Circuit board made from paper can be disposed after one use

While we’ve been enjoying all sorts of electronic devices and gadgets the past decades, one consequence of this is that there is a lot of electronic waste lying around. Most of the components are not recycled or re-used, adding to things that are continually bad for the planet. The alternative is of course to upcycle or find ways to still use these devices or their components in one way or another. Another option would be to come up with components that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Designer: State University of New York at Binghamton

University researchers were able to come up with a prototype for a circuit board made from paper that can be disposed of after just one use. Instead of using the usual metal, resin, and glass ingredients for the components, this single-use circuit board was created from a single sheet of paper. And amazingly, it worked with other fully-integrated electrical components. After using it (unspecified for how long though), you can just burn it or leave to degrade on its own.

They used wax to print the channels on the paper and then melted it until it was soaked by the material. For the areas that did not have the wax, they printed semi-conductive and conductive inks as well as screen-printed conductive metal and a gel-based electrolyte. The final result was a thin and flexible piece of paper with a working resistor, capacitor, and transistor. And when the user no longer needs it, you can just burn it to pieces so no waste is left. Well, except for the ashes of course.

While the single-use circuit board is in itself more environmentally-friendly already than the regular ones, the team is still looking for ways to use non-biodegradable materials for the other components. Depending on how this can be mass-produced and adapted by gadget makers, this can be one small step towards more disposable devices.

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Man Builds Dream Desk from Circuit Boards Encased In Resin

Because with enough liquid resin, anything is possible, YouTuber buildxyz constructed his dream standing desk by encasing printed circuit boards (PCBs) in clear plastic. What a beauty. As I’m sure Indiana Jones would agree, it belongs in a museum. Presumably, right alongside a bunch of old statues with missing arms.

In addition to some very beautiful woodworking, the desk includes adjustable mood lighting, a wireless charging station, cable management solutions, an under-desk computer mount, and, perhaps most importantly, a built-in coaster. I mean, you have to set your drink somewhere, and better on a coaster than in your lap – that’s my motto.

Now that’s a nice desk. Way nicer than my standing desk, which, yes, is a closet door lying across two piles of boxes. I originally built it to see if I’d like a standing desk enough to justify purchasing one, but I loved the price of this one so much that I never got around to buying another one. Sure it slants to one side, and the doorknob always gets in the way when I’m typing, but it was free. Besides, the guest bedroom doesn’t really need a closet door anyways.

[via HackADay]

This ergonomic keyboard allows users to customize each key’s placement to improve workflow

The Dygma Raise Keyboard is a customizable keyboard that splits into two halves to optimize ergonomics and streamline the workday.

For all that computers do for us, their design has remained pretty constant. You have the conventional keyboard, the rectangular trackpad, and the flat screen. No matter what kind of work you do on your computer, its design language never changes. While consistency is always a plus when it comes to design, the layout of computers and their accessories could benefit from some customization to fit different needs and physical tendencies.

Dygma, an electronic brand set on creating a paradigm shift within the industry, collaborated with designers Alvaro Navarro and Julio Redondo to create Dygma Raise, an ergonomic, customizable keyboard that can split into two halves for the ultimate bespoke experience.

The Dygma Raise was initially conceived to streamline workflow and avoid unnecessary finger movements. To achieve this, the Dygma team, along with Navarro and Redondo, worked to create a keyboard whose keys can be lifted and switched with other keys for users to have a completely unique keyboard experience.

If you find yourself using the same keyboard shortcut throughout the workday, Dygma allows users to position those keys near each other to avoid unnatural finger positioning.

Exuding ergonomics by its very design, the switching of the keys isn’t the only appeal of the Dygma Raise Keyboard. Users can also split the keyboard in half so that their wrists, hands, and shoulders can rest in a healthy, upright position throughout the workday.

Constructed from a double-coated anodized aluminum body and overlaid with PBT double-shot keycaps, the Dygma Raise keyboard also comes with removable and washable palm pads for wrists to have a comfortable resting position.

