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TED Theme: Tales of Invention

Ayah Bdeir: Building blocks that blink, beep and teach

Synopsis Date Posted 29.03.2012

Imagine a set of electronics as easy to play with as Legos. TED Fellow Ayah Bdeir introduces littleBits, a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together.

 

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    Ayah Bdeir: Building blocks that blink, beep and teach

    Imagine a set of electronics as easy to play with ...

    Imagine a set of electronics as easy to play with as Legos. TED Fellow Ayah Bdeir introduces littleBits, a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together.

    Mar 29, 2012 Read more
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    Regina Dugan: From mach-20 glider to hummingbird drone

    "What would you attempt to do if you knew you ...

    "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" asks Regina Dugan, then director of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In this breathtaking talk she describes some of the extraordinary projects -- a robotic hummingbird, a prosthetic arm controlled by thought, and, well, the internet -- that her agency has created by not worrying that they might fail. (Followed by a Q&A; with TED's Chris Anderson)

    Mar 27, 2012 Read more
  • HD

    Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy

    What's the key to using alternative energy, like solar and ...

    What's the key to using alternative energy, like solar and wind? Storage -- so we can have power on tap even when the sun's not out and the wind's not blowing. In this accessible, inspiring talk, Donald Sadoway takes to the blackboard to show us the future of large-scale batteries that store renewable energy. As he says: "We need to think about the problem differently. We need to think big. We need to think cheap."

    Mar 26, 2012 Read more
  • HD

    Taylor Wilson: Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactor

    Taylor Wilson believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our ...

    Taylor Wilson believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our future energy needs, and that kids can change the world. And he knows something about both of those: When he was 14, he built a working fusion reactor in his parents' garage. Now 17, he takes the TED stage at short notice to tell (the short version of) his story.

    Mar 22, 2012 Read more
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    Vijay Kumar: Robots that fly ... and cooperate

    In his lab at Penn, Vijay Kumar and his team ...

    In his lab at Penn, Vijay Kumar and his team build flying quadrotors, small, agile robots that swarm, sense each other, and form ad hoc teams -- for construction, surveying disasters and far more.

    Mar 1, 2012 Read more
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    Neil MacGregor: 2600 years of history in one object

    A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script, damaged and ...

    A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script, damaged and broken, the Cyrus Cylinder is a powerful symbol of religious tolerance and multi-culturalism. In this enthralling talk Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, traces 2600 years of Middle Eastern history through this single object.

    Feb 20, 2012 Read more
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    Bilal Bomani: Plant fuels that could power a jet

    Algae plus salt water equals … fuel? At TEDxNASA@SiliconValley, Bilal ...

    Algae plus salt water equals … fuel? At TEDxNASA@SiliconValley, Bilal Bomani reveals a self-sustaining ecosystem that produces biofuels -- without wasting arable land or fresh water.

    Jan 21, 2012 Read more
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    Sonaar Luthra: Meet the Water Canary

    After a crisis, how can we tell if water is ...

    After a crisis, how can we tell if water is safe to drink? Current tests are slow and complex, and the delay can be deadly, as in the cholera outbreak after Haiti's earthquake in 2010. TED Fellow Sonaar Luthra previews his design for a simple tool that quickly tests water for safety -- the Water Canary.

    Jan 16, 2012 Read more
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    Sheila Nirenberg: A prosthetic eye to treat blindness

    At TEDMED, Sheila Nirenberg shows a bold way to create ...

    At TEDMED, Sheila Nirenberg shows a bold way to create sight in people with certain kinds of blindness: by hooking into the optic nerve and sending signals from a camera direct to the brain.

    Dec 20, 2011 Read more