2017-09-07 - Nº 123
Esta é a Newsletter Nº 123 que se apresenta com o mesmo formato que as anteriores. Se gostar da Newsletter partilhe-a!
Todas as Newsletters encontram-se indexadas no link.
Esta Newsletter tem os seguintes tópicos:
Faz hoje anos que nascia, em 1829, August Kekulé. Este químico alemão ficou conhecido por ter inventado a estrutura do anel de átomos de carbono em moléculas orgânicas. Ele determinou a tetravalência de carbono e sua capacidade de ligar cadeias e formar radicais polivalentes. Além disso, ele imaginava ligações duplas ou até triplas entre os átomos de carbono nessas cadeias. Depois de um sonho que teve, criou a fórmula hexagonal do benzeno.
Faz também anos hoje que nascia, em 1912, David Packard. Este engenheiro electrotécnico nasceu no Colorado e ficou conhecido por ter criado conjuntamente com um colega e amigo, William Hewlett, a Hewlett-Packard. O primeiro produto da HP foi um oscilador de áudio de resistência-capacitância baseado num projeto desenvolvido por Hewlett quando ele estava na escola de pós-graduação, que foi vendido aos estúdios Walt Disney para uso no som do filme Fantasia. Na companhia Packard era o gestor e Hewlett assegurava as diversas inovações técnicas. Posteriormente foi secretário de defesa dos Estados Unidos da América entre 1969 e 1971.
Faz igualmente anos hoje que nascia, em 1914, James Van Allen. Este cientista espacial norte-americano ficou conhecido pela descoberta da magneto-esfera Terrestre. Esta caracteriza-se por duas zonas toroidais de radiação devido a partículas presas carregadas que circundam a Terra (também conhecido como cintos de radiação Van Allen). Os cintos de radiação Van Allen foram nomeados após ele, após sua descoberta por instrumentos de tubo Geiger-Müller colocados nos satélites Explorer 1, Explorer 3 e Pioneer 3.
Por fim, faz anos hoje que nascia, em 1955, Efim Isaakovich Zelmanov. Este Matemático russo ficou conhecido pelo seu trabalho sobre problemas combinatórios na álgebra não associativa e na teoria de grupos e, em particular, a solução do problema Restrito de Burnside. O problema Restrito de Burnside que ele resolveu foi uma condição mais estrita decorrente da pergunta de Burnside em 1902 se um grupo finitamente gerado no qual cada elemento tem ordem finita é finito.
Esta semana ficámos a saber que a Lilium assegurou um financiamento de 90 Milhões de dólares. A Lilium é uma start-up dedica-se ao fabrico de um avião de descolagem vertical. O investimento será usado para o desenvolvimento do Jet Lilium de cinco lugares que voará comercialmente, bem como para aumentar a equipa atual de mais de 70 colaboradores.
Ficámos igualmente a saber que a nossa estrela, o Sol, enviou dois flares classe-X, considerados os mais fortes da década. Os flares solares são explosões gigantes na superfície do Sol que ocorrem quando as linhas de campo magnético retorcidas de repente encaixam e libertam enormes quantidades de energia. Embora os raios não passem a atmosfera, eles afectam os sistemas de que encontram a gravitar à volta da Terra como por exemplo os sistemas de posicionamento global GPS e os sistema de rádio.
Esta quinta-feita a SpaceX lançou com sucesso o misterioso avião espacial X-37B e recupera o primeiro estágio do seu foguetão. A SpaceX é o único lançador de foguetões além da United Launch Alliance, a conseguir este feito e ajudará a garantir que a obtenção mais negócios, no futuro, relacionados com a defesa Norte-americana.
Na Newsletter desta semana apresentamos diversos projetos de maker.
João Alves ([email protected])
O conteúdo da Newsletter encontra-se sob a licença Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Novidades da Semana
"We are incredibly happy to announce that we completed a $90 million Series B funding round. The funding group consists of Tencent; LGT, the international private banking and asset management group; Atomico, our Series A backer founded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström; and Obvious Ventures, whose co-founder Ev Williams is Twitter’s co-founder and former CEO. The investment brings our total capital raised to more than $100 million. Freigeist (formerly e42) were our seed investors. The investment will be used for the development of the five-seat Lilium Jet that will fly commercially, as well as to grow our current team of more than 70. In April we achieved a world first when the full size prototype successfully performed its most complicated manoeuvre - transitioning between hover mode and horizontal flight. Daniel Wiegand, our co-founder and CEO said: “This investment is a tremendously important step for Lilium as it enables us to make the five-seat jet a reality. This is the next stage in our rapid evolution from an idea to the production of a commercially successful aircraft that will revolutionise the way we travel in and around the world’s cities. It makes Lilium one of the best funded electric aircraft projects in the world. Our backers recognise that Lilium’s innovative eVTOL technology puts us in the lead in this exciting new industry, with no other company promising the economy, speed, range and low-noise levels of the Lilium Jet. “We are continuing to recruit the very brightest and best global talent in aeronautical engineering, physics, electric propulsion and computer science to join us on this extraordinary aviation journey where the only limits are the laws of physics.” The Lilium Jet’s electric jet engines are highly efficient and ultra-low noise, allowing it to operate in densely populated urban areas, while also covering longer distances at high speed with zero emissions. With the jet requiring no significant infrastructure, we will be able to bring high speed transportation services to small cities and villages as well as large city centres for the first time. The Lilium Jet will be able to travel at up to 300 km per hour for one hour on a single charge - meaning an example 19 km journey from Manhattan to JFK Airport could last as little as five minutes. The jet’s economy and efficiency means flights are predicted to cost less than the same journey in a normal road taxi." [...]
"The monster burst of radiation already caused brief radio blackouts and may trigger strong auroras in the coming days. Early Wednesday morning, the sun unleashed two monster solar flares, the second of which was the most powerful we’ve seen in more than a decade. The burst of radiation was so intense, it caused high-frequency radio blackouts across the daytime side of Earth that lasted for about an hour. Solar flares are giant explosions on the surface of the sun that occur when twisted magnetic field lines suddenly snap and release massive amounts of energy. Space weather scientists classify flares based on their intensity, with X-class flares being the most powerful. These explosions can release as much energy as a billion hydrogen bombs. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center, the sun began unleashing its fury on Wednesday at 5:10 a.m. ET, with an X2.2 flare. Just three hours later, the sun produced a second flare measuring a whopping X9.3—the most powerful on record since 2006. The strongest solar flare measured in modern times happened in 2003, when scientists recorded a blast so powerful that it was off the charts at X28. On Thursday morning, scientists using the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, satellite confirmed that an accompanying giant cloud of charged particles, called a coronal mass ejection, now has Earth in its crosshairs. (Find out how sun-watchers stopped World War III in 1967.)" [...]
"SpaceX can add another first to its ever-increasing list: On Thursday, it successfully launched the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B experimental spaceplane for the first time. This makes it the only launch provider to accomplish this besides the United Launch Alliance, and should help ensure SpaceX gets more business from U.S, defense contracts in future. The launch vehicle used was SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which took off from the company’s LC-39A launch facility at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday morning at 10 AM ET (7 AM PT). The Falcon 9 deployed the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, as the payload is officially called, and then its first stage booster returned to Earth for a planned recovery at Cape Canaveral Air Force base via SpaceX’s LZ-1 landing pad. The goal was to get the launch up before the arrival of Hurricane Irma, and they succeeded. While the specifics of the X-37B’s mission aren’t available to the public, it will be “conducting experiments” post-launch. Its last mission saw it orbit Earth for two years before returning via a landing in May. The X-37B, built by Boeing, is an uncrewed vehicle, but resembles the Space Shuttle on a smaller scale. It’s also designed to land like the Shuttle, using a landing strip like you’d use for an airliner. The X-37B is the first uncrewed space plane for the U.S., and is designed for reusability at a reasonable cost. It’s aim is to fly and test new tech, and to return experimental results in a way that protects cargo and makes it suitable for post-operation examination. One of the goals with this launch was basically just to prove SpaceX as a viable launch option, which Boeing says will help ensure the flexibility and continued viability of the X-37B for experimental use. For SpaceX, this marks the 16th recovery of a Falcon 9 first stage. The next mission to reuse a refurbished recovered booster is EchoStar 105’s SES-11 mission, which is taking place in October and which will reuse a booster first used for the CRS-10 ISS resupply mission." [...]
"Today at IFA 2017, Huawei Consumer Business Group unveiled a new era in smartphone innovation. In a keynote address, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group revealed Huawei’s vision for the future of artificial intelligence with the launch of the Kirin 970. By combining the power of the cloud with the speed and responsiveness of native AI processing, Huawei is bringing AI experiences to life and changing the way we interact with our devices. “As we look to the future of smartphones, we’re at the threshold of an exciting new era,” Yu said. “Mobile AI = On-Device AI + Cloud AI. Huawei is committed to turning smart devices into intelligent devices by building end-to-end capabilities that support coordinated development of chips, devices, and the cloud. The ultimate goal is to provide a significantly better user experience. The Kirin 970 is the first in a series of new advances that will bring powerful AI features to our devices and take them beyond the competition.” After years of development, Cloud AI has seen broad application, but user experience still has room for improvement in areas such as latency, stability, and privacy. The goal is for Cloud AI and On-Device AI to complement each other. On-Device AI offers strong sensing capabilities, that are the foundation of understanding and assisting people. Sensors produce a large amount of real-time, scenario-specific, and personalized data. Supported by strong chip processing capabilities, devices will become more cognitive of user needs, providing truly personalized and readily accessible services. The Kirin 970 is powered by an 8-core CPU and a new generation 12-core GPU. Built using a 10nm advanced process, the chipset packs 5.5 billion transistors into an area of only one cm². Huawei’s new flagship Kirin 970 is Huawei’s first mobile AI computing platform featuring a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Compared to a quad-core Cortex-A73 CPU cluster, the Kirin 970's new heterogeneous computing architecture delivers up to 25x the performance with 50x greater efficiency. Simply put, the Kirin 970 can perform the same AI computing tasks faster and with far less power. In a benchmark image recognition test, the Kirin 970 processed 2,000 images per minute, which was faster than other chips on the market. New developments in AI require joint effort across the entire value chain, involving tens of millions of developers, and the experience and feedback of hundreds of millions of users. Huawei is positioning the Kirin 970 as an open platform for mobile AI, opening up the chipset to developers and partners who can find new and innovative uses for its processing capabilities." [...]
