A couple years ago, BMW, Daimler and scientists at the Technische Universität München announced plans to join forces to create an affordable and safe electric car. This week, the Visio.M, a tiny two-seater that weighs in at just 900 pounds, will be revealed to the public for the first time at the eCarTec trade show in Munich. In other green transportation news, last week Inhabitat was one of two teams to complete the challenge to drive 834 miles on a single tank of diesel fuel in the 2015 Audi A3 TDI, proving that it's possible to get from Albuquerque to San Diego without refilling the tank. The world's first hoverboard is finally here, at least according to a couple in California. The pair claims that they've created a working hoverboard that uses electromagnetics to float about an inch off the ground. For urban commuters, Vello Bike has designed a high-performance folding bike that requires only a simple kick to fold and roll it into place, which means you can take the bike on public transit or store it with little hassle. And in aviation news, Canadian company Hempearth is building the world's first airplane made of hemp. The company hopes the plane will be ready to fly next year.
3D printing holds a lot of promise for the design world, but it also presents some challenges for law enforcement, because it could enable people to create their own guns at home. Last week, a 28-year-old Japanese man became the first person to go to jail for 3D printing after he was found guilty of making two guns at home and sharing a video showing others how to do the same. And Inhabitat was on the scene when New York City held its first-ever getgeeked conference last week. From 3D-printing pens to tablets with their own built-in projectors, check out some of the most useful tech innovations that were on display.
Elsewhere, 3D printing is firmly established in the fields of aerospace and medical technologies, but it's just starting to emerge as a viable construction technique. At Maker Faire Rome, the World's Advanced Saving Project unveiled a new type of portable 3D printer that can be used to build homes from clay, mud and fibers. The group hopes to deploy the technology to some of the world's most impoverished areas. In other green architecture developments, design duo Micaela Colella and Maurizio Barberio have drawn up plans for a prefab wooden home with an innovative steel foundation that can be completely recycled, and French designer Philippe Starck recently teamed up with prefab manufacturer Riko to build a new wind- and solar-powered home. The two-story house produces 50 percent more energy than it consumes.
With Halloween just around the corner, many of our readers are pulling together cool costumes for themselves and their kids, but few top this awesome dad's illuminated LED stick-figure costume that makes his daughter, Zoey, look like a glowing stick-figure Minnie Mouse. If you're still at a loss for Halloween costume ideas and you want to do something gadgety, check out our awesome photos of human iPhones, Androids, robots and Minecraft characters here.