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  Carbon nanotubes for use in solar panels have increased efficiencies from 4.4% in 2007 to 8% today. What has held back further results is the tendencies for nanotube to clump together, short circuiting areas in the cell, which reduce their overall outputs.   Professor Angela Belcher and graduate students Xiangnan Dang and Hyunjung Yi, of MIT, have produced a biological fix to the clumping issue during manufacturing. They modified a bacteria infecting virus, called M13, that will att ...
  At the Tufts University in Massachusetts, researchers are taking some cues from caterpillars for a new mode of locomotion. When startled, caterpillars curl up and fling themselves in a motion called ballistic rolling. The result is a fast moving, but unpredictable, transportation method for the insect, compared to its other slow means of getting around. The researchers set out to mimic this reflex. The team constructed a soft-bodies, segmented, bot called "GoQBot." Constructed with a si ...
Intel launched its first wave of silicon laser optics communication system, Light Peak, as a 10Gbps display connection on Apple laptops called Thunderbolt. Now they play to push the tech to 50Gbps for consumer consumption by 2015. Intel sees a need for higher display bandwidth for the coming post 2080p world. Luckily, they are placing a lot of legacy support in their Light Peak based products. The future 50Gbps link will support Thunderbolt, PCI-Express, and DisplayPort protocols. With Intel alr ...
Wireless power coupling is getting a big push for adoption from a newly announced Toyota and WiTricity partnership. Back in December 2010, I wrote about WiTricity's power coupling via magnetic resonance. As a refresher; unlike traditional magnetic induction, direct contact or even close proximity is not needed with WiTricity's tech. The main benefit of WiTricity's offering is no need for coil alignment or close proximity. One WiTricity charging station, placed on a sidewalk, could charge a whole ...
Mona Lisa Comprised of Electronic Components - Source   I think we’re on the verge of the next artistic renaissance.  This time, instead of magnificent architecture, beautifully painted portraits, and the rise of humanism, I think engineering (specifically electrical engineering) will begin to define exciting new forms of artistic expression.  From Jeri Ellsworth’s PIR Art Project (a motion sensing, musical art installation), to Randy Elwin’s le dominoux (a new t ...
  Texas A&M University's Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) are using a few different types of underwater robots to aid in Japan relief efforts. Starting in the Minami-sanriku coast on Aril 19th, the team is expanding the search throughout the Sendai area.   Regular human divers have a difficult, if not impossible, time navigating through murky waters. The bots being used have been fitted with special sonar sensors that allow them to move in the most extreme cond ...
    The T-Hawk MAV (Micro Air Vehicle) is an "unmanned eye in the sky." Honeywell's T-Hawk is a lightweight small aircraft that can fit in a suitcase, and can be deployed in under 10 minutes. It can fly autonomously, via waypoints, or can be controlled manually. Onboard is a gimbaled camera that can be used in the day or night. It can travel up to 10,000 ft, move up to 50 MPH, and has a use time of 46 minutes. Very much inspired by that evil drone from Empire Strikes Back.   ...
  The brain has a protective layer called the "blood-brain" layer that protects from outside intruders, like bacteria and other blood related intruders. Unfortunately, this layer also prevents the medical administration of drugs and therapy agents from passing though. Startup company Prefusion Technology (PT) wants to try a decades old idea in a slightly new way. Ultrasound has been used before to effect the blood-brain layer enough to let it open a bit. In the past this was only done throu ...
  Professor Alice Parker and Chongwu Zhou of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering seek to create a full working model of the human brain.                   Parker began her quest in making a synthetic brain back in 2006. She says, " We wanted to answer the question: Can you build a circuit that would act like a neuron? The next step is even more complex. ...
  A library "page" is a person who puts books back on shelves, organizes, and makes sure every book is in the right location. Working as a "page" in a library is a tedious, task never-ending, job.  The process of organizing the books on the shelf, to make sure they are in order, is called "reading the stacks," for those who do not know. In decades, nothing has changed to help our weary pages.   Bo Brinkman, associate professor from Miami University, is attempting to change everyt ...
