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Archive for the ‘electronics’ category: Page 54

Sep 26, 2015

How Robots and Sensors Will Transform Transportation, Agriculture, and Elder Care

Posted by in categories: electronics, food, health, robotics/AI, transportation

Sensors and robotics are two exponential technologies that will disrupt a multitude of billion-dollar industries.

This post (part 3 of 4) is a quick look at how three industries — transportation, agriculture, and healthcare/elder care — will change this decade.

Before I dive into each of these industries, it’s important I mention that it’s the explosion of sensors that is fundamentally enabling much of what I describe below.

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Sep 23, 2015

Engineering Humans for War

Posted by in categories: computing, cyborgs, electronics, engineering, military

For decades after its inception in 1958, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—DARPA, the central research and development organization of the Department of Defense—focused on developing vast weapons systems. Starting in 1990, and owing to individuals like Gorman, a new focus was put on soldiers, airmen, and sailors—on transforming humans for war. The progress of those efforts, to the extent it can be assessed through public information, hints at war’s future, and raises questions about whether military technology can be stopped, or should.

Gorman sketched out an early version of the thinking in a paper he wrote for DARPA after his retirement from the Army in 1985, in which he described an “integrated-powered exoskeleton” that could transform the weakling of the battlefield into a veritable super-soldier. The “SuperTroop” exoskeleton he proposed offered protection against chemical, biological, electromagnetic, and ballistic threats, including direct fire from a.50-caliber bullet. It “incorporated audio, visual, and haptic [touch] sensors,” Gorman explained, including thermal imaging for the eyes, sound suppression for the ears, and fiber optics from the head to the fingertips. Its interior would be climate-controlled, and each soldier would have his own physiological specifications embedded on a chip within his dog tags. “When a soldier donned his ST [SuperTroop] battledress,” Gorman wrote, “he would insert one dog-tag into a slot under the chest armor, thereby loading his personal program into the battle suit’s computer,” giving the 21st-century soldier an extraordinary ability to hear, see, move, shoot, and communicate.

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Sep 23, 2015

Super Fast Cameras

Posted by in category: electronics

A new high speed camera can capture light in motion and see around corners.

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Sep 22, 2015

Samsung’s 950 Pro SSD achieves 2,500MB/s read speeds

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics

Solid state drives are now the clear storage solution choice inside laptops and desktop PCs if you value speed. But as the NAND flash memory inside SSDs has improved, the drives have come up against some limitations, the main one being a SATA connection. We typically see SATA-connected SSDs top out at 550MB/s read and write speeds.

Storage companies have attempted to overcome that limitation with a move to PCI Express. Samsung made the move to PCIe with the 850 Pro SSD, which connected through an M.2 interface. However, that SSD was still limited to read and write speeds in the 500MB/s range. But today, Samsung has unveiled the 950 Pro SSD, and it blows everything that has come before out the water.

950pro_sec02

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Sep 22, 2015

Digestible batteries needed to power electronic pills

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, electronics, engineering, materials

Imagine a “smart pill” that can sense problems in your intestines and actively release the appropriate drugs. We have the biological understanding to create such a device, but we’re still searching for electronic materials (like batteries and circuits) that pose no risk if they get stuck in our bodies. In Trends in Biotechnology on September 21, Christopher Bettinger of Carnegie Mellon University presents a vision for creating safe, consumable electronics, such as those powered by the charged ions within our digestive tracts.

Edible electronic medical devices are not a new idea. Since the 1970s, researchers have been asking people to swallow prototypes that measure temperature and other biomarkers. Currently, there are ingestible cameras for gastrointestinal surgeries as well as sensors attached to medications used to study how drugs are broken down in the body.

“The primary risk is the intrinsic toxicity of these materials, for example, if the battery gets mechanically lodged in the gastrointestinal tract–but that’s a known risk. In fact, there is very little unknown risk in these kinds of devices,” says Bettinger, a professor in materials science and engineering. “The breakfast you ate this morning is only in your GI tract for about 20 hours–all you need is a battery that can do its job for 20 hours and then, if anything happens, it can just degrade away.”

