In preparation for the coming December holidays, Inhabitat just launched its annual green holiday gift guide, offering tips for everything ranging from green gadgets to DIY gifts. Got a hideous Christmas sweater that you wish you could un-knit? No problem: London-based product and furniture designer Imogen Hedges developed an amazing pedal-powered "un-knitting" machine that unravels sweaters so the yarn can be recycled. That's just one of the many great green inventions featured on Inhabitat this week.
It was a big week for robotics as Toshiba developed an amazing tetrapod robot that can enter dangerous sites where humans can't go. And in a much creepier use of robots, the Italian company known as Almax has developed a bionic mannequin that uses facial-recognition software to profile shoppers. Researchers at the University of Texas also figured out a way to use carbon nanotubes to create super-strong artificial muscles, but perhaps the greatest invention we came across this week is Kabul native Massoud Hassani's land mine detonator, which is essentially a big ball that rolls across potential mine fields engaging explosives while civilians watch from a safe distance.
In green transportation news, Hirobo unveiled a new one-man electric helicopter that can can travel up to 62 MPH and fly for 30 minutes at a time. MIT student Arlene Ducao developed the thought-controlled MindRider bike helmet, which flashes different colored lights depending on the rider's stress levels. We also checked out Honda's Micro Commuter, which is a small, efficient car with a swappable body, and we're looking forward to checking out the new 2013 Fiat 500e EV when it debuts at the LA Auto Show later this month.
In green architecture news, Dutch firm MVRDV unveiled plans for Peruri 88, a sprawling, self-contained city in the sky for Jakarta. Bremen-based design studio Baumraum built an impressive self-sufficient treehouse in the forests of Hechtel-Eksel, Belgium, while Vancouver became the first city in the world to pave its streets in recycled plastic. We also rounded up 21 of the quirkiest and most fantastical buildings in China. Finally, we spotted several amazing mobile homes -- a gorgeous, hand-crafted mobile home that's clad in cedar, and the DROP Eco Hotel, which is a portable prefab pod home for modern nomads.