  As a kid, I played with electronics kits where you would plug in resistors or capacitors to light LEDs or turn motor. At the time, I had no idea what was going on with the electronics. Kits today, have not changed much. However, the concept from company B-Squares is exactly what I needed as a child. The company, founded my MIT graduates Jordan McRae and Shawn Frayne, is making a handful of "squares" that magnetically couple together in different configurations to perform various electroni ...
When I first developed an interested in radio as a hobby, the only multiple access scheme in common use was frequency division.  The government would grant an organization, such as a towing company or police department, exclusive rights to use a particular frequency in a geographic area.  The government could only assign a frequency to an organization well outside the range of all other users.  This was inefficient for organizations with a low duty cycle, i.e. who most of the time ...
  SA Photonics Have released their High Resolution Night Vision System (HRNVS) to replace the decades old technology being used today. Former night vision systems gave airforce pilots a total field of view of 40 degrees, horizontally. SA Photonics HRNVS over doubles that to 82.5 degrees. 4 individual Intevac Model 11 EBAPS digital night vision cameras make up the system, capturing 1600 x 1200 pixels per. High speed digital image processing comes via Rockwell Collins Display Systems "Microco ...
Eavesdropper

Charity robot

Posted by Eavesdropper Apr 26, 2011
  University of Dundee, UK, student Tim Pryde attempted to experiment with charity collection with his robot called "Don-8r" (loosely pronounced "donator"). At the heart of the Don-8r is an array of PICAXE 18X chips, also known as a PIC16F88 loaded with a Basic Stamp P-Code interpreter. One PICAXE 18X controls the wheels, via a L293D motor driver, and has limit switches directly connected. And another PICAXE 18X is connected to the coin slot that instructs the other on what to do with a coi ...
Restoration Robotics' ARTAS System is equipped with a set of dermal punches used to set a hole in a patient's scalp for real-hair implants. The hair "creates its own blood supply... and is the only permanent solution." The ARTAS is a robotic hair implant machine that uses a variety of imaging sensors to assist in the procedure. In particular, the system can identify individual hair "units" for harvesting and re-implanting where needed. The ARTAS breaks through many limits that physicians face du ...
  Company Fraunhofer IPMS brings a wearable OLED screen that can sense where the user in looking. The Head-Mounted Display, or HMD, is a monochrome OLED screen that the company has labeled the first bidirectional microdisplay. Inside the active matrix OLED screen are integrated photodetectors that allow the system to detect where the eye is looking. Since this display is being promoted as a Augmented Reality (AR) device, the real world can be seen through the HMD. Fraunhofer states that act ...
  The Personal Robotics Group from MIT have started a webstore selling a modified "iRobot Create" they setup for $1,200 USD. Named "BiliBot," this robotics platform has an onboard Core i3 computer with 4GB of RAM, running Ubuntu with a pre-installed version of the ROS (Robot Operating System) with Kinect drivers. A specially modified Microsoft Kinect, running off of a battery, allows the Bilibot to see and navigate the real world. The bot also features a gear motor driven claw that can lift ...
  Inspired by his daughter wanting him to build robot animals, Dr. Wei Wang, lead a group of PhD students to  create a robot for automated dinosaur exhibits. Why a dinosaur? Dr. Wei Wang received a triceratops sculpture from a Chinese film director, who made a film on how such creatures may have moved, and also insisted that Dr. Wang make robot version of the animal. Two influential people is all it took.   The linux driven robot is connected, wirelessly, to a host system that ul ...
  The slightest disruption to a sniper rifle's aim is automatically adjusted to compensate by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's "Reticle Compensating Rifle Barrel Reference Sensor" (RCRBRS). With sniper rifles able to shoot a distance of 2 miles, the slightest angle of deflection will result in a growing margin of error the further the bullet travels. Also, as the rifle is fired, the barrel heats up also causing further error. The RCRBRS takes the guess work out of aiming, and has been proven ...
    Dr. Nishizawa Masahiro said, "last month our industry was destroyed by the earthquake, but not our technology," as he introduces his new projector screen that can be used in ambient light conditions. At Tohoku University, Dr. Nishizawa and team used a reflective layer and diffusion film. The projector is positioned below the screen and angled up, and the reflector later redirects the light to the viewer and the diffusion layer allows the image to be seen. All the while, other ligh ...
