Gadget Guru - Smart Screws & Edible Tape - May 2022

Next time someone asks you if "you've got a screw loose", don't laugh! They may not be calling you crazy - instead they may be referring to the safety of a bridge you're about to cross. How so? Well, Ian the Gadget Guru joined us on the programme to tell us about technology developments at the Frauenhofer Institute (Germany's world-leading applied research organisation), where they've announced a "smart screw". Smart screws combine sensors and a radio connection to secure screws that are integrated into critical infrastructure like bridges, skyscrapers, tunnels, wind turbines, and so on. Rather than the tedious, error-prone and costly effort of inspecting these key elements of structures, smart screws inform stakeholders that it's time for an inspection as they've come loose or have lost their structural integrity.

And, in a completely different category of technological solutions, students at Johns Hopkins University have come up with "Tastee Tape". No doubt they had grown weary of their clothes always being stained by burrito and food-wrap fillings when they decided to do something about it. They came up with a water-soluble, food-safe tape that can keep the fillings where they belong: inside. Parents everywhere are rejoicing as laundry detergent sales are set to plunge.