Netherlands Converts Iconic Ashtrays to E-Bike Chargers
Plus, footlong robotic earthworms that analyze soil, the federal government contracts with Uber and Lyft to give employees free rides and the state of presidential social media accounts amid the transition.
No SmokingWhen the Netherlands made smoking at railways illegal last year, railroad owner ProRail removed hundreds of six-foot “smoke poles” that were used as ashtrays from stations. Now, thanks to a company called Lightwell, the smoke poles have had their ashtray centers removed, but 90 to 95 percent of the original design maintained, and have been refurbished into e-bike chargers. The chargers are free to use and can host two bikes at a time. So far, two have been installed as part of a pilot test.
Source: Fast Company
UndergroundThe thought of earthworms over 1 foot long is troubling, to be sure, but what if those worms were robotic? That’s the idea behind a project underway at Cornell University, which aims to make robotic “worms” that can traverse soil and analyze its density, moisture and temperature. Fiber-optic cameras built into the agriculture bots will take pictures of plants’ roots and measure microorganism activity.
Source: New Atlas
Transition TeamTwitter and Facebook both announced they will transition all official presidential accounts from the Trump administration to Biden’s on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2021. As both social platforms did in early 2017 at the end of Barack Obama’s second term, relevant accounts like Twitter’s @whitehouse, @FLOTUS and @VP will have all past posts archived and access will be given to Joe Biden’s team.
Source: The Verge