Surfers have an intimate relationship with the sea, so it comes as no surprise that surfboard manufacturer Kevin Cunningham is concerned about marine pollution levels. His company Spirare Surfboards has transformed into Spirare Sustainable Surf Craft, and he hopes to produce a range of boards constructed from materials found at sea.
The term "robotic" usually elicits visions of overly-logical beings devoid of emotion that move about in a jerky fashion. Research has established that these factors make robots difficult to interpret, since we prefer humanistic cues. So Michael Gielniak and Andrea Thomaz, with their robot Simon, have researched ways to make robots appear more natural. There's actually a Human-Robot Interaction conference dedicated to research in this area. Who knew?
Chiselled slate roof tiles are extremely attractive, but in a world with so many materials going to waste there's always an alternative. Roofing company Euroshield has developed rubber roof tiles made from recycled car tires. The tires are cut into slabs and can be moulded to create a slate appearance so that they can avoid their otherwise inevitable fate at the top of a landfill.