Flying robots to start serving in restaurants by end-2015

TODAY reports: Infinium-Serve, the autonomous flying robotic waiters, will be first launched at one of Timbre Group’s five outlets in Singapore.

SINGAPORE: Restaurant-goers in Singapore can expect to be served by autonomous flying robots – the world’s first commercial attempt – by the end of next year.

Infinium-Serve, the autonomous flying robotic waiters, will be first launched at one of Timbre Group’s five outlets in Singapore. Infinium Robotics CEO Woon Junyang estimated the project to cost a “low seven-figure sum” for the five outlets, subject to final negotiations and certain variables of the actual deployment of the robots.

Infinium Robotics signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Timbre Group on Oct 31. Both companies are seeking productivity-related government grants to help offset deployment costs.

Mr Woon said he is confident that such robotic solutions will help alleviate the Singapore’s labour crunch. Introducing this technology into restaurants would take away mundane tasks of serving food and drinks, and allow human waiters to focus on higher-value tasks such as getting feedback from customers, he said.

“This will result in an enhanced dining experience which will eventually lead to increased sales and revenue for the restaurants,” he added.

A prototype of Infinium-Serve was showcased to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the inaugural launch of the National Productivity Month in early October.


Transpotation Hub Living Center Shaped Like a Jack

AMLGM envisions urban alloy tower over transportation hub in new york
all images courtesy of AMLGM

 chad kellogg and matt bowles of AMLGM have envisioned ‘urban alloy’ as a redefinition of the typical residential tower typology. the project proposes habitable spaces in leftover sites surrounding transportation intersections, such as elevated train lines and freeways. wanting to optimize a heterogeneous and highly linked set of living environments, the concept uses specified materials and makes the most of being positioned above these set systems. the design offers an alternative to current urban renewal based modes of densification through an exploration of symbiotic re-purposing of air rights above transportation existing corridors in new york.

exterior aerial

taking advantage of the benefits for having housing located close to transportation hubs, the chosen test case is the intersection of the lirr and the 7 train. a wide range of living conditions are offered within the one development. the programmatic options are set within a blend of floor plate geometries, transitioning from cylindrical to triangular from the base to the top of each tower. a composite or alloy of multiple flexible systems optimizes the skin so that each point has unique exposure, and is deployed on a grid that follows the direction of the surface.

interior view of the atrium

at each grid intersection, the surface has been analyzed for optimal shading and daylight transmitting requirements. an authored algorithm is applied to generate vertical and horizontal fin profiles that blend with the profiles at adjacent nodes, resulting in an optimized system of decorative metal fins that are unique to each specific solar orientation.

typical apartment interior

satellite aerial

site map

program diagram

floor plan concept

sectional perspective

structural diagrams

skin diagram

systems axon

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


Roomscan app draws floorplan by tapping phone on the wall

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you needed to draw up a floor plan or recreate a room’s dimensions, then you’ll appreciate what RoomScan can do for you. This deceptively simple iOS app can do all that for you and all you need to do is tap on the walls.

RoomScan includes voice prompts to instruct you on what to do, but it’s all rather simple. You simply walk around the room, tapping the Apple device to the wall and waiting for the beep before you proceed to the next wall. You have to be careful though to include each wall that you want to be detected, meaning all those angled walls and corners that matter.


The seemingly magical ability is thanks to an oft underrated feature in most devices today: the motion sensor. RoomScan notes the data recorded by the motion sensor every time it is placed on a wall. From this data, the position, orientation and distance of each wall is calculated to draw up an accurate floor plan, more or less. Of course, there will be some inaccuracies, but the app allows you to input your own figures into the floor plan afterwards.

RoomScan comes in two flavors, free and pro. The free version allows you to scan a single room, while the paid pro version opens up more possibilities. You can scan multiple rooms and have RoomScan stitch them up together to create one whole floor plan. You can even pick your own colors. Also in the Pro version, you can add doors as you go instead of dragging and dropping them to the finished floor plan like in the standard version. The timelapse video below demonstrates how to use RoomScan to quickly recreate a floor plan. Other demos can be found here.

