Welcome to the January edition of hardware roundup! This month, there have been ups and downs in aerospace, 3D printing, and in the environment.
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Adidas launched its Futurecraft 4D running shoe to the public. The shoe has a 3D-printed single component midsole that utilizes a digital light synthesis (DLS) technique, in collaboration with Carbon. + Brooks is working with HP on custom running shoes via a foot scanner to optimize how much polyurethane is injected into the shoe’s sole. [Via Fortune]
Moonshots are hard, especially Google’s $20 million Lunar XPRIZE race to the moon, which closed this month, a decade after its launch, without a winner. [Via Scientific American]
A 100-meter-high air purification tower in northern China has been able to improve the air quality on severely polluted days by 15% and requires very little power in order to run. [Via SCMP]
The CEO of Kitty Hawk and founder of Google X, Sebastian Thrun, has started a nano-degree program in flying and autonomous cars on Udacity (of which he is chairman and co-founder), whose graduates “will be immediately qualified to work in, and shape, this incredible field.” [Via Udacity]
Component obsolescence management is a crucial part of designing a product; engineers must guarantee that any components used will be available for the lifetime of the product. Pascal Lang offers some tips. [Via Supply Frame]
Scientists have discovered that the European plant-hopping insectIssususes mechanically interacting gears to synchronize the rapid jumping movements of its legs, the first example of a natural cog mechanism with an observable function. [Via Cam.AC.UK]
Read about how Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, which records sounds and plays them back again, by drawing on his knowledge of the telegraph and the telephone. [Via GE]