Bosch’s reworked automotive sensors can help control flying taxis

As companies from Boeing and Uber to Lilium work to develop flying taxis, Bosch wants to make the sensors they'll require more accessible. The company says conventional aerospace technology is too expensive and bulky to use in autonomous flying vehic...

Add eco-friendly traveler to your resume with these unique bicycle designs

Bicycles are the most eco-friendly mode of transport ever designed by humans as is possible, especially for smaller traveling distances in city life. It is a vehicle that creates zero emissions while keeping you healthy and with the addition of electric motors, they have added an element of ease or comfort to the cycling experience. The bicycle’s unique yet simple design works with its basic setup, but designers have spent a lot of time creating variations of the humble bicycle that will add features to it such as an additional retro boombox you can carry to the ever-popular urban favorite – a foldable bicycle. Our curation today walks you across unique bicycle designs that showcase different materials, features as well as designs, of which one is sure to appeal to you, and if not, these will surely inspire you to innovate and create your own design!

Noordung bike by Gregor Fras.

Zippable tire-tread system by reTyre

Pi Bike by Tadas Maksimovas & Martijn Koomen

Volk Wooden Bike by Volk Evolution

AK1 Folding Electric Bike by Ronsben Huen with Factory Five Germany Group

SPA Bicicletto by CAMAL Studios

Berlin Bicycle Rack by Adrian Bogdan

Opus Wood Bike by Ecce Cycles

The Brum Brum Bike by The Brum Brum Balance Bike Team

Side Car Bicycles by Horse Cycles

VRZ 2 3D Printed Titanium Lugged Carbon Bike by Ralf Holleis

Astan Bike with Pedal Brakes by Astanbike

GM will deliver over-the-air updates to ‘most’ vehicles by 2023

Today, General Motors unveiled its new electronics system. The platform will make "smartphone-like" over-the-air software updates possible, and it should be rolled out in most GM vehicles by 2023, the company says. We'll see it first in the 2020 Cadi...

The Design Intelligence Award accelerates good project into world-class product designs

Design awards are often a mechanism to discover good design. A panel of judges help identify designs with potential, and reward them for being a good concept, or having a good execution. China’s premiere awards program, the Design Intelligence Award (DIA) operates on a slightly different path. It doesn’t just discover good design. It develops it. Working in part like an award program and in part like a product accelerator, the DIA Awards have a long, arduous, meticulous process. They identify good work, but push it to be better. Great designers convene to form jury panels who spend day after day looking at projects and participants are put through what one might consider pretty effective crash course in design, presentation, and innovation. Not just winners, but even participants come out with insights and skill-sets that put them on a pedestal, because the DIA Awards don’t define talent… they refine it too.

The DIA Awards differ from most award programs primarily because of this intricate and methodical judging process, which almost borders on educational, feeling like an evaluation you’d get at a design university, rather than a divided panel of judges. Feedback and criticism are constructive, and the DIA Award approach to judging projects is extremely holistic, taking into account everything from the quality of its concept, to its usefulness, feasibility, impact on a personal as well as global scale, its sustainability as a product and as a business, and its marketability. Its judging process is broken into three segments too. The first round of judging happens online, as jury panels spend an entire week analyzing projects with potential. The second round is done on-site, as jury members interact with the physical product, judging it up close, and on a much more real and tactile level. The third round is where things get interesting. Imagine giving your own TED talk about your project… The third round is just that! An oral evaluation round, where contestants are required to present their idea in the format of an oral presentation to an audience of judges, business heads, media personnel, and consumers.

Good design comes in many shapes and forms, which is why each design need individual attention and a fresh approach. The exhaustive judging process for the DIA Awards involves closely inspecting and reviewing every aspect of every product, down from its brief, intent, to its visual expression (your presentation and rendering skills), to description, proof-of-concept, and finally to your ability to talk about your product. After this degree of scrutiny, the products that emerge victorious truly look a class apart. They’re clearly defined, well-designed, and address a very established void or need in the marketplace. Winners of the DIA Award receive a hefty cash prize that goes up to 1 million RMB (approx. $145,000 USD), and are armed with all the skills and assets needed to take their product to the next step. Winners also get inducted into the “DIA Platform”, a platform that integrates hundreds of venture capitals, incubators, manufacturing enterprises and governments. Excellent participants are also invited to industrial events including capital docking, product hatching, intellectual property auction, etc.

