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  Digital connectivity is becoming as important as utilities like water. For example, travel to a foriegn country, and suddenly you are cut off in public spaces. The only option is to break out the paper map and travel books, like living in a pre-internet age.   Newly founded company iPavement is set to change all this with their wireless connectivity sidewalk. Replacing sections of a public sidewalk in Madrid, Spain. Sections of pavement 15.75" x 15.75" x 2.76" (inches) will be repl ...
Spinach based solar cell prototype (via Vanderbilt School of Engineering)   Engineering students from the Vanderbilt School of Engineering have recently received a $90,000 US grant from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to continue development of a hybrid bio-solar panel that makes use of a protein found in spinach. Their solar-panel design makes use of photosynthetic proteins extracted from spinach as an alternative to silicon-based photovoltaic cells to produce electricity. The so ...
  Sapping the energy out of wind usually involves wind turbines that stand between 27 and 94 meters from the earth's surface. Altaeros Energies thinks that’s not high enough to capture significant wind energy, so they’re looking to ‘float’ a newly designed wind turbine to new heights.   The energy company (created by former students from both MIT and Harvard) has designed a new prototype turbine that collects wind energy from altitudes at over 305 meters (~10 ...
Someone asked me the other day what is the purpose of tantalum capacitors, especially ones with lower values.  In the 90s I used them all the time.  We liked them because you could get large values in modest package sizes, and they had lower ESR and better reliability than aluminum electrolytics.  When the tantalum shortage happened in 2000, I was perplexed by an order to use no tants on a design.  A colleague said that’s like asking us to design boards with one hand ti ...
Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, has announced profits of $2.7 billion for the first quarter of 2012, representing an 18 per cent fall from the same period last year. Intel, of course, enjoyed a bumper year in 2011 compared to the rest of the industry, which seemed to be undermined by broader economic strife.     However, analysts have suggested that despite the strong profit results, the firm is not totally resistant to wider pressures. Last year's success was largely driven by ...
After giving the first two lectures at Denhac, we decided that it would be fun to keep it going with more talks on electronics!  While everyone seemed to dig what I had to say, I think there was probably too much talking/drawing and too little showing.  Remember, this is meant to be as fun as possible!  To address this, I thought lecture #3 should focus on electronic measurement equipment.  This will give me a chance to bring in a bunch of equipment, talk about each unit, and ...
Chemical Printer (via University of Glasgow & Nature Chemical)   As previously seen on element14, the popular file-sharing website thePirateBay.com announced they will start sharing physibles files, which are digital blueprints that can be used with 3D printers to print objects.     Now, physibles are being made for more than just simple tools or ornamental pieces. Chemist Lee Cronin at the University of Glasgow, UK, has applied the concept of 3D printing to initiate chemic ...
Droplet (via MIT)   The Information Ecology group from MIT’s Media Lab was on-hand to demonstrate some innovations in light-based communications at MIT’s open house (2012). First on their list is a device called Droplet that lets you transfer information from a monitor or other hub to mobile devices such as tablets through the use of an RGB LED. The Droplet glows green and red depending on the time it takes to grab whatever information you want from the screen. For example, in t ...
  The Fluid Interfaces group from MIT’s Media Lab has unveiled their interesting 6-sided display cube at MIT’s open house this year for the general public. The cube (known as Display Blocks) features six 1.25 inch 128 X 128 OLED screens that are all in sync with each other much like multiple monitor set-ups for the PC. Each screen uses its own microcontroller and memory card with a single battery pack powering all screens collectively. Display Blocks also makes use of a Zigbee r ...
By late 2012, consumers can expect to see the launch of mobile phones running an operating system developed by the makers of Firefox, the popular web browser. The news has been confirmed by Ztop, a Brazilian blog, which confirmed that the handsets featuring the new Mozilla-designed software will be made available in the South American state first.     Known as Boot to Gecko, the new operating system has been designed to compete with Google's Android alternative, which is currently t ...
Energy harvesting shock absorber with mechanical motion rectifier concept (via Lei Zuo)   Potholes and bumps in the road usually decrease the life of our vehicles shock absorbers over time, so we tend not to think of horrible road conditions as beneficial. Now we can.   A team of engineers from the State University of New York have designed a new type of shock absorber that actually harnesses the energy created by those rotten roads and turns it into electricity. The team, led by Profe ...
