Pothole Repairing Machine

Potholes are a maintenance problem for every roadway. But many times these repairs are costly short term fixes.

Below is a pothole repairing machine designed by Dahir Insaat in Russia that makes quicker and better repairs. Pretty cool machine.

(Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuJ3NDq4AlA)

Mapping water bodies

There has been an explosion of the use of drones, or small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS),  in the surveying industry. This concept of small unmanned systems also applies to surveying water bodies.

Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASVs) are robotic vehicles that sit on the surface of a water body, recording data about the water body, including mapping the bottom surface contours.

Seafloor Systems provides a variety of products for hydrographic surveying. Below is a video of their ASV products.

30-Story Building Constructed in 15 Days

Skyscraper construction is expensive and time consuming. But we live in an age where many things have been industrialized, such as the production of cars and even farms.

I came across an article that is 6 years old, about the construction of a 30-Story building in 15 days, at a price of just under $100 per square foot.

So far, Broad has built 16 structures in China, plus another in Cancun. They are fabricated in sections at two factories in Hunan, roughly an hour’s drive from Broad Town. From there the modules—complete with preinstalled ducts and plumbing for electricity, water, and other infrastructure—are shipped to the site and assembled like Legos. The company is in the process of franchising this technology to partners in India, Brazil, and Russia. What it’s selling is the world’s first standardized skyscraper, and with it, Zhang aims to turn Broad into the McDonald’s of the sustainable building industry.

My first thought was this construction probably results in an unsafe building, but the building design has been tested to resist a 9.0-magnitude earthquake.

You can read the entire article here: https://www.wired.com/2012/09/broad-sustainable-building-instant-skyscraper/

Below is a time lapse video of the structure being constructed.

Shortage of New Homes

It’s been about 10 years since the end of the last housing boom in the 2000’s. But now it appears there has been a complete reversal of the problems experienced a decade ago……now there is a historic shortage of new homes.

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal titled “The Next Housing Crisis: A Historic Shortage of New Homes” describes the issues surrounding the shortage of new home construction.

“Home construction per household a decade after the bust remains near the lowest level in 60 years of record-keeping, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

A combination of tightened housing regulations, a lack of construction labor and a land shortage in highly prized areas is driving the crisis, according to industry experts.

The National Association of Home Builders estimates builders will start fewer than 900,000 new homes in 2018, less than the roughly 1.3 million homes needed to keep up with population growth. The overall inventory of new and existing homes for sale hit its lowest level on record in the fourth quarter of 2017, at 1.48 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.”

Read the full article here:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-housing-shortage-slams-the-door-on-buyers-1521395460

Self-driving truck competition is heating up

There has been a lot of news lately about self-driving cars, but self-driving trucks is an industry that has fierce competition between Uber and Google.

Uber is operating self-driving trucks in Arizona on its freight-hauling app, and Waymo (a division of Google) will begin operating self-driving trucks in the Atlanta area.

” Uber’s big push to dominate the trucking industry took a leap forward today with the announcement that the ride-hailing giant is now operating its fleet of self-driving trucks on its freight-hauling app. The shipments are taking place in Arizona, where the ride-hailing giant is also testing out its robot taxis. Uber said it is using a transfer hub model, in which the trucks drive autonomously on the highway and human drivers take over for the last miles.”

(Source: https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/6/17081626/uber-self-driving-trucks-delivering-cargo-arizona)

Here is a video from Uber showing their self-driving trucks in operation:

Water wheel pump

I found the video below on the Barsha Pump manufactured by aQysta, a company founded by three engineers from the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands (https://www.aqysta.com/product/).  The water wheel pump utilizes the energy from flowing water in rivers for pumping. The pump doesn’t require any fuel or electricity, and is a cost effective, sustainable solution for pumping water in developing countries.

Small Hydroelectric Stations

Clean energy is a buzz word we hear a lot, with hydroelectricity playing a big role in the delivery of clean, sustainable energy. However, there are environmental and financial concerns with the construction of new dams needed to produce hydroelectricity, especially in remote regions with small waterways.

Turbulent (http://www.turbulent.be/old-home) is a firm in Belgium that is manufacturing small, decentralized micro-hydropower plants, with features such as: fish friendly, low maintenance, suitable for low-head waterways, and no flood risks.

Below is a video of how their micro-hydropower plants work.

UT Engineering Research Facility Construction to Begin in 2018

LandTech performed a topographic survey, utility location, and mapping of an approximate 7 acre area for the new engineering and research facility at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The new building will be constructed on the east side of Neyland Stadium in the area currently occupied by Estabrook, Berry and Pasqua Hall.

1801-engineerin

Based on an article from the UT Alumni page:

UT will soon begin construction on a $129 million, 228,000-square-foot building that will provide state-of-the-art research and classroom facilities for engineering students and faculty.

Demolition work should begin this summer, with construction commencing in the fall. The tentative completion date is fall 2021.

The project will be closely coordinated with the first phase of improvements slated for Neyland Stadium, which will also begin in 2018.

Source: http://alumni.utk.edu/s/1341/alumni/interior_alumni.aspx?sid=1341&gid=2&pgid=10777&cid=17579&ecid=17579&crid=0&calpgid=7973&calcid=12465