Paper

  • The first PowerUp kit added an electric propeller to paper planes. Well, the latest version reportedly allows all sorts of things to fly.
  • Throughout the densely-populated country of Bangladesh, a lack of access to clean drinking water is responsible for a variety of debilitating and often-lethal infections. Soon, however, residents could filter virtually all harmful microbes out of their water, using paper derived from algae.
  • ​Although many people do send paper off to be recycled, the recycling process isn't entirely eco-friendly – it requires a lot of power, and incorporates toxic chemicals. Now, however, scientists have developed a method of simply removing the printed text from sheets of paper, so they can be reused.
  • Science
    ​Despite predictions that writing paper may soon "go extinct," people are still using an awful lot of the stuff. That's why a number of groups have developed rewritable paper, with an interesting example of the technology recently being created by scientists in China.
  • ​With a few notable exceptions, the majority of objects removed from a 3D printer bed are fashioned with plastic. But plastic has a nasty habit of ruining our environment at the end of its useful life. Beer Holthuis has built a 3D printer that extrudes paper pulp to build three-dimensional objects.​
  • Science
    Scientists have developed an inexpensive new paper-based blood test kit that quickly determines if patients have infectious diseases. Among other things, it could be of great help to clinicians in developing nations who don't have access to traditional lab equipment.
  • ​Scientists from Carnegie Mellon University have done something interesting to plain ol' paper. They've coated it with patterns of a conductive thermoplastic, which causes the paper to bend, fold or flatten in response to an electrical current.
  • Science
    ​Paper is typically made from cellulose fibers derived from wood, and wood isn't plentiful in places where there aren't many trees. In the near future, however, that may not be a problem, as scientists have devised a method of making paper from cow and even elephant manure.
  • ​Learning about electronics from a book might seem like a step backward in a world of instructional videos and snap together kits. But Paris-based startup Papier Machine doesn't think that at all, launching the first in a series of paper books containing circuit-building projects on Kickstarter.​
  • ​As can be imagined, finding a leak deep within the piping of someplace like a water treatment plant can be an arduous process. Thanks to new research, however, it could be about to get much easier. Scientists have created electrically-conductive paper that senses water.
  • Engineers from Georgia Tech and Korea University have developed a new supercapacitor that’s designed to store more energy for longer – and it’s made out of ordinary paper, meaning it’s flexible enough to power wearable electronics.
  • ​It was six years ago that we first heard about PowerUp, a kit that added a motorized propeller to paper airplanes. Since then, remote-control functionality has been added, and a version with an onboard camera was released. Now there's the PowerUp Dart, which is designed to perform aerobatic stunts.