"Over the past few years the shootout team has seen some emerging trends come to fruition, with the continued expansion of “all-in-one” machines and the huge burst in multi-extrusion machines. While multi-extrusion can mean many things, for the vast majority of users that means multi-color, and XYZ Printing steps up to the plate with the world’s first full color fused filament fabrication 3D printer. The DaVinci Color is a brand new machine with a unique combination of FDM and inkjet technologies which combine to bring the full color palette to your 3D prints, without all of the hassles and limitations additional extruders can bring. Most of you will be well acquainted with the XYZ Printing Family, as their DaVinci series has become a mainstay in the community over the last few years. As of 2016 they were the world leading printer brand, with a stable of printers that includes the Nobel, an SLA resin printer, as well as a large variety of FDM printers, including some with scan as well as print capabilities. With the DaVinci color, they’ve taken another step in solidifying their place, bringing a technology usually seen only in expensive industrial machines to the home user. Using a single extruder, and a proprietary PLA blend made for inkjet printing, you can now print in “full color spectrum accuracy” according to Simon Chen, XYZ Printing’s CEO. This is thanks to the addition of a CMYK inkjet technology that will customize the filament color on the fly, up to 16 million of them, lending to some great looking prints. Maybe even more impressive is what we don’t see, the usual purge tower, which will make those worried about consumable price a little happier. Yes, there are some increased costs, as the Color-Inkjet PLA is priced at roughly $35 for a 600g spool, and a color inkjet cartridge will run the end user $64.95. This may scare off some, but for a machine that can crank out full color prints ready to go, saving the user a lot of the post processing time, it can be money well spent. As for the rest of the printer, it’s almost exactly what you would expect. The DaVinci Color build area is average, at 200x200x150mm, with layer heights of 100-400 microns and a standard .4mm nozzle. The auto-leveling bed is removable, although not heated, and the machine itself features a 5 inch color touchscreen and wireless as well as wired printing. For those wondering about what the end product looks like, it is a step up from what you are expecting. The colors certainly look good, and there were tons on display in the DaVinci Color’s demo prints. From dinosaur prints to superheroes, the photos show just how much difference the color makes to the finished product. Those of you who have seen our testing team member Josh Ajima’s inking tutorials will notice that the traditional capillary action is still there, leaving a charming grain to the color, although a lot of work has been done to make this much smoother. We also expect that as XYZ Printing releases this new workhorse, that the software can be tweaked to help eliminate some of the other color issues that highlight some of the usual printing artifacts, such as ringing and other surface finish issues. One thing we didn’t expect to see was just how much better the prints would pop visually with a little bit of shading and color printed on, adding a whole layer of depth. This will likely make some of our prop and model making fans a bit of time, as some of the weathering could be printed in, saving a few washes. We haven’t seen the software itself in action yet, so just how easy it is to create these color prints remains to be seen, but this is definitely a case where we can see the cell phone scans and photogrammetry come together to make an easy end to end solution. We should also note that it will be interesting to see how this method of coloring stands up to the usual finishing processes we put our prints through. Even though the coloration is done, things like print smoothing and cleaning will still need done." [...]
"SANDISK® BRAND 400GB CARD GIVES MOBILE CONSUMERS THE FREEDOM TO CAPTURE AND EXPERIENCE MORE CONTENT THAN EVER BEFORE Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC), a global data storage technology and solutions leader, today announced its 400GB* SanDisk Ultra® microSDXC™ UHS-I card, the world’s highest-capacity microSD card for use in mobile devices. Two years after introducing its record-breaking 200GB* SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card, Western Digital has doubled the capacity within the same tiny form factor. Keeping up with the demands of today’s mobile-centric lifestyle, the new SanDisk microSD card provides consumers with the freedom to capture, save and share photos, videos and apps, and enjoy offline content - all without worrying about storage limitations. “Mobile devices have become the epicenter of our lives, and consumers are now accustomed to using their smartphones for anything from entertainment to business. We are collecting and sharing massive amounts of data on smartphones, drones, tablets, PCs, laptops and more. We anticipate that storage needs will only continue to grow as people continue to expect more sophisticated features on their devices and desire higher quality content,” Jeff Janukowicz, research vice president, IDC. “We estimate mobile device users worldwide will install over 150 billion applications alone this year, which require a ton of memory on all of our favorite devices.” Western Digital achieved this capacity breakthrough by leveraging its proprietary memory technology and design and production processes that allow for more bits per die. “We continue to push technology boundaries and transform the way consumers use their mobile devices,” said Sven Rathjen, vice president, product marketing, Western Digital. “By focusing on achieving new technology milestones, we enable consumers to keep up with their mobile-centric lifestyles with storage solutions they trust.” Ideal for Android™ smartphone and tablet users, the world’s highest-capacity card can hold up to 40 hours of Full HD video and features superfast transfer speeds of up to 100MB/s** to deliver premium performance. At this transfer speed, consumers can expect to move up to 1,200 photos per minute1. Additionally, the 400GB* SanDisk Ultra microSD card meets the A1 App Performance Class specification, which means that the card can load apps faster.2 Through the updated SanDisk Memory Zone app, users will have even greater control over their mobile device's memory storage. The app, available for free download from the Google Play™ store, is compatible with most Android-powered devices and allows users to easily locate, organize, transfer and back up data, including tagged content from Facebook and Instagram.3" [...]
"The Technical University in Eindhoven, working with construction company BAM, started 3D printing a bicycle bridge this weekend. The bridge is the first of its kind in the world and is printed with pre-stressed and reinforced concrete, according to NOS. TU Eindhoven professor Theo Salet called the process very exciting and stressful. "Stressful because the work you do is being put into practice for the first time. It must be safe." He said. "A lot has been done to investigate how the material behaves and how it will behave if it forms a real construction. So this step, from the laboratory to something that is used in practice, is very beautiful, but also stressful." The structure is printed in parts and put together on site, using a special concrete mortar, Salet explained to NOS. "If you pour normal concrete, it runs away on all sides. That is the intention, so that it spreads well in the mold. But this is very special material. If I lay it down, it stays in place. Compare it with toothpaste or mayonnaise. It does not lose form." That also means that less of the material is used. "The printer puts down much less", the professor said to the broadcaster. The bridge wil form part of a roundabout at Gemert, which will connect the N605 and the N272." [...]
"At Microsoft our commitment is to make AI more accessible and valuable for everyone. We offer a variety of platforms and tools to facilitate this, including our Cognitive Toolkit, an open source framework for building deep neural networks. We also work with other organizations that share our views to help the AI community. Today we are excited to announce the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) format in conjunction with Facebook. ONNX provides a shared model representation for interoperability and innovation in the AI framework ecosystem. Cognitive Toolkit, Caffe2, and PyTorch will all be supporting ONNX. Microsoft and Facebook co-developed ONNX as an open source project, and we hope the community will help us evolve it. What is the ONNX representation? Cognitive Toolkit and other frameworks provide interfaces that make it easier for developers to construct and run computation graphs that represent neural networks. Though they provide similar capabilities, each framework today has its own format for representing these graphs. The ONNX representation provides the following key benefits: Framework interoperability Developers can more easily move between frameworks and use the best tool for the task at hand. Each framework is optimized for specific characteristics such as fast training, supporting flexible network architectures, inferencing on mobile devices, etc. Many times, the characteristic most important during research and development is different than the one most important for shipping to production. This leads to inefficiencies from not using the right framework or significant delays as developers convert models between frameworks. Frameworks that use the ONNX representation simplify this and enable developers to be more agile. Shared optimization Hardware vendors and others with optimizations for improving the performance of neural networks can impact multiple frameworks at once by targeting the ONNX representation. Frequently optimizations need to be integrated separately into each framework which can be a time-consuming process. The ONNX representation makes it easier for optimizations to reach more developers. Technical summary ONNX provides a definition of an extensible computation graph model, as well as definitions of built-in operators and standard data types. Initially we focus on the capabilities needed for inferencing (evaluation). Each computation dataflow graph is structured as a list of nodes that form an acyclic graph. Nodes have one or more inputs and one or more outputs. Each node is a call to an operator. The graph also has metadata to help document its purpose, author, etc. Operators are implemented externally to the graph, but the set of built-in operators are portable across frameworks. Every framework supporting ONNX will provide implementations of these operators on the applicable data types. Availability The initial version of ONNX code and documentation are available now as open source on GitHub (https://github.com/onnx/onnx) as a starting point for the community to get involved right away. We will be actively working on ONNX and an upcoming release of Cognitive Toolkit will include support. In conjunction with Facebook, we also plan to contribute reference implementations, examples, tools, and a model zoo. The ONNX representation forms the basis of an open ecosystem that makes AI more accessible and valuable. Developers can choose the right framework for their task, framework authors can focus on innovative enhancements, and hardware vendors can streamline optimizations. We hope the community will support ONNX to realize this exciting vision." [...]
"Anyone building production parts with injection molding knows the time and money required to manufacture molds. Collider, a start-up in the additive manufacturing space, has developed a machine that leverages 3D printing to make production quality parts in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of the conventional injection molding process. Collider’s machine, called Orchid, works by 3D printing a mold using DLP technology. The mold is then filled with an off-the-shelf material such as rubber, silicone, or polyurethane. After the material hardens the mold is dissolved in warm water and removed, leaving the production quality part behind. Using off-the-shelf materials means that prototypes can be created in the same material as the production parts. This is a major departure from traditional 3D printing where prototypes are built in specialty materials that are different than production materials. Additionally, Orchid works with metal. After the metal powder and resin mixture hardens and the mold is removed, the part passes through a sintering furnace which finishes the part for use. A key component of Orchid is the integrated motor that drives the main print axis. When Graham Bredemeyer, CEO at Collider, and his team needed to upgrade the smoothness and accuracy of the main axis, they turned to Applied Motion Products for assistance. According to Graham, the Applied Motion integrated motor used on the main axis is one of the most reliable components in the machine. With machines running virtually 24/7, zero technical issues with key components is a necessity. In addition to excellent up-time and reliability, Graham and his team appreciate the encoder options available from Applied Motion Products, as well as the robust documentation provided with every motor. According to Cacky Calderon, President and COO of Collider, Orchid can speed up the iterative design process from a few weeks to a few hours, and reduce the cost of molding production quality parts by 100 times or more. Collider refers to their process as Programmable Tooling. Cacky says, “Imagine having an idea in the morning and testing it in the afternoon, in the exact same materials you ship to a customer.” We think that’s awesome." [...]
Ciência e Tecnologia
"Packing tiny solar cells together, like micro-lenses in the compound eye of an insect, could pave the way to a new generation of advanced photovoltaics, say Stanford University scientists. In a new study, the Stanford team used the insect-inspired design to protect a fragile photovoltaic material called perovskite from deteriorating when exposed to heat, moisture or mechanical stress. The results are published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science (E&ES). “Perovskites are promising, low-cost materials that convert sunlight to electricity as efficiently as conventional solar cells made of silicon,” said Reinhold Dauskardt, a professor of materials science and engineering and senior author of the study. “The problem is that perovskites are extremely unstable and mechanically fragile. They would barely survive the manufacturing process, let alone be durable long term in the environment.” Most solar devices, like rooftop panels, use a flat, or planar, design. But that approach doesn’t work well with perovskite solar cells. “Perovskites are the most fragile materials ever tested in the history of our lab,” said graduate student Nicholas Rolston, a co-lead author of the E&ES study. “This fragility is related to the brittle, salt-like crystal structure of perovskite, which has mechanical properties similar to table salt.”" [...]
"A tool that makes large databases work smarter, not harder, could unlock the potential of big data to drive medical research, inform business decisions and speed up a slew of other applications that today are mired in a worldwide data glut. University of Michigan researchers developed software called Verdict that enables existing databases to learn from each query a user submits, finding accurate answers without trawling through the same data again and again. Verdict allows databases to deliver answers more than 200 times faster while maintaining 99 percent accuracy. In a research environment, that could mean getting answers in seconds instead of hours or days. When speed isn't required, it can be set to save electricity, using 200 times less than a traditional database. This could lead to substantial power savings, the researchers say, as data centers gobble up a growing share of the world's electricity. Verdict is believed to be the first working example in a new field of research called "database learning." "Databases have been following the same paradigm for the past 40 years," said Barzan Mozafari, the Morris Wellman Faculty Development Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering. "You submit a query, it does some work and provides an answer. When a new query comes in, it starts over. All the work from previous queries is wasted." Verdict changes that. It relies on advanced statistical principles, using past question-and-answer pairs to infer where the answers to future queries are likely to lie." [...]
