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Category Archives: Industrial Design

13 July 3
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Quadrocopters are coming …

Under - Industrial Design, Inspiration, Technology
Control of multiple quadrotor robots to cooperatively transport a payload

Control of multiple quadrotor robots to cooperatively transport a payload

Every now and then we get to see a video of these quadrocopters from the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab performing new precise manoeuvres in a cooperative logic. The technology becoming mature as the time is passing and the practical use of such devices (or systems) in future is not very far – military or civilian.


Cooperative Grasping and Transport using Quadrotors

Micro Autonomous Systems Technologies (MAST) is a collaboration with University of Maryland, University of Michigan, BAE Systems and Army Research Laboratories. Our vision is to develop Autonomous Multifunctional Mobile Microsystems (Am3), a networked group of small vehicles and sensors operating in dynamic, resource-constrained, adversarial environments. While individual units may be specialized, Am3 will be multifunctional because of its heterogeneity, the ability of individual units to automatically reconfigure and adapt to the environment and to human commands, and its distributed intelligence.


Aggressive Maneuvers for Autonomous Quadrotor Flight

London’s new Routemaster

Under - Industrial Design, Technology

Whatever the critics say I find this new bus design awesome. It’s beautifully done and indeed iconic.

New Routemaster

New Routemaster

The New Bus for London is inspired by the much-loved Routemaster and will use the latest green technology when it launches in 2012.

The New Bus for London will meet London Buses’ requirements for vehicles in public service in London, including high standards of accessibility, safety and emissions abatement. In addition, it will be more durable, more fuel efficient and better ventilated. The bus will incorporate a double-deck and a platform at the rear near-side corner, so passengers will be able to get on and off easily.

New Routemaster

New Routemaster

Future of UI by John Underkoffler

Under - Design, Industrial Design, Inspiration, Media, Technology, Usability

Minority Report science adviser and inventor John Underkoffler demos g-speak — the real-life version of the film’s eye-popping, tai chi-meets-cyberspace computer interface. Is this how tomorrow’s computers will be controlled?

IBM’s Smarter Planet – color sensitive interactive billboard

Under - Advertising, Design, Industrial Design, Media, Technology

IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign acknowledges the importance of intelligent systems in the world today. In the retail industry, for example, consumer data around something as simple as color can have massive implications around shipping, inventory and, ultimately, overall sales.

This interactive billboard is a simple and engaging virtual demonstration of how a smarter retail system can work.

PUMA Fuseproject Packaging

Under - Industrial Design, Inspiration

PUMA and Yves Béhar developed over 21 months a more sustainable packaging and distribution system in keeping with PUMA’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.

PUMA setting a great example here by giving up wasteful packaging. It would be unjust not to appreciate the efforts behind it. I wish all those super market giants come forward and stop packaging and labelling grapes, bananas and sliced apples and spend that money for something meaningful such as determining realistic ‘sell by’ and ‘best before’ dates. And, on ideas to extend the life of on-the-shelves and purchased food.

The same applies to all electronic manufacturers. Have you ever noticed how ridiculously those SD cards are packed? From cell phones to headphones, things are so superfluously packaged that I literally get annoyed when my rubbish bin is full of stuff that can easily be avoided.

30 March 8
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Ordinary to extraordinary

Under - Industrial Design, Inspiration
Bad Table

Bad Table

Designer Judson Beaumont is always looking for a way to push furniture past the expected and into the exciting. His furniture has a personality and quirkiness that really makes you wonder why other furniture is so darn ordinary!

Little Black Dresser

Little Black Dresser

Squiddy Table

Squiddy Table

Wooden Rocks Cabinet and Cracked Dresser

Wooden Rocks Cabinet and Cracked Dresser

Sobey Dressers

Sobey Dressers

Boom and Joined at the Hip Cabinets

Boom and Joined at the Hip Cabinets

Visit Straight Line Designs to view more extraordinary furniture.

26 March 20
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QlockTwo – time in words

Under - Design, Industrial Design, Technology, Typography
QlockTwo – The fourth dimension squared by Biegert & Funk

QlockTwo – The fourth dimension squared by Biegert & Funk

This unconventional looking typographic clock is a creation of Biegert & Funk – straight from Germany. QlockTwo tells the time by illuminating words with LEDs. The clock is fitted with light sensor for automatic adjustment to ambient light. The magnetic front part can be replaced without any visible attachments so you have plenty of color choices to suite your mood.

