Mobility for Disability

Sustainability Problem:

There exists a need for artificial muscles that are silent, soft, and compliant, with performance characteristics similar to those of skeletal muscle, enabling people to overcome their disabilities. Different types of electric motors or pneumatic systems drive exoskeletons, prosthetic and assistive devices to enhance human performance or aid disabled people to walk and carry out everyday tasks. They provide fast responses but are bulky, heavy, stiff, noisy, non-biological in feeling, and as such less accepted by the end user.


  • Textile processing permits scalable and rational production of wearable artificial muscles, and enables novel ways to design assistive devices.
  • Swedish researchers have created actuators (An actuatoris a type of motor that is responsible for moving or controlling a mechanism or system)— from cellulose yarn coated with a polymer that reacts to electricity. These fibers are then woven and knitted using standard industrial machines and coated with conducting polymers using a metal-free deposition. The researchers have called these textile actuators, “textuators”.
  • These textuators scale up force by parallel assembly of single fibers (Fig A), amplify the strain by using stretchable patterns ( B), and can be effectively mass fabricated. This will allow for a new means of driving and designing assistive devices, such as exoskeleton-like suits with integrated wearable actuators.



Hospitals, NGOs caring for disabled people, People with temporary or permanent disabilities, Elderly people, Prosthetic industry, Physiotherapists, People recovering from injuries etc.


Knitting and weaving artificial muscles could help create soft exoskeletons that people with disabilities could wear under their clothes to help them walk. By varying the processing method and the weaving pattern, it should be possible to tailor the force and strain characteristics of a textuator to the specific application at hand.



Comments on other blogs

“Smartscooter & Smart Energy Network”

“A good concept, but it could also focus on allowing more than a single ridership. Use of shared resources in nations would lesser the vehicular traffic on roads.”

“Longer Lasting Produce!”

How does it reduce disease? Can this technology be also used to store grains?


Will Drones End Society’s Range Anxiety?


The Problem

Category: Energy/Health

An electric vehicle owner in a rural area often fears that his car battery will die before he reaches an electric charging station.  Even urban EV owners fear their batteries will deplete in a major traffic jam.  Stationary charging stations are often expensive to implement and particularly inefficient in rural areas.

 The Tech

Amazon has been granted a patent for a roving drone that can attach to cars and infuse energy.  The article suggests that the car battery could be recharged by the drone either when the car is idle or when it’s in motion.

The roving drone may be manually requested by drivers with low car battery via Alexa, which is already being installed in some Ford models.  Alternatively, the roving drone may be dispatched automatically if a driver is signed up with Amazon Prime or another subscription service.

Furthermore, this patent may open the door for other Amazon deliveries to mobile individuals.


Article Title: New Amazon Drones Will Charge Your Car While You Drive
Website: Green Tech Media

 The Stakeholders Using The Tech

EV owners who subscribe to the service.

All automotive, train, airplane drivers and passengers who share the land/airspace with drones.

Amazon drone dispatchers/analysts.

Government/airspace regulators.

Street/highway patrols in case of accidents.

Highway maintenance crews in case of drone failures.

The First Three Steps

  1. Amazon needs to create a prototype that is light weight (current estimates say these drones will be 1,000lbs) and energy efficient themselves.
  2. Amazon needs to test its proof of concept to confirm that the roving drone can latch onto a moving vehicle under various weather/geographical conditions.
  3. Amazon needs to drum up support to pass legislation that allows Amazon to conduct a small live test.

UNI: gm2778

Comment on The Car as an Ambient Sensing Platform

“Perhaps these car sensors will determine if you’re driving near a notoriously bad driver so that you can be on high alert as you’re passing them or they’re passing you. Perhaps sensors will determine that a nearby driver always brakes late, thus your car warns you to maintain X distance behind. Perhaps sensors will lead to every driver having a visible driving rating that you can see in your windshield. Seems like the possibilities are endless.”

