In our Sunday newsletter, we, as editors, reflect on the past seven days. We do this on the initiative of our cartoonist Albert Jan Rasker. He chooses a subject, draws a picture, and we take it from there.
So far, we can sum up the Dutch summer in one word: wet. Despite the rain, temperatures ran high in recent weeks at the Innovation Origins editorial office.
For instance, colleague Linda Bak wrote about the student team CORE Changemakers. They are looking into a problem often in the news: battery fires. And especially for recyclers, who have to deal with daily fires because people throw batteries away with the regular rubbish. The students are developing an AI system to recognize batteries in waste. You can read more about it in this article.
Bigger fish to fry
Now if we all paid more attention to where we deposit our batteries, we could – as the cartoon subtly illustrates, ‘We got bigger fish to fry’ – focus on the devastating forest fires. On Tenerife, Hawaii, and in Canada, among others, thousands of hectares have been destroyed by fire this summer, with people, animals, and nature suffering disastrous consequences. These innovations could help mitigate (the effects of) forest fires.
We looked at how cities can best cope with extreme heat for our summer series Europe battling heat. Here is a selection of the articles published so far in this series:
- ‘Green roofs make a difference; what are you waiting for?’
- Athens combats the heat: the city’s innovative response to rising temperatures
- Fake trees, reflective asphalt: Building climate-proof cities with these creative solutions
Stage fright and tomatoes
Presenting: another circumstance where the temperature can rise considerably. Indeed, more than seventy percent of people experience some degree of stage fright. In this article by Elcke Vels, read how start-up Verble is developing an AI tool that makes presenting easier.
And then there are tomatoes. In her latest column, Colinda de Beer wonders how the ‘green’ knowledge of farmers can be put into a model. Growers have an intuitive feeling (the leaf is getting a bit too long, the crop is too veg, the head is a bit purple) that isn’t easy to translate into a digital model. Acoustic tomatoes can help grow tomatoes, according to De Beer. Talking about talking tomatoes: we also made this video on this veggie-producing noise.
To stay in the holiday mood: here’s an article about the latest innovations in the camping world. Nice to dream away at; I am looking forward to the micro camper next year. Pre-fun is at least as much fun as the holiday itself, right?