RoomScan is available on iTunes but is only compatible with Apple devices that have motion sensors in them. It also requires that they be running iOS 7 or higher. To unlock all the features that this app has to offer, better purchase the Pro version that costs $4.99.

VIA: RoomScan

via Slashgear

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

These days, we think of tall buildings as profitable, if predictable, tools of real estate. But at one time, skyscrapers were as technologically exciting as the Space Race. The eVolo Skyscraper Competition, now in its ninth year, aims to recapture some of that excitement.

The annual competition asks designers to imagine new ways in which tall buildings could benefit societies—no matter how far fetched. The winners of this year’s competition, which were announced last night, take the idea to the extreme: One scrapes trash from the great Pacific garbage patch. Another serves as an electromagnetic vertical accelerator to launch planes into the sky, lessening the dependence on jet fuel. Still another harvests waste from abandoned mines for building.

It’s a pretty cool—if totally pie-in-the-sky—crop of projects. Check out a few of the highlights below, along with the designers’ descriptions.

Car And Shell Skyscraper: Or Marinetti’s Monster by Mark Talbot, Daniel Markiewicz

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

A massive, block-like housing tower designed for Detroit would put “suburbia in the sky,” say its authors, saving space and promoting community:

This project proposes a city in the sky for Detroit, MI. The new city is conceived as a vertical suburban neighborhood equipped with recreational and commercial areas where three main grids (streets, pedestrian pathways, and structure) are intertwined to create a box-shaped wireframe.

Propagate Skyscraper: Carbon Dioxide Structure by YuHao Liu, Rui Wu

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

Buildings that capture pollution are so 2012. Instead, this team proposed capturing smog and then compressing it into a useable building material:

We hypothesized a material capable of assimilating carbon dioxide as a means to self-propagate. Employing such a material allows air capture of carbon dioxide and the resultant production of a solid construction material capable of supporting load. Channeling its properties, we propose a skyscraper that grows.

Sand Babel: Solar-Powered 3D Printed Tower by Qiu Song, Kang Pengfei, Bai Ying, Ren Nuoya, Guo Shen

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

Using a solar-powered 3D printer, these designers envision a sustainable desert tower printed from sand:

Sand Babel is a group of ecological structures designed as scientific research facilities and tourist attractions for the desert. The structures are divided into two parts. The first part, above ground, consists of several independent structures for a desert community while the second part is partially underground and partially above ground connecting several buildings and creating a multi-functional tube network system.

Climatology Tower by Yuan-Sung Hsiao, Yuko Ochiai, Jia-Wei Liu, Hung-Lin Hsieh

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

A thin skin protects this biodome-esque space from the surrounding city:

If you feel ill, you seek medical assistance. If the city is sick, what should we do? The Climatology Tower is a proposed skyscraper designed as a research center that evaluates urban meteorology and corrects the environment through mechanical engineering. The skyscraper analyses microclimates within cities as a result of the use of industrial materials, the accumulation of buildings, and the scarceness of open spaces.

Launchspire by Henry Smith, Adam Woodward, Paul Attkins

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

Designed to lessen our dependence on jet fuel, this tower uses an electromagnetic accelerator to launch planes, like a massive stationary slingshot:

A cylindrical matrix of super tall structure centered on an electromagnetic vertical accelerator to eliminate the hydrocarbon dependency of aircraft during takeoff. The radical re-interpretation of the skyscraper format provides hyper density in an organic and adaptive habitat.

An electromagnetic vertical accelerator, utilizing the technological principles developed at CERN’s LHC and maglev train propulsion, provides a method for commercial aircraft to be accelerated to cruising speed using renewable electrical energy sources from ground based infrastructure.