Optimization Medical Staff Location


Sustainability Problem: Cities have an difficult time allocating resources to specific locations during large events.  Inefficiencies and dangers occur when assistance is not provided in a specific location to meet the demand. Moreover, the arrival of resources can be delayed due to traffic, crowd sizes, and routing issues.

About Technology

  • Team at Northwestern developed an algorithm to optimize, in real time, staffing locations and demand for medical medical volunteers and aid workers at Chicago’s marathon.
  • The team created a mobile data visualization dashboard that provides real time analysis.  The mobile dashboard also allow staff to enter real time data.
  • The machine learning algorithm uses historical observations to predict and determine optimal location for medical tents.  In addition, the algorithm predicts likely number of individuals seeking medical attention at specific tents base on historical and real time data.
  • Dashboard provides optimal routing for medical.


  • City Chicago
  • Marathon organizers
  • Marathon participants
  • Medical staff
  • City Chicago Police
  • Marathon onlookers
  • Northwestern University – School Engineering / Medical School

Next steps:

  • Improve the training dataset of the algorithm / algorithm itself
  • Provide service to marathon organizers and/ or any large event organizers
  • Provide algorithm to Chicago Police Department for future events.






World’s First and Largest Vacuum Air Cleaner #BT2443

1. Air pollution is the primary source of thousands of diseases and damages of the spacious of the planet earth and the largest source of the current global warming issue.

2. The Technology:
-Smog Free tower world’s first and largest air purifier (smog vacuum cleaner) is not only solving the air pollution, safety, and healthcare issue but also building awareness within the society through their jewelry with the Smog Diamond.
-The Dutch artist and innovator, Daan Roosegaarde believing that his creation will solve the issue of the billions of people’s rights to clean breath air.
– By sharing a Smog Free Ring, you donate 1000 m3 of clean air to the city. In 2017, Roosegaarde presents a new addition to Smog Free Project: the Smog Free Bicycle.
-Already working with one of the most polluted cities like Beijing and Shanghai

3. Stakeholders:
– State Governments
– City Governers
– Financial Institutions
– Citizens of the polluted cities
– Private sectors

4. Deployment:

– Collaborate with the government organizations and establish a long-term contract for the clean air projects investment using the smog-free tower.
– Educate citizens towards air pollution and harms
– Promote brand and using their nitch solving a worldwide issue through art and technology




Connected Rooftop Units (RTU’s)Learn to Monitor and Maintain Indoor Air Quality

Ch2217 is my uni


1-Energy, Health, Indoor Air Quality




A smart rooftop unit (RTU) can connect to the building BMS via BACnet or LONworks. The units can upload data to the cloud and over time can ‘learn’ to replicate responses from past operations. These units can sense contaminants and anomalous conditions and ‘reach out’ for assistance, alerting owners to indoor environment conditions.


3—The stakeholders are anyone owning or operating a building or home large enough to justify the installation of a rooftop unit.


4—I would market the rooftop units to real estate management companies already operating them on their buildings as an upgrade for their tenants, as well as for new construction projects.


My comment is for the ‘Air Purification through Carpet’ article.


Comment: I would try to market this to schools, parents and daycare facilities by informing the stakeholders (parents) that it would help prevent allergies and asthma.



Solar-Powered Toilet That Treats and Recycles Water


Sustainability Problem: Health and water

2.4 billion people do not have access to safe and adequate sanitation. Sanitation related diseases are one of the leading of children under the age of 5. Further, access to clean and safe water is a growing concern: at least two-thirds of the world’s population lives with severe water scarcity for at least a month of every year and half of the world’s population is expected to live with water stress by 2030.

Technology Summary

  • Seva Sustainable Sanitation is a smart electro-chemical toilet that uses power from solar panels to sterilize and clarify wastewater for reuse for flushing or irrigation.
  • Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus can be almost fully eliminated from the wastewater.
  • The toilet can be used off-grid in developing nations.
  • The toilet is outfitted with sensors, a smartphone maintenance guide, and smart grid technology that allows individuals and communities to repair the toilet as needed with only a screwdriver


  • Communities and individuals that lack access to safe and adequate sanitation or in areas with severe water stress
  • Governments of developing nations
  • NGOs

Deployment Steps

  • Develop and test maintenance system
  • Finish field tests of prototypes
  • Work with NGOs, governments, communities to disseminate and install toilets in areas in need


Comment on: Kelp as a fiber

  • Kelp is a zero-waste fiber that could result in saving tons of materials, that do not readily decompose, from entering landfills. AlgiKnit could also reduce environmental pressure and resource degradation caused by the harvesting of raw materials that we currently use to make our clothing.

