Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
Remember that shapeshifting robot from Terminator 2 who could get shot in the face and heal within seconds? In Spain, scientists have developed a self-healing polymer that is basically a plastic version of that guy. The plastic, which has been nicknamed "Terminator," can be cut in half and then left to repair itself without any outside intervention. In other green tech and design news, the world's first 3D scanner for iPads raised more than $300,000 on Kickstarter in a single day, more than tripling its $100,000 goal. Tesla continued its assault on automotive conventions this week when the company announced plans to develop a self-driving car by 2016. In Nevada, a rocket-shaped bicycle set a new land speed record after ripping through the desert at 83 MPH. And just when we thought we'd seen everything that mobile phones have to offer, enter PhoneBloks, a nifty new concept phone made from a series of modular components that can be snapped together like Lego bricks.
In green transportation news, MIT engineers have designed indestructible bike lights that are guaranteed to be theft-proof. British design student Emily Brooke came up with a clever bike light of her own that projects a laser image of a bicycle onto the road in front of it. In Israel, two women took an abandoned coach bus and transformed it into a small, affordable housing unit for those who really need it. Inhabitat also showcased the Stigo, a super-lightweight electric scooter that folds down to a mere 18 x 16 inches for easy storage. In automotive news, GM announced plans to produce a $30,000 electric vehicle with 200-mile range that could compete with Tesla. And Scotland unveiled plans to ban petrol and diesel cars from the nation's city centers by 2050.
People in California take their wine seriously. At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco last week, Intel unveiled a processor so efficient that it can draw all the energy it needs to run from a single glass of red wine. In clean energy news, Scotland just approved the world's largest tidal energy project, which will generate enough electricity to power 42,000 homes. Scientists at Newcastle University have figured out a way to use microbes to process sewage at treatment plants and also produce hydrogen gas as a renewable energy source. And last week, the Japanese government shut down the country's last remaining nuclear reactor that was still up and running after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
What do an urban farm and a shopping mall have in common? In Shanghai, Inhabitat visited a farm that is actually sprouting from within the K11 mall. In other urban development news, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled updates to the controversial SPURA plan for NYC's Lower East Side that include plans for an Andy Warhol Museum. Meanwhile, artist Di Mainstone transformed the Brooklyn Bridge into a musical instrument that can be played like a harp. And in Texas, America's first all-digital library opened its doors last weekend, marking the dawn of a new era. On the wearable technology front, Protos Eyewear produced a set of 3D-printed sunglasses that are custom-fitted to the contours of your face. And in response to some of the unfair labor practices in the iPhone's supply chain, the Fairphone, the world's first ethically sourced smartphone, was just unveiled in London. The issues with cell phones go beyond conflict minerals and e-waste however -- a new study shows that many kids are distracted by texting while crossing the street, and research found that breastfeeding mothers may miss out on bonding with their baby while texting and web surfing.