Remote Controlled Beach Lifeguard

Issues: health, safety, mobility, public administration service

Solution: This Remote Controlled Beach Lifeguard is designed to assist beach lifeguards in their task of beach and water surveillance. It was positioned on a patrol tower and stands higher than the beach crowd to get a clear overview of the area. When employed, it flies overhead for ground patrol and serves as co-rescue equipment when swimmers, surfers, and other water sports participants are in danger. This charging patrol tower can also be installed on the back of the lifeguard’s pick-up truck. It can recharge itself at the patrol tower, as well as by solar power. When hazard happens, the lifeguard and the remote-controlled assistant will make their way to the victim’s location, and the assistant serves as a surfboard. The lifeguard can control the board to pull the victim back to the coast.

Stakeholders involved: Technology companies, Beach Police, Beach users


  1. Investors raise funds to develop the technology
  2. Manufactures make mass production
  3. Contract with beach police department to deploy this product


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UNI: QS2162


Monitoring Tech for Sleeping Babies

1) Safety and Health:  

  • The first few years of a baby’s life are usually the more dangerous as they need to be watched at all times to ensure that they remain healthy and safe throughout their early development. Up to this point, many parents have used devices to listen for irregular activity, however OSPICON has developed a sleep monitoring mat take baby care to the next level.

2) Technology:

  • The sleep mat is used by caregivers to monitor respiratory rates and ambient air temperature
  • Once irregular breathing is detected, such as a slowdown or sudden increase in breath count, a breath event alarm is sent directly to the baby’s parents
  • It design also emits less energy than a flashlight without external wires or cords
  • A Sleep- Mat mobile app comes free with the device and can be connected to through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to track irregular movements as well

3) Stakeholders:

  • Hospitals
  • New Parents
  • Caregivers

4) Deployment:

  • Test out the product more thoroughly with a large sample size to fix any possible bugs in the system design
  • Work with hospitals and neonatal care centers to push for adding the devices within the institutions to develop a norm of operations
  • Develop a business care for dispersing the technology into homes after babies have left the hospital

5) Student Post: 

“The business model of Plantagon is based on retrofitting, extending existing buildings, developing new buildings and establishing a symbiotic system. The whole goal of the initiative is to reduce transportation costs and emissions.”


Dominic Bell (dlb2189)

Block-chain for Smart Grid

1. Sustainability Problem: On an electricity grid, electrons generated from the sun, wind, or other renewable sources are indistinguishable from those generated by fossil fuels. To keep track of how much clean energy is produced, governments around the world have created systems based on tradable certificates.

Category: Energy

2. Solution:

  • When a renewable-power plant generates a unit of electricity today, a meter spits out data that gets logged in a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is then sent to a registry provider, where the data gets entered into a new system and a certificate is created. A second set of intermediaries brokers deals between buyers and sellers of these certificates, and yet another party verifies the certificates after they are purchased.
  • Such a byzantine system racks up transaction costs, while leaving plenty of room for accounting errors that can range from honest mistakes to outright fraud. The lack of transparency also scares many people off entirely.
  • A blockchain is a shared, encrypted ledger that is maintained by a network of computers. These computers verify transactions—in the case of Bitcoin, the transfer of cryptocurrency between individual users. Each user can access the ledger, and there is no single authority.
  • Keeping track of renewable-energy certificates is one of dozens of potential applications of blockchain technology that could solve data management challenges in the electricity sector without disrupting business as usual

3. Organizational Stakeholders involved: Independent Power Producers, Utilities, Technology Companies

4. Next Steps for Deployment: 

  • Develop blockchain algorithms that can be trusted by all users
  • Train utilities and power companies in use of blockchain applications
  • Create meeting protocols for all stakeholders to confer in case of any emergencies
  • Implement on a pilot basis and test effectiveness

5. Comment on another blog:

Stronger concrete using plastic bottles

Sustainability Problem:

Concrete is the second most widely used construction material in the world, after water. Manufacturing and transporting concrete is responsible for 4.5 percent of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions. Also, there is a huge amount of plastic that is landfilled every year.

Technology Solution:

Team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been working on the impact of adding bits of irradiated plastic into cement.

This technology takes plastic out of the landfill, locks it up in concrete, and also uses less cement to make the concrete, which makes fewer carbon dioxide emissions. The plastic is first blasted with gamma rays, a process which is completely harmless.

Exposing the plastic to gamma radiation alters the material’s crystalline structure to such a degree that the plastic turns stiffer, tougher, and stronger.  Presence of the gamma-ray irradiated plastic and fly ash enhanced the strength of the concrete by 15 percent. Replacing just 1.5 percent of concrete with plastic makes it stronger, and could have a significant impact. By one calculation, 1.5 percent plastic in concrete implies 0.0675 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions would be slashed.