Rainforest Guardian Skyscraper by Jie Huang, Jin Wei, Qiaowan Tang, Yiwei Yu, Zhe Hao

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

More research station than skyscraper, this tower becomes a part of the rainforest canopy:

The Rainforest Guardian Skyscraper consists of a water tower, a forest fire station, a weather station, and scientific research and education laboratories. It stands still at the Amazon’s frontier, preventing fires effectively by capturing rainwater in the rainy season and irrigating the land in the dry season.

The New Tower Of Babel by Petko Stoevski

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

The skin of this building acts as a massive energy-producer:

The New Tower of Babel is a steel construction built over the desert surface with multiple levels planned depending on the landscape’s topology. The top two panels are made of glass, and the air contained in between is warmed up by the sunlight… The updraft power channels the warm air into the chimney tower, propelling the wind turbines located in the base of the building, thus converting kinetic energy into electrical power.

Project Blue by Yang Siqi, Zhan Beidi, Zhao Renbo, Zhang Tianshuo

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

Another building that captures polluted air—in this case, to turn it into green energy:

The purpose of Project Blue is to transform suspended particles into green energy by creating an enormous upside down cooling tower with a multi-tubular cyclic desulfurization system that produces nitrogen and sulfur. When both elements are combined with the atmospheres surplus of carbon monoxide the result is water coal that would later be transformed methane and used as green energy through a low-pressure reaction called low pressure efficient mathanation–a physical-chemical process to generate methane from a mixture of various gases out of biomass fermentation or thermo-chemical gasification.

Liquefactor: The Sinking City by Eric Nakajima

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

Rather than fight the soil liquification that occurs due to earthquakes, these designers propose a tower that sinks with the soil:

With bigger and worse natural disasters appearing on the news with no signs of slowing down, we need to rethink how cities should rebuild…. Christchurch, New Zealand is one city that has recently been devastated by an earthquake. With citywide liquefaction destroying infrastructure, it is clear that the typical method of construction is not suited for such soil condition.

The proposal is a system that adapts into the current environmental conditions without the need for tweaking, alteration or correction. For the new city, unstable soil becomes a necessity and not a burden as the structure buries and sinks into the ground by exploiting the phenomenon of liquefaction.

Skyvillage For Los Angeles by Ziwei Song

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

LA’s freeways aren’t going anywhere in the near future—so why not build a better community above them?

Los Angeles freeway system segregates the city’s fabric restricting urban activities to single locations. Similarly, skyscrapers exacerbate this condition of segregation instead of encouraging urban integration. The envisioned vertical city would bridge over freeway interruptions and connect the four quadrants around 101 and 110 freeways as a single architectural organism while boosting cultural exchange, urban activities, and social interaction.

Here.After: The Material Processing Machine by Tsang Aron Wai Chun

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

This inverted structure sinks down into abandoned mines to reuse the waste products left behind:

The project is designed in the copper Ruashi mine in Lubumbashi, Congo which is predicted to stop production in 2020. The mine would then be abandoned and left as an enormous urban void surrounded by a rapidly expanding city.

The Here-After projects seeks to make use of the left over space, waste soil, and sulfuric acid from the mine drainage and former copper production. A machine will reuse the waste soil to neutralize the sulfuric acid, which in turn will be used to erode the land to be used as raw buildings blocks for the project.

Seawer: The Garbage-Seascraper by Sung Jin Cho

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

A floating superstructure that’s hungry for trash would act as a recycling station for the ocean:

Seawer proposes to install a huge drainage hole 550 meters in diameter and 300 meters in depth in the middle of the GPGP. The project would engulf all kinds of floating trash filled with seawater. Seawer consists of five layers of baleen filters, which separate particles and fluids. The plastic particles collected from filters are taken to a recycling plant atop of the structure while seawater is filtered and stored in a large sedimentation tank at the bottom to be further cleaned and released into the ocean.

