step should be reaching out to the WHO and other potential backers to start manufacturing and conducting final tests on humans. Reach out to hospitals in areas with high diabetes cases such as West Virginia and get them to potentially cooperate and provide further data to help with the research. Finally, since the controllers can be operated using smart devices, develop and provide information about how we plan to stop hackers and other potential risks.

By: Ahmad Al Zubair (aa4098)

Resources used:


Comment on “Nature-inspired water collection system
I find the technology very interesting as it utilizes natural properties of the materials used to suck up the water from the air. The technology also does not require an external source of energy which tackles major sustainable issues related to other water harnessing options such as desalinization.

Recycled plastic roads

Sustainability Problem: Inefficient roads materials, excessive unused non biodegradable plastics .

Solution:

KWS, a VolkerWessels company, are working on the development of plastic roads, also known as the PlasticRoad. PlasticRoad is being piloted in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Every component of the PlasticRoad is being designed to make its application completely circular, with the goal of using recycled plastic as much as possible.

The roads have 3 unique features that make it last longer and be more useful.

  1. The roads are modular: It makes the road light and easy to build.
  2. Hollow Design: The roads are hollow beneath, which allows for any situational flooding to sink in. Its usage also includes water storage, transit of cables and pipes, heating roads, generating energy etc.
  3. Sustainable: The recycled plastic makes it a circular product, which uses plastic and repurposes it as material for roads.

Their long range objective is: to ensure 100% circularity in plastic use, makes the road 4 times lighter, last 3 times longer and reduce construction time by 70%.

Stakeholders:

  • City  government
  • Transport department
  • Citizens
  • Water Authority
  • Disaster relief agencies

Next Steps:

  • Review impact of the new road
  • Apply to newer markets and high potential affected areas
  • Innovate with more applications

 

References: https://www.plasticroad.eu/en/

Comments for another post: https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/30/cities-get-smart-by-prioritizing-mobility/comment-page-1/#comment-1374

 

 

Creating an IoT Network of Distributed Loads through EV Charging Stations

1. Sustainability problem: the contribution of the electric sector to climate change

Climate change is one of the most urgent issues of our time. The electric sector is a key culprit in driving this path as the economic sector contributing more to climate change than any other sector in the U.S. More specifically, the sector accounts for approximately 30% of the U.S. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Decarbonizing the electricity sector, while also making the aging power grid more modern, smart, and resilient is a prime challenge and opportunity.

Category: Energy

Source: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-04/documents/us-ghg-inventory-2016-main-text.pdf

2. Technology: IoT network of distributed loads through EV charging stations

Source: “eMotorWerks Acquired By Enel”, Clean Technica (https://cleantechnica.com/2017/10/26/emotorwerks-acquired-enel/)

  • This article discusses a growth company called eMotorWerks, which provides electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSEs) – a.k.a. charging stations — and aggregates these distributed loads into an IoT platform called JuiceNet
  • The technology not only allows for the chargers to be remotely controlled and charge EVs at the most cost effective times, but it also connects all of the EVSEs into a network of storage capacity that can respond to information from the grid and provide demand response services to utilities
  • For EV owners, using eMotorWerks’ solution can lower the cost of ownership as participation in demand response can provide them with additional revenue streams
  • This kind of demand response platform will be increasingly valuable in balancing the grid as more intermittent renewable energy enters the system
  • The platform also helps create a more resilient and distributed grid and system of resources

Tags: #energy #renewableenergy #ev #evse #demandresponse #smartgrid

3. Organizational stakeholders

This technology has a variety of different stakeholders. Residential EV owners can buy eMotorWerks’ EVSEs for their own homes. Commercial owners of EV fleets and/or charging infrastructure can also buy these EVSEs, use the software, and participate in the platform. Another key stakeholder is the utility, which can take advantage of the demand response services provided by the JuiceNet charging network. Last, other OEMs are stakeholders because eMotorWerks’ technology can be used in white-label deals.

4. Deployment

  1. Integrate eMotorWerks’ solution with Enel (utility that just acquired them) to maximize the value of the demand management services
  2. Continue forging relationships with OEMs to grow the size of the network
  3. Build stronger relationships with potential commercial customers to ensure wide public availability of charging infrastructure

5. Comment on other post

I commented on “Clean Meat and the Future of Food”

The clean meat industry has already received quite a bit of attention from established investors. Memphis Meat has raised $22 M from investors including Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Cargill (agriculture firm), DFJ (VC firm), and other VC firms and angel investors. These investments have been attracted by the potential that this technology has to disrupt the trillion-dollar meat industry which will only grow as emerging markets develop and consume more meat.