Inside and outside of the DIT cell phone (via high-low tech)   Every so often MIT opens its doors to the general public and holds a sort of ‘open house,’ where people can view the latest works and lectures (312+ of them in 5 hours!) from every department. One of the more notable works of technology from the prestigious school centered around a do-it-yourself cellphone from the "high-low tech" group at the MIT Media Lab.   Designed by PhD student David Mellis, the DIY proto ...
  If you remember the movie ‘Alien’, the crew was tasked with mining various planets and asteroids before their eventual demise on planet LV-426 (Everyone but the hero, that is). While that was science fiction, a new start-up company wants to make mining asteroids and other planetary bodies a reality.   Called Planetary Resources, the company is looking to explore the vastness of space. as well as mine valuable metals and water from resource-rich asteroids. To do this, the ...
Coating example (via Diakin & DInfo)   I believe a protective coating should be applied at the factory. Why would companies want us to break our gadgets? (We all know the answer)     In the age of the handhelds, humans have realized their propensity for dropping things. Most of us has experienced a sudden *ploop* caused by our cell phones falling in some water. Until recently, this meant death to your phone. Daikin Industries, a chemical company, is trying to find an easy so ...
Inflatable exo-suit (via Tokyo University of Science)   Those who have weak bodies can now become a virtual power-house.   For over a decade, exoskeletons have been used in the medical field to assist in either therapy or helping the disabled become more mobile (see Cyberdine’s HAL suit). These exosuits use some use varying sorts of hydraulic system to help the individual move and are rather bulky which limits the areas that they can be operated. A recent exoskeleton aimed at the ...
A US-based journalist has claimed that a giant e-waste landfill site in the Chinese province of Guangdong is a little more sinister than it may appear. E-waste is, of course, highly toxic and consequently needs to be disposed of in a safe manner.   However, Adam Minter, the author of the Shanghai Scrap, made an unusual discovery when he visited the landfill site in Guiyu. Mr Minter explained to readers that he discovered boxes of faulty, disused computer parts. The components were in their ...
Why anyone connect two MOSFETs in series?    I recently worked on a battery powered project with a buck-boost converter.  When the battery is new, the converter steps down the voltage.  As the battery ages, the converter boosts the voltage.  An added wrinkle is a microprocessor varies the output voltage to levels optimized for specific operations.    When the battery voltage is near the desired output voltage, we can save power by connecting the output to ...
  Just a short blurb: Google Drive is now live, offering 5GB of online storage. The best feature is connecting all the various Google apps with Drive. Sharing files larger than 20mb with friends/colleagues is also a big plus. Also, it's free. So, get started today.   This is not the only option for free cloud storage. Amazon Cloud Drive(5GB), Box (5GB), iCloud, and Dropbox (2GB) all come to mind.   Sign up for all of them and reap the combined 17GB. (excluding iCloud)   ...
NewsFlash in operation (via MIT Media Lab)   Light we cannot see, or hardly see, can carry communications, this method is well practiced. However, two students at the MIT Media Lab (MML) are taking the concept to interfaces we have taken for granted, every digital screen. In a method akin to QR codes, screens will cast high-frequency red and green light in a few pixel columns along the vertical portions of the screen that any other device with a built in camera can detect. A specialized ap ...
Envisat concept art (via European Space Agency)   April 8th began the troubles for the European Space Agency (ESA). At a scheduled time, Envisat, a large environment satellite, did not make its transmission of data back home. The satellite is the largest and most expensive non-military satellite orbiting Earth. It measures in at 30 feet long, 16 feet wide, and also carries a large solar array that is about 16 feet wide and 46 feet long and collectively weighs in around 17,600 pounds (about ...
Amorphous metal core motor (via Hitachi)   In an effort to reduce the intake of rare metals, Hitachi has designed a 11kW industrial axial-gap motor that uses no rare-earth magnates. Traditional motors are typically made from neodymium or dysprosium. In order to accomplish this milestone, researchers at Hitachi designed the new double-rotor motor using a ‘stratified amorphous (iron) metal core’ that’s surrounded by laminated low-magnetic ferrite material. This creates a mag ...
Following months of speculative reports, Google has finally revealed some details of its research into augmented reality glasses, which some experts are suggesting will be the next big thing on electronics market.   The technology giant used its social network site, Google+, to post a short introduction to Project Glass, the name given to the research work. Google revealed that the headset features a microphone and partly-transparent video screen, which shows the images to the user's righ ...
