MM: Solar Impulse Completes Its Journey

In this episode, a solar-powered aircraft’s round-the-world journey and a Keurig-like beer delivery system.

Solar Impulse

It’s been almost a year and a half since the solar-powered aircraft, Solar Impulse, began its journey to circle the globe. Now, the zero-emissions plane is on the final leg of its journey, which will mark the first-ever circumnavigation of the globe by a piloted solar aircraft.

Solar Impulse first left Abu Dhabi to begin its global tour in March 2015. Although pilots Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard hoped to complete the challenge last year, weather and technical problems caused significant delays and, at one point, the journey was grounded for 10 solid months.

This journey is, in many ways, meant to be a testament to the power and efficiency of solar-powered aircraft. Although the Solar Impulse team doesn’t think airliners will swap out jet engines for photovoltaic cells any soon, they are confident that a market for electric airplanes can and will exist (especially for small planes with shorter distances to travel).

This global tour is also personally significant for Piccard, who first had the idea for the project in 1999 while making history as the first to complete a non-stop, around-the-world trip in a balloon.


Can you envision a world where solar becomes a major player in aerospace manufacturing? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

Beer On Tap

Hopsy is a company that offers fast and easy delivery of craft beer growlettes — half size growlers — from local breweries in the Bay Area.

Channeling a Keurig-like service, the company has announced Hometap — a device simpler to use than its at-home beer predecessors that required strenuous searching for compatible beer bags or complicated home-brewing processes.

The Hometap service would utilize the ease of Hopsy’s existing delivery service, while offering the pleasure of tapped beer from the comfort of your home. The company would deliver a 67-ounce bottle, just over a growler, but not quite a six-pack, straight to your door. Then, it’s as simple as opening the bottle, slotting it into the device and connecting a tube from the bottle to the tap. Tapped bottles will stay cold and fresh in the Hometap for up to two weeks.


How could the business of craft beer affect e-commerce or even the food and beverage industry as a whole? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

More in Industry 4.0