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Saturday, February 21, 2015

La Sallians engineer world-class foldable bicycles

Faculty members of the De La Salle University Gokongwei College of Engineering in Manila have designed, engineered and are fabricating by hand world-class quality foldable bicycles that showcase Filipino innovation.

The idea for the invention came about when to Engr. Isidro Marfori III went to Engr. Carl Mamawal for a suitable foldable bike he can use for his 3-kilomenter commute to DLSU, since the ones available in the market did not fit him.
The resulting NYFTI bikes actually won the 2nd IdeaSpace Startup Competition with its handmade full-size geometrty bicycle with the smallest fold volume.
The three-fold design transforms the bike into the fold, park, and cart modes. The design allows the bike to fit into spaces suitable for bi-modal travel for city dwellers and have since been brought aboard Manila’s MRT, buses and even airplanes.
The NYFTI, which was launched in the 1st Philippine Bike Expo at the World Trade Center, is built with tough and light chromoly alloy steel, and weighs approximately 10 kilograms. The handmade bike has 8-speed gears and 16-inch wheels.
NYFTI Chief Executive Officer Mamawal was recently recognized as one of the Top 10 Business Leaders to Watch Out for in 2015.

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Pinoy solar bottle bulb wins international light award

A Filipino social enterprise distributing do-it-yourself house lamps, lanterns, and streetlights to impoverished communities has won the prestigious 7th Zayed Future Energy Prize 2015.
MyShelter Foundation’s A Liter of Light project won the world’s biggest award for renewable energy and sustainability in the Non-Profit Organization category for its ingenious solar bottle bulb which reuses empty plastic soda one-liter bottles, turning them into solar-powered light bulbs.
Founder and Executive Director Illac Diaz of the A Liter of Light project leads his team in teaching communities how to manufacture and install the solar light bulbs, in the process collaborating with local governments to install 12,000 solar bottle bulbs, providing light for 10,000 homes in Manila and surrounding Philippine provinces.

The technology is simple enough, developed by Diaz after coming across the original bottle light technology while studying alternative architecture and urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The repurposed plastic bottle is filled with bleached water, installed on the roof, and as sunlight is refracted through the water and coursed into the room, a solar-powered 55-watt bulb is lighted up.
The night lights version uses a small solar panel, four LED lights, a simple circuit, a battery, some plastic tubing, and the plastic soda bottle. The resulting three-watt bulbs provide enough light to a 15 square meter area. The circuits are designed to automatically switch on and off when detecting the presence or absence of daylight. A 10-ft PVC pipe can transform the bulbs to street lights.
The project was launched in 2011, and a YouTube video showing the simple DIY installation of solar bottle bulb has gone viral. The project has since gone global with 53 country chapters reaching Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Italy, Paris, and the United States making possible the installation of 350,000 day lights and about 15,000 night lights worldwide.
“Ours is a story about the power of harnessing open source technologies and sharing them with young people around the world who are keen to solve energy poverty in their own communities,” said Diaz of the project’s success. “Sometimes the solutions that work best come from developing countries, from the bottom up, since they have to manage the greatest impact with the least resources.”
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

DreamWorks opens 1st global indoor theme park in Manila

Dreamworks Animation is set to open its first indoor theme park outside Hollywood this March.
The theme park is designed exclusively for the City of Dreams entertainment centre in Roxas Boulevard, Manila and introduces “DreamPlay by DreamWorks” a new approach to learning and family entertainment with its interactive activities inspired by an educational play centre.
The interactive entertainment concept “DreamPlay by DreamWorks” employs hands on activities featuring characters from their movies.
The theme park promises to be the perfect place for fans of DreamWorks movies and families looking to unwind and have fun with their favourite characters from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and many more.
Fans who wish to learn How to Train Your Dragon can become a dragon rider, learn Kung Fu from Master Shifu himself, bake cookies with Gingy the gingerbread man and hang out with the Penguins of Madagascar as their favourite characters come to life with the theme park’s various DreamPlay attractions.
Activities include 4D theatres, cooking, toy building, games and wall climbing. Parents, kids and adults who wish to relax after hours of play can eat at the DreamWorks Café. Dim sum, pizza, ice cream and other family favourites are on the menu

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Amin Hataman invents biodegradable plastic from nata de coco

A Filipino teen from Mindanao has invented biodegradable plastic from nata de coco, an edible derivative of the coconut.
Amin Hataman’s invention won the grand prize at the 8th International Young Inventors Project Olympiad (IYIPO) in Georgia, USA.

IYIPO promotes scientific research and scholarly experience to young scientist-students in the field of Biology, Chemistry, Computer, Physics and Mathematics.
Haman’s entry bested over 40 official entries from dozens of elementary and high school students from around the globe who joined the international inventors’ competition.
Nata de coco is a translucent, jelly-like, chewy edible product resulting from the fermentation of coconut water, which forms into a gel through the production of Acetobacter Xylinum, a microbial cellulose.
Nata de coco is a Filipino native delicacy, most commonly sweetened as a candy or dessert.
Hataman is a student of the Fountain International School, a Cambridge School which serves multicultural and multinational communities in Metro Manila.
Hataman is the oldest son of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman and Anak Mindanao party-list Representative Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman.
Governor Hataman has reportedly directed the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-ARMM to conduct a study on the invention for its potentially good impact to the environment.
The younger Hataman’s biodegradable multi-purpose plastic invention developed out of edible coconut dissolves three weeks after being exposed to the elements.

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