Innovega/DARPA AR Contact Lens concept (via DARPA)   As if calling in air-strikes with augmented reality glasses wasn't enough, now every soldier will get the virtual-world overlay on their eyes. DARPA is funding Innovega, a company looking to change the way we look at our digital and real worlds. The Air Force and Army both presently use head-up display (HUD) units to superimpose information about enemies, their environment, and other status updates in front of their field of view. Howeve ...
  According to a recent survey people were found to love the idea of electric cars most due to lower impact on the environment, as well as the money saved on gas. However, 65% polled showed that they had ‘range anxiety’ (stranded with no power) that prevented them from purchasing an electric vehicle. It’s with the peoples concern that IBM started their ‘Battery 500 Project’ back in 2009, which could make future generations of batteries capable of traveling 500 ...
(Left) SolarCity & Tesla's overall concept drawing (Right) The Tesla battery storage controls (via SolarCity)   In the transition to sustainable lifestyles, a big hurdle is staying "green" when renewable energy is not available. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla other companies like PayPal and Space X is teaming up with his successful cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive  who are co-founders of SolarCity in tackling the problem of battery energy storage systems primarily for solar-roof panels.  ...
  Raspberry Pi, the credit card-sized computer designed for educational use, has been handed to a group of schoolchildren in Leeds, in the north of England. The children are, in fact, that the first group to get their hands on the models of the computer, which appear in a stripped-down form.   The computer is designed to help children learn programming basis and comes shortly after Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, conceded that the government had been slow to recognise the increa ...
Graphene filter (via University of Manchester)   Of all the uses of graphene, there is none more surprising than using it for alcohol distillation. Researchers from the University of Manchester (UK) have found that membranes made with graphene-oxide have impermeable qualities that prevent gasses and liquids from passing through them. On the other hand, water can easily pass through it when it evaporates as if the membrane wasn’t there at all.   The team, led by Dr. Rahul Nair, u ...
    Have you ever wanted to understand how a CPU works but are unsure of how much time that might take? Kill two birds with the 'Mechanical CPU Clock.' Lior Elazary designed the clock to teach his children how a central processing unit works as well as "justifying the cost of a new laser-cutter." His clock represents all the pieces of a working CPU complete with ALU (arithmetic logic unit), Buses, ram, registers and control unit, all of which functions mechanically.   Time is dis ...
M Azzuro messenger bag (via so-fi)   On element 14, we have seen various attempts to merge technology with fashion. Finally, an attempt to merge these worlds has been recognized with a prestigious Red Dot Award for Product Design in the category of fashion, lifestyle and accessories. The winner was the M Azzurro messenger bag by so-fi ®. This bag’s special capabilities are harnessing solar power to charge smart phones, tables, MP3’s, digital cameras and other portable devi ...
Microsoft has announced that its newest operating system, Windows 8, is to be made available in three different guises. The firm explained that for those consumers with Intel-compatible machines, the operating system will be available in two versions - Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Meanwhile, for those with handheld devices with ARM-designed chips there will be a Windows RT version.   Windows 8 is expected to ship in autumn 2012 and according to the tech firm, it will be the most signi ...
(Right) Professor Michael Weinert (Left) Graduate student Haihui Pu holding up a sculpture of the graphene monoxide (GMO) atomic structure   Graphene has been applied for a myriad of applications that include generators, solid state memory, and RF mixers to name a few. However, scientists from the University of Wisconsin have been successful at transforming graphene into a new substance which makes it ideal for use as a semiconductor.   The team of scientists and engineers were conduc ...
Project Glass (via Google)   Google has created for itself a fantasy lab called Google X, it has been very secretive since its opening and its location is a mystery. Very few people will ever get to see what goes on there, and we are left with our imaginations to fill the empty picture. I personally think they have robots working alongside them and little space ships cruising around. Whatever the case may be, they will be researching and producing some of the most advanced technology ...
Every day more people are growing concerned over their right to privacy when it comes to the internet. What sites they go to, what they purchase as consumers (more on that in a bit) and what is said on social-sites can/are being monitored. In some extreme cases, people are required to hand over their passwords to sites such as Facebook through either school officials (12 year-old in Minnesota) or potential employers (growing trend). Internet service providers are often used by government officia ...
