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.
This week aviation fans witnessed a world's first as AeroVelo's human-powered helicopter won the elusive $250,000 Sikorsky Prize by hovering 10 feet off the ground for more than 60 seconds. The Solar Impulse sun-powered airplane also broke boundaries by completing the first sun-powered trip from coast to coast -- and Inhabitat was on the scene at New York's JFK Airport to meet it. In other green transportation news, ABB recently announced plans to build the world's largest nationwide network of EV fast-charging stations in the Netherlands. NASA's autonomous solar-powered polar rover, the GROVER, completed initial sub-zero field tests in Greenland, proving that it can withstand 30 MPH winds and temperatures of -22 F. Roads are an integral part of our carbon-heavy automotive transportation system -- but a new type of smog-eating pavement could actually combat emissions and clean the air. And Inhabitat took a look at the world's most beautiful urban street, a gorgeous tree-lined oasis in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
In a breakthrough for data storage, this week a team of researchers developed revolutionary "superman" memory crystals that can store data virtually forever. Another new invention could be a game changer for the building demolition industry -- ERO is a concrete recycling robot that can erase entire buildings while separating rebar and other debris on the spot. In New York, the MTA dispersed low concentrations of perfluorocarbons at several subway stations around the city to help plan for industrial accidents and terrorist attacks.
Germany continues to lead the way in renewable energy production; last week, the country's solar output reached a whopping 23.9 GW during peak times, setting a new record for solar production. But trouble could be on the horizon, as a couple of major German solar companies filed for insolvency. Dutch scientists are betting that the next big thing in renewable energy will be massive energy-generating kites that could someday serve as an alternative to traditional wind turbines. And in the ever-growing field of wearable solar tech, OnBeat debuted a new pair of solar-powered headphones that can charge your phone as you listen to music.
In a beautiful synthesis of nature and design, Benedikt Gross has developed a new technique to algorithmically "print" crops that could make farms more productive and resilient. In South Africa, Inhabitat profiled one of the world's most unique bars, which is located inside a 6,000-year-old baobab tree. Alexandr Kostin unveiled a personal, portable air filter that's worn on your wrist called the Hand Tree, which takes in smoke, pollution, dust and other harmful gases and breathes out clean air. For penny-pinching shutterbugs, Instructables released some instructions for creating a 3D-printed SLR camera for just $30. Divers discovered a 52,000-year-old underwater cypress forest off the coast of Alabama. And in one of the week's weirdest stories, adults in China are reportedly drinking human breast milk to reap the benefits of its high nutritional content.