2015 was an amazing year for Science and Technology. From robots to medicine to space travel, 2015 was a huge year for science and technology.

Scientists invented ‘Shade Balls’ to conserve water during the droughts

Those are workers in Los Angeles pouring “shade balls” into one of the city’s main reservoirs. The black plastic balls help maintain water quality by blocking sunlight, thereby preventing hazardous reactions with the chlorine and bromide in the water. (The shade balls also cut down on evaporation, though this is a relatively minor benefit.)

Yes, shade balls. Fun to say. Fun to watch. But also surprisingly useful!

‘Thirsty Concrete’ to protect drivers during floods

Unlike traditional concrete where the water would roll right off, this material allows the water to soak through to the ground below. Responding to fears of greater flooding as global warming takes hold, the company say its product could be used in everything from parking lots to tennis courts to residential roads.

Doctors created revolutionary Trauma Foam

Once injected into the body the foam quickly expands to fill the abdominal cavity. This applies life-saving pressure and can stabilize the patient. Once the patient reaches an operating room the foam can be easily peeled away.

Returned feelings to a Paralyzed Man’s legs

A man who was completely paralysed from the waist down can walk again after a British-funded surgical breakthrough which offers hope to millions of people who are disabled by spinal cord injuries.

Polish surgeons used nerve-supporting cells from the nose of Darek Fidyka, a Bulgarian man who was injured four years ago, to provide pathways along which the broken tissue was able to grow.

The 38-year-old, who is believed to be the first person in the world to recover from complete severing of the spinal nerves, can now walk with a frame and has been able to resume an independent life, even to the extent of driving a car, while sensation has returned to his lower limbs.

NASA found water on Mars

Our quest on Mars has been to ‘follow the water,’ in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we’ve long suspected,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water — albeit briny — is flowing today on the surface of Mars.”

Scientists found Earth 2.0

NASA’s Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star. This discovery and the introduction of 11 other new small habitable zone candidate planets mark another milestone in the journey to finding another “Earth.”

Glowing condoms

A ‘smart’ condom that changes colour when it detects a sexually transmitted disease could help to cut the spread of the illnesses.

The idea has been dreamt up by a group of students taking part in the TeenTech awards as a way to combat soaring infection rates.

Called the S.T.EYE, the condom concept includes a layer impregnated with molecules that attach to the bacteria and viruses associated with the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Solar Battery that can power homes

Tesla has finally taken the wraps off Tesla Energy, its ambitious battery system that can work for homes, businesses, and even utilities. The system breaks down into two separate products: the Powerwall is a home battery system, that comes in a 10 kWh version for $3,500, or a 7 kWh model for $3,000, excluding installation and the inverter. The unit is about three feet by four feet in size and six inches thick, and comes with integrated heat management and can fit either on the inside or outside of the wall of your home. The system is connected to the internet — Elon Musk said that the system can be used to create “smart microgrids” — and can be used as a redundancy system, or potentially allow a home to go off the power grid entirely. “The whole thing is a system that just works,” Musk told reporters during a briefing this evening.