The speak sensing headset   University of Hull's James Gilbert, and his team, have developed a device that interprets facial movement to sound for people who have lost the ability to speak. The idea was to replace the voice-box, which is a valve fitted in the esophagus to give a form a speech, that tends to get clogged over time. The device used magnets placed in the mouth and on the tongue that generates a changing magnetic field that can be sensed by an external headset. The device will t ...
To  co-inside with the results of the 555 contest ( 20th April 2011 - 9pm  EST ) I have decided to release what I said I would do. That was to look  at what is better, The 555 Timer IC or a Microcontroller? If you do not  know about the contest then you should head over to the site and see  the great work that's been done and also see what prizes are up on  offer!     element14 are proud sponsors of the contest and are giving away a  full copy of the ...
  At the McGill University, the world's first intubation robot is being used on real patients. This robot inserts a tube into a patient's trachea (windpipe), the act is called intubation. The robotic system is called the Kepler Intubation System, or KIS, and was developed by Dr. Thomas M. Hemmerling, processor of anesthesia at McGill.   Dr. Hemmerling says that the process of inserting a tube into a patients' airways is a difficult and complex maneuver that requires much experience an ...
  Inspired by the film Back to the Future's Delorean that could run off garbage, Professor Xavier Salueña and student Aleix Llovet, from ETSEIAT, have patented a RC car that runs off of aluminum. Working off of a reaction of aluminum and sodium hydroxide, hydrogen is produced. From there the hydrogen moved through a vinegar filter with water to remove any hydroxides. Then the hydrogen passed through a silica gel ball filter to remove moisture. And then the hydrogen enters an onboard fu ...
BAE Systems, a US Defense contractor, is now testing a High-Powered Microwave (HPM) weapon on sea fairing ships and targets. This device can be pointed at a target, or in the general direction of the target, and effectively knock out electronics in its cone of fire, within range. BAE states, "BAE Systems is developing the High-Powered Microwave (HPM) to provide a means to shut down small boat engines at tactically significant ranges."   BAE's manager of business development, John Perry, to ...
"The teleporter" in the lab of Professor Akira Furusawa at the University of Tokyo   Professor Elanor Huntington and PhD student James Webb from the University of New South Wales are the first to repeatedly teleport uncorrupted quantum data from one point to another. In the past, anyone attempting this would experience changed or missing information passing through similar channels, and the process was slow. Huntington's observed quantum teleportation happened much faster. The team stated t ...
William Fisher (via University of Michigan)   University of Michigan researchers have discovered a way to use a lesser property of light for the production of electricity. Light has weak electric and magnetic components that most have ignored as an important effect. But it was not passed over by Professor Stephen Rand of the school's engineering departments. Rand found that if the light is intense enough, while passing through a non-conductive material, will produce a magnetic field 100 mil ...
Hu's electrolysis device   Like the recent discovery in electrolysis and fuel cells, yet another group has made a major discovery in the hydrogen production game. Professor Xile Hu of French school EPFL.LSCI and his team have discovered a more inexpensive catalyst to aid in the production of hydrogen from water. Currently, the electrolysis process of water in sped up with the aid of platinum. Hu and team, by chance, found that a Molybdenum Sulfide film works as the best known non-precious c ...
Computer model of the SketchSET device Inspired by the Etch-a-sketch toy, Professor of physics and astronomy, Jeremy Levy has developed a device that can draw nano-meter circuits onto the interface of a crystal of strontium titanate and a 1.2 nano-meter layer of lanthanum aluminate. Like the toy, the surface can be erased for use in a new sketch. Dubbed the SketchSET, LEvy produced the first single electron transistor of oxide-based materials. The "island" can house up to 2 electrons, giving s ...
Vacancies surrounded by blue particles in the picture above.   Another graphene discovery shows graphene's magnetic potential. In an atom thick graphene sheet, there is a common defect of missing atoms, dubbed "Vacancies." Michal S. Fuhrer, of the University of Maryland, has discovered that the vacancies have a magnetic moment, a small magnetic field. The magnetism also creates an additional electrical resistance in the surrounding atoms at low temperatures, known as the Kondo Effect.  ...