  Its no secret that when it comes to scientific innovation, products of nature have had millions of years of development.  Engineers are becoming quite aware of this. A perfect example is the simple and efficient propulsion method behind the jellyfish. Natures elegance is being replicated by Yonas Tadesse and his team at the University of Texas at Dallas and VirginiaTech . The Robojelly is born.     Robojelly is made from shape-memory alloy that returns to its original sh ...
>Click the image< >Click the image<   We are not  talking about food here, it is the "organic electronics" that are  finding their way into our electrical lives. It is not just a label, but  a growing industry with potential to bring us new-age efficiency and  creativity. Organic electronics do not grow from the earth. Instead, the  components involve a lot of chemistry, generally stemming from carbon  based compounds, and how it bonds with oxyg ...
Promotional image of the L Prize winning bulb. (via Philips)   Back in 2007, the US Congress started what’s known as the L-Prize, which is a competition run by the Department of Energy to design efficient solid-state lights to replace the aging incandescent light-bulb. Contestants who take on the challenge are to design replacements for the PAR 38 halogen incandescent bulb ($5,000,000 US in prize money) as well as the standard 60 watt bulb ($10,000,000 US in winnings). Out of all the ...
It was inevitable that robots would soon make take over our world, right? They show up in factories to take over people's roles on the assembly line, and now the first robot guard has been patrolling a prison in South Korea. It is a new system created to maintain prison safety and to decrease workloads on people working at the prison. First reported back in Nov 2011, this new video shows firsthand look at the control system and interface.     The robot has been named Robo-guard a ...
  Leading up to earth day, we should remind ourselves how much the earth itself can save humans from the current precarious situation we find ourselves. Pierre Calleja, a French biochemist who specialized in microbiology, is attempting to finally get this point across with a project he has been working for the better part of his 20 year expertise. Calleja has developed a lamp that needs nothing more than algae and CO2 to power it.     Car emissions contribute around 25% of the t ...
(Far left and Right) Jack Tramiel (Middle) The successful Commodore 64     "We need to build computers for the masses, not the classes." - Jack Tramiel describing his mission with the Commodore 64     Gaming and computer enthusiasts world-wide are mourning the loss of Commodore founder Jack Tramiel (pronounced "Tra-mel") on April 8th of this year (2012) at the age 83. Before becoming a legend in the computer world, Jack (born Jacek Trzmiel in 1928) grew up in Poland and wa ...
WARNING, Explicit lyrics. View at your own risk. WARNING, Explicit lyrics. View at your own risk.     "My only fear in death is comin' back, reincarnated" - Tupac Shakur, from the album 'R U Still Down (Remember Me)'   It is said, “Only the good die young.” Tupac Shakur is arguably one of the greatest rappers of all time, and at 26 years old, he died far too young.  His friends and fan base has had a hard time letting go, and almost 16 years after Tu ...
(Left) Testing area (Right) Obligatory picture of crabs   Could future CPU’s be powered by crabs? Yukio-Pegio Gunji and his team from Kobe University in Japan are working in that direction. In the recent paper "Robust Soldier Crab Ball Gate," (See attached report at the end of this post) the team detailed how two groups of soldier crabs moving toward each other combined into one swarm.   The swarm then moved in an adjacent direction with a relative speed based off of the faster ...
  Global Systems for Mobile Communications(GSMA) and Wireless Broadband Alliance(WBA) will be working together to provide a system framework to support WiFi roaming. Cellular providers already offer their own services. However, connecting to a WiFi spot that is not supported by the cell phone providers can sometimes be a hassle. The new system could potentially eliminate all the manual steps mobile users have to go through to connect to hotspots.     Currently, WiFi is a free fe ...
  Having OCD (obsessive coffee disorder) is a hard enough condition to deal with, but add on always being in a rush; panic tends to follow. To feed your addiction in your busy lifestyle, the “Textspresso” is coming to save the day.   In this generation everyone is glued to their phone. Zipwhip in Settle combined the addictions of both texting and coffee to create the "Textspreso." Instead of having to prep your coffee or spend money to have someone make it; you simply jus ...