Sending your project through the Design Intelligence Awards helps accelerate its growth and put the project as well as you on a trajectory to success. Scroll below to look at some of the winners of the DIA Awards over the years. Chances are you’ve probably heard of or seen them somewhere or the other, just because they’re so brilliantly defined, designed, and executed!

Click Here to Apply Now! Last Date for Submission: May 28th, 2019. Hurry, only 13 days left!

Vibram Furoshiki by Vibram S.p.A.

Ditching shoelaces, velcros, and those new-fangled self-lacing robotic shoe-fastening alternatives, the Furoshiki by Vibram is an innovative new way to wear shoes.

Developed by Vibram, a leader in outdoor, leisure, work, fashion, orthopedic footwear, the Furoshiki’s revolutionary nature comes from the way it’s work. The Furoshiki is a flat piece of footwear that wraps around the foot, securing it in place. This wrapping action allows the shoes to secure themselves tightly around your foot, taking its shape. Additionally, the shoes can be manufactured and shipped as singular, flat SKUs, making them economical.

A winner of the DIA Excellence Award, the New Vibram Furoshiki “wrapping soles” are comfortable, secure, light, easy to carry around, easy to clean, and most importantly, easy to wear!

KanDao Obsidian 3D VR Camera by JU&KE Studio

Colored black to look powerful and premium, and christened Obsidian because it’s an unshakeable force to reckon with, KanDao’s VR camera comes with 6 fisheye lenses arranged in a hexagonal layout. Here’s where the mind-boggling feature list begins. The Obsidian doesn’t just shoot in 360°. It shoots in 3D 360°, and at a boggling resolution of 8K, using a clever algorithm that processes both left and right channels, stitching together the videos and images captured in real-time.

Awarded a DIA Excellence award, the Obsidian is beautiful, useful, and innovative. Its design combines aspects of sheer desirability, with an interplay of matte black and copper, and contains an absolute powerhouse of technology on the inside!

HEXA Robot by Vincross Inc.

With 6 legs that give it much more dexterity and balance than a quadriped, the HEXA is a talented, adorable robot that can walk on any surface and perform quite a few tasks. The all-terrain hexapod comes with an open operating system, a web camera, multiple hardware interfaces, and a powerful SDK, which you can use to develop skills for the robot, using basic If/Then tasks to give it commands. HEXA can react by walking, waving, grabbing, sending data or controlling connected Internet of Things devices.

The DIA Innovation Award winning HEXA successfully completed its kickstarter campaign, and even secured another design award on the way to its design and commercial success!

NUMS Ultra-thin Smart Keyboard by Beijing Luckey Technology Co., Ltd.

NUMS’ stunning innovation comes from its conceptual simplicity and functional effectiveness. It recognizes a problem, and solves it in the most ingenious way possible, without extra moving parts, and without a learning curve. A simple transparent piece of plastic with adhesive at one end and no circuitry whatsoever, the NUMS just sits on your laptop, giving you the magic of a numpad (and much more) on your portable computing device.

The sticker, aside from acting as a protective guard for your trackpad, bestows it with the powers of a virtual numpad. Install the NUMS driver and you’re ready to go. Swipe down diagonally from the top right corner to toggle between trackpad mode and numpad mode. The NUMS can be used for crunching numbers, keeping accounts, and even for games! Moreover, within the NUMS software, you can program buttons to act as hotkeys and shortcuts, allowing you to open softwares, run scripts, and just be an absolute powerhouse of productivity!

Securing the DIA Excellence Award, the NUMS is just ingenious as it is simple. It provides extra features without any compromise or additional effort… and it’s so thin you practically don’t notice it. Who thought a small plastic sticker and a powerful idea could accomplish so much?!

YEV Electric Violin by Yamaha

Electric instruments, unlike acoustic ones, don’t rely on air vibrations to generate sound. They do it through fluctuations in a magnetic field caused by the vibrating strings… so in essence, an electric instrument doesn’t need to be voluminous, or hollow. The YEV capitalizes on that, with its intriguing body that explores organic curves and a skeletal design. Extremely strong and lightweight, the YEV stands out on stage for having no apparent rear surface regardless of the angle it is viewed from, and truly shines as a bastion for creativity… an essential in music! Available in both 4 and 5 stringed variants, this DIA Top 100 Award winning instrument is also backed by Yamaha’s world class audio engineering.

