It’s fungi to the rescue
A boatload of ideas for fungi
Fungi and mycelium provide a flexible, earth-friendly material for all kinds of products.
Washington State University student Katy Ayers built a world record-setting canoe out of mycelium, her MyConoe. That’s just the beginning of her ideas about materials made from fungus. Larry Clark, editor of Washington State Magazine, talked with Ayers about products made from fungi and mycelium, along with potential fungi items such as fishing bobbers and hunting blinds.
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Read more in “It’s fungi to the rescue” (Winter 2022)
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Wonders of wireless
Twenty years before Washington State University established its first radio station, the school—then Washington State College—began experimenting with the new technology of wireless telegraphy.
Here’s a short timeline of events leading up to the establishment and first broadcast of the school’s radio station in 1922.
1901—Hubert V. Carpenter introduces wireless telegraphy to the WSC campus. He builds a wireless installation in the basement of the Administration building, now Thompson Hall. Due to a noisy and distracting spark plug, the device is later moved to a wooden shack where the CUB now stands. A student named Ed Keyes (1909 Elec. Eng,) assists with the set up.
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A partnership for future engineers
The ancient Roman architect Vitruvius conceived of three primary virtues for structures: beauty, utility, and firmitas, a term that can be translated as permanence. Naturally, buildings can’t be crafted to last through time immemorial. What is permanence if even stone monuments wear away into sand?
Moreover, as Washington State University architecture professor Ayad Rahmani asks in this issue’s essay, maybe the longevity of structures should be questioned. Rahmani writes about Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic view of buildings and their inevitable decay, and that we should perhaps consider their “measured return to the earth.”
We don’t really expect our buildings to last forever, but we rely … » More …
Bad breaks for our state’s bridges
Robot swarms, soft bots, and other robotic ideas
We’ve come a long way from clunky, claw-handed Robot from Lost in Space.
Robots have had industrial and entertainment uses for a number of years, but researchers at Washington State University are rethinking robots’ design, tasks, and collaboration with humans. From the tiniest self-powered robot to soft robots, fruit-picking bots, and swarms of small robots like bees that can search collapsed buildings, the very idea of what is a “robot” is changing.
The creation of the National Robotics Initiative in 2011 also pushed the field toward more collaborative robots (or co-robots), which are designed to work cooperatively with humans. The robots are no longer … » More …