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  It was only a matter of time. A real-time language translation service was demonstrated by the Japan company Docomo at "Wireless Japan 2011." The service is simple, one person speaks into their phone, a cloud based system translates the spoken words to which-ever language, and the correct language is spoken at the other end. However, the person at either end may never hear what the other's voice may sounds like, since the cloud system reads the words back in a pleasant "computer voice." I ...
  The United Nations Environment Programme examined the recycling rates of 60 different metals. Common metals such as aluminum, copper, iron get recycled above 50%. Precious metals like platinum, gold, titanium also breach the 50% mark, for typical reasons. The area of importance is the less focused metals, like gallium and tellurium used in solar panels, or lithium used in most new battery technology, and 31 other metals that have a below 1% recycle rate.   Most of these metals are f ...
13 spot Plainville, CT solar carport   Plainville, Connecticut, a town with less than 20,000 residence, has made a name for itself with the installation of a solar powered EV car port right in the middle of town. The carport uses a Level 2 GE Charging Station, with the ability of handling 13 cars at once. This was unveiled by state Governor Dannel Malloy and CEO of GE Energy Industrial Solutions Luis Ramirez. GE and Inovateus Solar worked together to install the location. According to Ranir ...
  We have seen the pragmatic solar backpacks that are just this side of being ugly and unfashionable, except to the geeky at heart. Diffus Design with Swiss embroidery specialists Foster Rohner and the Alexandra Institute want to change perspective of solar-tech in fashion. A new handbag, geared towards women, will have 100 small solar cells placed into a sequins. The cells are made of a monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic material, and are able to be worked through modern textile techniqu ...
Brute force almost always beats elegance when it comes to processor power. Increase the clock speed, super-cool the cpu, add more cores, and the like have been the major processing power increase techniques for some time. However, researchers from the North Carolina State University are taking the elegance route on multicore CPUs. Their focus is on prefetching data. Processors predict what data may be needed next, and load it into its cache. In some cases, it may load the wrong data and slow dow ...
  Inspired by inchworms, Tin Lun Lam and his colleagues from The Chinese University of Hong Kong has created the "Treebot." This bot does not have any optical sensors, instead this autonomous robot feels around its surroundings to figure the best way to traverse the environment. Through its many sensors, Treebot can determine  which branches, on a tree, are the best to climb through on its way to whatever goal it needs to reach. The team developed an algorithm that lets the bot negotia ...
  3.5 million book automated library is currently being constructed for the University of Chicago on campus. The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, as it is called, has an automated system that will retrieve bins of books from an underground storage facility for library staff to pull a certain book from. Books are thrown into the bins in no particular order, but each bin will only holds 100 volumes. When the bin is delivered to staff members, they then have to search for which one has been requ ...
  The University of California, Berkeley, has developed software that allows the $400,000 dollar PR2 robot, from Willow Garage, to fold clothing. The early version, video above, could stare at a towel trying to figure out what it is, and eventually fold the rectangle. Overall, a slow process, was limited. However, the team has refined the system to now identify clothing and fold it appropriately. Like the towel, it holds up the garment, and identifies its length via the dual camera in its h ...
  The University of Canterbury has created a new robotic locomotion across a vertical plane. The bot uses air to create a contactless suction force to hold the weight on any surface. It can even traverse gaps on walls as well. The method of hold is based on the Festo Bernoulli Gripper (FBG). Originally designed to transport solar wafers at high speeds during manufacturing, the FBG has minimal contact with the surface, leaves no residue, and is low-noise. The FBG forces air out fast enough t ...
  Recent high speed data transfer methods using light have produced some record breaking results. 101.7 terabits/sec from NEC and 109 terabits/sec from Japan's NIICT may seem astounding, but each has their issues. NEC has 370 individual lasers in the trunk, and the NIICT has a complex multi-core conduit that is difficult to manufacture. Simplicity is the real goal.   The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, have achieved 26 terabits/sec on a single fibre. Using those good old F ...
From the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a battery based on bacteria production of electrical charge has been announced. Led by Dr. Tom Clarke, the team shown for the first time the exact proteins needed to allow for bacteria to become a sort of 'bio-battery." Dr. Clarke explains, " This is an exciting advance in our understanding of how some bacterial species move electrons from the inside to the outside of a cell. Identifying the precise molecular structure of the key p ...