Google maps predicts parking difficulty using machine learning

Sustainability problem: Urban mobility

Drivers usually circle the blocks around their destination to find parking, and over 30% of traffic in cities is caused by these cars looking for a parking spaceThe problem is that there is almost no real-time information about available parking spots. Even in cities with smart parking meters that make this information publicly available, this data doesn’t account for those who park illegally, park with a permit, or depart early from still-paid meters.

Technology solution: Machine learning prediction

  • Earlier this year, Google Maps started showing an icon with predicted parking availability when displaying driving directions. This feature is available in 25 cities across the US.
  • This new feature works using a combination of crowdsourcing and machine learning algorithms that predict parking difficulty in a certain destination, based on anonymous aggregated information from users who opt to share their data on Google Maps or Waze.
  • “Parking difficulty” is estimated by identifying users that circled around a destination instead of arriving right away to a place. The more circling, more difficult the parking in that area must be. Using this information, the machine learning model assigns a descriptive prediction of parking availability to display to the user, like “Easy” or “Limited parking”.
  • In a pre-launch experiment, Google researchers saw a significant increase in clicks on the transit travel mode button, indicating that users with additional knowledge of parking difficulty were more likely to consider public transit rather than driving.

Organizational stakeholders

  • City Officials
  • Department of Transportation
  • Parking lot owners
  • Local communities

Implementation steps (for a more integrated solution)

  1. Connect with City Officials and Department of Transportation to incorporate traffic data sources into the model
  2. Connect with parking lot owners to incorporate real-time information of the parking availability on their garages
  3. Scale the solution to other cities.

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Comment: Just when you thought it couldn’t get better… HomeBioGas 2.0

“One great feature of this solution is that it is can be assembled by anyone. It comes with a DIY kit and easy instructions, so there is no need for a professional technician and you get the system ready in a few hours.”

Self-Healing Smart Grid

1) Sustainability Problem: Electrical Grid Reliability

Renewable energy is being increasingly integrated into the electric grid but this intermittent energy source can put pressure on the grid. Maintaining reliability while transitioning to a renewable based grid is the biggest challenge facing this advance.

2) Technology:

  • In order to address this problem Dutch energy expert Alfen has developed the Cellular Smart Grid Platform(CSGriP), which divides the central grid into smaller cells that can operate autonomously and even self-heal.
  • If a power outage occurs in the grid each local cell will take over and automatically start restoring all local sources of energy supply, such as solar and wind, and redistribute the energy to local customers. Once the balance is restored it reconnects to the central grid and quickly rebuilds the larger grid. This reduces duration and size of outages.
  • “Unique about this solution is that the local cells are intrinsically stable through self-adjustment of supply and demand based on the frequency of the electricity grid. This makes the grid truly self-healing in cases of central grid outages. The self-healing mechanism based on frequencies sets it apart from many IT-related smart grids that require relatively vulnerable data and ICT connections for balancing local grids,” explained Evert Raaijen, Energy Storage Specialist at Alfen.
  • This technology can be used in the developed world to decentralize grid systems and can also be used in the developing world to serve under-served areas quickly by creating local micro-grids instead of building large petroleum based centralized grids.

3) Stakeholders:

  • electricity consumers
  • electric companies
  • renewable energy suppliers
  • grid operators

4) Deployment/Implementation

  • Expand pilot test from the Netherlands
  • Deploy local micro-grids in developing countries
  • Create partnership with utility companies

Resources:

http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/cleantech/sustainable_brands/alfen_launches_first-ever_smart_grid_self-healing_power

https://alfen.com/en/projects/cellular-smart-grid-platform-0

 

Comment on Dynamic Buildings for a Sustainable Future

 

This seems like a great technology, it reduces building time, number of workers, is more earthquake resistant and generates energy but how do the costs compare? I couldn’t find any information on the costs.

Clean Meat and the Future of Food

1) Sustainability Problem: Livestock contribute greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere in the form of methane as a natural bi-product of digestion.

Category: Emissions

2) Technology:  Memphis Meats Lab Grown Meat

  • Memphis Meats has developed lab synthesized chicken, beef and duck as an alternative to meats butchered from livestock.
  • Cells are cultivated with a blend of sugar, amino acids, fats and water, using optimal cells selected by scientists.
  • Meats are grown over three to six week time frames, making the process much more efficient than raising livestock.
  • Lab synthesized meats bypass the slaughter house, making the process more palatable to consumers who are concerned with animal welfare.
  • “Clean Meat” create 96% less greenhouse gas emissions, require 45% less energy, utilize 99% less land and consume 96% less water use than conventional livestock.