Infill Aquifer by Jason Orbe-Smith

This tall building isn’t designed for humans—rather, it’s a vertical sanctuary for nature:

The Infill Aquifer is a floating mass, exposing the ground and soil to natural processes while accommodating the density required by growing cities and world populations. The Infill Aquifer is an optimistic proposal that humanity and nature can coexist and flourish.

14 Radical Skyscrapers That Are More Than Just Buildings

Made In New York: Vertical Urban Industry by Stuart Beattie

Designer Stuart Beattie proposes a solution to industrial sprawl: Vertical factories that use urban space more efficiently:

The project aims to investigate, in a world of free trade and rapid globalization, the possibility of flexible alternatives to inefficient industrial sprawl by considering the prospect of vertical manufacturing towers. Vertiginous manufacturing structures would be proposed in former areas of prominent industrial activity; where struggling businesses are being forced further away from their consumers due to higher rents and potential re-zoning uncertainty–Williamsburg, Long Island City, Newtown Creek and Red Hook amongst others.

Check out the full list here.


Norwegian Hotel Corkscrews around in a Loop

Lofoten Opera Hotel by Snøhetta

Architecture firm Snøhetta has unveiled images of a hotel that will wind across a rocky outcrop in Norway’s Lofoten archipelago.

Expected to start on site later this year, the Lofoten Opera Hotel will be located on an outlying site in Glåpen flanked by a mountain range. The new low-rise structure will loop a central courtyard, but will offer views out across the sea to the south and west.

Lofoten Opera Hotel by Snøhetta

“The spectacular view and the feeling of being ‘in the middle’ of the elements are the premier qualities of the site,” said Snøhetta in a statement.

“In a unifying gesture the site is captured in a circular movement, the complex layers of references to nature, culture, land qualities are translated into a band that transforms the site into a place.”

The 11,000 square-metre building will accommodate a mix of hotels and apartments within its curved body. There will also be spa facilities, seawater basins, hiking resources and an amphitheatre.

The project looks set to attract new guests to Lofoten, which is home to one of Norway’s 18 national tourist routes. Stretching along an 184-kilometre road, the route encompasses facilities for tourists exploring the natural landscape, including the Eggum rest stop completed by Snøhetta in 2007.

Eggum Tourist Route by Snøhetta
Eggum rest stop completed by Snøhetta in 2007 in Lofoten

Here’s a description of the project from Snøhetta:

Lofoten Opera Hotel

Furthest west of Lofoten, in Moskenes community close to the town Sørvagen, is Glåpen.

The site extends out to sea to the south and west, linking the contact between ocean and the tall, shielding mountains to the north and northwest. The location is spectacular, sunny, in the mighty landscape elements, yet in touch with old settlement and sheltered harbors.

Snøhetta has developed a project and looked at a number of factors: the landscape “critical load” vs. new construction, functional and technical aspects of access, infrastructure, ecology and sustainability, connection to outdoors areas and existing buildings. The main goal is to find the development patterns and shapes that trigger the functional, architectural and experiential triggers the plot’s formidable potential. We think it will be essential to find a building program and a scale that “hits”, both in terms of economy, market and individual experience opportunities.

The spectacular view and the feeling of being “in the middle” of the elements are the premier qualities of the site. Plot view, organisation and habitat as form have been inspiring elements behind the concept. In a unifying gesture the site is captured in a circular movement, the complex layers of references to nature, culture, land qualities are translated into a band that transforms the site into a place.

This form creates an inner and outer space, and enhances the site’s inherent potential of an architectural expression. Concept and program are balanced in a mix of hotels, apartments, amphitheatre, spa, hiking and sea water basins within a total size of 11,000 m2. The local beach culture and storstuga are included in the project. The organic form protects and opens at the same time.

Location: Lofoten
Typology: Residential & Hotel
Client: Lofoten Opera AS
Status: Ongoing
Size: 11,000 sqm

Teen sneaks past guard to reach WTC spire

Justin Alexander Casquejo allegedly slipped past four layers of WTC security and spent two hours atop the tallest building in the United States, until he was finally discovered by a construction worker.