  1. Construction Industry and Road contractor
  2. Environmental NGO’s
  3. Municipalities and city governments
  4. MIT researchers involved in further evolving this technology
  5. Waste collection companies


  1. Identify and partner with governments and NGO’s that support, and are interested in implementing the technology.
  2. Find investors for funds.
  3. Generate pipelines for gathering plastics.
  4. Set up plastic bottle pulverization machines at a local rubbish dump sites.
  5. Identify, educate and partner with construction manufacturers for scalability.
  6. Incentivize contractors for using this new concrete in their future construction projects.
  7. Partner with other developing countries to increase scale of production

UNI – rs3750 (Riya Suthar)


skyscrapers of the future could be built with the garbage of today


Area: Sustainability

From Recycled Plastic Waste to Building Material

The buildings of the future can be built as net-zero buildings by 2050.  Buildings generate pollution in two significant ways. power use and generate waste. Residential and commercial buildings account for 70 percent of power consumed in the United States — electricity that largely comes from burning carbon-intensive coal and natural gas.  Building pollution is in the use of materials like steel and concrete, which have a sizable carbon footprint.

Conceptos Plasticos (a start up) works with local communities to  source plastics to create building blocks that are fire-resistant to construct home. The plastic building blocks will degrade around 500 years or more down the road, but for now they offer shelters for families who can’t afford other housing or are fleeing crises. During the last two years, the Conceptos Plásticos team melted and molded 300 tons of plastic into building blocks for the construction of eco-homes in rural areas impacted by the internal conflict, such as a temporary shelter in Guapí, Cauca, for 42 displaced families.



  • Melts down plastics and create building molds
  • Builds homes in marginalized communities
  • Recycles plastics & rubber from garbage / landfills
  • Provides inexpensive housing option


  • Conceptos Plasticos
  • Investors
  • Homeowners
  • Communities generate large garbage
  • Landfill owners
  • architects / engineers
  • low income families


  • 2016 The Venture award winner
  • Increase financing (company is start up)
  • Continue to enter architecture building competitions win projects increase name recognition.
  • Funding for future projects






New 3D Printed Tire From Biodegradable Materials


Capture d’écran 2017-11-25 à 12.59.13.png

Area : Waste, Energy


75% of tires are made of petroleum (needed for the production of the rubber used). At the end of the products’ life most of them end up in landfills .

Michelin, thanks to a new concept, 3D printed a new kind of tire. The tires are made out of molasse (sugar paste), then turned into ethanol which is used to produce rubber replacing petroleum. Since the tire is only made of natural sources (molasse, bamboo,…), the tire is fully biodegradable.  Although, thanks to the new design of the tires, their useful life should be greatly extended. Indeed, instead of changing tires when a problem arises, the new Vision tire can be modified with a 3D printer.


Stakeholders: Car manufacturers / City officials / Car owners


  • Michelin needs to research markets to find countries/ citis which are early adopters of new technologies;
  • They need to contact the government of this country/city to run some test in the city and have approval of their technology being used
  • They need to find car manufacturers that are also early adopters to pilot their technology

Other article comment: The tiles are also gathering data that can be used for better understanding pedestrians habits and crowd flows . This type of information is useful to commerces but also for cities.



Turning Smog into Diamonds

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 11.52.05Sustainability issue: Energy, Emissions, Health

Beijing has a major air pollution problem due to the intense industrial activities that rely on the burning of coal. These emissions lead to a perpetual smog problem (32% of smog is carbon) and lead to thousands of premature deaths every year.


  • The Smoke Free Project was founded by Dutch designer, Daan Roosegarde. The project includes two phases.
  • The first was to build a 7-meter tower that sucks in polluted air like smog and cleans it at a nano-level. More specifically, the tower uses carbon from smog particle and cleans this air before releasing it back out clean. Already installed in various parts of Beijing, the technology has proved to make the air in those areas 70-75% cleaner.
  • The second is for the tower to capture smog and transform it into diamonds. Under 30 minutes of pressure, the air can be compressed into diamonds. The diamonds would be sold to support the development and buildin gof more Smoke Free towers.

Article title: Why turning China’s smog into Diamonds isn’t as crazy as it sounds
Website name: We Forum
Article Link:


  • Beijing city government
  • National government
  • Smoke Free Project
  • Citizens


  1. Attract investors to raise funds to further research and development of the technology to lower its costs and improve the efficiency.
  2. Deploy in more parts of Beijing and begin extending to other Chinese cities.
  3. Begin targeting other extremely polluted cities in India and Indonesia.


Communicating without Internet Access Using Mesh Networks

1. Sustainability problem: Communications without internet access

Having an internet connection is key for communication these days. However, natural disasters can disrupt existing internet connection and many places don’t have reliable and wide-spread internet coverage to begin with. Furthermore, some people simply cannot afford to connect to the internet.