"Scientists, including an academic from the University of York, have found an inexpensive and easy way to validate the authenticity of any paper document just by taking a picture of it on a standard camera. Analysing the translucent patterns revealed when a light shines through paper, the researchers have been able to identify a unique ‘texture’ fingerprint for every single sheet of paper. Capturing the random interweaving of the wooden particles, they show that a unique fingerprint code can be captured and verified with 100 per cent accuracy using nothing more than an off-the-shelf camera. They further show that the fingerprinting process remains highly reliable even if the paper is treated with rough handling such as crumpling, soaking, scribbling and heating. The findings have been published in the prestigious academic journal ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security. Dr Siamak Shahandashti , from the University’s Department of Computer Science, said: “Perhaps the most immediate application of our method is evaluating the authenticity of paper documents ranging from purchase receipts and invoices, to certificates, and even passports. “What they all have in common is that the paper used is not completely opaque, and that's enough for a bit of light to go through and for our method to work. “In this application, our method basically provides an effective way to check if the sheet of paper the document is inscribed on is the same sheet used originally, hence catching copies and making counterfeiting practically impossible.” Designing secure documents that provide high levels of security against forgery is a long-standing problem. Even in today’s digital age, this problem remains important as paper is still the most common form of proving authenticity – such as receipts, contracts, certificates and passports. One way of protecting against fraud is to embed electronics such as RFID chips within the document. This solution is currently used in e-passport to prevent forgery." [...]
"On an otherwise normal day in the lab, Eva Andrei didn't expect to make a major discovery. Andrei, a physics professor at Rutgers University, was using graphite – the material in pencils – to calibrate a scanning tunneling microscope. As part of the process, she turned on a very powerful magnetic field. When she looked up to see the material's electronic spectrum, she was astonished. "We saw huge, beautiful peaks up there, just incredible. And they didn't make any sense," she recalled. Remembering a lecture she'd recently attended, she realized the graphite had separated out into sheets just one atom thick. This material, known as graphene, has bizarre electronic properties. But even for graphene, the spectrum she saw was strange. In fact, no one had ever seen anything like it before. As Andrei described it, her colleague "went berserk in the corridor and just yelled ‘Graphene!'" Andrei had made a serendipitous discovery – a new electric phenomenon. This was neither the first nor last time that electrons' movement in graphene would surprise and elate scientists. One of the most impressive things about graphene is how fast electrons move through it. They travel through it more than 100 times faster than they do through the silicon used to make computer chips. In theory, this suggests that manufacturers could use graphene to make superfast transistors for faster, thinner, more powerful touch-screens, electronics, and solar cells. But what makes graphene so amazing also hinders its use: Electrons flow through its honeycomb structure too easily. Unlike silicon, graphene lacks a bandgap. Bandgaps are the amount of energy an electron must gain to free itself from an atom and move to other atoms to conduct a current. Like a toll on a highway, electrons need to "pay" with energy to proceed. Electronic devices use bandgaps as gates to control where and when electrons flow. Lacking bandgaps, graphene's structure acts like an electron superhighway with no stop signs. "Graphene's electrons are so wild and can't be tamed; it's hard to create a gap," said Andrei. That lack of a bandgap makes graphene currently very difficult to use in modern electronics. Researchers supported by the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science are investigating ways to overcome this challenge and others to direct graphene's electron traffic." [...]
"Within the past decade, 3-D printers have gone from bulky, expensive curiosities to compact, more affordable consumer products. At the same time, concerns have emerged that nanoparticles released from the machines during use could affect consumers’ health. Now researchers report in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology a way to eliminate almost all nanoparticle emissions from some of these printers. Recent studies on 3-D printers have found that when operating, the devices can release volatile organic compounds, aldehydes and nanoparticles into the air. All of these substances have the potential to harm human health. But no research had been reported on strategies for preventing or reducing pollution from the machines. So Chungsik Yoon and colleagues decided to focus on testing various approaches for controlling the devices’ nanoparticle emissions. For their study, the researchers worked with a 3-D printer based on fused-deposition modeling technology, the most commonly used process among commercially available models. They tested seven “inks” made out of thermoplastic materials under different temperatures. Of these, high-impact polystyrene and nylon had the highest nanoparticle emission rates; polylactic acid had the lowest. Printing at the manufacturer-recommended temperatures resulted in fewer emissions than doing so at higher temperatures. The researchers also analyzed eight methods for controlling pollution from the printers using varying combinations of fans, filters and enclosures. All of the designs removed at least 70 percent of nanoparticle emissions. The most efficient approach eliminated 99.95 percent of such pollution, and involved enclosing the printer and installing a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Based on their results, the researchers recommend using low temperatures, low-emitting materials and enclosing 3-D printers with a HEPA or similar filter to reduce the release of nanoparticles. The authors acknowledge funding from the National Research Foundation of Korea." [...]
"Scientists at the University of Sussex have invented a new algorithm that enables smartwatches to detect and record your every move, without being told beforehand what to look for. Current smartwatches can recognise a limited number of particular activities, including yoga and running, but these are programmed in advance. This new method enables the technology to discover activities as they happen, not just simply when exercising, but also when brushing your teeth or cutting vegetables. The algorithm can even track sedentary activity, for instance whether you are lying or sitting down. Dr Hristijan Gjoreski of the University of Sussex said: “Current activity-recognition systems usually fail because they are limited to recognising a predefined set of activities, whereas of course human activities are not limited and change with time. “Here we present a new machine-learning approach that detects new human activities as they happen in real time, and which outperforms competing approaches.” Traditional models ‘cluster’ together bursts of activity to estimate what a person has been doing, and for how long. For example, a series of continuous steps may be clustered into a walk. Where they falter is that they do not account for pauses or interruptions in the activity, and, so, a walk interrupted with two short stops would be clustered into three separate walks. The new algorithm tracks ongoing activity, paying close attention to transitioning, as well as the activity itself. In the example above, it assumes that the walk will continue following the short pauses, and therefore holds the data while it waits. Dr Daniel Roggen, head of the Sensor Research Technology Group at the University of Sussex, will speak at the British Science Festival on 6 September in the event ‘In the era of wearable technologies’. He added: “Future smartwatches will be able to better analyse and understand our activities by automatically discovering when we engage in some new type of activity. “This new method for activity discovery paints a far richer, more accurate, picture of daily human life. “As well as for fitness and lifestyle trackers, this can be used in healthcare scenarios and in fields such as consumer behaviour research.” The research will be published at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers in Hawaii, USA, in September." [...]
"SLAC and Stanford researchers demonstrate that brain-mimicking ‘neural networks’ can revolutionize the way astrophysicists analyze their most complex data, including extreme distortions in spacetime that are crucial for our understanding of the universe. August 30, 2017 Menlo Park, Calif. — Researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have for the first time shown that neural networks – a form of artificial intelligence – can accurately analyze the complex distortions in spacetime known as gravitational lenses 10 million times faster than traditional methods. “Analyses that typically take weeks to months to complete, that require the input of experts and that are computationally demanding, can be done by neural nets within a fraction of a second, in a fully automated way and, in principle, on a cell phone’s computer chip,” said postdoctoral fellow Laurence Perreault Levasseur, a co-author of a study published today in Nature." [...]
"Formed deep within the earth, stronger than steel, and thinner than a human hair. These comparisons aren’t describing a new super hero. They’re describing graphene, a substance that some experts have called “the most amazing and versatile” known to mankind. UConn chemistry professor Doug Adamson, a member of the Polymer Program in UConn’s Institute of Materials Science, has patented a one-of-a-kind process for exfoliating this wonder material in its pure (unoxidized) form, as well as manufacturing innovative graphene nanocomposites that have potential uses in a variety of applications. If you think of graphite like a deck of cards, each individual card would be a sheet of graphene. Comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, graphene is a two-dimensional crystal that is at least 100 times stronger than steel. Aerogels made from graphene are some of the lightest materials known to man, and the graphene sheets are one of the thinnest, at only one atom thick – that is approximately one million times thinner than a human hair. Graphene is also even more thermally and electrically conductive than copper, with minimal electrical charge. Because of these unique qualities, graphene has been a hot topic for academic researchers and industry leaders since it was first isolated from graphite in 2004. Since then, more than 10,000 scholarly articles have been published about the material. But of these publications, only Adamson’s discusses a proprietary process for manufacturing graphene in its pristine form. What others are calling “graphene” is often actually graphene oxide that has been chemically or thermally reduced. The oxygen in graphene oxide provides a sort of chemical handle that makes the graphene easier to work with, but adding it to pristine graphene reduces the material’s mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties in comparison to unmodified graphene like the kind Adamson produces. It also significantly increases the cost to manufacture the material. Oxidizing graphite requires adding expensive hazardous chemicals, such as anhydrous sulfuric acid and potassium peroxide, followed by a lengthy series of manipulations to isolate and purify the products, known as a chemistry workup. Adamson’s process doesn’t require any additional steps or chemicals to produce graphene in its pristine form." [...]
"In the EU-funded project SelSus, Fraunhofer scientists are collaborating in a consortium with partners from research and industry to develop maintenance technology capable of forecasting machine downtimes in production before they occur. This allows plant managers to rectify faults before the machine breaks down. The system even corrects some defects automatically. Unforeseen machine failures during ongoing production – plant managers dread them, technicians detest them and managers just sigh and factor them in. Such incidents prompt frantic repairs, drive up costs, adversely affect delivery reliability and ultimately weaken companies’ competitiveness. Yet often the problem is only a small defect or normal wear and tear. However, if left undetected, these can lead to major disruptions and production downtimes. What would be helpful is a diagnostic procedure capable of monitoring the status of all components in the production line, identifying problems and weak points and informing the responsible employee in a timely manner. Based on what’s known as a decision-support system, maintenance personnel can then reach a decision and take targeted action to repair the defect. Ideally without having to interrupt production. Precisely this is one of the underlying ideas, albeit not the only one, behind the ambitious SelSus project within which the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA is currently researching. “The aim is not just to monitor the status of the machines and components. Using intelligent software and sensor networks, the plan is to detect potential weak points or signs of wear and tear early enough for the system to be able to predict potential malfunctions,” explains Martin Kasperczyk from Fraunhofer IPA. The developed diagnostic models also directly provide suggestions or recommendations on how to rectify the problem. Project partner Electrolux in Pordenone, Italy, uses such a decision-support system. The system is capable of predicting with a certain probability potential failures on a press for washing machine facings and of diagnosing actually occurring malfunctions. The data needed to monitor the machine status is partially provided by sensors. They measure values such as energy consumption, temperature, oil pressure, particles in the oil or vibrations. Fraunhofer IPA and the participating consortium have also proved that the technology functions reliably in practice." [...]