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Sep 21, 2015

The one (gesture control) ring to rule them all

Posted by in categories: electronics, energy

While many companies are tinkering with lasers, ultrasound and even arm muscles for touchless gesture control on portable devices and desktop PCs, Japan’s 16Lab just wants to put a pretty ring on you. The yet-to-be-named titanium wearable is designed by the award-winning Manabu Tago, and it features ALPS Electric’s tiny module (5.05 x 5.65 x 2.5 mm) that somehow manages to pack Bluetooth Smart radio, movement sensor, environment sensor plus antennas — there’s a video demo after the break. Despite its custom-made 10mAh lithium polymer cell, 16Lab is aiming for at least 20 hours of battery life. This is possible mainly because you have to place your thumb on the top pad (with the ring’s wedge pointing away from the user) to enable the sensors — upon which point the ring vibrates to confirm that it’s active. It’s then just a matter of waving and tilting your hand until you’re done.

Gallery | 13 Photos.

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Sep 21, 2015

Algolux tackles optics challenges in smartphones

Posted by in categories: electronics, mobile phones

Algolux is a company aiming to tackle blurring problems through computational optics. Algolux said its efforts are presently focused on smartphones and tablets. One can appreciate how this company sees their technology attracting interest in this way. The technology allows for lens designs to be less complex, smaller, lighter and cheaper which would be especially interesting in smartphone imaging where space is at a premium, said Connect, a website on mobile photography technology. The company tells site visitors that “Our computational optics enable better pictures, thinner cameras and cheaper optics.” The technology allows manufacturers’ devices to capture clearer pictures with their existing equipment, including in low-light conditions. Also, the quantity and quality of optical elements needed are diminished; manufacturers can obtain desirable results at a lower cost.

Traditional optics have hit a wall, according to the company. Their size can no longer be reduced significantly for cameras inside thin devices such as smartphones and tablets.”Lenses in smart devices are small and plastic (for the most part), and do not have the quality of a full-sized optical system, especially for low-light and night-time pictures. As sensors and pixels get smaller, the probability of blur and other aberrations in pictures increases.”

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Sep 21, 2015

Intel wireless charging in a bowl coming sooner than later

Posted by in categories: electronics, energy, mobile phones

When vendors send out announcements of long battery life and juicing strategies for electronic gadgets, interest is assured; the bad news is that interest is assured because consumers are still eagerly looking for less bother and less time needed to keep their smartphones and other mobile gadgets up and running. Intel is aware of the challenge, what with wearables on tap in an assortment of form factors. To be sure, Intel would like to be in the frontlines of technology giants providing the buying public with finer solutions.

“What’s New with Wireless Charging?” Intel asked in July. Intel’s answer, “If you’ve been keeping up with trade shows and tech blogs, you might think that some new breakthrough in wireless energy transfer has taken place in the past year. It hasn’t.” Nikola Tesla worked on before the turn of the 20th century; his inductive charging techniques would see a renaissance some five decades after his death in 1943, said Intel. That has not stopped technologists, however, from asking what comes next. Today, said Intel, the idea and the technology is gaining momentum.

This week’s news headlines of Intel saying its charging bowl will be available by the end of this year will no doubt interest readers and will please those who saw the bowl earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics show, and kept sending e-mails to Intel asking when it will be ready. Earlier this year, it was clear that Intel was working on a day not too distant in the future when people in PC environments could enjoy docking and charging activities as a wire-free experience. Intel revealed at the Computex trade show in Taipei, via an Intel demonstration by Kirk Skaugen, Intel’s senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, that the chipmaker was in fact working on wireless technologies to help deliver a new normal. Skaugen demonstrated how wireless technology could be integrated into a table that could simultaneously charge a laptop, phone, headset and tablet. In January, the company had really whetted appetites for changes in showing a wireless charging bowl at CES. The bowl looks like the standard bowl one might place on a table at home to hold keys, loose coins, or other items.

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Sep 21, 2015

How Nanotechnology Could Re-engineer Us

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, electronics, materials, nanotechnology

Nanotechnology promises significant advances in electronics, materials, biotechnology, alternative energy sources, and much more.

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Sep 21, 2015

Open Source ‘Solar Pocket Factory’ Can 3D Print a Solar Panel Every 15 Seconds

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, computing, electronics, mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein, two young inventors based in the Philippines, are taking their passion for clean free energy and developing a way to make it accessible and cheap for everyone. These guys are working restlessly to provide a product that could be used by practically anyone to make homemade solar panels.

The factory is small enough to fit on a desktop and efficient enough to produce 300k to one million panels per year, up to one every 15 seconds. By cutting out much of the labor intensive process, which represents 50% of the total cost, this machine can dramatically reduce the price of solar. Their pocket solar panel producer can change the way the world views electricity. Image credit: YouTube/SciFri

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