Preserving Nature with Technology
New uses for 3d technology
Who is helping
Two teams of engineering students from the University of Waikato has won 10,000 dollars to their projects. Their goal is to in cooperate technology to help preserve reoccurring natural problems. Each team has picked a case to help the environment and push the limits of technology.
One team is focused on helping farm sea clams that are now endangered. The group named themselves Blue Tide Aquaculture, which is a fitting name for an organization focused on assisting the Toheroa sea clam from going extinct. Farming these clams will not only help the species survive, but it will create a high-value food item and boost the local economy.
The team wants to grow these clams in recycled plastic molds. The first prototypes were created by 3D laser scanners. They were able to scan original shells that the clams naturally live in and create a replica using the recycled plastic.
The second team to win this prize calls themselves OneBin. They have created a smart waste bin that is run with A.I., also known as artificial intelligence. A user will be able to place all trash inside of the bin, and the bin will be able to sort recycling from waste! This will not only make sure the process is done correctly, but it will also save the user time.
The money won from this contest will go to having a final product and putting one in a place where it can be used and tested by the public. Whichever team wins will receive an additional 100,000 dollars to keep building and growing on their products.
What is 3D laser scanning
3D laser scanners have developed in the past few years, creating a way for us to live our lives at higher quality and sustainably. The technology was built in the 1960s but didn’t gain any traction until the 1990s. Since then, it has developed into one of the most useful technologies that has been adopted around the world in a very fast manner.
3D laser scanners take thousands of pictures of an object to collect information on it. They are able to catch every single microscopic detail. Such as shape, size, width, texture, and color. It is an invaluable tool that cuts the need for humans to spend an hour studying one object.
It creates a way to get detailed results of a particular item in less than half the time it would take a human to find those details. That is why people are adopting this tool so quickly. It is easy to handle and maneuver, and there are specific programs that can edit the images, print them or create virtual reality from the information.
This has truly shaped the way we are preserving historical objects, historical sites, and is now entering the world of nature. Researchers have adopted this technology to help save species of animals and to help consumers understand the importance of connecting technology with our natural world.