Dire necessity fosters much advancement.   Japan needs energy, where will it come from? Prime Minister Naoto Kan has halted all new nuclear development from here on out due to the March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami and its aftermath. Naoto Kan plans to fill the gap of the lost power with solar throughout the country. A new mandate, soon to be announced at the G-8 Summit, will require every single new building in Japan be fitted with solar panels. The Prime Minister believes that this requirem ...
FG-DTE Molecule and functions   A photonic controlled molecule that can perform 13 logic functions that are reconfigurable via changing the input/output wavelengths of light. The chromophores, the part of the molecule responsible for its color, absorbs certain wavelengths of light. States of the molecule can change depending on the light entered, this created photoswitchable, bitstable chromophores, called photochromes. Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Un ...
A metamaterial, a manmade substance that has properties outside those found in nature, made at Duke University has been shown to efficiently transmit power wirelessly to devices. In a similar way of Duke U's 2006 invisibility cloak, where microwaves are deflected around an object so it does not appear on instruments, power is transmitted in such a way that no distance is apparent between transmitter and receiver. Yaroslav Urzhumov, assistant research professor at the Pratt School of Engineering, ...
  The University of Pennsylvania has taught the $400,000 dollar Willow Garage PR2 robotic platform to read. In a similar way to the method humans learn to read, the bot, named Graspy, learns to recognize the shape of words and letters and associates them with sounds. Then meanings get attached with those sounds. The team states that the word recognition software Graspy uses outstrips current systems due to its ability to learn. At the moment, Graspy has issues distinguishing letters between ...
  EPFL, A university in Switzerland, seems to be at the forefront of innovative new technological developments, and this is no slouch either. From the schools Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory, Daniel Grollman and Aube Billard developed a system in which a robot will learn a task from a human and perform it until near perfect. For example, catapulting a ball into a basket/goal. A human will show it what to do, not even with high precision, and the robot will perform the task in a " ...
  From Photon-X Inc, instant facial recognition at a distance is a reality. In one camera picture the system can create a 3D image of a person's face and identify them with the person's "distinctive bio-signature." With further scanning the un-named device can map each person's unique facial structures, muscles, and behaviors into a "behaviormetric profile" which can allow for a more accurate identification. Photon-X states that the system is not just limited to the face, but also body post ...
  The Center for Distributed Robotics at the University of Minnesota has developed a robot that can transform from a ground moving bot to flight via helicopter blades. This prototype is extremely fragile, and adding the flight capability cost $20,000. The price of advancement is steep. Robotics professor Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos and fellow researcher Alex Kossett originally designed this bot to use the same motor to drive both the wheels and helicopter blades. After several iterations, it ...
  Augmented reality (AR) is getting a big push in technology. From advanced military systems to glasses we all wear. The use of AR is not just in interpreting the real world with additional data, but to provide additional content the does not relate to anything in particular in a landscape. Objects like this are usually presented from an AR-marker. A barcode like image that lets a program interpret it, look it up in an index, and present that content. For example, the below two objects are ...
Hunter's Generator, via Oak Ridge National Laboratory   Theophrastus discovered an electrical effect of tourmaline when heated in 314 BC, it attracted bits of straw and ash. Johann Georg Schmidt rediscovered at the electrical effects of tourmaline in 1707. Sir David Brewster named this effect Pyroelectricity in 1824. More research in this area led to brothers Pierre and Jaques Curie discovering the mechanisms behind Piezoelectricity in the late 1880s.   Recently, Scott Hunter of the O ...
Example map and name chart   University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology has set out to allow see how robots would develop a language of their own. Ruth Shulz and her research team gave the bots the ability to speak and a set number of syllable sounds (words). The bots, dubbed Lingodroids, are a simple mobile platform equipped with a camera, laser range finder, and a speaker and microphone for communication. The bots then use the sensors to map the surroundings as it na ...