QlockTwo – The fourth dimension squared by Biegert & Funk

9 March 8
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Nissan’s joke with Juke

Under - Design, Industrial Design

Yahoo Cars today published an article on ‘Top five cars coming in 2010’ on display at the Geneva Motor Show which is up till 14th March.

At first sight I couldn’t believe that Nissan could do something like this! I’m talking about the thing called Juke. After the elegantly done Qashqai, that I truly admire and driven myself, how come Nissan could venture into something so controversial looking. Seriously, just look at it.

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke

Heavily inspired by their ‘Qazana’ concept car, about which autoblog.com says ‘Nissan Qazana is so bizarre it almost looks French’, Juke has a ‘heavy dose of sportiness’. Although designed and built in Sunderland (UK) like Qashqai, Juke is a very Japanese car design to me than anything else. Technology apart, automobile design is something where only few specialize in. If Nissan is trying to repeat the Qashqai phenomenon here then I don’t think things would be exactly the same with this model – Qashqai was bold and Juke is awkwardly bold.

Nissan Juke

Nissan Qazana Concept

Nissan Qazana Concept Car - compare this to the above Juke

I personally like the ‘bizarre’ Qazana design, the problems that I can pick are mostly around the consumer version where front part is very badly adopted. The multiple front lights, out of which two are protruding, and their overall composition making it impossible to focus on Juke’s ‘face’ hence the overall design losing its impact. Despite the exaggerated masculine body the overall look-n-feel is very subtle compare to Qazana’s sculpted body. Every time I look at Juke I think of this.

Qazana Juke Comparison

A concept lost in the making - Qazana/Juke Comparison

Qazana Juke Comparison

Qazana/Juke Comparison - another view

Qazana’s overall design has been downgraded into Juke making it a weirdly looking car from a distinctive one (ok, being weird is sort of distinctive). The above pictures show how the Qazana ‘concept’ is lost in the making. Those two protruding lights and their proportionate relation with the other two front lights is missing in Juke along with overall slick, smart yet masculine and sporty shape characteristics. I’m not going into every minute detail to illustrate how much is lost but Juke is like a novice repainting a master piece.

22 February 2
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Flyfire

Under - Design, Industrial Design, Inspiration, Technology
Flyfire, Raster Image Display – Mona Lisa

Flyfire, Raster Image Display – Mona Lisa

Imagine transforming any ordinary space into a highly immersive and interactive display environment! This is what exactly SENSEable City Laboratory and ARES Lab (Aerospace Robotics and Embedded Systems Laboratory) aiming at MIT.

From the project website:

In its first implementation, the Flyfire project sets out to explore the capabilities of this display system by using a large number of self-organizing micro helicopters. Each helicopter contains small LEDs and acts as a smart pixel. Through precisely controlled movements, the helicopters perform elaborate and synchronized motions and form an elastic display surface for any desired scenario.

With the self-stabilizing and precise controlling technology from the ARES Lab, the motion of the pixels is adaptable in real time. The Flyfire canvas can transform itself from one shape to another or morph a two-dimensional photographic image into an articulated shape. The pixels are physically engaged in transitioning images from one state to another, which allows the Flyfire canvas to demonstrate a spatially animated viewing experience.

Visit Flyfire project website to learn more about it.

29 January 1
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iPad – actually it is an e-book reader …

Under - Industrial Design, My Musings, Technology

… disguised as a netbook or may be a formidable hybrid of both! But, with iPad Apple has defined a new category of products that many going to follow in coming days. With the revelation of iBookstore, it is foreseeable where the whole game plan is leading to.

Apple iPad

iPad is an amplified version of iPhone but without a phone that is going to run all iPhone apps. It is an excellent alternate to netbooks and thin enough to be used as e-reader. As an e-reader, iPad is way advanced than what we are currently familiar with in the form of Amazon Kindle or Sony Reader. As mentioned earlier in a different context, this device has the potential of becoming an ultimate e-reader and PMP.

Apple iPad

Smartphones are excellent but still small enough to be used as practical devices for everyday use. With iPad, Apple has successfully combined several products in one. Many would struggle to fit this product into the current hierarchy of consumer electronics but I see it clearly replacing conventional laptops, tablets and netbooks.

What future holds from Amazon Kindle or Sony Reader – I don’t know but I’m sure for one thing that iPad, when wrapped in leather, is a clear invitation to Microsoft Courier to enter into the ring with caution.