Papier Machine by Marion Pinaffo & Raphaël Pluvinage

Designers Marion Pinaffo and Raphaël Pluvinage are using paper to build simple machines and gadgets. Titled Papier Machine (a play on the word Papier Mache), the designers compiled a 13-page book where pages can be torn off and folded into various different electronic mini-machines and sensors (that can sense mass, humidity, wind, and even color… all made out of paper!), powered by simple off-the-shelf batteries. The DIA Excellence Award winning paper electro-toys rely on special types of conductive ink that are screen-printed onto the pages, bringing much more to the table than just colorful visuals. I wonder what we’ll be able to do with paper next?!

Heng Balance Lamp by Zanwen Li

The Heng Balance Lamp is perhaps one of the best examples of how awards and coverage can absolutely propel a design! This DIA Top 100 Award winning lamp is a brilliant way of showing how a product interaction that is taken for granted can be turned into a new experience that’s so entertaining, rewarding, and enriching, it absolutely piques your interest… even if you were looking at a video of it online! The Heng Balance Lamp operates rather simply. Two wooden spheres (with magnets within) are secured by strings on either end of the Heng’s inner periphery. Lift the lower sphere closer to the upper one and magnetic attraction causes them to pull towards each other, and to tug on the lower string, causing the lamp to switch on. Break the magnetic attraction and the lower sphere goes limp, and the light switches off. I could probably do this all day!

Niu M Electric Scooter by Beijing Niu Technology

Designed to breathe a new breath of life into the category of electric scooters (which have been around in China for a long time), the Niu M1 is a visual reawakening for the category, making sustainable zero-emission transportation aesthetic and cool again. The Niu M1 is bold, has a clearly defined design aesthetic, silhouette, and color palette. Designed and optimized for a brilliant riding experience, the M1 comes with a robust, ergonomic design and even includes anti-theft measures by allowing the bike to communicate any alerts to you via the Niu app. The DIA Top 100 Award winning bike rekindles the love for electric scooters with its friendly, fresh design… plus that circular headlight is virtually iconic!

Mono 3D Printed Eyewear by ITUM

Imparting a new aesthetic to eyewear is just one of the things Mono does. It also makes spectacles, a product heavily dependent on ergonomic and anthropometric design, easy to customize. Made in a single piece, these eyepieces can be adjusted to suit your facial measurements, giving you a great (or quirky) looking pair of spectacles that fit your face perfectly. Aside from that, print the Mono spectacles in a resilient, robust polymer and they can resist breakage, giving you a pair of specs that don’t accidentally shatter if you sit or step on them. A winner of the DIA Top 100 Award, the Mono spectacles are innovative and disruptive on many levels. They can be customized, are designed to be flexible, and come with an innovatively designed spiral hinge that gives the temple-pieces their flexibility. Additionally, the lenses on the Mono can easily be ejected by applying pressure with your fingers, giving you the ability to slip in tinted sunglass lenses whenever you want!

HikVision Parking Robot by HikRobotics

Perhaps the most useful application for self-driving tech is in the area of driving that annoys most drivers. Parking. Hik Vision’s self-driving palette helps out by doing that task for you. The robot sits under a metal platform that carries your car. All you do is drive onto the platform, making sure your car is perfectly positioned on it, and parking robot does the rest. Using inertial navigation, visual navigation, and a set of wheels that allow the palette to travel in any direction, including rotating in place, the robot carries your car to the nearest parking spot and gingerly lowers the platform down onto the ground. Once summoned, the robot lifts the platform and your car up, and carries it back to you, eliminating pretty much any undesirable parking experience you’d otherwise have if you were parking the car yourself.

The HikVision Parking Robot is a winner of the highly coveted DIA Gold Award because of how simply it executes and solves a complex problem that automotive companies still haven’t cracked. It uses self-driving technology in an area riddled with user-problems and solves all of them effortlessly. Imagine never having to worry about parking your vehicle ever again!!

