Meet Our Neighbor: OtherLab
Tackling Climate Change: Otherlab R&D lab creates renewable energy technologies
Solving the world’s energy problems is a daunting task that has becomes more pressing each year. As the climate warms and we start to see rising sea levels and other effects on the environment, Otherlab is committed to tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the planet today.
To encourage adoption of renewable energy the technologies have to be cheaper and easier to produce than the competition. Energy from dirty sources such as coal has always been less expensive than renewable energy such as solar. Otherlab spinout Sunfolding (www.sunfolding.com) has tackled this issue by creating cheap, plastic solar actuators that enable solar panels to track the sun without gearboxes, motors, and bearings that are expensive and easily broken. This significantly reduces the cost of solar, making the technology easier to adopt and bring to new markets.
Another Otherlab company, Volute (www.voluteinc.com), makes conformable hydrogen gas tanks for cleaner vehicles. By creating an intestine-like tank that can hold more fuel and increase driving range these vehicles help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil.
Otherlab’s materials project (www. materialcomforts.com) works on thermally adaptive textiles to make wearers more comfortable in a wider range of temperatures, reducing the need to heat and cool buildings and therefore lowering energy consumption.
Otherlab founder and CEO Saul Griffith is a scientist and engineer who is passionate about energy and making the world a better place. A family man, he wants to see his kids grow up in a better tomorrow. It is this passion that drove him to co-create Howtoons (www.howtoons.com), a cartoon-based kit service that enables kids to build fun STEM/STEAM based projects. The kits are designed, created, assembled, and shipped out of our facility in the Mission, which hosts the New School elementary school for science class each Tuesday.
Equal parts fun, passion, and serious engineering, Otherlab is proud to call 20th Street its home and to create products that will make the world a better place for generations to come.