A New Jersey teen captivated by 1 World Trade Center sneaked out of his home in the dead of night, got past the wall of security — and a sleeping guard — making it all the way up to the spire, The Post has learned.

Scrawny 16-year-old Justin Casquejo crawled through a hole in a Ground Zero fence at about 4 a.m. Sunday and got a lift up the tower from a clueless union elevator operator, even though he had no ID.

He was dropped off on the 88th floor and hiked the stairs up to the 104th floor — where a guard assigned to protect the top of the world’s biggest terror target was sound asleep.

That guard has since been fired.

Casquejo told cops he then climbed up to the roof and made it up to the antenna.

After spending two glorious hours atop the nation’s tallest buildings snapping photos, the young daredevil was finally caught by a construction worker as he made his way back down.

Casquejo is seen hanging from a crane in Hoboken.Photo: Twitter

“He came here and he ran hog wild,” said a stunned WTC worker.

Casquejo, who lives in Weehawken, NJ, laughed the whole thing off Wednesday afternoon when The Post asked him about his escapade.

“Ha ha, oh yeah, that. Right. I would really love to talk to you guys because I have a lot that I want to say about it,” he said. “I was told that I just can’t [talk] without permission.”

But he summed up his adventure in a one-word tweet: “Inspired.”

Casquejo has long been a WTC buff. His Facebook page features photos of him posing with the building in the background.

Photo: Facebook

When cops questioned him, he bragged that he had little trouble getting past security at a building that was supposed to be cloaked in a “ring of steel.”

“I walked around the construction site and figured out how to access the Freedom Tower rooftop,” he said, according to court papers.

Law-enforcement sources said Casquejo got into the heavily guarded site like a kid sneaking into an abandoned warehouse — though a crack in a barbed-wire fence.

“He’s a skinny kid who got through a skinny hole,” the source said.

The elevator operator who asked no questions while taking him skyward has since been reassigned — but got to keep his job because of his hardhat union. But the guard who was snoozing on the top floor wasn’t as lucky — he was immediately fired.

Casquejo faces a charge of misdemeanor trespassing, but his adventure is an epic failure of at least four layers of security at the WTC site.

The Port Authority Police Department, the NYPD and a private security company patrol the building perimeter. Another private company secures the interior.

None of them would comment.

Additional reporting by Rebecca Rosenberg and Antonio Antenucci

New York Post

A Sniping Sprinkler That Only Targets Your Plants When They Need Water

I posted the following article as it related to drones, remote control, building security and keeping your trees growning…


A Sniping Sprinkler That Only Targets Your Plants When They Need Water

A built-in sprinkler system is a better way to water a garden than just standing there randomly blasting plants with a hose. And taking that idea one step further, the Dropletturns your sprinklers into intelligent snipers that only water the plants you tell them to using a focused stream—except when rainy weather already has.

When connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network the compact Droplet water cannons can not only be programmed to fire exactly where you target them, you can also program an exhaustively detailed schedule of when they should and shouldn’t blast away.

But the software controlling the sprinklers also has access to detailed weather reports so it knows not to water if there’s strong odds it’s going to rain soon. You can even specify the type of plants and soil it’s watering, and it will adjust its own schedule to account for special needs.

A Sniping Sprinkler That Only Targets Your Plants When They Need Water

Besides being a much better way to water a garden for the lazy and technologically inclined, the Droplet is also promised to dramatically reduce your water consumption—up to 90 percent—saving you hundreds of dollars on your water bill every year. Which is great because each Droplet sprinkler head will cost you $300 once it’s finally available.

So we might actually hold out for generation two that hopefully introduces some motion tracking capabilities to constantly harass the local squirrel population—even if it triples our water bill. [Droplet via Gizmag]