The Navajo Green Economy Coalition. Photo by Wahleah Johns.   The Native American Navajo Nation is making a major switch from fossil fuel to green energy, fast. The "Peabody Energy" company employed most of the Navajo Nation through coal mining. Coal is the main source of Navajo reservation electricity. Coal was mined, and sent to the Peabody power plant through water aquifers in the form of a coal/water mixture. As of 2005, water resources were depleted, and Peabody was looking into using ...
Spiroscout image from Asthmapolis Asthmapolis is taking asthma research to a modern level. In the company's latest product, Spiroscout, GPS and WIFI capabilities are built into an inhaler. Each time the patient uses the inhaler, the position and time in recorded and submitted to a central computer. That is, if it has a data connection at that time. A better understanding of what causes asthma, where it is a growing issue, air quality of various locations, and overall trends is expected. Automa ...
  When I was in college, I had an idea to use all the surplus "SIMM" memory in single storage device. I had a lot of modules laying around. A few months later, the first USB flash drive hit the market. I dropped the idea.   But we all still have a lot of left over memory of other sorts that should be combined to create something useable. Designer Fang-Chun Tsai of Yanko Designs has come up with a device, The Collector, that will combine all the left over, unused, micro-SD cards into a ...
  At the University of Surrey's Centre for Vision, Student Zdenek Kalal has made his thesis on machine vision. He introduced his "Predator" camera system to university scrutiny, and went on to win several competitions. The camera is able to track an object and capture how it looks in different orientations and angles. Over time the Predator, software, learns more about the object and improves its over all tracking ability of the object. It can do this with faces, which makes it immediately ...
IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, Switzerland, has come up with a novel way to cool solar panels, increase their power output , and make drinking water from seawater. The solar cells they used are Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) cells, where lens are used to focus light onto the energy generating surface. Reaching temperatures over 120 °C is not unlikely. When hot, the photovoltaic cells work far less efficiently. What IBM has done is create a series of "micro-channels" etched into the surfac ...
While taking a brief ski vacation to Jackson Hole, WY I couldn't help but notice the marketing that they put up about how green their resort is.  It got me wondering – how hard would it be to build a hill for enthusiasts that is sustainable?  When I say 'for enthusiasts' I mean a place that doesn't bother with man-made snow and focuses only on what's important: 4 fast, high lifts on a solid mountain with killer runs and a warming hut at the bottom that serves nothing but chili, h ...
Weighing large loads, as in trucks, trains, machinery, product, in the excess of 20 tons is a difficult process. Current processes require the item being measures to be placed on a scale individually. In the case of trains, each car is measured individually.   This is all about to change. Centre d'Etudes Nucléaires de Bordeaux-Gradignan (CNRS / Université Bordeaux 1) has developed a new weighing system for locomotives that is unparalleled in speed and accuracy. A steel weighb ...
When  it comes to writers, they need isolation and quiet to focus on their  work. This is the common thought when it comes to writers. People  generally respect that standpoint. Software engineers are writers too,  right? They need quiet and isolation for the majority of time to work as  well. One Java developer works from home for long hours on his  programs. He has said, "I can't be at the office being distracted every  few minutes. I'll get nothing done." Wh ...
  Switching from high-pressure sodium lighting to energy efficient LED solutions, can be a costly upgrade for many companies. What if they are free?   LED supplier and UK company, Totalight, is going to see if people will take their lamps for free. They are offering their new GU10 dimmable indoor 5.3W LED lamps to replace 50W GU10 halogen lamps. One caveat, the receiving company must pay a portion of the energy savings they experience back to Totalight over a period of 2 years. All th ...
The best way to keep jobs within one's own respected country is lower the wages for each worker. It is unfair, but what if the worker is not human, or even alive. Have a factory of robotic workers, that are not even getting paid, is the best way to stay competitive.     Global company, ABB, has announced a concept robot that could possible replace assembly line workers. The bot, FRIDA, is a two arm robot with similar size and capabilities of a human. At the core of the bot, is AB ...
Why does some of the coolest technology start out being used for directly or indirectly killing people? Advanced virtual worlds and simulation software, to train pilots and soldiers. Remote piloting of aircraft, for unmanned attack drones. Wearable energy generations devices, to aid soldiers in the field.     Now it is augmented reality. Instead of giving people updates on their social network, it is being used to call in air strikes. A recent DARPA initiative will give soldiers an ...
