7 Of The Greatest Engineering Innovations Of 2017

7 Of The Greatest Engineering Innovations Of 2017
November 20, 2017 Prime Engineering

2017… the year of sustainable engineering innovations. We say this every year, but things are just getting better and better. You have to see some of these incredible innovations to believe us!

7. Printable Homes – Apis Cor, United States

Apis Cor was the first company to develop a mobile construction 3D printer which can print an entire building completely on site. This is a technological advancement that we can all agree is pretty incredible! The San Fran based company operates their business with an inspiring message:

On the six continents of Earth, there are families which cannot afford to buy or build a house.” – Apis Cor

The Apis Cor technology built a home, which would have typically taken months, in just 24 hours. The grand total? US$10,000. If this is what the future looks like, we can’t wait to see housing prices drop and homelessness be a thing of the past!

6. Floating Solar Plant – Sungrow, China

China is saying goodbye to their not-so-environmentally-friendly reputation with the unveiling of the world’s largest floating solar farm. The 40-megawatt solar power plant was created by Sungrow Power Supply Co. The massive solar grid is positioned above a flooded former coal-mine. This latest innovation further cements the Chinese government’s ongoing effort to lead the world in the adoption of renewable energy.

5. Reusable Spaceship – SpaceX, United States

In March, SpaceX launched the world’s first reflight of an orbital class rocket, the two-stage Falcon 9. The first stage of the rocket successfully returned to Earth (for a second time) by landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. This is not only one small step for the environment, it is one giant leap for the future of space travel (and it’s cost efficiency).

4. Tesla Model S – Tesla, United States

What a year to be Elon Musk. Not only did SpaceX launch the first reusable rocket but Tesla made some incredible engineering advances as well. In saying that, it’s Tesla. Don’t they make a breakthrough discovery every year?

This year the Tesla Model S P100D became the quickest production car in the world. It can go from 0-60 mph (or 0-96 km/hr for us Aussies) in 2.4 seconds. To put that into perspective, a Lamborghini Sesto or a Ferrari LaFerrari FXX K takes the exact same amount of time! #ElectricCars4TheWin

3. Self-Driving Trucks – Otto (now owned by Uber), United States

Self-driving trucks would dramatically raise the productivity of truck driving. Human truck drivers are restricted to driving a maximum of 12 hours a day (with 7 continuous hours stationary rest time) in Australia. Whereas self-driving trucks can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (plus an added bonus…they won’t want overtime for having to work on Christmas day).

Self-driving trucks will help us ten-fold as consumer-demand and populations continue to increase and our roads continue to become more and more crowded. Obviously, there is a long road to go (no pun intended) before we see driverless trucks on our roads. But, we’re super excited about it!

2. Artificial Pollinator – AIST, Japan

Forget about robotic humans taking over the world, there are now robotic bees. Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology created a drone that pollinates and cross-pollinates just as a bee would. Due to pesticides, land clearing, climate change and other human-based damages, we have seen a dramatic decrease in bees (and insects in general). The hope is that these robotic bees will pick up the working-bee-load and improve crop yield.

1. Face-Detection To Authorise Payments – Face++, China

Forget ApplePay, because FacePay is now a thing! Do you remember when we had to swipe our prehistoric ‘flexi-cards’ and how much our payment technology has advanced in such a relatively short time? We rapidly went from PayWave to tap-to-pay options from our smartphone. Now we are about to experience a whole new level of convenience as face recognition technologies allow us to pay with our face.

Want to know more about Face++, then you are going to want to read about Will Knight’s visit to the Chinese startup.


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