Designers: Alvaro Navarro, Julio Redondo x Dygma

Users can easily switch each key’s placement just by removing them and placing them elsewhere.

Magnetic tubing keeps the keyboard’s two halves together. 

Just like the individual keys, users can halve the keyboard by detaching the magnetic fasteners. 

The Dygma Rais Keyboard keeps a slim body to maintain a familiar look and size.

The Dygma Raise Keyboard comes in black or white with hidden neon spotlights. 

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Sustainable tiles made of recycled glass gathered from old appliances are reducing electronic waste!

Everyone is chasing the next sustainable material that will change the design industry, from seaweed to mushroom no stone (or plant) is left unturned given how urgently we need alternatives to combat climate change. But at the same time, very few are looking at how to recycle existing sustainable materials like glass that can give them a second life! Common Sands is a design project focused on just that – recycling glass from consumer electronics and turning them into tiles that would otherwise end up with electronic waste.

Glass is sustainable from its origin to its end. While the process of making it contributes to emissions like most things, we can counteract it by extending the life of the glass as it is infinitely recyclable rather than letting it go to waste only to make more of it. Sand is a crucial resource to our technology-focused society, it does a lot more than lay at the beach! We production of silicon microchips, fiberoptic cables, insulation, solar cells, and it is also the primary ingredient in glass which is used in the production of consumer electronic products such as fridges, microwaves, and computers.

Despite strenuous attempts to extract, transport, refine and process sand into complex electronic components, not much is done to recycle these components when the electronic goods are discarded after use partly because there are no clear directives on effectively processing glass from electronic waste. To address this issue, a Norwegian architectural design office called Snøhetta collaborated with Brussels-based Studio Plastique to research and explore the possibility of recycling as well as utilizing glass contained in electronic waste.

After multiple trials, prototypes, and variations, the team developed a standard process for recycling electronic waste glass components as well as an application that integrates its variable material quality – glass tiles! This is where Italian ceramic tile manufacturer Fornace Brioni came in and brought their experience, industrial know-how, production facilities, and potential for scalability to the project to the table. The team is starting with waste glass from ovens and microwaves to demonstrate the aesthetic depth, function, and potential of the recycled material.

Using recycled glass, the team made tiles in two different sizes that were both opaque and transparent. Each one had a unique pattern and look, but all the tiles showed a deeply complex, terrazzo-like material quality. This determined that they are suitable for a wide range of architectural applications, including both surface coverage and semi-transparent partition elements! Common Sands has now turned potential waste into architectural glass tiles that are scalable, infinitely recyclable, and effectively reducing electronic waste!

Designers: Snøhetta, Studio Plastique, and Fornace Brioni

The post Sustainable tiles made of recycled glass gathered from old appliances are reducing electronic waste! first appeared on Yanko Design.

This Nintendo Game Boy-inspired walkie talkie takes you straight to the 90’s with style!

10-2, the 90s are back with this Nintendo Game Boy-inspired walkie-talkie!

Designer Sidhant Patnaik’s skills in KeyShot will take most of us back to our childhood a.k.a the time we didn’t have smartphones but instead, we had beloved gadgets like Game Boys. Even today you will find many Game Boy stans and this walkie-talkie is a collectible for the fandom.

The design sticks to the original aesthetics but instead of playing your favorite games, this one lets you communicate with those around you (yes, we all have phones but this is far more exciting!) so better brush up on the lingo, do you copy?

Bonus points to Sidhant for the neon-yellow screen that takes us to the glow you would see every night you spend your eyes glued to your game while staying up, late in the night!

The volume controls are run by a tiny knob on the top of the walkie-talkie, with a red line to highlight the volume. The classic combination of red, white, and black is an ode to our memories.

If this walkie-talkie becomes a reality, it will be like the summer of Pokemon Go all over again and we are not complaining!

Designer: Sidhant Patnaik

Royole just launched a DIY ‘Flexible Display Kit’ to help anyone build and prototype folding tech products!

From the company that created the world’s first folding phone comes an open-source kit to help anyone build their own products with flexible displays!