  Cambridge Consultants recently announced the development of their 3D imaging, handheld, radar system called "Sprint" to see into walls. The device will can look through most materials, create a map of what is inside, and be moved along the surface to get a larger image. The potential use of the Sprint is ultimately locate items of interest, such as explosives, contraband, etc.   The Sprint does not require additional equipment on the other side of the scanned object, unlike similar ...
  Nokia will be showing off their latest input device, the "Nenya" ring, at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. The ring consists of a permanent magnet with poles at opposing sides. The wearer can turn the ring in 8 different positions, which will indicate different types of input. The position of the ring is read with a wrist-worn 3-axis magnetometer, HMC5843, sampling at 25Hz, and a Bluetooth radio. "Clicks," input actuating, is done by pointing the ring finger down, awa ...
I used to think portable solar power as a novelty, a useless gift gadget, not a necessity. That all changed on a trip to the beach. I left the 4G data connection on my phone, and within a few hours the battery was drained. Like many people today, I suffer from digital anxiety. I must check my various email and social network accounts on a more-than-I-should basis. At that point, I realized, I need a solar charger.   Goal Zero offers a 7-watt portable solar panel, dubbed "the Guide 10 Adv ...
Grape Solar kit   Want to power your home with alternative energy to the point where you are giving back to the grid? Maybe even make a little money back in the process? A solar kit, from Grape Solar, will be available from Costco around mid-year. Several options are available, 880W, 2300W, 3680W or 5060W. Kits will range from $3,600 to $18,000, and will come with a 25-year warranty. The kits are designed to be expanded as the user sees fit. The potential to be self sufficient has never bee ...
As far as I know, I’m the only element14 Do-It-Yourself blog writer who’s still in school.  Considering my unique position, I intend to use these blogs as means for sharing news and engineering ideas not only in their relation to the electronics industry, but also as they relate to the “next generation” of engineers.  We have some serious tasks to face as my generation takes on the world of engineering – global warming, running out of fossil fuel, increasi ...
I recently designed a sensitive circuit similar to those used in the front end of high input impedance meters such as an electrometer.  The design goal was to determine relative changes in capacitance on the order of 50fF.  To keep the 'variable capacitor' from getting swamped out, the circuit took advantage of sensitive measurement techniques such as using a unity gain buffer to create a guard signal for shielding.   After a bit of troubleshooting and solving layout issues, the c ...
Lab image of the tube cell structure     Solar cells are about 8% efficient in converting light to energy, at least between the hours of 10AM and 2PM. Researchers, led by David Carroll PhD, from Wake Forest University (WFU) say there is more to the sun's energy that we can see from sunrise to sunset. Infra-red radiation from even the dimmest light conditions, can be collected through new solar thermal panels. The team, at WFU, have created an array of clear tubes, 5mm in diameter, fill ...
The Tablet     Brigham Young University students have built an eye-tracking tablet computer to help aid people with disabilities at the behest of Digital Systems . The final product is a Windows 7 tablet that is 2 inches thick with a 14 by 10 inch face. The internal computer system is built from the ground up. The built in eye tracking capability comes from EyeTech, similar to their TM3 tracker.   The major benefit of the students work, is the price of the system. They say that s ...
Sensors shown underneath a skull   Electrocorticography (ECoG), placing sensors underneath the skull, directly on the brain. Data is taken intrusively right from the brain's surface. Several people have already undergone the implantation of sensors for the study of Epileptic Seizures. A recent patient move the "Space Invaders" gun in 1 dimensional plane effectively.   Now researchers are seeing in this same technology can be used to control a cursor on a computer screen. A group of 4 ...
  Similar with the TurtleBot, Kondo Robot seeks to give an affordable home experimenting robot to the masses. Their offering, an intimidating spider like robot with 6 legs called the KMR-M6. To reduce costs, a clever leg appendage uses 2 servos and a mechanical spring actuator. Legs can be purchased separately so the ambitious can build their own multi-leg creation. Attach a Microsoft Kinect to this "hexapod" robot, and Turtlebot may have to roll aside. The KMR-M6 can navigate over complex ...
