Tech Talk with Pete on 101.9 Zinc FM

Chocolate Globes

Foodies embrace 3D-printed cuisine

While 3D printing has been around for a while now, and the uses are continually expanding in new and creative ways. So far, we’ve seen how 3D printers are changing the medical world with things like printed heart valves, tissues with blood supply, low-cost prosthetics, drugs, and much more. It doesn’t stop there, there has been 3D printed cars, weapons, fashion, computers and robots and now something we are all very fond of… FOOD and in particular chocolate!

Marijn Roovers ‘Chocolate Globes’ have adorned the tables of only the finest restaurants in the Netherlands. The ‘Chocolate Globes’ are the most intricate and advanced creation by the food designer to date.  The globes are made of a chocolate shell that is just 0.08mm thick, then embossed in gold and filled with delicacies that symbolize that region.  But don’t go getting a craving that has to be filled straight away as the ‘Chocolate Globes’ take almost an hour to print and are approximately the size of a Lindor chocolate ball.

Roovers said, “the globes tastes akin to aerated chocolate bars – a byproduct of printing the chocolate in 200 layers.” Roovers expressed no concern in customers handling the new texture of the chocolate as people tend to be more adventurous when it came to sweets and a little more conservative with savories.  He said, “People just need time to adapt to some changes in the way food is presented”.

For foodies out there that can’t wait to start creating 3D foods, Natural Machines a Spanish company is trying to bring the technology into households in the form of ‘Foodini’ a 3D food printer for retail markets.

Learn more about 3D Food printing here




gecko-botMini robot climbs walls like a gecko and carries objects 100 times its weight

It’s tiny, cute and strong! It the rise of the Gecko-Bots.

Scientist from Standford University has used a gecko as inspiration to create super strong robots that can carry over 100 times its own weight.  At 9grams, the robot can haul 1 kg up a vertical wall.  The Tiny robots climb walls using ‘controllable adhesion’ in their ‘feet’, it works by using rubber spikes (mimicking the hairs on geckos feet) that spread out when pressure is applied, like when it steps which allows it to grip onto surfaces.  The rubber spikes mimic the hairs on a gecko’s feet and were made under a microscope using tweezers. These will be present at the International conference on Robotics and Automation in Seattle, Washington. The have been so successful with the robots that they could be used in emergencies, in factories or on construction sites in the future.  

Take a look at the youtube video of the robot slowing pulling an older model up a wall hanging on a piece of string. David Christensen, a student in the Cutkosky lab, compared the robots achievements to a human pulling a blue whale. Impressive!

Find out more about the gecko-bot here




Iron Man GloveAvengers’ fanboy creates a laser-firing Iron Man glove

Inventor and Youtuber Patrick Priebe has created a laser- firing glove that looks like it has come straight from Marvel films ‘Avengers’.

It is a working Iron Man glove, complete with red and gold colouration. The glove features the ability to fire an aluminum slug and shoots a high-powered blue laser from the palm, and a slightly less powerful red laser from the knuckles. It is not really the weapon you want when going into battle with Ultron, but you can do some serious damage to balloons as shown in the Youtube vid here. To activate the palm laser, Priebe flexes his hand, the other weapons a deployed by an attached controller. Although this is some pretty high tech gadgetry, the project only took Patrick 3 weeks to complete, but this wasn’t his first attempt at working with lasers as he has previously made the ‘superbad laser-firing James bond watch’. Patrick says he made the glove in anticipation of the new “Age of Ultron” movie. 

If you want to get your hands on one of Priebes many laser gadgets, just check out his website here.

 Read more on this story here. 




Navy researchers make bulletproof glass out of clay

US Naval research Laboratory (‘NRL’) have revealed a major breakthrough in materials science on Thursday.  After decades of research, the NRL have created a new transparent, bulletproof material made from synthetic powered clay that can be molded into virtually any shape. This material is called “Spinel”, it is heated, then pressed under vacuum into transparent sheets.

Dr. Jas Sanghera, head of research, said, “the advantage is it so much tougher, stronger, harder than glass. It provides better protection in more hostile environments – so it can withstand sand and rain erosion.”

Along with being tougher, it also, unlike traditional bulletproof glass, does not interfere with infrared light – meaning it can be mounted to IR cameras and surveillance equipment without hindering the devices functionality.  Spinel is also lighter than traditional bulletproof glass. If you replaced traditional bulletproof glass pane with Spinel pane, you’d reduce the weight by the factor of two or more. The NRL now plans to share the Spinel production process with the rest of the defense industry.


Read More on Spinel here





Peter Reeve, that Tech talk guy.




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