Air Purification through Carpet

Sustainability Issues

Every day we inhale particulate matter which swirl around the our homes and offcies. Just because these fine particles are invisible to the naked eye doesn’t make them any less dangerous. According to research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) high concentrations of  fine particles increase the risk of asthma and allergic reactions. Furthermore, they are an important cause of respiratory problems in young children.

Technology: DESSO AirMaster Carpet

  • DESSO AirMaster is a  flooring concept that traps and contains dust particles until it is time to vacuum clean again, which resulted in fewer dust particles being breathed in and a healthier indoor climate.
  • Very fine particles are absorbed by the thin yarns of the DESSO Air-filters
  • The unique structure of DESSO AirMaster prevents dust getting back into the air.
  • Regularly vacuum cleaning DESSO AirMaster ensures that dust particles are removed more simply and easily than from other carpets


  • Households in area with poor air-quaility
  • Office buildings and public buildings
  • Commercial space like restaurants and retail stores


  • Forming a partnership between DESSO and municipal governments (with poor air-quality) for a subsidy program
  • Access air-quaility of in-door space with particular attention to particulate matter
  • Install subsided DESSO AirMaster in qualified homes, office buildings and other public space




Air Quality Improvement with “Bioweapon Defense Mode”

Sustainability Problem: Air Quality and Air Pollution (Health and Safety)

The World Health Organization estimates that over 3 million people die each year from environmental health related impacts. Tesla has recently used this statistic as a marketing tactic to promote its new “Bioweapon Defense Mode” implemented in it’s vehicles using HEPA filtration system technology.

The Technology: 

  • While HEPA filters are not new technology, Tesla’s innovation of combining them with their car models allows for air quality standard to be met in unconventional spaces such as cars.
  • True HEPA filters are 99.9% efficient at removing even small particles from the air and they have 3 filter layers: a prefilter that blocks large particles and dust, a HEPA filter that traps germs and other small particles, and a charcoal filter that removes odors and purifies the air.
  • In test environments with near-lethal doses of pollution, the system was able to completely clean the air inside the car within 2 minutes.
  • More importantly, the tests showed that it was also able to filter the air outside of the vehicle as well to reduce pollution levels by 40%.

Organizational Stakeholders:

  • Automotive industry
  • Consumers in air polluted countries
  • Wealthy individuals in polluted areas
  • Individuals with asthma

Technology Deployment: 

  • While this adaptation is already being used by Tesla, the next step would be to enhance technological recognition beyond the buzz around Tesla to get more people involved in backing clean air conditions.
  • Next the improvement of current vehicles is important to help drive down the cost of the technology. Currently, the problem with implementing HEPA filters in existing vehicles is that they lack an air-tight cabin needed for efficiency.
  • Then Initiate government involvement in subsidizing the cost for less wealthy consumers.


Dominic Bell (dlb2189)
Image Source:

Designer Davorin Mesari turns city residents into farmers

Sustainability Technology: Designer Davorin Mesari has created an indoor garden made up of 16 individual growing pods, allowing city dwellers with minimal space to grow fruits and vegetable. The growing units are stackable, so output can be doubled without compromising precious urban space.

Sustainability Problem: Access to Healthy Foods

According to Harvard’s School of Public Health’s website, “A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.”  They confirm that while all fruits and vegetables contribute to health benefits, “green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens” are some of the most important health contributors.  Despite these findings, many urban dwellers find themselves too busy to cook a healthy meal and rely instead on take out, delivery, or processed foods which are often unhealthy.  More often than not, these items are packaged in such a way that contribute to negative environmental impacts. Davorin Mesari’s innovative product, aptly named ‘Indoor Garden’  allows city residents to grow produce healthy food in the comfort of their apartments. This inventive technology creates an indoor modern garden that is powered by fluorescent lighting which mimics the natural solar spectrum allowing urban denizens to grow their own healthy vegetables and greens at home without creating unnecessary waste, and thus making the production of a healthy meal not only easy but more accessible.