Royole has shown an incredible ability to find the right niche and pivot at the right time with their technological offerings. The company arguably built the first-ever flexible smartphone – the FlexPai – outpacing even Samsung, and their RoKit now aims at helping democratize the fully flexible display (FFD), so creatives and designers can tinker with it, building their own products too.

The kit comes packaged in a pretty impressive aluminum briefcase, containing everything you need to bring your unique tech idea to life. The upper part of the briefcase houses Royole’s 3rd Generation Cicada Wing 7.8-inch fully flexible touch-sensitive display, while the lower half of the briefcase contains a development motherboard running Android 10, an HDMI adapter (in case you want to connect your flexible display to an existing computer like a Raspberry Pi, smartphone, laptop, or any other gadget), and a bunch of power cables for good measure.

The idea behind the RoKit, says Royole Founder and CEO Dr. Bill Liu, is to “invite every industry to imagine and design with flexibility in mind, unfolding new possibilities for creators and accelerating the development of flexible solutions in all walks of life.” Envisioned as the world’s first open platform flexible electronics development kit, the RoKit allows other creators to do exactly what Royole did with the FlexPai in 2018 – create electronic products that the world has never seen before.

To show how limitless their flexible displays can be, Royole’s even created a few conceptual products that highlight exactly how folding screens can make products sleeker, smaller, and better. The examples include (as shown below) handheld gimbals/cameras with slide-out displays, a slick monolithic computer that transitions magically from keyboard to screen (I wonder where they got that idea from), and even a helmet with a rear display that contours perfectly to the shape of the head, allowing you to communicate efficiently with drivers behind you.

For now, the RoKit is available for purchase on the Royole website in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and China. Priced at $959, it definitely isn’t cheap, although one could make the case that it’s just about affordable for being able to test out and prototype a product before you actually develop it with mass-produced flexible displays.

Designer: Royole

Printed Circuit Board Kits Turn into Magic Voodoo Robots

Normally, printed circuit boards are green and rectangular or square in shape. But these unique circuit boards come in colors like yellow, orange, and blue. Beyond being colorful, they’re designed to be taken apart and assembled into wonderful little robots.

Designed by Geeek Club, these Magic Voodoo Bots are festive little robots that come flat-packed on special printed circuit boards. Simply cut the pieces out of the boards, and put your basic electronics skills to work to assemble them. The finished robots look awesome when lit up, and they vibrate too which makes them skitter around.

Magic Voodoo Bots come sold in a $129 boxed set that includes seven different mini robots, along with all of the electronic components, parts, and tools you need to build them, including a soldering iron, and a rotary tool you’ll need to cut the pieces out with.

These would make a great gift for anyone just getting started in electronics, and when you’re done building them, you’ll have some really nifty light-up art to display on your desk or bookshelf.

[via Reddit]

I Have Concrete Evidence These Gadgets Won’t Ever Work

Normally, electronics require circuit board, electricity, and various other parts in order to function. So I can say with 100% certainty that gadgets made from concrete will not function no matter how much you want them to. Still, I think these concrete sculptures of electronics and other devices would look pretty cool sitting on a shelf.

Denver artist Eric Sahs of Concrete Collectibles makes replicas of various objects by molding them, then casting them in concrete. He then finishes them with terra cotta glazes and masonry stains to give them added dimension and depth.

Among the many concrete objects in his Etsy shop are a computer keyboard, a vintage Fisher Price kid’s television, boomboxes, various cameras, and a completely unsolvable Rubik’s Cube.

Prices for the concrete sculptures range from about $63 up to $400, making them quite a bit more expensive than the objects upon which they are based. Still, I think they’re pretty nifty, and there’s clearly a good amount of work that goes into making these unique works of art. Personally, I’d love to have the concrete Atari 2600 joystick on my bookshelf.

Sphero acquires LittleBits and its set of scientific toys

The popular STEAM education company Sphero announced today that it has acquired LittleBits. You may remember LittleBits as the company behind toys that teach kids about electronics, and Sphero has made a name for itself creating educational coding ro...