"UD researchers make material to make fuel cells more durable, less expensive Take a ride on the University of Delaware’s Fuel Cell bus, and you see that fuel cells can power vehicles in an eco-friendly way. In just the last two years, Toyota, Hyundai and Honda have released vehicles that run on fuel cells, and carmakers such as GM, BMW and VW are working on prototypes. If their power sources lasted longer and cost less, fuel cell vehicles could go mainstream faster. Now, a team of engineers at UD has developed a technology that could make fuel cells cheaper and more durable. They describe their results in a paper published in Nature Communications on Monday, Sept. 4. Authors include Weiqing Zheng, a research associate at the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation; Liang Wang, an associate scientist in the Department of Mechanical Engineering; Fei Deng, a research associate in materials science and engineering; Stephen A. Giles, a graduate student in chemical and biomolecular engineering; Ajay K. Prasad, Engineering Alumni Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering; Suresh G. Advani, George W. Laird Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering; Yushan Yan, Distinguished Engineering Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Associate Dean for Research and Entrepreneurship for the College of Engineering; and Dionisios Vlachos, Allan and Myra Ferguson Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and director of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation. Cleaner energy, lower cost Hydrogen-powered fuel cells are a green alternative to internal combustion engines because they produce power through electrochemical reactions, leaving no pollution behind. Materials called catalysts spur these electrochemical reactions. Platinum is the most common catalyst in the type of fuel cells used in vehicles. However, platinum is expensive — as anyone who’s shopped for jewelry knows. The metal costs around $30,000 per kilogram. Instead, the UD team made a catalyst of tungsten carbide, which goes for around $150 per kilogram. They produced tungsten carbide nanoparticles in a novel way, much smaller and more scalable than previous methods. “The material is typically made at very high temperatures, about 1,500 Celsius, and at these temperatures, it grows big and has little surface area for chemistry to take place on,” Vlachos said. “Our approach is one of the first to make nanoscale material of high surface area that can be commercially relevant for catalysis.” The researchers made tungsten carbide nanoparticles using a series of steps including hydrothermal treatment, separation, reduction, carburization and more. “We can isolate the individual tungsten carbide nanoparticles during the process and make a very uniform distribution of particle size,” Zheng said. Next, the researchers incorporated the tungsten carbide nanoparticles into the membrane of a fuel cell. Automotive fuel cells, known as proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), contain a polymeric membrane. This membrane separates the cathode from the anode, which splits hydrogen (H2) into ions (protons) and delivers them to the cathode, which puts out current. The plastic-like membrane wears down over time, especially if it undergoes too many wet/dry cycles, which can happen easily as water and heat are produced during the electrochemical reactions in fuel cells. When tungsten carbide is incorporated into the fuel cell membrane, it humidifies the membrane at a level that optimizes performance. “The tungsten carbide catalyst improves the water management of fuel cells and reduces the burden of the humidification system,” Wang said. The team also found that tungsten carbide captures damaging free radicals before they can degrade the fuel cell membrane. As a result, membranes with tungsten carbide nanoparticles last longer than traditional ones. “The low-cost catalyst we have developed can be incorporated within the membrane to improve performance and power density,” Prasad said. “As a result, the physical size of the fuel cell stack can be reduced for the same power, making it lighter and cheaper. Furthermore, our catalyst is able to deliver higher performance without sacrificing durability, which is a big improvement over similar efforts by other groups.” The UD research team used innovative methods to test the durability of a fuel cell made with tungsten carbide. They used a scanning electron microscope and focused ion beam to obtain thin-slice images of the membrane, which they analyzed with software, rebuilding the three-dimensional structure of the membranes to determine fuel cell longevity. The group has applied for a patent and hopes to commercialize their technology. “This is a very good example of how different groups across departments can collaborate,” Zheng said." [...]
"Stanford scientists cooled water without electricity by sending excess heat where it won’t be noticed – space. The specialized optical surfaces they developed are a major step toward applying this technology to air conditioning and refrigeration. It looks like a regular roof, but the top of the Packard Electrical Engineering Building at Stanford University has been the setting of many milestones in the development of an innovative cooling technology that could someday be part of our everyday lives. Since 2013, Shanhui Fan, professor of electrical engineering, and his students and research associates have employed this roof as a testbed for a high-tech mirror-like optical surface that could be the future of lower-energy air conditioning and refrigeration. Research published in 2014 first showed the cooling capabilities of the optical surface on its own. Now, Fan and former research associates Aaswath Raman and Eli Goldstein, have shown that a system involving these surfaces can cool flowing water to a temperature below that of the surrounding air. The entire cooling process is done without electricity. “This research builds on our previous work with radiative sky cooling but takes it to the next level. It provides for the first time a high-fidelity technology demonstration of how you can use radiative sky cooling to passively cool a fluid and, in doing so, connect it with cooling systems to save electricity,” said Raman, who is co-lead author of the paper detailing this research, published in Nature Energy Sept. 4. Together, Fan, Goldstein and Raman have founded the company SkyCool Systems, which is working on further testing and commercializing this technology." [...]
"Introducing asymmetry across the two sides of atomically thin materials brings new opportunities in semiconductors. Semiconductor materials called dichalcogenides may gain broader properties when asymmetry is introduced across the plane of sheets of bonded atoms. KAUST researchers have created a Janus monolayer that, following Roman mythology, they named for Janus whose two faces looked in opposite directions and was believed to control transitions through gateways. The Janus monolayers may help a transition to novel semiconductor applications in electronics, particularly in nanoelectronics, which relies on manipulating very small groups of atoms. “Our unique method of synthesis paves the way for altering 2D, atomically thin sheets of these materials on an atomic scale,” says Lain-Jong Li, professor of chemical science. Dichalcogenides are made when atoms from the transition-metal block in the periodic table combine with those from Group 16—the chalcogens. They have the general formula MX2, where M represents the transition metal and X represents the chalcogens. The KAUST researchers began with the symmetric material MoS2, with molybdenum (Mo) as the transition metal atom and sulfur (S) as the chalcogen. Their achievement was to selectively replace the sulfur atoms on one side of the atomically thin sheets with selenium atoms, creating their asymmetric Janus monolayer (see image). This is easy enough to describe, but was extremely difficult to perform. “It took us almost three years, step by step,” says Li. It was worth the effort, Li explains because “asymmetry introduces new properties.” In more technical terms, the key useful feature of semiconductor materials is that their electrons can occupy a range of energy levels or spin states. The asymmetry across the plane of a monolayer creates a richer diversity of energy levels, thus opening many more opportunities for use in real-world applications. Li emphasizes that this research is still basic science, his team does not yet have any particular applications for the material “but new physics and phenomena always emerges by discovering new materials,” he says. In addition to conventional semiconductor applications, the researchers believe their asymmetric material could be useful in an emerging field called spintronics. This field uses changes in a property of electrons, known as their spin, rather than just their electric charge, as a means of manipulating electronic behavior on atomically small scales. Li now hopes to apply the innovation to other new Janus materials and thus widen the range of opportunities offered by introducing useful asymmetry." [...]
"Today’s world, rapidly changing because of “big data”, is encapsulated in trillions of tiny magnetic objects – magnetic bits – each of which stores one bit of data in magnetic disk drives. A group of scientists from the Max Planck Institutes in Halle and Dresden have discovered a new kind of magnetic nano-object in a novel material that could serve as a magnetic bit with cloaking properties to make a magnetic disk drive with no moving parts – a Racetrack Memory – a reality in the near future. Most digital data is stored in the cloud as magnetic bits within massive numbers of magnetic disk drives. Over the past several decades these magnetic bits have shrunk by many orders of magnitude, reaching limits where the boundaries of these magnetic regions can have special properties. In some special materials these boundaries - “magnetic domain walls” – can be described as being topological. What this means is that these walls can be thought of as having a special magical cloak – what is referred to by scientists as “topological protection”. An important consequence is that such magnetic walls are more stable to perturbations than similar magnetic bits without topological protection that are formed in conventional magnetic materials. Thus, these “topological” magnetic objects could be especially useful for storing “1”s and “0”s, the basic elements of digital data. One such object is a “magnetic skyrmion” which is a tiny magnetic region, perhaps tens to hundreds of atoms wide, separated from a surrounding magnetic region by a chiral domain wall. Until recently only one type of skyrmion has been found in which it is surrounded by a chiral domain wall that takes the same form in all directions. But there have been predictions of several other types of skyrmions that were not yet observed. Now in a paper published in Nature*, scientists from Prof. Stuart Parkin’s NISE department at the Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics in Halle, Germany, have found a second class of skyrmions, what are called “anti-skyrmions”, in materials synthesized in Prof. Claudia Felser’s Solid State Chemistry Department at the Max Planck Institute for CPFS, Dresden, Germany. The scientists from Halle and Dresden have found these tiny magnetic objects in a special class of versatile magnetic compounds called Heusler compounds that Claudia Felser and her colleagues have explored extensively over the past 20 years. Of these Heusler compounds, a tiny subset have just the right crystal symmetry to allow for the possibility of forming anti-skyrmions but not skyrmions. Using a highly sensitive transmission electron microscope at the Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics, Halle, that was specially modified to allow for the detection of tiny magnetic moments, anti-skyrmions were created and detected over a wide range of temperatures and magnetic fields. Most importantly, anti-skyrmions, both in ordered arrays and as isolated objects, could be seen even at room temperature and in zero magnetic fields. The special cloaking properties of skyrmions makes them of great interest for a radically new form of solid-state memory – the Racetrack Memory - that was proposed by Stuart Parkin a decade ago. In Racetrack Memory digital data is encoded within magnetic domain walls that are packed closely within nanoscopic magnetic wires. One of the unique features of Racetrack Memory, which is distinct from all other memories, is that the walls are moved around the nanowires themselves using recent discoveries in spin-orbitronics. Very short pulses of current move all the domain walls backwards and forwards along the nano-wires. The walls – the magnetic bits – can be read and written by devices incorporated directly into the nanowires themselves, thereby eliminating any mechanical parts. Topologically protected magnetic walls are very promising for Racetrack Memory. Thus, anti-skyrmions could be coming to Racetrack Memory soon! Going even beyond anti-skyrmions the next goal is the realization of a third class of skyrmions - antiferromagnetic skyrmions – which are tiny magnetic objects that actually have no net magnetic moment. They are magnetically almost invisible but have unique properties that make them of great interest. " [...]
"Boron compounds play role in stabilizing sugars needed to make RNA, a key to life Los Alamos, N.M., Sept. 5, 2017–The discovery of boron on Mars gives scientists more clues about whether life could have ever existed on the planet, according to a paper published today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. “Because borates may play an important role in making RNA—one of the building blocks of life—finding boron on Mars further opens the possibility that life could have once arisen on the planet,” said Patrick Gasda, a postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory and lead author on the paper. “Borates are one possible bridge from simple organic molecules to RNA. Without RNA, you have no life. The presence of boron tells us that, if organics were present on Mars, these chemical reactions could have occurred.” RNA (ribonucleic acid) is a nucleic acid present in all modern life, but scientists have long hypothesized an “RNA World,” where the first proto-life was made of individual RNA strands that both contained genetic information and could copy itself. A key ingredient of RNA is a sugar called ribose. But sugars are notoriously unstable; they decompose quickly in water. The ribose would need another element there to stabilize it. That’s where boron comes in. When boron is dissolved in water—becoming borate—it will react with the ribose and stabilize it for long enough to make RNA. “We detected borates in a crater on Mars that’s 3.8 billion years old, younger than the likely formation of life on Earth,” said Gasda. “Essentially, this tells us that the conditions from which life could have potentially grown may have existed on ancient Mars, independent from Earth.” The boron found on Mars was discovered in calcium sulfate mineral veins, meaning the boron was present in Mars groundwater, and provides another indication that some of the groundwater in Gale Cater was habitable, ranging between 0-60 degrees Celsius (32-140 degrees Fahrenheit) and with neutral-to-alkaline pH. The boron was identified by the rover’s laser-shooting ChemCam (Chemistry and Camera) instrument, which was developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in conjunction with the French space agency. Los Alamos’ work on discovery-driven instruments like ChemCam stems from the Laboratory’s experience building and operating more than 500 spacecraft instruments for national defense. The discovery of boron is only one of several recent findings related to the composition of Martian rocks. Curiosity is climbing a layered Martian mountain and finding chemical evidence of how ancient lakes and wet underground environments changed, billions of years ago, in ways that affected their potential favorability for microbial life. As the rover has progressed uphill, compositions trend toward more clay and more boron. These and other chemical variations can tell us about conditions under which sediments were initially deposited and about how later groundwater moving through the accumulated layers altered and transported dissolved elements, including boron. Whether Martian life has ever existed is still unknown. No compelling evidence for it has been found. When Curiosity landed in Mars’ Gale Crater in 2012 the mission’s main goal was to determine whether the area ever offered a habitable environment, which has since been confirmed. The Mars 2020 rover will be equipped with an instrument called “SuperCam,” developed by Los Alamos and an instrument called SHERLOC, which was developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with significant participation by Los Alamos. Both of these will search for signs of past life on the planet." [...]
