tech materials fashion fabric fluid_dynamics turbulence olympics sports winter skating
Suits Help Athletes Slice Through Air

by Txchnologist staff

Shaving hundredths of a second off 2014 Winter Olympics speed skaters’ times isn’t just the job of the athlete on the ice. Polymer and textile scientists were called in to create suits that minimize drag across skaters’ bodies while they’re in motion. 

The National Science Foundation and NBC Learn took a look at these state-of-the-art materials. They found that elite U.S. athletes are sporting uniforms capable of helping them bring home gold. 

Top Image: Gif made from Youtube video. Courtesy NSF/NBC Learn.

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The 21st Century Walking Truck

Johnathan Tippett is a man with a vision. He is billing his creation, pictured above in the first GIF, as the world’s first racing anti-robot. Or, in other words, a robot that is fully controlled by a person. His creation appears to be the grandchild of GE’s experimental walking truck from the 1950s.

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Going Vertical

by Michael Keller

Urban-Think Tank, an interdisciplinary design firm focusing on contemporary architecture and urbanism, announced the opening on Aug. 10 of the latest and largest of its vertical gymnasia in Caracas, Venezuela. It is expected to serve 1,000 children and adults daily, free of charge.

UTT took what people typically use parks for and engineered those needs into a vertical open-air structure for highly developed areas that lack such space. They packed the 15,000 square-foot facility—built in an underserved, densely populated area—with sport yards and multifunctional areas.

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Soccer’s ‘Electric’ Potential

by Peter Gwynne, Inside Science

In June, as national soccer teams from around the world resume playing qualification games for the 2014 World Cup, a group of 20-somethings will kick off a soccer-related project with a global purpose that goes beyond athletic competition.

They will start full-scale manufacture of soccer-style balls that generate and store electric power when kicked around.

After playtime with these “Soccket” balls, families and communities that lack reliable access to electricity can use the balls’ power for lighting and – eventually – other electrical applications.

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