Technology + Ethics Behind Turning Trees into Power Generators

In its earliest stages, and developed by graduate students from Keio University in Tokyo, the “biological microgrid” Raiki will aim to harvest electricity from trees by drawing from the “triboelectric” effect in foliage. This is a phenomenon of movement, much like static electricity, generated when positively charged leaves come into contact with negatively charged materials (like a tree trunk). Industrial designer Catalina Lotero explained this …

Solar Impulse Sets Off On a Groundbreaking Flight

For the first time, an airplane powered purely by solar energy is making a five-day, five-night journey across the Pacific Ocean. The success of the flight will depend heavily upon the weather as sunshine is crucial to the airplane’s functionality and without it, the only option will be to ditch the aircraft in the Pacific. Two pilots, Andre Borschberg and Betrand Piccard, are taking turns …