3) Organizational Stakeholders:

  • Farmers
  • Butchers
  • Chefs
  • Restaunts
  • Grocery Stores
  • Consumers
  • Scientists

4) Deployment:

  • Select optimal cells for different types of meat
  • Select growth medium for each type of cell
  • Grow meats over three to six weeks
  • Educate consumers on the benefits of “clean meat” and develop marketing strategy
  • Roll out distribution of “clean meats” to stores and restautants

Source:

Shieber, Jonathan. Billionaires and big ag are joining venture investors to fund lab-grown meat. August 23, 2017. Tech Crunch. Web. Accessed November 9, 2017. https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/27/view-raises-200m-for-their-electrochromic-smart-glass/

Big Data for Better Health of the Elderly

Problem: By 2050, there will be 370 million people in China over the age of 65, with an increased life expectancy and a resulting increasing burden on existing infrastructure. Many elderly people live alone or with others who are less capable of assisting them with their increasing medical needs, and access to such services is burdensome and logistically challenging to those with mobility hindrances.

Solution: mHealth – the use of communication technology to deliver medical attention and information.

Article: Can China find a solution for the world’s aging population? 

  • Elderly people with restricted mobility can go through the process of “visiting a doctor” without leaving their homes.
  • Numerous companies are providing platforms for this, including Chunuyisheng.com, Ali Health, iCarbonx and the Ningbo Cloud Hospital.
  • Wearable technology is becoming incorporated rapidly to provide real-time data inputs, which has value beyond patient care in a sample group as large as China, where data on this scale can be used for genomic medical studies, and population-wide health management.
  • Data mining combined with machine learning can bring new levels of insight to topics such as disease, aging, and treatment adoption, as well as provide tailored healthcare solutions to individuals based on a variety of lifestyle indicators.

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Stakeholders: 

  • This is an unquantified investment opportunity for a number of stakeholders, including medical care providers, pharmaceutical companies, online medical retailers, medical transport services.
  • Department of Heath
  • Private Healthcare Companies
  • Patients (specifically the elderly)

Step to Deployment: 

  • With significant scale, the adoption of these smart health systems can be incentivized or even mandated throughout elderly healthcare facilities, to begin to develop the necessary database and sample data.
  • Government adoption of the technology and subsidization, through an elderly support program, may help to reach elderly citizens who are more financially restricted.
  • Training for both users of the technology and well as the sales force who will be distributing it.

 

Have your cake and eat it too? Make electricity while cleaning your water supply

Sustainability problem– Clean water and reliable electricity

Sustainability technology– Anaerobic digestion to treat waste water streams

Typically, cities require that water meet a certain set of specifications regarding its pH level, BOD (biochemical oxygen demand), COD (Chemical oxygen demand) etc. In order to clean the water, large industrial users have to use large amounts of electricity as a part of the aerobic process of water treatment. This process is both costly as well as energy intensive.

Anaerobic respiration to treat water is an innovative way to hit two birds with one stone; the process breaks down the organic matter in water and converts it into biogas, which can further be used to generate electricity or channelled to a CHP plant. PurposeEnergy has developed a bio-reactor that is applicable to the food and beverage industry and permits the production of upto 220 kWH of energy daily, in addition to treating waste water.

Such a technology can transcend beyond the food and beverage industry and find widespread application in developing cities in emerging economies. The bio-reactor can in theory eliminate the need for complex and expensive filtration systems and at the same time, facilitate both clean cooking fuels as well as biogas micro-grid development, thereby reducing dependency on fossil fuels and grid powered energy.

 

 

Key stakeholders and their role in implementation

  • Developers such as PurposeEnergy to innovate around their existing technology to be able to cater to waste water beyond the kind generated by food/beverage industries (i.e. treat other kinds of contaminants and organic matter)
  • City governments to create a program or partnership with developers and help channel funds necessary for research and development (enter into a long term contract to deploy the products across the city)
  • Planners and designers to innovate around how these reactors can be set up across neighbourhoods and municipalities

Sources

http://www.upworthy.com/this-beloved-brewery-gets-electricity-from-its-own-beer-yup-beer-energy

http://www.inovagrid.com/en/generation-with-biogas/biogas-energy-generation-beer-waste/

https://www.sswm.info/content/biogas-electricity-small-scale

Comment on other post: Dynamic Buildings for a Sustainable Future

This is certainly one of the more futuristic technologies i’ve seen, thanks for sharing! It would be great to learn more about the engineering behind this, because (and I have very limited civil engineering knowledge), the first thing that comes to mind is wind/earthquake loads and factor of safety in building design. How high can this go? We seem to be in an age where everything is being built vertically, and we need to be smart about the way we use land.