At the time when the Titanic sank, 100 years ago this morning, wireless communication was still in its infancy.  Marconi had demonstrated the first transatlantic wireless communication only ten years earlier.    Being the only one with the equipment and knowledge to send and receive messages in an emergency is a scenario that has a secret fascination for almost all young radio amateurs.  It’s part of the appeal of amateur radio Field Day, the first fourth full weekend ...
  Get in a fight with your girlfriend? Smooth it over with a custom 3D chocolate from the 'Choc Edge' printer. Chic Edge, custom 3D chocolate machine was created by Dr Liang Hao and Dr Choon Yen Kong; who are lead scientists at the University of Exeter.     The system has been in development since 2007. The main company, Choc Edge was founded in December 2011 after a very positive responses from the media in July of 2011. How this sweet machine works is by filling a syringe wit ...
  This huge CPU heatsink could be 25% smaller   With the discovery of new substances comes the development of great products. In 2004, the unique characteristics of graphene were first discovered. Graphene is a substance that is only one layer of carbon atoms thick and possesses extraordinary characteristics. For example, it is stronger than diamonds, conducts electricity better than copper, and is impenetrable to gases and liquids. Researchers are only now starting to develop produc ...
Concept device (via Ogaki)   Banking in the palm of your hand, literally.   Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank in Japan will be releasing several ATM’s that use a palm-vein biometric sensor over traditional cards to dispense money. Ogaki’s ATM’s feature Fujitsu’s PalmSecure Sensor which is contactless (making it very hygienic) and uses the veins in your palm as your unique pattern. The sensor is able to detect the vein pattern from a distance of about 2 inches at a speed of 0 ...
  When was the last time you used a payphone? Personally, I have not used one in over a decade. Payphone installations have silently been removed from sight since the 1990s. They are all but gone. However, a modern incarnation of the phone booth is attempting to foster the return.   New York is planning on replacing all the old school pay phones with high tech “smart screens,” operating system unknown at the moment. The “smart screen” is a 32-inch touch interf ...
  Electric cars are not the only alternative to expensive gas guzzlers anymore. Other motorized vehicles are making an appearance, like electrically assisted bicycles that will surely be an attractive option for city commuters.     The E-Bike called Turbo from th company 'Specialized' helps the rider by providing extra torque from a 250 W rear hub motor. This extra kick can be set at 4 different speeds. The fastest will have you travelling at 28 mph. For those who do not know, t ...
       ErgoSensor concept (via Phillips)   Sitting and working at a computer all day takes its toll on our posture. Seriously, right now while I’m writing this, I’m hunched over at about a 45 degree angle and that can’t be good. So, for those of us who need help with this issue Phillips has designed a new monitor that lets us know were slouching and provides a procedure to correct it. The 24 inch LED monitor (1920 X 1080) is equipped with Phi ...
  Making sushi is an art-form. Chefs train for years just perfecting their techniques in making the delicate rolls, and anyone who’s ever tried making it at home knows that it can end in disaster (at least for me). Jiro Ono is 86 years old (as of 2012), he has been making sushi since he was 10 years old. Three-quarters of a century to reach the point of being the world's top sushi chef. People have to make reservations 3-months to a year in advance to taste the renowned sushi at Jiro' ...
  Portable power generators have been in use for ages, but none offer up the added uniqueness of providing power by cooking food like David Toledo’s PowerPot. The electricity created by the device is caused by what’s known as thermoelectric power generation. The principal is that electricity can be created by temperature differences across thermal-conductive material. The PowerPot houses thermoelectric modules located in its aluminum hard-anodized base that can create electricit ...
ECG shirt (via Ashraf Kodsky)   Getting an ECG (Electrocardiography) test done is stressful, to say the least. Not to mention the fact all the wires taped to your body make you look like some kind of cyborg which is very unfashionable. Ashraf Kodsy is looking to simplify the whole ordeal of getting an ECG with his design of the ‘ECG box.' The compact design was developed using Solidworks 3D CAD software in conjunction with the PCB board he intended to use.   Alongside the ECG-bo ...
Kit concept drawing (via Siliken)   When it comes to outfitting your house with solar power, it usually means that you have to use a pre-made one-size-fits-all solution that has little to no configurability. This is where a Spanish company 'Siliken' comes in with a fully customizable solar package that can be tailored to fit your houses unique dimensions. Siliken’s ‘energyBox’ is designed to be scalable to the individuals needs and overcomes any obstacle associated with di ...
