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Featured Video: Healthcare in the future

Microsoft’s view of the future for healthcare is all about communicating with each other

Like the Diabetic medicine cylinders (1:36 mark) that glow red when empty. Perfect for reminding patients to refill their medicine. Or patients and clinical researchers “talking” to their doctors without meeting in person (2:30 mark).

Now put it all on the go and you’ve got a winner.

Taken from the Mix08 presentation by Daniel Makowski

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Mobile apps for your life

It’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t have them. Now they’re norm de rigeur for anyone with a mobile phone. We do things with them – from getting directions to staying connected and entertained.

Mobile apps for your life

It doesn’t mean that all apps are good. There are weird and wacky apps that should have never seen the light of day; like this one where you lick virtual food off your iPhone. Grosss…

So we’ve decided to make a list of mobile apps that make life easier, better and more comfortable.

Comments welcome!

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Featured Video: The future of communication

Great video about communication in the new world. And how it’s going to look like in 10 years from now, 2027 and 2050.

I quite like the bit where it says “copyright is illegal”. What say you? ;D

Also, does anyone how what accent it’s in? I just can’t seem to place it.

nice video about the future of communications; Google, Microsoft,Yahoo!, Amazon...

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Why women engineers rock…

What happened on UCreateChange.com (19-25 Apr 2010)

Women are as inventive as men.

The Spelbots is a great example. The all-woman engineering team built robots to play soccer. The efforts of these girls paid off as they came in second at the RoboCup 2009 (Osaka). That achievement’s nothing to be sneezed at.

The Spelbots

In fact they’ve torn apart notions that engineering is a “guy” thing. Naturally there are differences. When guys compete to showcase their ideas, women tend to be more accepting.

According to their mentor professor Andrew Williams, “There tends to be more of a social side [to it]…Teamwork basically. There’s an emphasis on collaboration, creativity, social aspects of computer science.”

In fact the social part of engineering (or related disciplines) is important for women engineers.

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Featured Video: Introducing the Spelbots

Today’s video is about robots and rock stars. At least the robot creators are “rock stars on their campus”, and they’re all women.

They’re known as the Spelbots: a team of computer scientists and engineers who build robots to compete in Robocups (the World Cup of robot soccer).

According to their mentor, Andrew Williams, their biggest strengths lie in “teamwork, collaboration, and the social aspects of engineering”. It culminated in a trip to the RoboCup Japan Open Finals (Osaka, 2009) where they lost on penalties.

PS: Check out Mr Roboto Charles’ dance moves at the 2:16 mark.

First-ever, all female, African-American RoboCup team has global impact. Professor Andrew Williams often tries to recruit undecided majors to Spelman College's computer science and dual degree engineering departments by showing off some cute and versatile robots.

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Featured Video: The Wound Pump

Danielle Zurovcik, a doctoral student at MIT, created a hand-powered suction-healing system that speeds up healing of open wounds.

To put the awesomeness of this invention in context, traditional suction-healing systems cost at least $100/day and need to be recharged every six hours. This one costs $3 to make, sustain and use.

That’s a godsend for poor places and countries. So why aren’t we seeing more of these things being invented?

Development of a Simplified Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (sNPWT) Device.

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Just who is: Sung Peir Fen of ExxonMobil

Sung Peir Fen Don’t bluff. We know that you don’t think women can do engineering.

We can read minds. You’re probably thinking: “most engineers are guys, it’s all about maths and science, and it’s about ‘nerdy males who design weaponry in the movies’.”

Hrmmph. Have you met Sung Peir Fen?

Woman, process engineer at ExxonMobil, and interviewed on 938Live in December 2009.

And you know what? Peir Fen’s just as sceptical when we spoke about perceived limitations for women engineers:

“Contrary to public perception, there are many female engineers in the petrochemical industry. In ExxonMobil, there are numerous women role models in management positions, for younger engineers like myself. They hold key posts in technical, operations, engineering, logistics and even construction management.”


If you think that she sits in a cubicle all day long… think again, because she…we’ll let her tell you about it herself.

One last bite – Steve Jobs, if you’re reading this post, Peir Fen would like to invite you to dinner ‘cause you are “innovative and constantly challenging norms”.

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Featured Video: Women in Tech

“Are women only good at the girly bits of tech? E.g. Social networking, blogging, vlogging.” asks Olivia from MoBuzz . 

Apparently that and more. In Spain (2:53), the top dogs of Microsoft and Google are women, and the country boasts the oldest blogger, who is also a woman.

So here’s my question to y’all: Are women only good at the girly bits of tech?

Tell us in the comments.

Today we take a look at tech in a different way - instead of talking about the boys, we´re gonna talk about the girls. The failures, the successesand what it means to be a woman in tech.

