MM: Artificial Floating Islands; Chairless Chairs

In this Manufacturing Minute episode, building artificial floating islands and a chairless chair.

Artificial Floating Islands

With recent news of a massive iceberg breaking free in Antarctica, it might just be a matter of time before humans have to find ways to live floating on the sea much like Kevin Costner’s Waterworld. Like, the sinking country of The Netherlands is already working on an idea. 

The Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, or MARIN, is currently testing an artificial floating island concept made of large modular triangles that can be connected to each other on a large scale, up to 3.1 miles wide. The floating islands can be used for a variety of purposes such as offshore homes, public spaces, docks for loading and unloading ships, fishing and seaweed harvesting facilities or housing energy systems like wind, solar, tidal or wave generators. 

Currently, the team is researching the best way to connect the triangles together, anchor an island to the seabed, how undulations of the water effects structures and people onboard and minimizing environmental effects. 


Could floating islands be an answer to rising waters and sinking land? What other industrial uses could you see these islands being used for? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below. 

Chairless Chair

Innovations in the world of exoskeletons hope to assist people in a variety of ways, such as helping paralyzed people walk or factory workers lift heavy objects. Now, Swiss company Noonee has developed a wearable exoskeleton that will help people with another important task…. Sitting. 
The Chairless Chair was designed for the manufacturing environment where workers have to stand for extended periods of time and where chairs can become obstacles such as at assembly lines. 

With the Chairless Chair attached to their legs, workers are able to easily move from task to task. When they need to crouch, squat or sit, a switch locks the device in place taking the weight off of their knees.

Developers say the Chairless Chair could reduce employee absences and protect workers’ joints. The product is made from light-weight, durable engineering plastics and can be adjusted to fit people of different shapes and sizes.

Automotive companies Audi and BMW were testing grounds for the product to allow developers to understand the needs of workers in different environments. 


Do you think this sitting exoskeleton could help reduce factory worker injuries as the creators claim? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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