  Micro Autonomous System and Technology Collaborative Technology Alliance Program, a long titled research group sponsored by the US Military, is behind the latest innovation in robotic reconnaissance. Send a group of small autonomous robots into a building, and they collaborate in searching and mapping the entire structure. There is no centralized control computer, or external control mechanism guiding the robots on their mission. They independently come to the conclusion on what is to be ...
Single molecule electronics is the ultimate goal in shrinking electrical circuits. Where a single molecules or groups of molecules are used as traditional electrical components. Some researchers at the orbital fringe of nanotechnology have designed, built, single molecule transistors. For example, physicists at the University of Arizona working with Chemists at the University of Madrid built a ring-shaped molecule of benzene that functions like a transistor. They dubbed it the "QuIET," Quantum I ...
  Two micro-generators are on their way to powering pacemakers and other implanted medical devices. The two operate in drastically different ways. The first from Alois Pfenniger of the University of Bern and Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland have developed a turbine that is placed in one of the heart's arteries. Pfenniger explains the concept, "The heart produces around 1 or 1.5 watts of hydraulic power, and we want to take maybe one milliwatt. A pacemaker only needs around ...
  There are major issues with using wind turbines in urban areas. Ice whipping from the blades and other mechanical disasters face turbine use on a regular basis. However, safer and smaller turbine arrays have been shown to be a major benefit. The goal is to get a larger turbine safe enough for use in cities. Katru Eco-Energy may have found the perfect balance with their IMPLUX vertical turbine. This turbine is omni-directional, somewhat enclosed, and can use up to 87% of the wind that move ...
Should engineers become financiers?  Engineers sometimes lament the fact people with engineering and mathematical ability choose to go into finance rather than engineering.  Although the finance industry has gotten a bad reputation following the recent financial crisis, finance itself did not cause the financial crisis.  Rather, poor estimation of risk, i.e. poor design of financial products, caused the crisis.  Given that, the insertion of engineers into finance seems like a ...
I recently had an all-day conference call with a client based in another city.  Actually, it was more akin to a remote troubleshooting session over Skype.  There was an issue with the most recent build of populated PCBs on which I was the lead engineer.  As is normal for startups,  they needed to get to a solution immediately leaving no time for travel and preventing me from sitting at the bench in the flesh.  So we did what every engineer fears: we worked on resolving t ...
The electronics and software industries have changed drastically in the past two decades (well, duh).  But I’m not talking about new technical developments, I’m talking about the way we share information, and the impact of copyright, rights management, and the concept of intellectual property.  If 20 years ago a software developer for a company like Microsoft were to tell you that they planned to release all the source code for a new application, you’d likely laugh at ...
  A great story for a Friday. Yves "Jetman" Rossy flew 200 feet above the Grand Canyon in west Arizonam USA May 10th, 2011. The flight lasted 8 minutes after Rossy jumped from a helicopter at 8,000 feet. Four model jet turbines,  Jet-Cat P200, on Rossy's Jet-Wing gave him enough lift to stay up for the test run. Steering was done via his body. A maximum speed of 190mph was reached at one point.   This Jet-Wing is the 15th in a line of prototypes that have spanned 10 years of deve ...
http://vimeo.com/22576202 from http://vimeo.com/user308706 on Vimeo.   Tactile feedback on touchscreens has been tinkered with in the past. Cell phones can be setup to vibrate on touch presses, it has not gone far past this concept until now. Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver have devised a way to the apparent friction of a screen. In the test setup, four disc piezoelectric actuators are mounted on a screen that is using laser tracking of input devices. Th ...
Daniel Innala Ahlmark in the Sighted Wheelchair Visually impaired graduate student, Daniel Innala Ahlmark, has demonstrated a wheelchair that can see for him at the Luleå University of Technology. Using laser scanners, the wheelchair makes a 3D map of its surroundings. The scanning technique employed is called Time-of-flight. In this case, it measures the time that it takes for an object to travel a distance around the chair. In other words, object tracking and prediction. From there a h ...
Cornell University's professor Andy Ruina, and his team, have demonstrated a walking robot that can go 40.5 miles on a single charge. After 30 hours, 49 minutes and 2 seconds the 1.3mph robot, dubbed Ranger, came to a complete stop. The goal of this test was to see how long the robot could work under non-stop conditions, very much unlike the recent Robot Marathon. The ranger was controlled by several operators switching off with a remote control.   The Ranger's control system uses 4.7 watt ...
Eavesdropper