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Climate Change: what saves us

What happened on UCreateChange.com (12-18 Apr 2010)

The TV tells us that climate change is bad. It’s true. Sadly, most of us might know it but we won’t feel it.

That’s frightening because it’ll amount to just lip service on our part – all talk, no action. And climate change is getting worse… just step outside, ain’t it hot? Eventually, we’d live on our own wastes and making homes in wastelands.

Climate Change: what saves us

Thankfully we’ve got a small group of people who are doing something about it.

Like these architects who turn their buildings into eco-friendly paradises. Or hydrogels that might just replace plastics. Or a safer way to dispose of Evian water bottles with hungry fungus.

These Indonesian students took the cake. They might have just solved Indonesia’s landfill problem by inventing a method that uses oranges to dissolve styrofoam. That’s Nobel prize worthy!

And if you’ve a unwanted phone. Why not recycle it into gold?

This is just the tip of the iceberg (or what’s left of them in the Artic circle), there are many more inventions that can save our world. And if technology got us here, perhaps it’s technology that will get us out of this mess.

If you know of any save-the-world type inventions, tell us about it in the comments!

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Featured Video: Organic Environmental Tech

At first play, this YouTube offering felt like a brochure/101 video. What we liked about it is how it advocates using micro-organisms to help clean up our messes. It’s safer, less toxic and easier to manage for us all. These helpful buggers are called “Effective Micro-organisms” (EM). And if we find a way to use them,maybe we’ll finally sync up with world.

That good stuff starts at 2:43.

Introduction to the Power of Organic Environmental Technology: harnessing Mother Nature's tiniest creatures to clean up any toxic environment; bringing hope for safe drinking water to those in need; enabling industry to effectively recycle solid waste and wastewater; acting as a natural insect pest control, natural weed control, and much more.

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Featured Video: E-waste

Do you know what’s E-waste? The folks at Good Magazine put together a nice animation on E-waste and how it affects the world.

Needing to chuck your old electronics? The Basel Action Network, who contributed documentary footage to this video, compiled a list of Responsible Recyclers that will not export your old computer. Check out their list here: www.ban.org/pledge1.html

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Recycling: What goes out, comes back in

Buy a phone. Chuck a phone.

Where does your old phone go? Into your “forgot-me” drawer? Down the rubbish chute with peeled bananas or soggy leftovers?

Buy a phone. Chuck a phone.

Regardless your old phone is now trash. It’s the same for the cranky laptops, buzzy mp3 players, and defunct electronics that were thrown out over the months.

That is a problem, and it has a name: E-waste.

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The Guts Of Recycling: Behind the scenes

Remember our teaser post on turning handphone into gold?

It’s true. And we’ve got the video to prove it.


In addition to gold, recyclers can extract copper, paper, plastics and precious metals from our E-waste via the recycling process. And that’s the interesting part of it.

According to Adrian Tan, executive director of Tes-Amm (Singapore), “What gets people interested is the precious metals that you see recovered. Very often, that equates to gold. There are resources but there isn’t a lot of it. It takes a huge volume [about 50,000 phones] to generate 1 kg of gold bar.”

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Featured Video: Saving Garbage???

Environmental engineers safeguard the quality of land, air and water. They investigate contaminants for each one of these items.

Imagine if they’re not around. How do you make sure that s**t doesn’t get into your drinking water? How do you make sure that pollutants are safely disposed of?

But it’s more than rubbish dumps and landfills. Singapore is trending towards green buildings that recycle their own waste water and air, and draw power from the sun.

Guess who’s responsible for it all?

Environmental engineering is concerned with the quality of land, air and water, and engineers primarily investigate contaminants for each one of these items. Find out how environmental engineers research those things in the environment that affect our health with help from a solid waste planning engineer and recycling program coordinator in this free video on environmental engineering.

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Engineering a Superman

What happened on UCreateChange.com (5-11 Apr 2010)

If you were following last week’s postings on UCreateChange.com, then you’ll notice that it’s all about how technology changes us, humans. That got us thinking about making a superman from last week’s posts.

With all due respect to Dr Manhattan from The Watchmen, here’s we’ll make our superman.

Picture1

Sorry, I couldn’t figure out how to create an image map on this blog. So I thought I’d just splash up this image and put up the links below:

Comments welcome as usual.

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Featured Video: The emotion behind invention

Dean Kamen never did complete school. That didn’t stop him from inventing things to help people. He built the Segway and now he’s building prosthetic limbs for war veterans – 20 years old war veterans with an arm or none.

This talk on his prosthetic arm is riveting and moving. Listen to it and understand why he does what he does.

