ZuTA Pocket Printer

The problem with most printers is that even the smallest ones require a backpack-sized case to move around. Introducing the ZUtA Pocket Printer, which is a fully-functional machine stripped of everything except the print head, enabling it to roam free across the page. “We have created a mobile printer that is easy and fun to use, can be taken anywhere, prints from any device (laptop, tablet, smartphone, you name it!) on to any sized page,” said the team. Continue reading for more technologies that were unveiled this year.

5. Augmented Reality Sandbox

The Augmented Reality Sandbox allows students and the public to interact with a miniature landscape, sculpting mountains, valleys, rivers and even volcanoes, with off the shelf readily available parts. Topographic maps are crucial tools used by geologists, geographers and adventurous hikers. A newly-built apparatus at UCLA makes topographic maps fun and interactive for everyone by projecting them in 3D.

4. Scalevo Stair-Climbing Wheelchair

The Scalevo wheelchair is electric-powered and balances on two wheels while driving on even ground. To climb and descend stairs or overcome bigger obstacles a set of tracks can be lowered dynamically to keep the user level at all times. The driving speed on the stairs and balancing on the ground demonstrated in the video will be increased after further testing.

3. Arbuxis Flexible Phone

“Our goal was to create a device that combines advanced smartphone technology with the convenience and mobility of smart watches and fitness trackers – a handheld phone when you need it, a wearable device when you want it. No longer will you need to carry and connect a smart watch, fitness tracker, and smartphone all at once. No need to carry around a bunch of stuff. Portal offers you the best of those devices at the times you choose,” said the team.

2. 3D-Printed Prosthetic Hand

Joel Gibbard, a 25-year-old Plymouth University robotics graduate, has created new, far cheaper robotic hands, winning the UK James Dyson Award for an invention that uses 3D printing to transform the bionics industry, in the process. These devices usually cost as much as £60,000, but by using 3D printing and other techniques, his company Open Robotics has been able to slash that to only £3,000.

1. Water-Absorbing Concrete

This innovative ‘thirsty’ concrete sucks up hundreds of gallons of water in less than a minute and could spell the end of puddles. Concrete is rarely the most fascinating of subjects, but a strange ‘thirsty’ version of the material has turned it into something rather compelling. Topmix Permeable concrete is designed to be a super-absorbent surface covering that allows water to seep through it rather than sitting on top in an attempt to combat flooding.