"Lehigh researchers have collaborated with colleagues in China and at three national laboratories in the United States to develop a gold-based catalyst that they believe could improve the performance and efficiency of fuel cells that run on hydrogen. Writing in Science magazine, the group said its catalyst—comprising raft-like gold nanoparticles on a special type of molybdenum-carbide (α-MoC) substrate—had achieved a high level of activity at low temperatures while producing the pure streams of hydrogen necessary to power fuel cells. The researchers said they achieved their results by utilizing the water-gas shift (WGS) reaction, which converts carbon monoxide (CO) and water into hydrogen (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The group was able to purify the hydrogen by using up all available CO, which tends to deactivate fuel-cell catalysts. The WGS reaction, which is typically used to make hydrogen for the manufacture of chemicals like ammonia, is also a critical part of the effort to transition from hydrocarbon-based fuels to hydrogen. “Our reaction produces a stream of highly pure hydrogen which isn’t contaminated with CO, which if present would poison the catalysts within the fuel cell,” said Christopher J. Kiely, the Harold B. Chambers Senior Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Lehigh. “We’re really excited by this development because it brings us a step closer to having cars that run on hydrogen fuel cells.” Kiely said the use of the α-MoC substrate—an innovation by Ding Ma and his colleagues at Peking University in China—enabled the group to overcome shortcomings previously reported with catalyzing the WGS reaction. “It has long been known that gold supported on various oxide substrates could bring about the WGS reaction. The sticking point to date has been that generally the catalytic activity was too low and invariably the catalyst was not stable enough for long-term use.” The group reported its results July 28th in a paper titled “Atomic-layered Au clusters on alpha-molybdenum carbide (α-MoC) as catalysts for the low-temperature water-gas shift reaction.” In addition to Kiely, the paper’s authors include Li Lu, a Lehigh Ph.D. candidate, and Wu Zhou, who earned his Ph.D. at Lehigh in 2010 and is now a professor at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. The other authors are affiliated with Peking University, Dalian University of Technology, Synfuels China and Taiyuan University of Technology, all in China, and Oak Ridge, Brookhaven and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories in the U.S. The lead scientist in the work is Ding Ma, a professor in the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering and the College of Engineering at Peking University in Beijing. To achieve high catalytic activity at low temperature (i.e., below the 150 degrees C. needed to efficiently operate a fuel cell), the group dispersed the gold onto a carbide (α-MoC) instead of the iron oxide, cerium oxide or other reducible oxide substrates previously tried for the WGS reaction. The new catalyst formulation proved more stable than conventional catalysts, while achieving much greater activity, a measure of a catalyst’s efficiency. “The beauty of the α-MoC support,” said Kiely, “is that it can activate the water so that it creates active surface hydroxyl (OH) species, which can then react with the CO to give hydrogen and CO2. The carbide support therefore plays a very strong and critical role in this reaction. “This system works very well at the temperatures and pressures needed for fuel cell applications and its activity is an order of magnitude better than that of previously tried gold-based catalysts.” In studies done with Lehigh’s aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM), the group demonstrated that the gold exists in two distinct forms on the α-MoC support. “The microscopy has shown that the gold exists as nanoscale rafts just a few atoms thick and also as individual gold atoms dispersed over the support,” said Kiely, who directs Lehigh’s Electron Microscopy and Nanofabrication Facility. “We measured the catalytic activity with both of these species present on the α-MoC support. Then we selectively removed the particles, leaving just the atoms behind. When we did this, the activity dropped to less than one-tenth of its original level. That showed us that most of the activity is coming from these raft-like particles.” The article is the ninth Kiely has published to date in Science; he has also published four in Nature. The two publications are considered the world’s leading science journals. Earlier this month, Kiely received one of the highest honors in his field when he was inducted as a Fellow of the Microscopy Society of America. The MSA Fellow designation annually recognizes senior distinguished members of the society whose achievements and service have made significant contributions to advancing the fields of microscopy and microanalysis. Kiely was cited for “distinguished contributions to the characterization of nanoscale features in particulate materials and interfaces, particularly in the areas of catalyst materials, nanoparticle self-assembly phenomena, carbonaceous materials, and semiconductor heterointerfaces.” Kiely, who also directs the internationally renowned Lehigh Microscopy School, is the fifth faculty member in the history of Lehigh’s department of materials science and engineering to be elected an MSA Fellow. The others are J. Alwyn Eades, Charles E. Lyman, David B. Williams and the late Joseph I. Goldstein." [...]
"Imperial scientists have successfully taught robots to perform a challenging brain technique only previously mastered by a handful of humans. Whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology, or whole-cell recording (WCR), is the gold-standard technique for studying the behaviour of brain cells called neurons under different brain states such as stress or learning. The procedure has been used in mammals since it was developed in the 1970s. It helps scientists to understand brain function and brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s. They do this by looking at the electrical activity of individual neurons in a live mammal brain to build a bigger picture of its function as a whole organ. This information is used to understand the role of electrical function in human brain disorders. However, WCR is notoriously challenging to perform because of the small scale of the equipment and the microscopic nature of the cells involved. It also requires very precise movements to find neurons and record their electrical currents accurately. Therefore only a small number of laboratories worldwide specialise in the technique." [...]
"The University of Copenhagen plays a central role in an ambitious Microsoft multi-million dollar investment. Today, the tech company and the University signed a long-term collaboration agreement on the development of a general-purpose, scalable quantum computer. This is a project which opens up tremendous new opportunities for science and technology. By virtue of a new collaboration agreement with the University of Copenhagen, Microsoft is intensifying its investment at the Niels Bohr Institute. Microsoft employees will be working closely with the Institute’s researchers to develop and build the world's first general-purpose, scalable quantum computer. The task for the Microsoft employees is to turn knowledge gained from research into tangible reality. The announcement of this deepened partnership, which includes the expansion of facilities at the University’s North Campus, will further establish Niels Bohr's Copenhagen as a global epicentre for quantum mechanics in perfect alignment with the vision of Greater Copenhagen as a global hub for science and innovation. “The University of Copenhagen’s quantum research contributes to placing Danish research at the very top, which was evidenced today by the IT giant, Microsoft, expanding its investment in a Quantum development centre in Denmark. It’s a perfect example of how a university can create value in collaboration with the business sector from all over the world,” says the Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science, Søren Pind." [...]
"In our everyday lives, pressure can mean a looming work deadline, a final exam, or bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. In scientific terms, pressure is a physical quantity that's important for many things, including car tires, blood circulation and breathing, semiconductor manufacturing of high-speed computer chips, and the weather. Accurately measuring pressure for important applications currently requires a large device in a lab. But the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is aiming to move a promising new laser-based pressure-measurement technique it invented into the larger world, potentially reducing the costs for everything from airplane flights to chip manufacturing. NIST and MKS Instruments, Inc., of Andover, Massachusetts, have signed a collaborative agreement to make the technique more portable and transportable so that it could be developed into a commercial product. Better measurements of pressure will have many applications, said NIST physicist Jay Hendricks, the leader of the project. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration worked with industry to safely reduce the vertical distance between nearby airplanes (link is external) to 1,000 feet, and further reductions are possible. Since the air pressure surrounding an aircraft changes with altitude, a more precise pressure sensor could help make this happen, Hendricks said. “In the future, this could lead to savings in fuel costs,” he said. With reduced vertical separation, flight controllers could safely arrange planes more densely, enabling both fuel savings and more frequent on-time landings. In manufacturing semiconductor chips, such as those in smartphones, Hendricks said, engineers must adjust the pressure of the gas environments in which the chips are made. Conventional pressure sensors, known as capacitance diaphragm gauges, are precise, but their readings must be kept within tight values, requiring engineers to adjust the sensors on a regular basis. More stable and accurate measurements of pressure could make semiconductor yields more reliable and less prone to defects, reducing costs for manufacturers and consumers. In defense applications, aircraft such as the Apache helicopter must fly low to survey terrain. Such aircraft rely on pressure sensors to ensure they are flying safely. But “on any one day a sensor might be throwing a fit,” Hendricks said, and the airplane could be grounded until the problem is found. “If you could make a portable, handheld, NIST-traceable standard that you can use in the field, you could reduce downtime,” he said. Standard pressure-measurement devices have limitations that limit performance in these applications. So, NIST set out to make a state-of-the-art sensor that could improve performance while providing fundamental measurements of pressure. To measure the pascal, the SI unit of pressure, the scientific community has traditionally relied on a tall, bulky device known as a mercury manometer. Elemental mercury, which is a hazardous neurotoxin, adjusts its height in response to changes in pressure. “We’ve been using mercury manometers for almost 375 years, and they’ve served us well,” said Hendricks. “They were state of the art in their day. But about five years ago, we realized that there’s got to be a better way to do this.” The result is called the FLOC—the fixed-length optical cavity. It’s a rectangular slab of translucent material, known as ultra-low expansion (ULE) glass, that you can hold in your hand. It contains two thin tubes or “cavities” through which laser light can travel. Besides being 20 times smaller in size and mercury-free, the FLOC’s higher resolution also enables it to measure pressure changes that are 36 times smaller than the traditional mercury standard. In principle, the device can measure any gas at low pressure, such as the gas in a semiconductor fabrication facility, to high pressures, such as on the sea floor. Presently, different kinds of pressure sensors are required to cover the same range." [...]