Stock image of the honeycomb graphene structure   Graphene is almost assuredly poised to replace silicon based devices in the future. From low cost, faster electron movement, to cooling effects, and now showing of a transistor that can operate at 155Ghz. IBM showed off its record breaking graphene transistor as of April 7th, 2011, defeating their previous record of 100Ghz set in February of 2010. IBM conducted the research to make a high-performance RF transistor for a DARPA project. The ga ...
When I was young I was fascinated by solar power. It seemed like we were only years away from having a significant amount of our power coming from alternative sources. Now more than thirty years later it seems things haven’t changed all that much. We have a tendency to explore alternatives when times are tough but quickly lose interest when the situation improves. According to the US Department of Energy for 2009 only 8% of power was from green and renewable energy sources (http://www.eia. ...
  At the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland, 3 beautiful new "Green"  homes are being built,  that no one can live in. Instead, the homes will serve as a testing facilities for green and fire-safe building practices. Dubbed a "Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility," they are to generate more power than they consume. This is done through the solar energy modules, energy efficient appliances, and lighting. A computer will contr ...
  Concept playground developed by Hyundai Engineering & Construction seeks to teach playing children about clean energy. Called "The Natural Energy Park," it contains several different examples of clean energy.   -An adjustable solar panel can be moved, via levels, to collect more light and in spin an optical illusion disk faster or slower. -In the highest point of the playground is a secret lab, where a wheel can be spun to generate electricity that lights up a "Benjamin Franklin ...
  Bart Gysen, in his effort to obtain a PhD, has been working with a team of researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), to develop an active electromagnetic suspension system for automobiles. The team demonstrated the current version at December 2010 Future of Electric Vehicles conference in San Jose.   Controlled by an onboard computer, the suspension system received signals from an accelerometer and other sensors to adjust the shock accordingly. In a normal sus ...
  As motorcycle is to automobile, so is the Martin Jetpack to airplanes. The concept by, student, Glen Martin was conceived in 1981. Getting validation from the University of Canterbury's Mechanical Engineering Department, a successful prototype that exceeded the "Bell Rocket Belt" flight time of 20 seconds was built in 2005. This set the platform for public demonstrations in 2008, which ignited the media world.   The jetpack is based on a twin propeller design to gain flight, very si ...
Nothing makes a complicated device popular like opening up further development to the public. Take the Android or iOS phones and tablets, inexpensive or free software development lead to an explosion of popularity.   Willow Garage (WG) has set out to try something similar with robotics in 2006. Founded by Scott Hassen in an effort to advance robotic development through the offering of an open-source platform for hardware and software tinkering. Beginning with the PR2, a large robot with li ...
Fuel cells have catalysts that rapidly wear to the point of inhibiting the production of electricity, resulting in a limited use of the technology. The catalyst, Carbon Black, corrodes, and the porous nature of the material does not allow for the complete exposure of all the platinum catalyst.   Engineers Jan Schroers and André Taylor at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science have created a new fuel cell catalyst made of nanowires, lasting 2.4 times longer than current ...
Michal Prywata & Thiago Caires with the AMO Arm   Canadian Ryerson University students have made an inexpensive, mind controlled, prosthetic arm geared towards amputees. Students Michal Prywata and Thiago Caires created what they call the AMO Arm, The Artificial Muscle-Operated Arm, using compressed air at the core of limb's actuation. The arms movement is powered by a small tank of compressed air worn separate. By doing this, the limb only costs a fraction of their electrical counterpa ...
Eavesdropper

Open-Source Guitar

Posted by Eavesdropper Apr 7, 2011
    Zoybar community project by Kevin Rupp has taken the open-source electric modular guitar to another plane. The base guitar has been combined with a Korg Kaossilator synthesizer, pocket pod, and a wireless transmitter from Line 6. One man bands rejoice.   The Zoybar was started and founded by Ziv Bar IIan as a starting place for musicians or companies can easily build their own instruments. The base design of the Zoybar is available for download on their site. All CAD files, p ...