Sandworm robot

Posted by Eavesdropper May 12, 2011
  Inspired by the Sandfish Lizard, Georgia Tech is venturing down a technology imitates life path with its new worm robot. By copying the head shape of the Sandfish Lizard, assisatant professor Daniel Goldman and his team, have added a wedge shape to the front of a seven segment, servo actuated, worm/snake like robot. Doing so has shown that the angle of the head will lead to the bot being able to sink and rise in a medium. A wedge shape, 155 degrees to the zero plane, made the bot sink. Ra ...
Eavesdropper

Energy from sound

Posted by Eavesdropper May 12, 2011
Energy Scavenging is a type of power captured from sources like vibrations, everyday movement of the human body, waste heat, wind, or anything labeled alternative energy. In the case of researcher Dr. Sang-Woo Kim, sound will be scavenged to power mobile devices or greater. "Sound power can be used for various novel applications including cellular phones that can be charged during conversations and sound-insulating walls near highways that generate electricity from the sound of passing vehicles. ...
  It was impossible to see the edge-states of a graphene nano-ribbon until now. Before, only theoretical predictions could be made. Michael Crommie, of Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division and UC Berkeley's Physics Division, used a scanning tunneling microscope on specially made graphene nano-ribbons and confirmed all the theoretical predications. The results of his research could lead to faster electronics, energy efficient nano-devices from these graphene nano-ribbons. More remarkab ...
  From UC Berkley, a new type of optical circuit has been developed by engineering Xiang Zhang and his team. Using a one-atom graphene layer over a silicon optical waveguide, an electrical signal is applied from the side of the guide to switch the light on or off. The electrical signal’s energy level, known as Fermi level, controls the amount of photons the graphene layer absorbs. When a negative voltage is applied, electrons are drawn out of the graphene sheet no longer allowing it t ...
Computer model of a nanotube and explosive molecule   Chemical engineers from MIT have created a sensor able to detect one molecule of an explosive. Michael Strano and his team have taken carbon-nanotubes and laced them with protein fragments found in bee venom, called bombolitins. The insect’s venom (proteins there of) naturally reacts with the chemicals found in the explosive type based on nitro-aromatic like TNT. Strano explains, “Ion mobility spectrometers are widely deploye ...
I had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Hinchey (D-NY) last week at a Finger Lakes Entrepreneur Forum (FLEF).  A large portion of the conversation had to do with  a favorite topic of politicians: outsourcing.  He spoke of the challenges unemployment represents to families, the inherent problems with having a work force that doesn't include a significant manufacturing sector, and connected that to examples around upstate NY.  A pretty typical political opening on the to ...
EETimes' Brian Fuller interviewed element14's Jeff Jussel at the tail end of the ESC Silicon Valley event, a big announcement soon followed.   Jussel joined the element14 team to help provide a one-stop-shop for all engineering design needs. Jussel mentions that not only can components be sourced in the community, but tools like CADSoft Eagle lets the engineer design circuits and the like right from the site. He also hints at a future rich in design tool available for the community.   ...
    It always begins with a concept.   From the company Neurowear comes the Necomimi, "cat" ears that are controlled with the user's mind. The sensors supposedly read the brain-waves of the user wearing the ears. The assumption would be that the user could get better at controlling them over time. It seems when people are paying attention to something, listening, or smelling something pleasant, the ears go up. When the user relaxes, the ears fold down. Like the Mattel Mindflex to ...
The Book of Eli, a post-apocalyptic dystopian themed film starring Denzel Washington, has the last known Christian Bible being the most coveted item on the planet. Unknown to most of the cast, this Bible is in Braille, and no one can read it except the hero. Seemingly, taking inspiration from this troubling future, YankoDesign's Wonkook Lee has conceptualized a Braille reading  hand scanner called "Snail." This device is a handheld roller that senses the Braille and converts it to audio, vi ...
  Using the Khepera III research robot from K-Team Mobile Robotics, Edward Macdonald from the Georgia Institute of Technology developed his Master's thesis on independent thinking robots that can collaborate between each other. Using no communication between the robots, only the position of each robot is known. An overhead camera system tracks each bot and broadcasts their position to each other via wifi. Each robot does not know what position it will start, where it will be, or any other p ...
Me and Jeri, as part of the Element 14 Roving Reporter team, were tasked with doing a recap of each days' event at ESC Silicon Valley 2011. While our sound and video recording quality could use a little polishing (the intro bits are shiny, we appreciate that), our enthusiasm for the event and going over all the cool things we saw that day was the real focus.   The day 2 recap is with John Sokol, Chris and Jeri.   Thanks again to Element14 for sending us out there to talk to al ...
Lahiru Jayatilaka at SEAS demostrating. Pic via Justin Ide/Harvard Researchers and scientists based out of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have created a way to use a metal detector to create and image of what may be buried underground, in particular, landmines. The system, called the Pattern Enhancement Tool for Assisting Landmine Sensing (PETALS), pairs a metal detector with a smartphone. Currently de-miners, ones who locate the explosives, use a metal detector ...
  Materials Engineering is a particularly important field in electronics, but often overlooked by the media. It is always about the next big product, the software update, peripherals. A paralleled amount of engineering work went into what makes up a product. Material Engineers are an integral part of our design lives. Today's focus is on a new thermoelectric material.   Thermal electric materials are made from alternating p-type and n-type semiconductors. When together, heat can be ab ...
  Light manipulation images   Researchers from Applied Analysis and Stochastics with the Max Born Institute in Berlin are chasing after the ever elusive optical transistor. Their goal is to use light to switch intensities, or frequencies, if another light source. In other words, create an optical circuit. In prior cases, when two optical pulse collide nothing that noticeable changes. A more intense pulse in needed to have an effect on another. This could be a rapidly escalating intensi ...
  The Au portion is the resonant antenna   Attaching a metallic nanoantenna, tuned to the infrared spectrum, to a semiconductor material may be the next big advancement for solar. By attaching the two, a Schottky barrier is created. When infrared light hits the barrier, or antenna, a plasmon is created.( A plasmon is an oscillation of free electron density against the fixed positive ions in a metal - wiki)When a plasmon decays it either emits a photon of light or a burst of heat. Lead ...
I have know a few people who worked for defense contractors that refused to work on a project that would ultimately kill people, even the enemy. They kept their jobs, but they never felt right being there. Could you justify making a device meant to kill?   This thought comes in the wake of learning of the U.S. military's new networked Ground Fire Acquisition System (GFAS). Mounted on U.S. Army Longbow Apache helicopters, the system detect muzzle flashed and gives the pilot, and via the net ...
Eavesdropper

