Italy
Intelligence in the abyss
Intelligence in the abyss Would you dive into a body of water populated by about 150 robots? That’s what could happen if you were to fall off a “gondola” in the Venice lagoon, where scientists from an initiative of seven European research institutes, are giving birth to the world’s largest population of autonomous robots .
A smart city means an inclusive city
A smart city means an inclusive city Like every year, December 3 will be a United Nations sanctioned International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) . The aim is to increase public awareness of the conditions of disabled people and, at the same time, to celebrate their achievements and contributions.
Gianluca Dotti
Gianluca Dotti I am a freelance science writer and journalist born in 1988 in the heart of the Po Valley in Italy. I started my career studying physics and specializing in condensed matter and applied physics.
Supergrids: the challenging comeback of direct current
Supergrids: the challenging comeback of direct current Today the challenge is to enable better transmission from one country to another while reducing CO 2 with efficient links between renewable energy and the grid.
Do microbes control our mood?
Do microbes control our mood? If aliens were to examine a human, they would think we were just slavish organisms designed to feed microbes and carry them around. Our bodies contain ten times more bacteria than cells , and there are an estimated 3.
Robots in distress in the Venetian Lagoon
Robots in distress in the Venetian Lagoon Can mathematics be expressed poetically through computational technologies? Visual artists Vicky Isley and Paul Smith believe it can be and are collaborating with the Artificial Life Lab of the University of Graz, in Austria, on the Subcultron project (Submarine Cultures Perform Long-Term Exploration of Unconventional Environmental Niches).
Bioeconomy: the ideal mix to pave the way for investments
Bioeconomy: the ideal mix to pave the way for investments Investors look for a number of things before betting on a company or product in the bioeconomy sector: prestigious and experienced team, economic sustainability, competitive advantage, and potential users.
Cities: surviving floods and significant whims of the weather
Cities: surviving floods and significant whims of the weather Part of the solution to counter the devastating effects of floods on human communities could be long-term climate forecasting, backed by assessments on the vulnerability of towns and cities As centres of innovation and growth, European cities are home to around 75% of the continent’s population and use about 80% of the energy it produces.
Italian cities: not only beautiful, now they want to be smart
Italian cities: not only beautiful, now they want to be smart Italy is famous all over the world for its historical cities, but their beauty is not enough anymore. They want to be smart. Two of the experimental forerunners developing energy efficiency measures are Udine and Salerno .
New superconductive material for long-distance energy transmission
New superconductive material for long-distance energy transmission The energy landscape in Europe is changing rapidly and the percentage of renewables is steadily increasing. For example, in Germany solar and wind power provided an average of 33% of the total electricity production in 2015.
High-tech and low-cost solutions to handle urban waste
High-tech and low-cost solutions to handle urban waste Low-cost interventions, big data analysis and new regulations on landfills are key factors for the smart management of waste in cities.
Smart cities vs “locked-in” cities
Smart cities vs “locked-in” cities As more and more cities launch projects to become smart, a substantial need is emerging: the ability to share the various models across the world so that they can be replicated anywhere.
Social, green, but primarily as an investment: all the features of energy crowdfunding
Social, green, but primarily as an investment: all the features of energy crowdfunding There are three ways a crowdfunding project can be financed. Lending: the entrepreneurs borrow money and pay interest; equity: investors in the project become its shareholders; donations: no reward is to be expected (there is a fourth way, a mix of equity and lending called “hybrid”).
Saving a Monster: Retrofitting of Social Housing
Saving a Monster: Retrofitting of Social Housing They live in a 1970s building complex bundling where they all have to share the energy costs of their significantly inefficient building. These running costs are unreasonable and have been known to reach five times the rent level.
Which is more wholesome: wild or farmed fish?
Which is more wholesome: wild or farmed fish? Choosing between wild and farmed fish is often a dilemma for consumers.  Wild-captured fish cost twice as much as their farmed counterparts ; a difference that many believe is justified by their better taste and nutritional properties.
Fashion “detox” catwalks - Towards sustainable textile production
Fashion “detox” catwalks - Towards sustainable textile production When you see a beautiful shirt on a fashion model or in a shop window, you ask yourself: shall I buy it? Can I afford it? But before deciding, there is another question to be answered : How much damage ...
Saving energy through a user-friendly experience
Saving energy through a user-friendly experience Living or working in high energy-efficient buildings can be a great opportunity but users need to feel empowered. This means making them aware of the building features and allowing them to manage some of the appliances by themselves.
Energy crowdfunding: the new way to boost renewables
Energy crowdfunding: the new way to boost renewables It's a brand new sector: the first steps date back to 2012. Today energy crowdfunding is a way of financing solar panel or wind turbine projects.
The cost of blackouts in Europe
The cost of blackouts in Europe In January 2005, a severe storm swept across Northern Europe, from Ireland to Russia. More than 500,000 homes were left without power, with Denmark and Southern Sweden being particularly hard-hit.
How to measure the quality of life in smart cities?
How to measure the quality of life in smart cities? From pollution levels and the number of traffic accidents to safer public spaces and more efficient heating in buildings:  to what extent can the smartness of a city be quantified?  And  is it possible to measure the quality of life  for an urban area through numerical parameters? It’s all about collecting data that is reliable and making sense of the numbers afterwards.
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