"IBM Research is pairing its Jupyter-based Data Science Experience notebook environment with its cloud-based quantum computer, IBM Q, in hopes of encouraging a new class of entrepreneurial user to solve intractable problems that even exceed the capabilities of the best AI systems. Big Blue has been providing scientists, researchers, and developers with free access to IBM Q processors for over a year. The favorite way to access these quantum systems is through the Quantum Information Software developer Kit (QISKit), which is software development environment designed to allow users to develop and deploy quantum algorithms via a Python interface. In a blog post today, IBM announced that it has issued more than 20 new QISKit notebooks this week, and the bulk of them are targeted at quantum researchers to perform various types of experiments. But among the new notebooks is one designed to help developers conduct quantum experiments through the Data Science Experience (DSX), which is IBM’s cloud-based data science notebook offering that’s targeted at commercial data scientists. The hope is that the new DSX offering could open the door to a new class of developer, specifically “entrepreneurial-minded programmers and developers” who are eager to experiment with quantum computing’s potential, but who aren’t necessarily interested in quantum computing for quantum computing’s sake. Jay M. Gambetta, who’s a manager for Theory of Quantum Computing and Innovation at IBM, say the new DSX option is an excellent choice for a developer who’s just getting started with QISkit. “You can skip all the installation and environment creation steps on your computer, and instead use this Web-hosted Jupyter notebook environment for running the Quantum programs,” Gambetta tells Datanami via email. “It also provides a platform where you can invite fellow researchers to collaborate on the notebooks you have developed or simply share your work within the community.” While DSX helps data scientists script and solve big data problems using the latest machine learning (it includes Apache Spark MLlib and IBM’s own SystemML libraries), the capability to add quantum computing to the mix gives the environment something not readily available elsewhere. It also gives data scientists the potential to solve intractable problems that even exceed the capabilities of today’s mammoth distributed clusters. For example, an IBM spokesperson says a quantum computer could yield the solution to the traveling salesman’s problem. “A new Jupyter notebook gives developers the chance to explore this age-old problem,” the spokesperson says." [...]
"Hongxing Jiang, Jingyu Lin and their colleagues developed the technology in 2000 and now see their patented research gaining popularity in today’s society. The patent number is 6,410,940. It is titled “Micro-size LED and detector arrays for mini-displays, hyperbright light emitting diodes, lighting and UV detector and imaging sensor,” and it disclosed a tiny LED with a size around 20 microns (one micron equals one-millionth of a meter), or micro-LED, as well as micro-LED arrays. The patent was filed more than 17 years ago with several applications imagined by its inventors, Hongxing Jiang and Jingyu Lin. They thought the best use for micro-LEDs would be for small displays and wearable displays that could be used anywhere and would eventually revolutionize the traditional displays and projectors. “We thought it was interesting to see what kind of new properties would come out of this very small size LED,” Jiang said. “As soon as we started talking about this, then the questions came as to what kind of things you can use from this. We thought about microdisplays and micro-size projectors, we thought about wearable displays and their related applications.”" [...]
"Decision-making is one of the fundamental cognitive processes of human beings, which involves making rational, heuristic, or intuitive choices in activities of daily living. UNIST has recently announced that it has been selected as a supervisory institution to embark on the development of the "Next-generation AI Technology (Next-generation Learning·Sequencing)", as part of the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategic Project. This project has been led by Professor Jaesik Choi in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UNIST in collaboration with the Severance Hospital of the Yonsei University Health System, KAIST, Korea university, and AItrics Co. Ltd. Professor Sung Ju Hwang in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor Byoung Ki Seo in the School of Business Administartion will also partake in this project. Organized by the Ministry of Science and ICT, the project aims to understand human decision making, using Artificial Intelligence (AI). The research team has secured a total of KRW 15 billion from the Korean government for up to 5 years. They expect that this will be a major step forward in applying AI in specialized fields, such as clinical diagnosis and financial transactions, that are in need of greater transparency. Although advances in AI have shown significant promise in assisting and improving human decision making, the existing AI system has been unsuccessful in explaining how they arrive at their decisions. Therefore, the successful application of AI in areas, such as stock price predictions, military operations, and clinical diagnosis where reliability is an important aspect to consider have been hindered significantly. "The primary goal of this project is to develop AI systems that explain how they arrive at their decisions that are based on real-world data," says Professor Choi. "Through this project, our center will investigate models, algorithms and systems for explainable AI." With the use of such advanced AI, doctors can soon be able to diagnose many diseases by analyzing a patient's medical records, including brain imaging and biometric data. Indeed, this will enable the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, as well as the Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, one can also apply AI in stock trading to predict stock price movements, as well as to purchase natural resources. As next-generation AI technology by UNIST is created, the city of Ulsan will also benefit greatly from it. This is because by securing the underlying AI technology, the city can establish the industrial base for the related technologies. For instance, by analyzing and predicting the raw material price fluctuation, it can help ensure competitive price for the Ulsan-based companies, such as Hyundai Heavy Industries and SK Energy that deal with the importation of raw materials. This will contribute significantly to the successful implementation of the Northeast Asia Oil Hub Project and the Biomedical Promoting Project that the city has been promoting. Due to such reasons, the city has been working closely with UNIST since the planning phase of the project and has promised to contribute a total of KRW 400 million for the next four years. An official from the Industry Promotion Division of Ulsan City notes, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the nine other National R&D Projects, addressed at the 2016 Science and Technology Strategy Meeting by the Ministry of Science, Technology and ICT in preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Others include Self-driving cars, Lightweight materials, Smart city, Virtual·Augmented Reality, Precision medicine, Bio-drugs, Carbon capture & utilization, and Fine dust." [...]
"Researchers use advanced dynamic imaging to visualise deformation (sound) waves in crystals Using advanced dynamic imaging, researchers have been able to visualise deformation (sound) waves in crystals and measured the effect on nanomagnetic elements. This offers new low power magnetization manipulation for memory or logic applications and the methodology offers a new approach for analysing dynamic strains in other research fields: nanoparticles, chemical reactions, crystallography, etc. Controlling the magnetic properties of materials is fundamental for developing memory, computing and communication devices at the nanoscale. As data storage and processing are evolving quickly, researchers are testing different new methods to modify magnetic properties of materials. One approach relies on elastic deformation (strain) of the magnetic material to tune its magnetic properties, which can be achieved by electric fields. This scientific area has attracted much interest due to its potential to write small magnetic elements with a low power electric field rather than magnetic fields that require high power charge currents. However, studies so far have mainly been done at very slow time scales (seconds to milliseconds). One way to produce rapid (i.e. subnanosecond scale) changes of strain and, thus, induce magnetization changes is by using surface acoustic waves (SAWs), which are deformation (strain) waves. Now, imagine an iron rod being hammered in one side. When the rod is hit, a sound wave propagates the deformation along it. Similarly, a surface acoustic wave propagates a deformation, but only in the surface layer, similarly to waves in the ocean. In certain materials (piezoelectrics), which expand or contract when applying a voltage, SAWs can be generated through oscillating electric fields. In a collaboration with groups from Spain, Switzerland and Berlin, the group of Professor Mathias Kläui at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has used a new experimental technique to quantitatively image these SAW and demonstrate that they can be used to switch the magnetization in nanoscale magnetic elements (the "surfers") on top of the crystal. Results showed that the magnetic squares changed their properties under the effect of SAWs, growing or shrinking the magnetic domains depending on the phase of the SAW. Interestingly, the deformation did not occur instantaneously and the observed delay (see Figure 1) could be modelled. Understanding how the magnetic properties can be modified on a fast time scale is key to design low power magnetic devices in the future. "For highly complex measurements, close international cooperation with leading groups and a strong Alumni network are a strategical advantage. We have teamed up with a group from the Synchrotron Radiation Source ALBA in Spain where a former PhD student from our group is working and leading this project. The work was carried out also in conjunction with a PhD student from the Graduate School of Excellence "Materials Science in Mainz" (MAINZ) and it is great to see that our students and alumni are so successful." emphasized Professor Mathias Kläui of the JGU Institute of Physics, who is also Director of MAINZ. Establishment of the MAINZ Graduate School was granted through the Excellence Initiative by the German Federal and State Governments to Promote Science and Research at German Universities in 2007 and its funding was extended in the second round in 2012. It consists of work groups from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, TU Kaiserslautern, and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz. One of its focal research areas is spintronics, where cooperation with leading international partners plays an important role." [...]
"UNSW engineers have invented a radical new architecture for quantum computing, based on novel ‘flip-flop qubits’, that promises to make the large-scale manufacture of quantum chips dramatically easier. Engineers at Australia’s University of New South Wales have invented a radical new architecture for quantum computing, based on novel ‘flip-flop qubits’, that promises to make the large-scale manufacture of quantum chips dramatically cheaper – and easier – than thought possible. The new chip design, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, allows for a silicon quantum processor that can be scaled up without the precise placement of atoms required in other approaches. Importantly, it allows quantum bits (or ‘qubits’) – the basic unit of information in a quantum computer – to be placed hundreds of nanometres apart and still remain coupled. The design was conceived by a team led by Andrea Morello, Program Manager in UNSW-based ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T), who said fabrication of the new design should be easily within reach of today’s technology. Lead author Guilherme Tosi, a Research Fellow at CQC2T, developed the pioneering concept along with Morello and co-authors Fahd Mohiyaddin, Vivien Schmitt and Stefanie Tenberg of CQC2T, with collaborators Rajib Rahman and Gerhard Klimeck of Purdue University in the USA. “It’s a brilliant design, and like many such conceptual leaps, it’s amazing no-one had thought of it before,” said Morello. “What Guilherme and the team have invented is a new way to define a ‘spin qubit’ that uses both the electron and the nucleus of the atom. Crucially, this new qubit can be controlled using electric signals, instead of magnetic ones. Electric signals are significantly easier to distribute and localise within an electronic chip.” Tosi said the design sidesteps a challenge that all spin-based silicon qubits were expected to face as teams begin building larger and larger arrays of qubits: the need to space them at a distance of only 10-20 nanometres, or just 50 atoms apart. “If they're too close, or too far apart, the ‘entanglement’ between quantum bits – which is what makes quantum computers so special – doesn’t occur,” Tosi said. Morello said researchers at UNSW already lead the world in making spin qubits at this scale. “But if we want to make an array of thousands or millions of qubits so close together, it means that all the control lines, the control electronics and the readout devices must also be fabricated at that nanometric scale, and with that pitch and that density of electrodes. This new concept suggests another pathway.”" [...]
"New method combines precision printing of stretchable conductive inks with pick-and-place of electronic components to make flexible, wearable sensors Human skin must flex and stretch to accommodate the body’s every move. Anything worn tight on the body must also be able to flex around muscles and joints, which helps explain why synthetic fabrics like spandex are popular in active wear. Wearable electronic devices that aim to track and measure the body’s movements must possess similar properties, yet integrating rigid electrical components on or within skin-mimicking matrix materials has proven to be challenging. Such components cannot stretch and dissipate forces like soft materials can, and this mismatch in flexibility concentrates stress at the junction between the hard and soft elements, frequently causing wearable devices to fail. Now, a collaboration between the lab of Jennifer Lewis, Sc.D. at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and J. Daniel Berrigan, Ph.D. and Michael Durstock, Ph.D. at the US Air Force Research Laboratory has created a new additive manufacturing technique for soft electronics, called hybrid 3D printing, that integrates soft, electrically conductive inks and matrix materials with rigid electronic components into a single, stretchable device. “With this technique, we can print the electronic sensor directly onto the material, digitally pick-and-place electronic components, and print the conductive interconnects that complete the electronic circuitry required to ‘read’ the sensor’s data signal in one fell swoop,” says first author Alex Valentine, who was a Staff Engineer at the Wyss Institute when the study was completed and is currently a medical student at the Boston University School of Medicine. The study is published in Advanced Materials." [...]
