Solar islands

Kyocera is running, since last April, the largest floating solar power plant in the world in Kagoshima. It has 11,250 solar modules and it generates above 3,000 MWh per year in total. The installation is ready to withstand winds of more than 200km/h and also earthquakes and tsunamis. It seems having solar panels on the sea it is more efficient because the water acts as a natural cooler. Also, it helps the ecosystem (There is more algae below the power plant and fish are thriving).

It is a good business and Kyocera has started to build another solar island in Chiba that will be two times the size of the one in Kagoshima. It will have an installed capacity of 14W.

It doesn’t look very “natural” but I prefer a world filled with solar islands instead of oil platforms.

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More info at Kyocera news.

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Tangible holograms

Researchers from Tokyo University just presented to the public their technology to create tangible holograms using lasers. Until now we were able to create holograms using similar techniques but they would burn the users skin if touched.

Reducing the laser pulse from femtoseconds to nanoseconds has been the key to achieve these first mini plasma tangible holograms that could constitute the base for a new generation of human-computer interaction devices.


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Via Yoursnew

Hebocon – The Crappy Robots Competition

I was not aware of the existence of Hebocon, but then just today I found the video shown below. Hebocon is a robot competition in which the important thing is not to have the most sophisticated robot as in the Robocup, what matters is the originality and above all the crappiness of the robots. In fact “Hebo” ヘボ, within the name of the competition “Hebocon”, means “Crappy”.

The rules are so simple that even kids younger than 10 years old participate.

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