– DIA Award is set awards of Gold Award (2 Prizes – $145,000/Prize)
– Silver Award (10 Prizes – $29,000/Prize)
– Bronze Award (10 Prizes – $ 14,000/Prize)
– Honorable Mention (around 300 prizes)
– “Design Yiwu” Special award is set awards of First prize (2 Prizes – $21,000/Prize),
– Second prize (3 Prizes – $14,000/Prize)
– Third prize (5 Prizes – $7,000/Prize)
– Excellent award (10 Prizes – $1,500/Prize)

Click Here to Apply Now! Last Date for Submission: May 28th, 2019. Hurry, only 13 days left!

Citroën’s 100th year anniversary car concept makes you feel like you’re flying!

Founded way back in March 1919, Citroën has come a long way… and to celebrate 100 years of boldness and creativity at the service of freedom of movement, Citroën revealed a thing of sheer beauty, the concept 19_19, a car that embodies the company’s vision on the future of travel. Disclaimer: It’s electric, self-driving, feels like a “living room on wheels”, and takes cues from aviation design.

The car’s exterior combines the appearance of an aircraft’s fuselage, along with the transparent bubble-esque cockpit of a helicopter. Sensors that aid the car’s self driving nature are made pretty apparent with the way they appear externally on the car’s surface, and if we’re examining details, how can we forget the Citroën logo manifesting itself on the edge-lit headlights and taillights! I honestly can’t get enough of them!

The car practically feels like a magic carpet ride, thanks to Citroën’s Progressive Hydraulic Cushion Suspension system, which allows the wheels to move independently on rough terrain, keeping the cabin absolutely still. This ethereal experience is also reinforced by the massive 30-inch tires designed in collaboration with Goodyear. The tires, instead of being hollow and air-filled are porous, almost like memory-foam, allowing them to absorb impact as well as sound, giving you the feeling of gliding on air.

The 19_19 comes with a daring interior too, which Citroën claims is designed to feel like a living room on the inside. Since living rooms contain a combination of seating types, the interiors of the 19_19 have different seats too. The front seat beside the driver resembles a comfortable chaise-lounge, giving its occupant the ability to truly relax and unwind (shotgun!) Seats at the back use an innovative weave for headrests, mimicking the tension of cloth one gets from lying on a hammock.

Citroën’s vision of the future of transportation is fully electric, and is self-driven, although with the option of having a human take reins of the car (the 19_19 comes with a cockpit). The 19_19 comes with a top speed of 200 mph and an acceleration of 0-100 mph in 5 seconds. The car’s fully electric power-train gives the 19_19 a range of 800 miles while also enhancing the car’s comfort by being incredibly quiet, giving you a peaceful pleasant experience, much akin to sitting in your own living room! The 19_19 concept car will make its official debut at the VivaTech event in Paris on 16 May 2019.

Designer: Citroën

These self-driving robo-palettes will park your car while you go shopping

Perhaps the most useful application for self-driving tech is in the area of driving that annoys most drivers. Parking. Parking is perhaps the one reason I don’t enjoy driving. Looking for a spot, and then struggling to parallel park (and eventually take out) your car from said spot requires patience, skill, and willpower… virtues that I don’t possess, but a robot could.

Hik Vision’s award-winning self-driving palette helps out by doing that task for you. Unlike other parking-assistant-robots that tug your car, the Hik Vision Parking Robot operates your car from underneath it. The robot sits under a metal platform that carries your car. All you do is drive onto the platform, making sure your car is perfectly positioned on it, and parking robot does the rest. Using inertial navigation, visual navigation, and a set of wheels that allow the palette to travel in any direction, including rotating in place, the robot carries your car to the nearest parking spot and gingerly lowers the platform down onto the ground. Once summoned, the robot lifts the platform and your car up, and carries it back to you, eliminating pretty much any undesirable parking experience you’d otherwise have if you were parking the car yourself.

The Hik Vision Parking Robot is a Gold Winner of the Design Intelligence Award for the year 2018.

Designer: HikRobotics

A traveling library that takes inspiration from the ladybug

Books can transport you to an imaginary wonderland, and in many ways, LUO Studio’s Shared Lady Beetle library can too! Mounted on a bicycle, and shaped out of sheet metal, this library resembles a large ladybug, something almost out of a fairytale. Open any of its wings and inside it are bookshelves filled with books. It’s truly an amazing experience that connects children to their wildest dreams and triggers their imagination, both through form, and through the books within.