  Reeti, a new robot home media center computer, seeks to bring a lot in a small package. Reeti's major feature over any other media device is its anthropomorphic appeal. Expressions are "endless," programmable, and alterable via an iOS device. The bot contains touch feedback, two microphones, and two HD cameras capable of 3D video all for the purpose of interaction.   Reeti is an open-platform running Ubuntu. Aside from the base applications, users are free to develop for the device. ...
  Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Maryland, have taken a step towards demonstrating the potential of future atom based electronics, or Atomtronics. The concept is to use the flow of atoms to perform similar to current electron based circuitry.   Using lasers to manipulate 100,000 super-cooled sodium atoms, in Bose-Einstein condensate form, the team was able to coax the formation of ring like shapes, when cohesive, patterned movement was achieved. In ...
  A shocking statistic, 40% of all U.S. waste is from construction. Only 20% of that is recycled, and tons of raw material is just packed back into the earth. ZenRobotics looks to change that recycling figure. Their "Recycler ZR M2" can identify useful, recyclable, waste and sort it from the main stream. Using an array of sensors, like visible spectrum camers, NIR, Haptic, transillumination, 3D laser scanners, weight, and metal detectors to accurately sort the waste as it passes down the ZR ...
EV charging stations are not on every corner, like all electric car drivers would wish. Being able to plug in anywhere is not an option for most. New York based Leviton has just announced a portable charger that can be used anywhere a common 15A plug is available. The "Evr-GreenTM 120 Level 1 Portable Charger" is small enough to be stored in the EV, light enough to be carried. The business end of this charge is compliant with all major plug in vehicles, aka SAE J1772TM compliant.   Like al ...
pic via Georgia Institute of Technology   Georgia Institute of Technology's Dr Zhong Lin Wang has announced the first commercially viable nanogenerator at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. After a long period of research Zhong Li Wang's team have boosted the output of the generator to the point of being able to power LCDs, LEDs, and laser diodes. Power comes from the bending and straining of Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanowires. The pizoelectric nanowires a ...
  Medical robots using the latest technology always impress me. Although I am not fond of watching real surgery, these two video show the Intuitive Surgical's "da Vinci" robot being used to fold a tiny airplane and origami crane are quite impressive. The dexterity of the robot's interface and effortless movement reassure me that my future operations may be more successful than I was thinking.   The da Vinci has a high definition 3D display capable of 10x magnification. The instrumenta ...
A windfarm in Spain   As of March 2011, wind power accounts for 21% of the electricity demand in Spain. Which made it the #1 source over nuclear (19%) for the first time. Although this is an achievement, and Spain in setting records in green technology, it is coming at a very large price.   Despite the environmental impact, the financial repercussions are catching up. The renewable energy produced in Spain is heavily subsidized by the government since it can not compete with the cheap ...
U.S. Patent Office   This is a forewarning to any future patent seeking engineers, better rush the idea to the patent office now. The new "America Invents Act," aka the Patent Reform Act of 2011, seeks to replace the First-to-Invent system to the First-to-File practice.   The change works like this, regardless of when a product is invented, the patent goes to the first person who files the idea. With the original first-to-invent policy, if anyone invents something, they are given a 1 ...
  One down side to open source projects is they are open to inspire others take the idea to market. Protection is limited. Nothing can be done.   However, it does inspire a certain degree of technological progress. Gaurav Manek has posted an entire open-source iPad and Microsoft Kinect controlled RC car complete with code and schematics. He used an off the shelf Arduino control board to send signals( via serial) to the RC car's radio controller, where motion commands are interpreted. ...
Harvard Univerity's Ph.Ds Ludovico Cademartiri and George M. Whitesides have announced a way to electrically extinguish flames at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. Their idea is based on a 200+ year old observation that electricity can used to manipulate a burning flame's motion and also completely snuff it out.   A major component to this ability comes from the way carbon particles in soot react to electrical fields. The team found that the effe ...
  University of Illinois at Urbana-champaign professors William King and Eric Pop have taken nanometer-scale temperature measurements of a grapheme based transistor and discovered a new cooling properties of the substance. At the points where the graphene touches metal contacts the thermoelectrical cooling effects outstrip that of the resistive heating, and ends up cooling the graphene transistor.   Thermoelectrical cooling effects, for those who do not know, is similar to the Peltier ...

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