2017/5 design magazine

Get inspired by the latest innovations, such as the Volvo autonomous garbage truck, rearviz, runbell, elbow.

Self driving Volvo refuse truck

Volvo is testing a pioneering self-driving refuse truck that potentially is going to be used across the urban environment. The truck is better for the driver, more economical with fuel and safer in traffic. “There is amazing potential to transform the technical developments into practical benefits for customers and society in general. Our self-driving refuse truck is leading the way in this field globally,” says Lars Stenqvist, Chief Technology Officer. Volvo’s autonomous refuse truck is designed to make the driving safer in built-up areas, not least when reversing. Sensors continuously monitor the vehicle’s vicinity and the truck stops immediately if an obstacle suddenly appears in its path. The route is pre-programmed and the truck drives itself from one wheelie-bin to the next. The driver, who walks ahead of the reversing vehicle, can focus on refuse collection and does not have to climb into and out of the cab every time the truck moves to a new bin. “One important benefit of the new technology is a reduction in the risk of occupational injuries, such as wear in knee joints – otherwise a common ailment among staff working with refuse collection,” explains Lars Stenqvist. The autonomous truck also offers major environmental upsides. Gearchanging, steering and speed are constantly optimised for low fuel consumption and emissions. The joint project with Renova will continue until end of 2017. The autonomous truck currently being tested is fitted with a sensor system for identification, navigation, and monitoring of the vehicle’s vicinity. Most of this technology is also used in the autonomous truck for mining operations that Volvo unveiled in 2016. That self-driving truck is undergoing tests in the Kristineberg Mine in northern Sweden. Watch the video source: volvogroup.com/automation

The RearViz

A hand-mounted convex rear view mirror that allows you to look behind you. It can adjust in 360° to point wherever you want it. Bekijk de video


A sleek, stylish wearable bell for runners, solving the problem of how to courteously warn pedestrians on shared pathways. Bekijk de video


The Elbow is so petite, it looks almost like an accessory for the cassette tape. While it grabs the cassette’s spools in its elbow arms, the hinge sits against the exposed magnetic tape. A knob on the device allows you to control playback. It even comes with a small magnetic clip, allowing you to attach it to your clothes, or a bag. It even pushes things a notch higher by including a MiniUSB port, not just for charging the Elbow, but also for allowing you to digitally extract audio from a cassette tape to your PC.

Teleavia Retro

A television to invoke retro inspiration. It’s subtly vintage looking but not in a cheesy way. A space-saving flat screen and modern features with the charm of a tube TV. If we would need to have a tv at home, then better this one, instead of the large square black holes.

Harvesting wind energy with a plane

There is sufficient wind to power the world’s growing energy demand, but we need the right technology to harvest this enormous potential. Ampyx Power is developing an Airborne Wind Energy System with a tethered aircraft that converts wind into electricity. An autonomous aircraft is tethered to a generator on the ground. It moves in a regular cross wind figure-8 pattern at an altitude from 200m up to 450m. When the aircraft moves, it pulls the tether which drives the generator. Once the tether is reeled out to a predefined tether length of ~750m, the aircraft automatically descends towards a lower altitude causing the tether to reel in. Then it ascends and repeats the process. After three generations of prototypes the production of a fully functional 250 kW prototype has started. A scaled up version, a 2 MW commercial system, will be available from 2020. Bekijk de video


Using CrossFloss is more like chewing a gum, than brushing teeth or using dental sticks. Oral hygiene enters the public space, transcending the conventional limitations of the bathroom. Mouth closed. Bekijk de video

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