  Playing with RC cars can be a lot of fun for kids, and as anyone who plays the Call of Duty games know, the army thinks they are fun as well. Now, a company called Boston Dynamics has revealed their latest take on the RC car. Unfortunately you will not find it at any Toy’s R Us. Boston Dynamics and the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force are behind this project because creating military bots is now more profitable than selling RC cars to kids.     Their creation is called ...
Solar cell at 2-μm. a) Scales drawing. b) concept, wrapped around human hair follicle. c) Showing elasticity. d) reacting to and conforming to pressure form the outside. e) Surface of solar cell (SEM image) showing an estimated 10μm curve, based of wrinkle pattern.   The advancing technology and production of consumer electronic devices demands a need for lightweight and portable energy supply systems. The common solution is a rigid battery that must be recharged often and almost ...
I recently signed up to teach a series of classes at Denhac, the hackerspace in Denver.  It is part of a new movement to get members to teach their specialty, and there is a lot to learn for folks in the area.  Totally free and open to the public!  For those that can come, it's on 4/16/12 with lecture #1 at 1:00pm and #2 at 2:30pm, located at 975 E 58th Ave, Unit N Denver, CO 80216.   I spend nearly all of my design time working on analog electronics, and the majority of the ...
2012 Summer Olympic Games logo. Created by Wolff Olins, it represents the number "2012." The logo cost £400,000 ($635,120 USD). (Via International Olympic Committee)   The BBC is sparing no expense when it comes to this year’s Olympic coverage. The company is making 24 live-stream HD channels available (48 in all if you count non-HD channels) for the games which will give some viewers the option to follow just one event. That means you can watch events such as the blistering Tab ...
Humanoid Robot developed for DARPA by SRI International (Via SRI International)   DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has had a host of ‘Grand Challenges’ since their inception in 1958. Notable contests include a driverless car project and the UAV Challenge which resulted in the Predator drone design. DARPA’s next Grand Challenge will focus on humanoid robots that are able to navigate rough or adverse terrain as well as function in areas such as disaster zone ...
(Left) Erik Koepf (Right) Professor Ajay Prasad standing over the solar reactor   Using hydrogen refined from natural gas for use as a power source has a fundamental flaw, the process of extraction produces carbon dioxide. This isn’t good for the atmosphere and heats up the earth like a pizza-oven (making us the pizzas!). However, doctoral student Erik Koepf, from the University of Delaware, has found a way to refine the hydrogen gas without the toxic byproduct which will help in turn ...
Carter Aviation is a research company developing an aircraft that can take off as a helicopter and fly as an airplane.  The helicopter capability gives it the ability to land without a runway.  It is also more tolerant than an airplane to adverse weather.    I spoke to John Coffin, an electrical engineer and angel investor who serves on Carter Avaition’s board, about the recent prototype testing and the how the technology works.   A helicopter’s speed is l ...
  Going to the beach to build sand castles will get a lot more interesting if MIT researchers achieve their goal of creating, what they call, ‘smart sand’. Professor Daniela Rus and student Kyle Gilpin (from the Distributed Robotics Laboratory at MIT) have designed special algorithms that would enable robotic-like sand to assemble themselves into various shapes and objects.   "Sand" cube (via MIT)   The sand starts of as a singular mass and then ‘sheds’, ...
  The US ARMY has recently awarded Hewlett Packard the sum of $249,000,000 US for their integration of HP’s Enterprise Cloud Services. ECS incorporates servers, storage, networks and securities services all packaged together that are custom tailored to the customer’s needs. This will give the DoD, as well as other federal agencies, a secure centralized source for all their top-secret information needs. HP will provide the Army with two ‘suite’ versions with one desig ...
"Gut-on-a-chip" (via Harvard University)   Sure it sounds creepy, but think of the education that can be had with pocket-sized living models of human organs. In order to get a different perspective on the way human intestines work, Dr. Donald Ingber and a team of researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have designed a micro-sized living model based off of the human digestive tract.   Donald and his team created the ‘gut-on- ...
  Car technology has advanced so much within the last decade most people probably do not recognize automobiles are edging close to autonomous. Cars have subtly took over more driving tasks starting with simple cruise control to automatic parallel parking and braking systems that can detect objects that the driver may not see. It is only a matter of time before cars that are fully capable of driving themselves are commonplace.     A perfect example of these new cars is Google's ...
