Raincoats for viruses and drones as forest rangers – IMPRESSO #26

In this episode: Raincoat for viruses, drones as new forest rangers, and photonic chips that rock!


Raincoats for the COVID-19 virus

While they came up with their innovative design already before the COVID-19 crisis, some scholars’ washable textile coats currently see a “renaissance”. With a special Teflon-like nonstick coating, not only liquids simply slide off a raincoat like water, but it seems that also viruses behave similarly. That innovation has never been more relevant! Read more or watch the video (0:08 min)


Meet the new forest rangers: drones

The Canadian reforestation startup Flash Forest has an ambitious goal: planting a full 1 billion trees by 2028. In order to fight climate change and prevent losing biodiversity, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that about 1 billion hectares of trees (that’s almost the size of the entire US!) need to be planted. And while around 1,500 trees can be planted daily by hand, Flash Forest’s fleet of drones plant between 10,000 and 20,000 seed pods a day, and with upgraded technology even up to 40,000! Read more


Photonic chips rock!

Humanity’s need for energy efficiency and also bandwidth keeps rising. And one thing has the potential to emerge as the dominant transportation method for achieving all of that: light! Scholars came up with a new design for teenie-tiny photonic chips. They can be made 100x smaller while keeping up the efficiency. Thus, those photonic chips are considered to bear a massive upside for the IT industry and society as a whole! Read more