Category: Safety and Health 

2. Technology summary

Source: “Bridgefy lets developers build mesh networks into their apps”, Techcrunch (

  • This article discusses Bridgefy, a company that created a software development kit (SDK) for developers to integrate mesh networking capabilities into their iOS and Android apps
  • The mesh networking functionality allows smartphones to communicate even when there’s no access to the internet by creating a network of phones connected by Bluetooth
  • Phones can communicate directly with each other (across a distance of no more than 330 ft) or with phones further away as long as they are indirectly connected through other Bluetooth-enabled phones
  • Other companies, such as Open Garden, have tried to do similar things but have had difficulties making the technology work seamlessly
  • This technology has many use cases, ranging from disaster relief efforts and providing arriving refugees with connectivity to enabling education applications

Tags: #smartcommunication #internet #meshnetworks #bluetooth

3. Organizational stakeholders

As mentioned, there are many different use cases and, therefore, stakeholders for this technology. Across the board, developers are the key stakeholders as they need to use Bridgefy’s SDK to build or update their apps. Next, users of apps that include Bridgefy’s functionality need to be made aware of the mesh network functionality so that they use the relevant apps, enable Bluetooth, and allow the network to form. Depending on the type of app the specific stakeholders will vary, but this could include civilians/individuals, government officials, hospital employees, etc.

4. Technology deployment

Early deployment has to focus on a) making sure the technology works seamlessly from a technical perspective and b) creating a large enough mesh network for the technology to work from a practical perspective.

  1. Educate the public about the mesh network functionality of the app and its reliance on Bluetooth (the mesh network has more value when more people enable Bluetooth and use apps using this feature)
  2. Partner with app developers/companies that already have a large network of users and provide them with the feature at a discounted price, e.g., Uber (the company has a broad network within cities and has a use case for this technology, e.g., when users are traveling abroad and want to use the app but don’t have access to internet)
  3. Work with / advocate for hardware providers to improve their Bluetooth technology

5. Comment on another post

I commented on “Truck Platooning” (DCT2131)

This platooning technology has implications beyond the trucking industry. These connected vehicles also collect data on the road and traffic conditions that can be shared with other connected cars and the government to improve safety and traffic more generally.



Poultry waste to energy

Problem: While biomass accounts for 73 percent of renewable energy production worldwide, crops grown for energy production burden land, water and fertilizer resources. Also, environmentally safe disposal of poultry excrement has become a significant problem.


A new study shows that turkey excrement may have a future as a fuel for heat and electricity. Treated excrement from turkeys, chickens and other poultry, when converted to combustible solid biomass fuel, could replace approximately 10 percent of coal used in electricity generation, reducing greenhouse gases and providing an alternative energy source. Converting poultry waste to solid fuel, a less resource-intensive, renewable energy source is an environmentally superior alternative that also reduces reliance on fossil fuels.

The researchers have compared the production, combustion and gas emissions of biochar, which is produced by slow heating of the biomass at a temperature of 450°C (842°F) in an oxygen-free furnace with hydrochar. Hydrochar is produced by heating wet biomass to a much lower temperature of up to 250 °C under pressure using a process called hydrothermal carbonization (HTC).

The researchers found that poultry waste processed as hydrochar produced 24 percent higher net energy generation. Since poultry waste hydrochar generates heat at high temperatures and combusts in a similar manner to coal, it can replace it as a renewable energy source.

Researchers also showed that higher HTC production temperatures resulted in a significant reduction in emissions of methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3) and an increase of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

Thus, treated poultry waste could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity generation and agricultural wastes.


  • Poultry farm owners
  • Biomass handling agencies
  • Biofuel consumers: companies, government agencies, individuals


  • Further assessment with hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) reactor should be conducted to confirm the assessments from this laboratory-scale study
  • Collaboration with poultry farm owners for collection of poultry waste and then treating it for generating renewable energy



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Keeping Cool with Smart Glass

Interesting! This glass can also be used in automobiles too, especially for roof tops!

Solar Bench:enjoy the new urban furniture

Sustainability issue: energy, solar energy

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.08.48 PM.png

The Smart Solar-bench provides 24/7 charging for phones, tablets, cameras and wearable devices. It features wireless chargers, USB ports, and Wi-Fi for maximum flexibility. The Smart solar bench has a unique design and can be a great addition to the existing street furniture. The solar bench includes ambiance lightning and built-in cooling fans that ensures the temperature of the seating area never gets hotter than 30 degrees.


  1. The highlighted feature of Steora Urban is a 19” super-bright LED display, which can be used for showing ads, videos, pictures or various info to the public (e.g. weather).
  2. Users can easily upload videos or pictures to chosen benches and set campaign duration and frequency. Video campaigns can also be connected to a Wi-Fi homepage, so that bench users can see the same campaign on their smartphones.
  3. Steora Urban requires AC grid power for 24/7 operation.


  1. Commercial districts
  2. Governments
  3. Campus
  4. Software companies
  5. Local communities

Steps for Implementation.

  1. Mapping areas where the benches could be deployed
  2. Partnership with existing tech company to develop the technology
  3. Contract with local commercial areas or schools to implement the solar benches

UNI: QS2162


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