A jet-propelled flying suit, revolutionary 3D printing technology and a non-invasive skin-cancer detector. These are just some of this year’s innovations that feature among the technological advances highlighted by architecture and design magazine Dezeen as part of their 2017 review series, and we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites here.
Jet-Propelled Flying Suit
British inventor Richard Browning set a Guinness World Record for flying a body-controlled jet-engine-powered suit over a lake in Reading, England, reaching a speed of 32.02 miles per hour.
The World’s First Carbon-Capture Plant
An industrial air-capture device that sucks carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere opened in Switzerland. The first of its kind, the Climework's plant can filter out up to 900 tonnes of CO2 a year, which is then sold on as a raw material. Customers include a nearby vegetable farm, where it is used as fertiliser, and the gas can also be used to make carbonated drinks and carbon-neutral fuels.
Rapid Liquid Printing
Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a revolutionary type of 3D printing which can print large-scale structures such as furniture in record time. Rapid Liquid Printing works by extruding material from a computer-controlled nozzle into gel, and unlike traditional 3D printing, which relies on building up layers, the robotic arm can print freely within the confines of the gel tank.
IKEA Solar Battery Packs
Sweden’s IKEA launched new domestic solar battery packs that it’s claimed could cut homeowners' electricity bills by 70 per cent. Although the company has been selling solar panels since 2013, the new packs allow owners to store power so they can use the energy generated by the sun, rather than having to rely on the national grid.
Non-Invasive Skin Cancer Detector
The Skan is a non-invasive device that when placed on top of the skin, can detect melanomas without the need for a biopsy. Invented by a group of award-winning engineering students from McMaster University in Canada, it uses a series of thermistors to cools the area, then monitors how long it takes for the skin to regain its normal temperature, revealing any cancerous cells which have a higher metabolic rate.
Read more on Dezeen here.