2018/5 design magazine

Get inspired by the latest innovations, like Kvaern’s BMX-influenced electric bicycle, Lego compatible furniture, Kirigami medical bandages.

Robots are coming, but will they stick to the third law?

Well, actually they are already with us: Boston Dynamics “things”, a gynoid of Sofia, robot vacuum cleaners, delivery drones and self piloting cars… Back in 1942 Isaac Asimov formulated “the three laws of robotics”:

  • a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

And a bit later Asimov also added a fourth, or zeroth law, to precede the others: a robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

A future where robots flood the world, take away our work and even take over the control of the world, this has been a huge inspiration for a long time for a lot of people with creative minds.

Today robots have their own Internet, they know how to monitor the health of people and already deserved our trust.

Amazon, apparently, led the revolution of robots. In particular, the company began to introduce autonomous guided vehicles (AGV – Autonomous Guided Vehicle) on its production sites. Companies that need quickly deployable automation solutions they are ready to pay.

The Associated Press uses the Wordsmith tool from Automated Insights to generate news. According to the IABM analysts already in 2018 large media companies will increasingly use similar technological solutions.

Domestic robots will develop the same way as personal computers did – from extremely expensive and complex installations, available only to a few, to daily assistants, becoming an integral part of a comfortable life. In 2018, Nonda presented the concept of robot assistants and introduced the first amazing prototypes.

These programmable robots are equipped with sensors and cameras with the widest viewing angle, that can memorize the location of objects inside the house and yard and can perform repetitive tasks.

Another prototype of a home robot assistant is the robot Aeolus, which will help clean up the apartment, bring and supply the necessary things.

Cobots (short for English collaborative robot) is the fastest growing segment in automation. So they call robots that do not replace a person in production, but work with him side by side. One go the huge area of their implementation is logistics and medicine.

Individual devices of small size collect and monitor all your vital signs, transfer them to your doctor, do mini injections and dozens of amazing procedures.

Operations using robots are already there, and their number will constantly grow. The use of robots can minimize the risk of medical errors, reduce tissue damage and improve the prognosis for the patient, even with the most complex diagnosis.

Being a great instrument robots are becoming more popular, and even smarter, stronger, faster and more flexible. And it seems that their presence in our lives will only increase. Robots think, process data and make decisions. New developments open a lot of technical possibilities and new business opportunities.

Of course robots would never be able never replace people, but they can definitely improve the quality of our life. And what about threats? Would robots ever break the laws of Asimov? Doubtful…

I agree…

Dima Yarovinsky prints out the ‘terms of service’ of leading online services such as facebook, snapchat, instagram and tinder on standard a4-size rolls. The project aims to visualize how small and helpless users are against large corporations.

According to the designer, the average person reads at a rate of 200 words per minute while a standard ‘terms of service’ agreement contains 11.972 words which means that even if a user did attempt to read the terms before agreeing to them, it would take approximately 60 minutes.


Kvaern’s BMX-influenced electric bicycle is missing a seatpost, and features a solar-powered charging pack. It can accelerate from 0 to 15 mph in 4.5 seconds and makes use of a torque sensor that varies the electrical assist to suit riding conditions. Driven by a 250W motor paired up with a 36 V battery, it offers a range of 50 km.

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LEGO compatible furniture

Studio NINE’s Lego compatible furniture aims at being a playground for your children. The furniture comes with a machined textured layer that’s all too familiar. Made from Corian, the polymer-based marble substitute, the furniture has a premium feel. The purpose of the simple design being twofold. It can either blend well into a house and can be infinitely decorated by using pieces of Lego that just simply snap onto the furniture’s dot-embossed surface.


With the aesthetic of a television and the enamel of an alarm clock, QTV is not really either. There is an alarm feature and it does have a built-in timer, but first and foremost, this adorable little piece of tech nostalgia is a wireless bluetooth speaker.

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Kirigami medical bandages

Employing the art of traditional Japanese paper-cutting art could make bandages, heat pads, and wearable electronics adhere to flexible surfaces. MIT engineers have come up with a solution in the form of a thin, lightweight, rubber-like film. When cut with a kirigami pattern the material has a useful clinginess not offered with standard bandages. The kirigami cuts give the film not only stretch, but also better grip.

iRobot art

This iRobot vacuum-cleaner was hacked by artist Masato Yamaguchi, and armed with bottles of paint and given a set of autonomous commands. From that point forward it got the ability to dribble paint, which created a unique style akin to such as Kline and Pollock.

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Chalk Drawers By Nikolas Bentel

Each drawer is designed on a quinary number system, which allows them to be used as an accurate drawing instrument for any metric system. And because they can draw five lines at once, the toys can also be used to draw musical staff lines.

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Airless 3D printed tires

Flexible enough to easily bend and fit onto your regular rim. Durable enough to handle roads with relative ease. The airless tire comes with a honeycomb-style construction that gives it its springiness and shape-memory.

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MIT researchers use bitmap technology to create 3D-printed hair. The technology, called Cilllia, means that high-density hairy or furry surfaces common in nature can now be created artificially. Potential uses for the printed fur include producing low-friction surfaces, touch-control interfaces as well as creating new aesthetic and tactile experiences.

Fully functioning paintbrushes can also be printed, complete with ultra-thin bristles.

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