"Better understanding of water-alkane solubility could have far-reaching impact Rice University chemical engineers have used the most realistic computer model yet devised to simulate the precise atomic and molecular interactions that come into play when water mixes with alkanes, a family of hydrocarbons that includes methane, propane and other products refined from petroleum and natural gas, such as paraffin. In a new study published this month in the Journal of Chemical Physics, Rice researchers Dilipkumar Asthagiri, Arjun Valiya Parambathu and Walter Chapman, as well as former graduate student Deepti Ballal of Ames Laboratory, offered new answers to a puzzle that has long stymied chemists: When calculating the expected attraction between water and alkane molecules in an alkane-rich solution, scientists find that their answers don’t jibe with experimental results. Asthagiri and colleagues demonstrated that underlying electrostatic and polarization effects — things considered inconsequential in conventional approaches — are critical for accurate simulation of water-alkane solubility. Chapman, the William W. Akers Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and associate dean of engineering for energy, said the research could have far-reaching impacts in fields as diverse as biology, environmental systems and energy and chemical production. “Simulations are increasingly used to understand, and potentially to manipulate, processes at the nanoscale,” Chapman said. “For example, our results could offer new insight to those who study free-energy surfaces related to protein folding and protein denaturation. They could be helpful in better interpreting MRI scans and in predicting the fate of contaminants in the environment. In energy production, insights from this work could be useful for improving flow assurance, preventing corrosion and improving processes in other ways that reduce costs and environmental impacts.” Chapman said his group hopes to build upon the work with future models that incorporate quantum corrections to both the movement of the particles and in assessing interatomic interactions, something that’s only become feasible through recent advances in both parallel computing and linear-scaling quantum chemical calculations. The research is supported by the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the Rice University Consortium for Processes in Porous Media, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and the Department of Energy." [...]
"A team of engineers has developed stretchable fuel cells that extract energy from sweat and are capable of powering electronics, such as LEDs and Bluetooth radios. The biofuel cells generate 10 times more power per surface area than any existing wearable biofuel cells. The devices could be used to power a range of wearable devices. The epidermal biofuel cells are a major breakthrough in the field, which has been struggling with making the devices that are stretchable enough and powerful enough. Engineers from the University of California San Diego were able to achieve this breakthrough thanks to a combination of clever chemistry, advanced materials and electronic interfaces. This allowed them to build a stretchable electronic foundation by using lithography and by using screen-printing to make 3D carbon nanotube-based cathode and anode arrays. The biofuel cells are equipped with an enzyme that oxidizes the lactic acid present in human sweat to generate current. This turns the sweat into a source of power. Engineers report their results in the June issue of Energy & Environmental Science. In the paper, they describe how they connected the biofuel cells to a custom-made circuit board and demonstrated the device was able to power an LED while a person wearing it exercised on a stationary bike. Professor Joseph Wang, who directs the Center for Wearable Sensors at UC San Diego, led the research, in collaboration with electrical engineering professor and center co-director Patrick Mercier and nanoegnineering professor Sheng Xu, both also at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego." [...]
Nanoscale chip system measures light from a single bacterial cell to enable portable chemical detection
"Further development could open door to on-chip biological and chemical sensing applications, e.g. detecting chemicals in real-time continuous flow systems and even in an open-air environment Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have created a nanophotonic chip system using lasers and bacteria to observe fluorescence emitted from a single bacterial cell. To fix the bacteria in place and to route light toward individual bacterial cells, they used V-groove-shaped plasmonic waveguides, tiny aluminum-coated rods only tens of nanometers in diameter. The novel system, described in the journal Nano Letters, paves the way for an efficient and portable on-chip system for diverse cell-based sensing applications, such as detecting chemicals in real-time. The field of on-chip photonic devices for biological and chemical sensing applications presents many powerful alternatives to conventional analytical techniques for applications ranging from “lab on a chip” to environmental monitoring. However, these sensing schemes rely mainly on off-chip detection and require a cumbersome apparatus, even when measuring only single cells. The Hebrew University team looked for ways to integrate all system components, including light sources and detectors, on-chip at the nanoscale. This would result in a lab-on-chip system that is small, portable and can perform sensing in real-time. To achieve this, they molecularly engineered live bacteria that emit a fluorescent signal in the presence of target compounds. They paired these on-chip with a nanoscale waveguide, which not only served the purpose of guiding light, but also allowed mechanical trapping of individual bacteria within the V-groove. In three different illumination conditions, they experimentally demonstrated the interrogation of an individual Escherichia coli bacterial cell using a nanoscale plasmonic V-groove waveguide. First, they measured the light emitted from a bacterium flowing on top of the nanocoupler in a liquid environment by allowing the fluorescence from the bacterium to be coupled directly into the waveguide through the nanocoupler. Next, a bacterium was mechanically trapped within the V groove waveguide and was excited by laser directly either from the top or through the nanocoupler. In all cases, significant fluorescence was collected from the output nano coupler into the detector. The system worked well both in wet environments, where the bacteria are flowing on top of the waveguide, and in dry conditions, where the bacteria are trapped within the waveguide. The research was led by Prof. Uriel Levy, Director of The Harvey M. Krueger Family Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Hebrew University in collaboration with Prof. Shimshon Belkin, at the Hebrew University’s Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, who genetically engineered the bacterial sensors, and Prof. Anders Kristensen from the Danish Technical University, who was in charge of fabricating the V-groove waveguides. Prof. Levy is the Eric Samson Chair in Applied Science and Technology, and Prof. Belkin is the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare Chair in Industrial Hygiene, at the Hebrew University. Unlike the more traditional plasmonic waveguides consisting of either silver or gold, the choice of aluminum was instrumental for being able to guide the fluorescent light emitted from the bacteria all the way to the output nanocoupler. Furthermore, the waveguide dimensions allow for efficient mechanical trapping of the bacteria and the multimode characteristics may become instrumental in gathering more information, e.g., on the specific position and orientation of the bacteria. The results provide a clear indication of the feasibility of constructing a hybrid bioplasmonic system using live cells. Future work will include the construction of waveguide network, diversifying the system to incorporate different types of bacterial sensors for the detection of various biological or chemical analytes. The research is a collaboration between scientists at the Department of Applied Physics, the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science, the Harvey M. Krueger Family Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; and the Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark. Additional researchers include Oren Lotan, Jonathan Bar-David, Cameron L.C. Smith, and Sharon Yagur-Kroll." [...]
"Thanks to a new technique developed at EPFL, optical diffraction gratings can now be made out of pure diamond, with their surfaces smoothed down to the very last atom. These new devices can be used to alter the wavelength of high-powered lasers or in cutting-edge spectrographs. A team of EPFL researchers has developed an unconventional way of microscopically cutting diamonds into a particular shape and smoothing them at an atomic level. This new technique, which will be presented at the International Conference on Diamond and Carbon Materials DCM2017 on 5 September, makes it possible to manufacture diffraction gratings out of pure diamond, which has unique properties that are ideal for both spectroscopy and the optical components used in high-powered lasers. Diffraction gratings are made up of parallel grooves that break up light into its spectral components, kind of like a prism. These gratings are usually made out of glass and silicon, materials that have already been used in spectrographs and to alter the color emitted by lasers. The team, led by Niels Quack, a SNSF-funded professor at the School of Engineering, has now found a way to make these gratings out of single crystal diamond as well, opening up the field to an array of new possibilities. Diamonds are unmatched in terms of their thermal conductivity, which is between five and ten times greater than that of any other material used for this purpose. Diamonds are also extremely hard and work well with UV rays, as well as infrared and visible beams. "Diamonds are chemically inert, which means that even the most aggressive chemical substances can't attack them. But it also means that they are very difficult to machine," explains Dr. Quack. "So this new way of carving diamonds could prove very useful."" [...]
"FAU scientists are working on a collaborative project to improve computer processing power. Computers require an increasing amount of processing power to ensure that demanding programs run smoothly. Current technology will not able to keep up for long, and a new concept is needed in the long term: Together with their partners in the SFB/Transregio 89 collaborative project “Invasive Computing”, computer scientists at Friederich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) are currently developing a method to distribute processing power to programmes based on their needs which will enable computers to cope with future processing requirements. Everyone will be familiar with playing a video on their computer that keeps pausing every few seconds and just won’t buffer properly. These stops and starts are due to the operating system architecture and other applications running in the background. In today’s multi-core processors, operating systems distribute processing time and resources (e.g. memory) to applications without accurate information regarding actual requirements. That is to say, processors run multiple tasks at once, and that in turn means there is competition for shared resources. This can cause unpredictable delays and frequent short interruptions, as is the case with jerky videos. As processing power requirements increase, multi-core process technology is reaching its limits. While it may be feasible to keep integrating more and more cores, even up to several hundred, this is inefficient, since it increases competition while slowing down processing speed overall." [...]
"Researchers have shown that defects in the molecular structure of perovskites – a material which could revolutionise the solar cell industry – can be “healed” by exposing it to light and just the right amount of humidity. The international team of researchers demonstrated in 2016 that defects in the crystalline structure of perovskites could be healed by exposing them to light, but the effects were temporary. Now, an expanded team, from Cambridge, MIT, Oxford, Bath and Delft, have shown that these defects can be permanently healed, which could further accelerate the development of cheap, high-performance perovskite-based solar cells that rival the efficiency of silicon. Their results are reported in the inaugural edition of the journal Joule, published by Cell Press. Most solar cells on the market today are silicon-based, but since they are expensive and energy-intensive to produce, researchers have been searching for alternative materials for solar cells and other photovoltaics. Perovskites are perhaps the most promising of these alternatives: they are cheap and easy to produce, and in just a few short years of development, perovskites have become almost as efficient as silicon at converting sunlight into electricity. Despite the potential of perovskites, some limitations have hampered their efficiency and consistency. Tiny defects in the crystalline structure of perovskites, called traps, can cause electrons to get “stuck” before their energy can be harnessed. The easier that electrons can move around in a solar cell material, the more efficient that material will be at converting photons, particles of light, into electricity. “In perovskite solar cells and LEDs, you tend to lose a lot of efficiency through defects,” said Dr Sam Stranks, who led the research while he was a Marie Curie Fellow jointly at MIT and Cambridge. “We want to know the origins of the defects so that we can eliminate them and make perovskites more efficient.” In a 2016 paper, Stranks and his colleagues found that when perovskites were exposed to illumination, iodide ions – atoms stripped of an electron so that they carry an electric charge – migrated away from the illuminated region, and in the process swept away most of the defects in that region along with them. However, these effects, while promising, were temporary because the ions migrated back to similar positions when the light was removed. In the new study, the team made a perovskite-based device, printed using techniques compatible with scalable roll-to-roll processes, but before the device was completed, they exposed it to light, oxygen and humidity. Perovskites often start to degrade when exposed to humidity, but the team found that when humidity levels were between 40 and 50 percent, and the exposure was limited to 30 minutes, degradation did not occur. Once the exposure was complete, the remaining layers were deposited to finish the device. When the light was applied, electrons bound with oxygen, forming a superoxide that could very effectively bind to electron traps and prevent these traps from hindering electrons. In the accompanying presence of water, the perovskite surface also gets converted to a protective shell. The shell coating removes traps from the surfaces but also locks in the superoxide, meaning that the performance improvements in the perovskites are now long-lived. “It’s counter-intuitive, but applying humidity and light makes the perovskite solar cells more luminescent, a property which is extremely important if you want efficient solar cells,” said Stranks, who is now based at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory. “We’ve seen an increase in luminescence efficiency from one percent to 89 percent, and we think we could get it all the way to 100 percent, which means we could have no voltage loss – but there’s still a lot of work to be done.” The research was funded by the European Union, the National Science Foundation, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council." [...]