 

A second thought that comes to mind is how customizable the design is. I’m imagining a city full of structures like this: would it end up looking monotonous if every building resembled such a dynamic structure in its general shape, size, colour and design? A big part of having a healthy life is to be able to experience the variety in the natural and built environment. I am curious to know how this design can evolve to portray different shapes and sizes so as to avoid cities looking like templates.

By Aksheya Chandar (ac4154)

It is a fascinating technology though.

Dynamic Buildings for a Sustainable Future

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  1. Sustainability Problem: Energy.

As the world’s population continues to become more and more urbanized, cities are bearing most of the global energy burden, with buildings often being one of main energy consumers. In New York City for example, buildings are responsible for approximately 75% of the city’s GHG emissions, mainly due to energy use.

  1. http://www.dynamicarchitecture.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=37&Itemid=10&lang=eng

https://www.dezeen.com/2007/05/25/dynamic-architecture-in-dubai/

Dynamic Architecture has developed a revolutionary building idea that can help make the built environment more modern and sustainable.

  • In Dynamic’s building, each floor can rotate separately (upon demand), adjusting to the sun and wind directions to allow for enhanced natural temperature control.
  • Except for a concrete core, the entire building is made of prefabricated units. This allows for shorter onsite construction time and lower labor costs.
  • There is a wind turbine between each rotating building floor and solar ink on the roof surfaces, allowing for the building to be energy self-sufficient and potentially generate enough energy to power five additional buildings (this calculation is based on a building site in Dubai, different locations may have different energy generation potential).
  1. Organizational Stakeholders:

Local Government building and energy departments, utility companies, local real estate developers and investors.

  1. To deploy this technology, the first step is to get political buy in from top city officials to help cut through red tape in building permit approvals. Next, dynamic architecture should develop a partnership with a local real estate developer to help design a Dynamic building that meets a specific city’s needs. Lastly, a site and financing need to be secured before starting construction.

 

  1. Comment on post by mk3263: Energy Generating Walkway: No Footstep Wasted.

According to the article, this smart flooring solution can leverage pedestrian steps to generate enough energy to power public lighting. This made me wonder if with additional R&D, these “smart tiles” can be used to pave roads, allowing for moving vehicles on roads to generate renewable energy in a similar way. If prioritized for use in high traffic areas, perhaps this can produce enough energy not only to power street lighting but even entire cities. This would be an interesting opportunity to look into, as so much of our surfaces are covered by asphalt roads that provide no additional benefits to society.

Oyster Filter

Problem : Waste, Water

Technology : One oyster can filter up to 1.3 gallons of water an hour. This equates to around sixty two litre bottles of soda a day! Historically oysters in the Chesapeake Bay could filter the entire bay in a week. Now due to overfishing of oysters, it takes nearly a year to do so.

Oysters eat by pumping large volumes of water over their gills through the beating of cilia. Algae, plankton and other particules get trapped in the mucus of the gills. The nutrient rich mucus then travels to the oysters esophagus and stomach to be eaten and digested.

Once digested, the indigestible material is expelled from the anus.  The “pseudofeces” are expelled from the oyster’s shell via a rapid closing of valves. The particles form smoke rings which are indication that the water has been filtered.

Currently, a citizen project called the “Billion Oyster Project” aims to restoring one billion live oysters to the NY Harbor by 2030. The project aims to deploy school children in marine restoration based STEM programs.

Stakeholders : With industries and individuals rapidly depleting water quality, oysters are a means to filter water naturally and cheaply. Dirty water effects the entire community reducing accessibility but specifically farmers, business owners and those seeking recreation in the region as well. To Governments, it poses an expensive threat. To the ecosystem, it seems like a great way to restore its services.

Next Steps:  To effectively fulfill if not expand the billion oysters project, Governments, schools, NGO’s must educate people on the importance of oysters and engage them in development project. In addition, the Government could sanction a higher budget and growing spaces to repopulate the oyster community. In addition, strictly monitoring and fining over fishing of oysters could also serve as means to conserve the species.

(mk3883)