The Shared Lady Beetle Library is made entirely from recycled scrap, putting it to a nobler use. The bicycles are recycled from the millions of scrap bicycles that are lying around the world, and the ladybug’s housing is repurposed from scrap sheet metal used in cars. The shared mobile library comes in a tricycle format, and sports a fourth wheel right at the end to stabilize the structure. Children are encouraged to interact with the library and read the books inside. Upon opening the wings, the base of the bookshelf even becomes a seat that children can sit on as they read and slip into the wonderful world of make-believe!

Designers: Luo Yujie & Lu Zhuojian (LUO Studio)

Image Credits: Jin Weiqi

The Birò O2 is the only car to be made from more than 80% recycled plastic

Apparently, in just 31 years, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. It’s an incredibly scary statistic, given how many fish exist in the sea. The car company Estrima is all poised to do something about this horrible future prediction by reclaiming some plastic and using it as raw material. The Birò O2, a special variant of Estrima’s electric-scooter is, for the first time ever in automotive history, is made from more than 80% recycled plastic.

The Birò O2 is a variant of Estrima’s original Birò, a single-person electric four-wheeled scooter that provides effortless, energy-efficient transportation and is small enough to fit into scooter parking spaces. The miniscule vehicle is fully electric, and even features a removable battery that you can carry around with you and charge. The O2, aside from being as energy efficient as its predecessor, also tries to massively reduce its carbon footprint by relying on plastic that would normally find its way into landfills or oceans. Aside from the metal chassis of the car, the outer parts of the O2, including the front and the back panels (and even the hood) are made from recycled plastic.

Estrima partnered with Mandalaki Studio to execute this vision. Mandalaki sought to gather and prepare large amounts of waste left by road maintenance, such as cones and signboards, which could then be recycled by cleaning, treating, and grinding into a fine powder. This powder, derived from waste products, was used as the raw-material for rotationally molding the front and rear components of the O2. Other elements of the O2, such as the seats, the tachometer, steering wheel and doors, come made from non-recycled plastics such as thermoformed PVC, although Estrima and Mandalaki claim to be working on developing a car that’s made from 100% recycled plastic too.

The Birò O2 features a powerful electric engine that can reach top speeds of 40mph, and can travel as far as 62 miles on a single charge. Using the crucial number of 31 (years) as their reinforcing element, Estrima will produce 31 units of the Birò O2 for sale.

Designers: Estrima & Mandalaki Studio

This tree branch inspired bike pump magnetically snaps onto your bike

Advancements in materials and manufacturing methods have led to bicycles carrying a sleek and aerodynamic form that slices through the air as they race down the roads, whilst being incomprehensibly lightweight. There is nothing more frustrating than being interrupted by a puncture… apart from having to carry around a bulky, under-designed bike pump that contrasts against the graceful form of the bike! This is where BRANCH comes in, as it aims to be a carefully considered and elegant solution to this problem!

BRANCH has removed the need for the unsightly mounting brackets by relying on an unobtrusive ‘click-clack’ system that’s paired with two magnets, to securely hold the device to the bike frame. The use of this system results in a beautifully simple and fuss-free attachment method that, at first glance, creates a rather surreal spectacle. The sleek and simple form of the pump is free from detailing and material changes, to allow for it to compliment the smooth form of the bicycle frame.

Designers: Prokop Strnka & Daniel Pokorný

Scooter Designs that give your daily commute that much-needed upgrade

Versatile, stylish yet sleek, scooters are often hailed as the solution to current traffic woes! Add to this the updated electric scooters and we have, literally a solution to our energy problems. Scooters, in order to be taken seriously as an alternative and planet-friendly mode of transport, they needs to shine above their current status of high-tech toys and to do just that, we bring you our curated collection of scooter designs that showcase powerful designs packaged as this humble two-wheeler.

Stator electric scooter designed by Nathan Allen of Stator

The Motorrad Concept Link by BMW

Wooden Scooter by Martin Beinhauer

‘PAL’, smart electric scooter by LAYER for NIO Global 

Scrooser Electric Scooter by Jens Thieme of Scrooser

Q-SCOOTER by Robert Bronwasser for QWIG