3D transistor

Posted by Eavesdropper May 5, 2011
  Intel has moved from planar transistors to, 3D, tri-gate transistors. This allows for the increase of speed, reduced power consumption (50% at constant, 37% in low voltage conditions), and of course performance and efficiency. Intel found that shrinking to 22nm did not meet Moore's Law expectations, but changing the individual transistor functions was the only way to meet the goal. Estimates bring the manufacturing costs of the tri-gate to 2-3% over current silicon-wafer construction. The ...
  ReconRobotics, in collaboration with the US Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, have released a new version of their robot scout. This new version has magnetic rollers, allowing it to scale ships and other ferrous metal objects. The bot is equipped with a IR camera for night vision capabilities (8 meter range). Further sensors and payloads are planned. ReconRobotics has a slew of other bots for military use. The Recon Scout XT series has a simple way of traversi ...
  A potential alternative to platinum in hydrogen fuel cells has been discovered by the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. The team created light absorbing silicon pillars in a tightly packed pattern (see image above). The pillars were topped with the new platinum replacing catalyst Molybdenum sulfide. Researcher, Jens Nørskov, found this material by analyzing hydrogen producing enzymes in certain organisms. Through the process of ...
Chris_Gammell

Day of Discovery

Posted by Chris_Gammell May 5, 2011
I have a couple projects going on, both for my full time job and for my personal interests. So I spent a lot of my 2nd day at ESC Silicon Valley 2011 wandering around the show floor talking to vendors about their products. There's lots of cool stuff (and no, I don't mean the swag).   One thing that has been encouraging throughout ESC is that there are a lot of engineers there. No, not the attendees, of course they're engineers. I mean a lot of the people manning the booths for companies ar ...
Chris_Gammell

Day 1 Recap Video

Posted by Chris_Gammell May 4, 2011
Hi Everyone! Due to some encoding issues, the recap is a bit late, but better than never! Here's another summary of what happened on day 1 at ESC. It's just me in this video, but subsequent ones will also feature Jeri Ellsworth and some other guests. Check it out below and leave any comments you might have in the comments!   ...
      Hamilton's Rule: rB > C r = the genetic relatedness of the recipient to the actor, often defined as the probability that a gene picked randomly from each at the same locus is identical by descent. B = the additional reproductive benefit gained by the recipient of the altruistic act. C = the reproductive cost to the individual of performing the act. In other words, an organism will sacrifice a bit of its own self preservation for the extension of its own lineage, or help ...
One of my full time nerdy activities at home is hosting on online radio show/podcast called The Amp Hour. One of the best things about the nature of how me and my co-host (Dave Jones of the EEVblog) record the show is that it's quite mobile, so we were able to record the show last night from my hotel room. We also had Jeff Keyzer of MightyOhm (one of our regular guests) sit in and add his perspective from the show and the surplus shopping we were able to do. It was quite fun and we dedicated abo ...
Chris_Gammell

The Almighty Woz!