Davorin Mesari’s state-of-the-art technology could be implemented in a central setting, such as a school or community center, as an urban agricultural project offering locally grown produce into a food desert, or area where there is limited access to healthy, fresh food. One issue with urban farming is finding the land on which to farm and ensuring that the soil is not contaminated.  With ‘Indoor Garden,’ you don’t need to find land on which to farm or worry about soil as the units come with growing pods and are stackable to maximize indoor space. Moreover, these units can serve as educational devices, and, once installed, can showcase the cultivation, harvesting, and the preparation of healthy meals.

Technology Stakeholders:

  • Urban Residents
  • Schools
  • Community Centers
  • Urban Farmers
  • Farm to Table Enthusiasts

Process of Implementation: 

Step 1: Introduce this new technology through an educational workshop to a community group or school and describe the feasibility of implementation.

Step 2: Based on local interest and available funding, establish a site for implementation.

Step 3: Work with local businesses to attract further financing (if necessary) by creating excitement around the new technology.

Step 4: Once funds are raised and site is established, buy 5 units for testing and establish a protocol to ensure maintenance of product.

Step 5: Collect feedback from community group/school and establish ways to enhance the next phase or implementation at a second site.


Yanko Design’s ‘Cultivation in the City by Troy Turner

The Nutrition Source (Vegetables and Fruits)

Starting A City Farm

Solving the Environmental Impact of Meat

Clean Meat


1) Sustainability Problem: Animal agriculture accounts for 30% of all land use on the planet and one-third of the world’s fresh water, contributing to approximately 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

2) In order to address this problem there are two new trends using technology to address this problem, meatless alternatives and Clean Meat. This article highlights 7 meat-free startups that are creating plant-based meat that mimic the taste, texture, and experience of meat, and dairy products, without the ecological footprint associated with traditional animal agriculture.

  • The Beyond Burger contains more more iron and protein than a beef burger with less saturated fat and none of the cholesterol, hormones or antibiotics.  Beyond Meat already has products in Whole Foods and Safeway stores around the country.
  • The Impossible Burger is unique because of a protein called heme, which gives the patty the color and flavor of meat, enabling the burger to “bleed” like meat.  The burger is made from wheat and potato proteins and copies the mouthfeel of beef fat with coconut oil.
  • Clean Meat, or cultured meat, is created by taking a small sample of the desired animal cells and replicating them in a culture outside of the animal. This creates a clean meat, meat without the antibiotics and waste contamination. Clean Meat allows consumers to still eat meat without the environmental degradation typically associated with animal agriculture. It is a safer, cleaner, more environmentally friendly way to enjoy meat.

3) Stakeholders:

  • Animal agriculture farms
  • Produce farms that support animal agriculture by supplying feedstock
  • FDA/regulators
  • Restaurants, grocery stores, meat buyers
  • NGOs
  • Consumers

4) Implementation/Deployment 

  • Raise public awareness and acceptance of these alternative meats to increase adoption of the products into everyday consumption. This can be done through advertisements of the products and its many benefits (environmental, human and animal health), but widespread adoption will only be possible if consumers try and like the products so scaling up product options and availability is key.
  • Companies such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are already selling their products so the next step will be scaling up, and in the case of Clean Meat, reducing prices. Prices have already been dropping for Memphis Meats, one of the companies selling clean meat. Ir order to scale up these alternative meat companies will need to engage stakeholders (meat buyers – restaurants, grocery stores, etc.) in order to get their products into stores and restaurants.
  • Obtain FDA approval for necessary products so that the public has faith in the safety of what they are eating. The Impossible Burger is currently attempting this process.


UNI: etg2132