Spotlight on the Netherlands: 5 engineering talks from the Low Country

Home to a thriving tech and science community, The Netherlands has a lot to offer when it comes to groundbreaking TEDx Talks. But today, we offer just a small tasting — 5 uber-brainy TEDx Talks highlighting some of the exciting new projects underway in the land of tulips.

A robotic revolution for eye surgery: Maarten Beelen at TEDxBinnenhof

The eye is one of the most delicate structures in the body, and eye surgery can prove very risky for all but the steadiest of hands. Maarten Beelen introduces a new breed of robotic technology that may one day make surgical procedures on the eye easier and safer.

Portable water drilling for the remotest areas: Floris de Vos at TEDxBinnenhof

One day, Floris de Vos, a former drill rig operator, had an epiphany that has the potential to bring fresh water to people living in the most remote areas in the world. Using his human-powered water pump, nicknamed the “Flo-flo”, a well can be drilled almost anywhere, even in the rockiest of soil.

Finally, kites have grown up: Roland Schmehl at TEDxDelft

Wind power is a fast-growing alternative energy source, but traditional wind turbines are noisy, cumbersome, and pose a danger to wildlife. In this talk, Roland Schmel proposes a surprising solution: turning the simple kite into a power generator.

Indoor farming: A plant paradise: Gertjan Meeuws at TEDxBrainport

For centuries, prevailing wisdom has held that plants are happiest when they grow naturally. That’s not true, says Gertjan Meeuws. Using specially-designed indoor greenhouses, scientists can help plants grow much more efficiently. As an added bonus, land, pesticide and water usage are greatly reduced and crops reach consumers fresher and faster.

Mobile power for mobile devices: Marijn Berk at TEDxRotterdam

While the devices that we use for communication and entertainment are now mobile, the power sources that they use are not. Marijn Berk proposes using new materials that generate power from sunlight to keep mobile devices moving.

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    I am always in awe of innovators like these
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