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Off-grid container-based home is tiny in size and cost

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Pin-Up Houses, the Czech firm behind the rather colorful DIY US$10,000 tiny house, recently completed a new model that’s based on a shipping container and cost $21,000 to build. Named Gaia, it offers full off-the-grid functionality with solar panels, a wind turbine, and rainwater collection system.

Gaia is based on a standard used shipping container measuring 6 x 2.4 m (20 x 8 ft) that has been modified. An additional roof shade made up of galvanized metal, plus some spray foam insulation, have been added to mitigate the poor thermal performance of shipping containers. There’s also a drop-down deck area that’s operated with a hand winch and can be used to boost outdoor living space or raised to close off the home.

Gaia is accessed by a glass sliding door that, along with the existing container doors, really opens it up to the outside. Its interior is finished in spruce plywood and available floorspace is largely taken up by one single area that doubles as living room and bedroom, with a sofa bed and lots of storage space made up of small cupboards and nooks. A wood-burning stove provides heat.

A small kitchenette with a sink, fridge, and propane-powered two-burner stove, sits next to the living area, plus the home has a bathroom with a sink, shower, and toilet.

Gaia's interior decor features a utilitarian finish of spruce plywood, while its simple layout offers lots of storage space
Gaia’s interior decor features a utilitarian finish of spruce plywood, while its simple layout offers lots of storage space

Jakub Zdechovan

There’s quite a lot of off-grid gear packed into this one. Power comes from a rooftop solar panel array comprising three 165-W panels, as well as a 400-W wind turbine. Both are hooked up to batteries and the battery level, current power consumption, charging rate, etc can be monitored remotely by using a mobile app. Additionally, a rainwater storage tank contains filters and a water pump, and will hold up to 1,000 L (264 gal) of water.

Pin-Up Houses says the home was built as an experiment and isn’t officially up for sale, however the firm’s Joshua Woodsman told us that he would be happy to sell it or make another if asked. The plans are also up for sale on the company’s website for $190.

Source: Pin-Up Houses

Source: https://newatlas.com/tiny-houses/gaia-shipping-container-pin-up-houses/

NEWATLAS

Bürstner makes Ford van a flexible mini-camper multitool

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The Copa comes in several color options

More and more camper brands have realized that many customers don’t want a big, ugly RV rotting away in their driveways for 3/4 of the year. They’d much rather have a small multipurpose vehicle to use every day of the year, including as a camper. Not long after similar product debuts like the Crosscamp Lite and VanTourer Urban, German motorhome manufacturer Bürstner launches its own take on the multipurpose mini-camper van. Its Ford Transit Custom rolls onto the road as a six-seat business van, two-person adventure gear-hauler, four-person camper van and open cargo van. It’s a highly compelling rig for those who want a compact van that’s much more than a camper.

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Category: Automotive, Transport

Tags: Campervan, mini-campervan, Camping, Outdoors, Motorhome, Motorhomes, CMT-2021

Source: https://newatlas.com/automotive/burstner-copa-flexible-camper-van/

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A starfish-shaped body could help underwater robots stay put

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A starfish's body shape causes water flowing in from the side to be diverted upward, pushing the animal down

Things can get very chaotic on the ocean floor, making it difficult for underwater robots to keep from being swept away. New research, however, suggests that by copying the structure of the starfish, they could actually be pressed into place.

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Category: Robotics, Technology

Tags: University of Southern California, Underwater, Soft Robotics, Biomimicry

Source: https://newatlas.com/robotics/starfish-shape-underwater-robots/

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NEWATLAS

Iridium levels of submerged crater support dinosaur extinction theory

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Artist's impression of dinosaurs in the wake of the cataclysmic impact that occured 66 million years ago

A new study has analyzed asteroid dust recently discovered in the Chicxulub asteroid crater. The findings further support the theory that the dramatic impact was the cause of the mass extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs.

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Category: Space, Science

Tags: Extinction, Dinosaurs, Asteroid, Comets, University of Texas

Source: https://newatlas.com/space/dinosaur-mass-extinction-asteroid-chicxulub/

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Special silkworm diet results in stronger silk

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Although silkworms usually eat mulberry leaves, a select group in Japan were fed cellulose nanofibers

Along with its use in clothing, silk also shows promise for use in products ranging from surgical sutures to seed coverings. Scientists have recently devised a method of making the material stronger, by altering the diet of silkworms.

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Category: Materials, Science

Tags: Silk, Tohoku University, cellulose

Source: https://newatlas.com/materials/silkworm-cnf-diet-stronger-silk/

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