Green tech finds (6/16/11)

A pedal-powered helicopter, a very low-tech speaker for your iPhone made from bamboo, and an online map of solar power potential for NYC… your green tech finds for the week.

  • The pedal-powered helicopter: Think it’s impossible to achieve this kind of flight on human power alone? Engineering students at the University of Maryland managed to get off the ground for 4.2 seconds (a US national record) in their Gamera helicopter. See more about the project in the video above. (via Crisp Green)

  • Reused wine bottles: New company Wine Bottle Renew claims it can clean pre-consumer wine bottles (from tasting rooms and manufacturers) to the point where they’re better than new… and cheaper, also. (via Earth 911)

  • Indonesia — a “geothermal superpower”: Apparently, the country could get a third of its electricity from its ample geothermal resources by 2025… and energy companies are moving in… (via Grist)

  • The solar-powered rocking chair: Nope, not your grandmother’s rocker… designed by Professor Sheila Kennedy and architecture students from MIT, the SOFT Rocker features solar panels that can power up three USB devices.

  • Capturing waste heat from your car’s tailpipe: Engineers at Oregon State University have created a prototype technology that could capture waste heat from cars, factories, and power plants. (via HuffPo Green and @Greenopolis)

  • NYC’s online solar map launches today: Building owners can find out the solar potential for their properties with a new mapping tool being released at the fifth annual New York Solar Summit.

  • The low-tech bamboo speaker: How low tech? It’s a piece of bamboo with a slot cut into it for an iPhone… and that’s it! No electricity… and it works beautifully. Check out the video at the iBamboo Kickstarter page (yes, the creator is raising funds). (via Treehugger)

Got another find that didn’t make it here? Let us know about it in the comments…


  • American Wasteland digs into the epic amount of food waste in the US.
  • WWF UK wants Brits to dig into the sources of wood-based products.