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The Next Generation of Urban Cars

City driving is often a hassle, but recent developments in compact car design could make navigating urban gridlock significantly more tolerable. The next wave of electric vehicles will be sleek, energy-efficient, and small enough to make the Smart Car look like a gas-guzzling giant.

The Hiriko is a 100% electric vehicle that has the ability to fold itself up and squeeze into the tiniest parking spaces. Based on the City Car, a design developed a few years back at MIT (with the help of eGFI trailblazer Will Lark Jr.), the Hiriko has about a 60-mile range, four-wheel drive, and a nifty windshield that swings upward to allow passengers to enter and exit.

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New Housekeeper Satellites to Clean Up Space Junk

After over 50 years of humanity sending things into orbit, outer space is starting to look a bit cluttered. While Russia is reportedly investing over $2 billion to fix the problem, now the Swiss are also poised to join the space cleanup crew. The Swiss Federal Institute for Technology at Lausanne (EPFL) has announced plans to create a $10.8 million satellite called CleanSpace One for the purpose of picking up space debris.

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Trailblazer: Ayanna Howard

Science fiction stories have served as inspiration for many a brilliant engineer, and Ayanna Howard is no exception. At age 11 she discovered the show Bionic Woman, where a badly injured athlete is given artificial limbs that grant her superhero-like abilities, and decided that she wanted to create technologically advanced prosthetics when she grew up. Howard later realized that medical school held little appeal to her, and instead opted to pursue robotics.

It’s fortunate that she did. After completely her PhD in electrical engineering at the University of Southern California, Howard went on to work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she led research teams to develop software for Mars-roving robots.

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Touchscreens of the Future

Last year, a conceptual, futuristic video featuring interactive glass touchscreens went viral:

This video, called “A Day Made of Glass,” was created by Corning (a company that engineers glass and other materials) and now has been viewed over 17 million times on YouTube. Although the video is admittedly cool, just how realistic is its vision?

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