Robots, Super Bee Cars and Crazy Bike Designs at Autodesk


Photos via Jaymi Heimbuch

Autodesk's San Francisco office features an amazing gallery of projects created with the company's software programs. The majority of them have a strong sustainable angle to them, from a Tesla Model S (which required a crane, the shutting down of MUNI lines one Saturday morning, and the removal of one of the windows of the building to install in the gallery) to the latest Herman Miller chair design, the Mirra. But these impressive names are only a few of the stellar concepts and products that have come to life thanks to various Autodesk programs. Check out a few of the cool ideas we saw at a sustainability summit held by Autodesk last week.
This concept car is by Chrysler as a response to a challenge from the Los Angeles Auto Show. It is called the Super Bee Concept Car, and it is "an eco-friendly roadster meant to embody the spirit of Southern California." If we're looking at how biomimicry could revolutionize autos, taking cues from bees is a fascinating route.


The PiCycle was installed in the gallery just hours before the sustainability summit began. This new electric bike design looks at how materials use could be streamlined as much as possible. The designers decided an arch was the best way to go, and have enclosed all of the electronics and battery for the bike inside the aluminum arch.


The bikes are made locally in California with recycled or downcycled aluminum, and the company notes how the innovative design is able to give bike commuters everything they want in a bike while allowing the company to follow their environmental ethics of fair labor, green materials, and promoting eco-friendly transportation.


One last design that literally rolled right up to us is a bot from Willow Garage. Thanks to this robot technology, Arial Schwartz from Fast Company and I met Johnathan (the two are featured in the photo above). Johnathan explained that this technology is the future of telepresence, with a whole lot more of the "presence" factored in than we currently have. He was able to stroll around the event, meeting people and networking just the same as we could, only he did it all from his office desk in another location.

Having robots like this available for use by people telecommuting to events could be a great way for them to have the same experience as their peers only without needing to fly or drive to meetings. I'm curious about the carbon footprint comparison of this robot compared to business flights, and at what point the robot would break even.

At any rate, it was a fun and fascinating look at what to expect at events and conferences in the coming years.

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Tags: Concepts & Prototypes | Designers | Electronics | Gadgets | Technology