(Left) Intelligent Textiles showing off their conductive "e-textiles" (Right) Conductive vest, looks exactly like its non-electrical original   Ask any soldier and they’ll tell you that the more gear you use when you ‘kit up’ the harder it is to move. Communication systems like the PRC-153, while smaller than their predecessors, take up a lot of real-estate on plate-carriers and tactical vests alike. Add up all the other electronic gadgets such as GPS units, tactical table ...
(via Transformation thermodynamics: cloaking and concentrating heat flux paper)   Invisibility cloaks have been created to hide from magnetic detection, eyesight, radar waves and the IRS (just kidding). We can now add thermal cloaking to that list, with the recent research paper released by Sebastien Guenneau and his team from the Institut Fresnel in France. The theory outlined in ‘Transformation thermodynamics: cloaking and concentrating heat flux’ cloaks heat signatures from ...
The opening the Japanese animated series "Planetes," depicting the fictional first space debris collision on a commuter transport.   The earth has so much garbage in orbit that it’s becoming an increasing concern to not only NASA but to the US Air Force, as well. To help with the problem the Air Force has awarded preliminary contracts to both Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Corp. ($107,000,000 US. each) for the AF’s ‘Space Fence’ program which will be used to track smal ...
(Left) Giovanni Aldini (Right) Depiction of stimulating an animals limbs by current conducted through the demonstrators   Electricity was believed to be a "magical wonder" for many years of its early known existence. It was first produced by electrostatic machines and later by early batteries such as Volta's voltaic pile. However, very little was actually known about the phenomena and little to none of its qualities were used in practical applications until the late 1800s.     ...
Single atom scale (via Catalan Institute of Technology)   Carbon nano-tubes have some flexibility when it comes to its uses. You can find them incorporated in everything from carbon-fiber baseball bats to solar cells. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to find them made into some kind of new breakfast cereal (frosted nano-tube O’s?) at some point in the future. All kidding aside, these nano-tubes have yet again found their way into new technology, and this time it’s a weight ...
By 2016, the global market for mobile processors will reach 1.9 billion units annually. That is according to new NPD In-Stat research, which found that the growth of mobile processors exceeded 43 percent in 2011. And in four years' time, the research firm said that this growth rate will touch 22 percent compound annual growth rate.   Mobile processors are used in applications processors and central processing units. They are commonly used in multifunction devices that are a "fusion of comp ...
  Apple has been forced to make an embarrassing comedown after Australian customers complained of being misled about the 4G capabilities of the new iPad. Subsequently, the California-based firm has decided to offer refunds to its customers based in Australia, many of whom complained to the country's consumer watchdog.   The firm has, in fact, already said that it is willing to publish a clarification on the issue, though it vehemently denies deliberately misleading consumers.   ...
(via Dr. Peter Jensen)   Back in 2005 a sci-fi documentary came out called ‘How William Shatner Changed the World.' In it, Shatner describes how some gadgets and technology from the original series, as well as others, have become a reality in one form or another in today’s world. The one gadget that is predominantly showcased in every episode hasn’t made the transition from fantasy to reality, until now (no not ‘beaming’ tech). The multipurpose scanning "Tricor ...
Roger Angel's solar collector (via University of Arizona)   The field of solar power in-home to countless ideas, methods, and devices for capturing the Earth's sliver of the Sun's energy. Another possible solution is brought to the world by the company REhnu out of Arizona, USA. Founded by terrestrial telescope mirror designer Roger Angel, the effort brings solar panel and mirror combinations that are poised to produce an affordable $1 dollar per watt by 2020.     Angel’s ...
Lightning strike in Paris, France (via Bertrand Kulik)   Possibly the greatest pioneer in the field of electrical engineering, Nikola Tesla, dreamed of one day controlling lightning. During lightning storms, he would sit and watch in amazement as nature demonstrated its powerful electrical discharges. He successfully simulated electrical discharges up to 7 meters in length using millions of volts produced by his infamous coils. However, controlling nature's powerful forces ended up being o ...
A few years ago I read a book about disasters, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why.  It describes how if people were warned about emergencies early and responded as soon as they heard the warnings most deaths due to fire and similar emergencies could be prevented.    Last week I spoke to Ken Post of Alert Systems Inc. about a system they have developed to get warnings out reliably to the people affected by an emergency using the mobile phone network. ...

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