Posted by Chris_Gammell May 4, 2011
I'm not a fanboy...of anything, especially Apple products. But after hearing The Woz speak on Tuesday morning at ESC Silicon Valley, I can see why people are drawn to him.   The conversation was between Brian Fuller, director of EELife at EEtimes, and The Woz (or Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer if you're new to the game as I recently was). It was a 'fireside chat', which means they basically got to sit on couches while they talked, a great format.   Brian asked some great ...
Chris_Gammell

Whirlwind

Posted by Chris_Gammell May 4, 2011
Wow! What a day! I can't believe day 1 is already over!   If people don't know, I'm a roving reporter for Element 14 and I'm at ESC Silicon Valley 2011. It's been a furious pace to get to as many booths as possible and to see as much as possible.   So why have I been going non-stop? Why was I up with my mind racing into the night last night?   Was it the products? No, but those have been quite great! There have been lots of new product announcements and showcasing of new produc ...
  Boeing is setting a precedence for all large companies with its new solar installation on the 787 assembly building in South Carolina. When finally constructed it will be Ranked as the 6th largest in the United States. The building's roof, totaling an equivalent 10-acres, can produce 2.6 megawatts of power at peak times. For reference, that could power 250 common homes. This effort is due to a recent "energy partnership" with South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G). President of Boe ...
  The combining mind controlled robotics and prosthetics is closer than ever. From the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Maryland, designer Michael McLaughlin and his team have created a prosthetic limb that couples to the user's nervous system. The limb, dubbed the Modular Prothetic Limb (MPL), has 22 degrees a freedom, very close to the 30 degrees of the real human arm/hand. Researchers surgically redirected nerves near the arm area where electrodes intercept signals ...
  The German Aerospace Agency, DLR, has release a mobile robot platform with a humanoid upper body with two arms and a head, called the "Rollin' Justin." For the time being, they are testing and working on improving the accuracy of catching a ball (or 2) and working with everyday items and tasks. Each hand has 4 fingers and a slew of sensors, allowing it to firmly or gently interact with objects. The head consists of two stereo cameras and a PMD sensor. The head acts like a more advanced Mi ...
  When Space Shuttle Endeavour launches for its final mission, a experimental type of satellite will be parts of its cargo. Three prototype 1-inch square satellites, each dubbed "Sprite," will be part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE-8). Attached to the space station, they will sit in space for an undetermined number of years, to see how they stand up to the harsh environment. These micro-satellites were designed over the course of 3 years at Cornell University ...
  Solar cells tend to lose efficiency due to defects in the material of the cell itself. This causes negative electrons and positive holes to become trapped in the area, reducing performance.   Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed a new solar cell that stops the entrapments effect, a nanocone-based cell. It is a 3D surface consisting of n-type nanocones of zinc oxide, and a p-type matrix made of polycrystalline cadmium telluride. The p-type absorbs the photons and conduc ...
A new milestone has been reached with optical communications. Two groups of people hit similar bandwidth data transfers at the Optical Fiber Communications Conference in Los Angeles in April 2011.   NEC Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey, reported 101.7 Terabits/second through 165 km of fibre. NEC was able to do this by generating 370 separate laser pulses that did not interfere with each other inside a single optical fibre. Each laser used a minute portion of the infrared spectrum, and ...
"To watch one foot in front of another, you couldn't ask for a better feeling." Thrilled words from Hayden Allen, one of the first users of the Rex, Robotic EXoskeleton, from Rex Bionics.   The Rex allows for people who can not use their legs properly to stand and move about. The exoskeleton features the ability to balance on its own and perform most functions that people have when walking. Via a controller on a right arm brace, the user can turn, side step, walk up stairs, standing up, si ...
I recently finished a board with a sensitive optical detector.  The front-end is a trasconductance amplifier detecting currents in the hundreds of femtoamps.  The optical detector uses a Peltier cooler that requires around 0.5V at 0.5A.  5V with plenty of current available comes into this board from elsewhere in the system.  I could simply use a power resistor to drop 4.5V.  This would dissipate 2.25W, which is a small fraction of system power and would not present a the ...

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