Soldiers who've lost limbs in service face a daily struggle unimaginable to most of us. At TEDMED, Dean Kamen talks about the profound people and stories that motivated his work to give parts of their lives back with his design for a remarkable prosthetic arm.

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From Phone to Gold Bar

*Mumble mumble*. Turn this mobile phone into gold! Poof!!!

Nokia Phone

BECOMES

 

Gold bar

600 grams of gold = $33,800.

That’s $33,800 in my palm… Woah…

More next Wednesday!

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Featured video: Psychiatry + engineering = ?

Since we’re talking about bioengineering this week, we searched for videos that have something to do with that field. Somehow we found this fascinating video on Optogenetics: controlling the brain with light.

We’ll let Karl Deisseroth talk about his findings and invention:

Karl Deisseroth is pioneering bold new treatments for depression and other psychiatric diseases. By sending pulses of light into the brain, Deisseroth can control neural activity with remarkable precision. In this short talk, Deisseroth gives an thoughtful and awe-inspiring overview of his Stanford University lab's groundbreaking research in "optogenetics".

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Bioengineering for a better life

Bioengineering sounds esoteric but really, it isn’t.

Artificial heart

According to Wikipedia’s Bioengineering entry:

biological engineers attempt to either mimic biological systems in order to create products or modify and control biological systems so that they can replace, augment, or sustain chemical and mechanical processes.

Like spectacles – invented since 1200 for scholars and monks – or its modern evolution: the contact lenses. Or wooden teeth and ceramic dentures. Or an Egyptian pharaoh’s false toe to an Italian robotic hand that moves when we think “grab”. Or an artificial heart to replace a faulty heart riddled with holes. There are many more examples at UCreateChange.com Health posts.

You can see that bioengineering’s has been around for yonks. It’s just that we’re taking its inventions and products for granted for yonks as well.

It’s changed since.

Bioengineering is now a recognised field that doctors, surgeons and common folk rely on to make a difference in our lives. So instead of doing inane “turn off your lights for one hour in a year” (ala Earth Hour), think/find out how we can improve humanity from within.

After all, as a wise Chinese man once said:

“If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.”

So take care of man and the rest will fall in place.

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Featured video: What adults can learn from kids

Adults can forget how it’s like to be a kid: to dream, imagine, “students teaching their teachers?”

Do you think that they are right? Tell us in the comments.

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids

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Emotive Mobility in cars (and other things)…

What happened on UCreateChange.com (29 Mar-4 Apr 2010)

At the Singapore Design Conference 2009, Chris Bangle spoke about his car designs (TED talk here). We loved his vision of the future in “emotive mobility” where people use transportation however they want to satisfy them.

A house that actually walks & saunters & bops

If you think about it, Bangle’s emotive mobility doesn’t just apply to cars.

It could easily be a wearable motorcycle that straps on like an Aliens exoskeleton or strolling houses that cater to wanderlusty and treehugger types or even a new way of living out of your car (aka Quno).

We think that Alexander Kendrick’s subterranean texting device beats them all down. The low-frequency radio lets you SMS while underground. The emotive aspect?

How about: "Save Our Souls?" aka SOS!

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Featured Video: iPad

Apple’s iPad: a machine that’s somewhere between a laptop and a smartphone. It’s supposed to fill a niche for folk who want more power from their smartphones yet retain its mobility. Initial reviews are glowing and we’d want our hands on one.

Given Apple’s indifferent attitude towards Asian markets, I’d say it’ll be a while before we’ll see the likes of the iPad on our shores.

iPad review by PCMag

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Happy Easter/Good Friday everyone!

Have a great long weekend!

Good Friday

And for those who’re looking for chocolate-filled eggs. Happy Easter!

Easter

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Featured Video: Microfinancing

Microfinance is a way where “financial services are provided to low-income clients, including consumers and the self-employed, who traditionally lack access to banking and related services.” (wikipedia)

It’s how the poor get resources (e.g. loans) to better themselves. If you’re not sure, answer this: “Which is  better: A pushcart selling candy or a tin shack stall that sells grocery?”

Answer’s in the video…

World Hope isn’t the only microfinance or socially-conscious project out there: KIVA’s a peer-to-peer portal that connects low-income clients to anyone who wants to help. There’s also the Project 10^100 by Google which polls suggestions amongst netizens and puts them into practice. More grounded projects include Network Relief Kit – a solar-powered internet comms network for disaster areas.

There are many socially-conscious projects that could help us help others, and tell us about if you know of any.

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Change Champion e: editor of UCreateChange.comI'm the editor of UCreateChange. And I started this blog with the intention of putting up my past weekly roundups 'cause it's a shame they're simply disappearing into people's inboxes. Anyways, if you've a question on engineering, drop me a line at creators.of.tomorrow@gmail.com!