Inhabitat's Week in Green: solar robots that fly, CO2 fabric dye, and the dark silicon that boosts battery life


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Inhabitat's Week in Green: solar robots that fly, CO2 fabric dye, and the dark silicon that boosts battery life
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.

Solar power blazed a trail this week as we took a look at several hot new technologies, starting with SkyFuel's SkyTrough, which is being billed as the world's most efficient solar collector. We also saw solar energy take to the skies as designers unveiled plans for a fleet of high-flying solar robots, and we were surprised to learn that common household dyes could significantly increase the efficiency of photovoltaic panels by optimizing their color absorption spectrum.

Speaking of dye, from the realm of wearable tech we also brought you a breakthrough new technique for dying fabric that saves water by utilizing fluid CO2. We also saw a prototype for a wired "safe cuddling" suit for kids that wards off improper touching by sounding an alarm, and if you're a fan of high-tech footwear, check out these tricked-out kicks that do double duty as Wii controllers.

This week also saw a tremendous green boost for bits and bytes as the University of Leicester switched on its hyper-efficient ALICE supercomputer, which is ten times more powerful than its predecessor and stands to reduce yearly CO2 emissions by 800 tons. Meanwhile, researchers at UC San Diego revealed work on a new mobile phone chip that harnesses "dark silicon" to boost smartphone battery life by a factor of eleven.

We also showcased several efficient autos as Southern California rolled out a fleet of all electric buses that can recharge in 10 minutes flat, and the hyper-miling Avion car embarked on a trip from Canada to Mexico with just 14 gallons of gas. And if you'll be doing some traveling of your own back to school this fall, you wont want to miss this chance to pick up an awesome solar-powered Sakku satchel. Finally, with Labor Day on its way why not upgrade your BBQ with an adorable altoids tin mini grill - it's curiously awesome!

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