"Within 15 minutes of meeting Mark Hersam, PhD, a renowned nanotechnology expert and professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University, Ethan Secor knew he wanted to work with him. Secor, a fifth year materials science and engineering PhD candidate, didn’t have a project in mind at the time, but when Hersam had an opening in his research group, he jumped right in — and hasn’t looked back. Secor, from Stillwater, Minnesota, is developing graphene-based inks, which can be printed with traditional methods like inkjet printing. With the thickness of an atom, graphene is the thinnest material in the world — and one of its greatest potentials is its ability to be used as a conductor. “For printed electronics, instead of printing red, green and blue inks, we’re printing conductors, semiconductors and insulators — different classes of electronically functional materials,” says Secor. “So instead of printing pictures, we’re printing electronic circuits.”" [...]
"Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a memory that can store photons. These quantum particles travel at the speed of light and are thus suitable for high-speed data transfer. The researchers were able to store them in an atomic vapor and read them out again later without altering their quantum mechanical properties too much. This memory technology is simple and fast and it could find application in a future quantum Internet. The journal Physical Review Letters has published the results. Even today, fast data transfer in telecommunication networks employs short light pulses. Ultra broadband technology uses optical fiber links through which information can be transferred at the speed of light. At the receiver's end, the transmitted information has to be stored quickly and without errors so that it can be processed further electronically on computers. To avoid transmission errors, each bit of information is encoded in relatively strong light pulses that each contain at least several hundreds of photons. For several years, researchers all over the world have been working on operating such networks with single photons. Encoding one bit per photon is not only very efficient, but it also allows for a radically new form of information processing based on the laws of quantum physics. These laws allow a single photon to encode not only the states 0 or 1 of a classic bit, but also to encode a superposition of both states at the same time. Such quantum bits are the basis for quantum information processing that could make unconditionally secure communication and super fast quantum computers possible in the future. The ability to store and retrieve single photons from a quantum memory is a key element for these technologies, which is intensively investigated. Simple and fast A team of physicists led by the professors Philipp Treutlein and Richard Warburton from the University of Basel has now developed a particularly simple and fast quantum memory that stores photons in a gas of rubidium atoms. A laser controls the storage and retrieval processes. The technology used does not require cooling devices or complicated vacuum equipment and can be implemented in a highly compact setup. The researchers were also able to verify that the memory has a very low noise level and is suitable for single photons. One step closer to the quantum internet 'The combination of a simple setup, high bandwidth and low noise level is very promising for future application in quantum networks,' says Janik Wolters, first author of the study. The development of such quantum networks is one of the goals of the National Center of Competence in Quantum Science and Technology (NCCR QSIT) and of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation that have funded this study. In the future, quantum networks could lead to unconditionally secure communication, the networking of different quantum computers and the simulation of complex physical, chemical and biological systems." [...]
"The superior characteristics of nanocarbon make it an extremely promising material for numerous current and future applications. "Light and flexible nanocarbon materials conduct electricity better than copper and have greater mechanical strength than steel. They are also good thermal conductors and have great potential for use in reinforced composites, nanoelectronics, sensors and nanomechanical devices," says professor Esko I. Kauppinen, the director of Aalto University’s NanoMaterials research group. Recently, significant advances have been made in the development of nanocarbon materials and their applications. The International Symposium on Nanocarbon Materials gathered the world’s cutting-edge nanocarbon material researchers to Aalto University." [...]
"Water has many ice phases that form under different pressure and temperature conditions. The effects of positive pressure have been explored extensively, with the results somewhat predictable: As the pressure increases, so does the density of the ice. Much less is known, however, about the effects of extreme negative pressure on water molecules. Exploring a significant region of negative pressure through molecular dynamic simulations, researchers have now theoretically discovered a new family of ice phases. Called aeroices, these ices have the lowest density of all known ice crystals. The researchers, from Okayama University in Japan, report their findings this week in The Journal of Chemical Physics, from AIP Publishing. “Our research, which surveys an entire negative-pressure region for the first time, provides a significant stepping stone in exploring this vast and intricate territory on the phase diagram,” said Masakazu Matsumoto, associate professor at the Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Science at Okayama University and a co-author of the paper. “Ices with lower density than normal ice are also found to be manifold [of many kinds].” The discovery is expected to accelerate the understanding of the fundamental properties and behavior of water in nanotubes and other nanopores, as well as in biomolecules. Seventeen ice phases have been found experimentally, each one numbered in the order of its discovery. Only two ices have lower density than normal ice. In 2014, a research team discovered an ice phase that forms under negative pressure: ice XVI. The molecules of the ice form a zeolite structure, a 3-D crystalline cage, in which guest molecules or atoms are trapped inside. The guest molecules (neon particles in this case) were removed, resulting in a stable, ultralow density ice at high negative pressures. Using a similar technique, another group of researchers discovered ice XVII in 2016. The researchers at Okayama University mapped out all the possible ice phases that might still be left to explore in the negative pressure region. Knowing that the structure of silica (SiO2) and ice are common, they retrieved 200 silica zeolites from the Zeolite Database, which is administered through the International Zeolite Association. More than 300 structures were evaluated overall." [...]
"Physical and biological sciences increasingly require the ability to observe nano-sized objects. This can be accomplished with transmission electron microscopy (TEM), which is generally limited to 2D images. Using TEM to reconstruct 3D images instead usually requires tilting the sample through an arc to image hundreds of views of it and needs sophisticated image processing to reconstruct their 3D shape, creating a number of problems. Now, EPFL scientists have developed a scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) method that generates fast and reliable 3D images of curvilinear structures from a single sample orientation. The work is published in Scientific Reports. The labs of Cécile Hébert and Pascal Fua at EPFL have developed an electron microscopy method that can obtain 3D images of complex curvilinear structures without needing to tilt the sample. The technique, developed by EPFL researcher Emad Oveisi, relies on a variation of TEM called scanning TEM (STEM), where a focused beam of electrons scans across the sample. The novelty of the method is that it can acquire images in a single shot, which opens the way to study samples dynamically as they change over time. Furthermore, it can rapidly provide a “sense” of three dimensions, just like we would have with a 3D cinema. “Our own eyes can see 3D representations of an object by combining two different perspectives of it, but the brain still has to complement the visual information with its previous knowledge of the shape of certain objects,” says Hébert. “But in some cases with TEM we know something about what shape the sample’s structure must have. For example, it can be curvilinear, like DNA or the mysterious defects that we call ‘dislocations’, which govern the optoelectronic or mechanical properties of materials.” The classical approach TEM is a very powerful technique that can provide high-resolution views of objects just a few nanometers across — for example, a virus, or a crystal defect. However TEM only provides 2D images, which are not enough for identifying the 3D morphology of the sample, which often limits research. A way around this problem is to acquire consecutive images while rotating the specimen through a tilt arc. The images can then be reconstructed on a computer to gain a 3D representation of the sample. The problem with this approach is that it requires extreme precision on hundreds of images, which is hard to achieve. The 3D images generated in this way are also prone to artefacts, which are difficult to remove afterwards. Finally, taking multiple images with TEM requires shooting a beam of electrons though the sample each time, and the total dose can actually affect the sample’s structure during acquisition and produce a false or corrupted image. The new approach In the STEM method developed by the researchers, the sample stands still while the microscope sends two beams of electrons tilted against each other, and two detectors are simultaneously used to record the signal. As a result, the process is much faster than previous TEM 3D imaging technique and with almost no artefacts. The team also used a sophisticated image-processing algorithm, developed in collaboration with Fua’s CVlab, to reduce the number of images needed for 3D reconstruction to only two images taken at different electron beam angles. This increases the efficiency of data acquisition and 3D reconstruction by one to two orders of magnitude compared to conventional TEM 3D techniques. At the same time, it prevents structural changes on the sample due to high electron doses. Because of its speed and immunity to problems with standard TEM methods, this “tilt-less 3D electron imaging” method is of great advantage for studying radiation-sensitive, polycrystalline, or magnetic materials. And because the total electron dose is reduced to a single scan, the method is expected to open up new avenues for real-time 3D electron imaging of dynamic material and biological processes." [...]
Diversos Projetos interessantes.
"To make any project we go through some steps :- searching for ideas related to projects billing of materials required for the project experimentation on PCB and breadboard" [...]
"This project is for the intermediate DIY-er who has a slight understanding of what raspberry pi and arduino are. Even if you are a beginner, there are many resources out there to get you started with this cool and fun project. I will answer any comments you have as well. This project can easily be expanded from controlling LEDs to controlling alarm clocks, coffee makers, door locks, etc! I'm just focusing on LED strips here." [...]
"Hey Guyz, This time I'm making a variable bench power supply.This is the most useful equipment for a hobbyist and DIY maker cause while making or testing circuits, it needs different values of voltage and current. That's why every DIY maker must have their own bench power supply. Now I'm going to show you how to build an awesome variable bench power supply. So take your tools and let's get started :)" [...]
"Need a hand? Well, unless you live really close to where I am, my arm probably reach you in time even if I shipped it by air. BUT, that's why I have made this instructable on how to make a robotic hand using 3D printed components. Fully actuated, individually controllable fingers! Now, you can make your own robotic hand that's ready to lend everything it has at your aide (well, it is just a hand), so that you don't have to go around borrowing hands from other people." [...]
"It protec, but it also attac. Thus this laser gauntlet is indeed powerful. What's more fun than shooting laser from your wrist? Shoot that laser straight with a dual gimbal balancing system. Steadily fire laser at where your fist points with this dual gimbal wrist laser! Build your own right now with easy to find components by following this instructable! (Do not point laser at other people or animals. Not to be used by children under the age of 13. Laser generator over certain output may be illegal in some countries.)" [...]
"This project uses a C8051 microcontroller development kit, an accelerometer evaluation board, and Simplicity Studio IDE—all from Silicon Labs—to rather quickly and easily build a motion-detecting alarm system." [...]
"This is Billy, a cute little Bipedal Robot born from an Ultimaker 3D Printer, designed with Fusion 360. He can walk, he can dance, and he can avoid objects! All powered from an Arduino and 4 Servo Motors!" [...]
"A miniature race car is balanced precariously on a single pulley, speeding between two trees on a narrow zip line -- will your car win the race? The Basic String Car Racer is a simple project that consists of a battery, pulley, a reclaimed motor, and a bit of fence wire. The original string car was made from repurposed parts and materials found in Grandpa's basement workshop. This version uses more commercially-available parts, but could be hacked with parts gleaned from old DVD players, for example. What modifications and improvements would you make?" [...]
"This counter is the result of designing a cascading counter because it's constructed like an asynchronous counter of 6 bits. That is, the project needs to function the following components: 6-10mm LEDs, 6-Flip-Flops(IC74LS76), and an IC555 timer for generating the clock signal while 6-1N914.diodes do the interface between the counter and the LEDs so that the codes from 0 to 63 can be generated without any problem.. Although this design is a classical, it's neither easy nor funny but illustrative for learning how a binary counter works." [...]
"Anything can be used as a key as far as you know the password ;) A fun way to make a lock. You set a password initially and the ultrasonic sensor every 3 seconds measure a distance(between the sensor and an object/card) and it compares the password set with the one you enter. If the password is valid, the lock will remain unlocked as far as the distance measured is greater than 5 cm hence, you can lock the box whenever you want." [...]
"Headless Google Assistant SDK on Pi with startup audio and wakeword detection audio prompt. Now, by starting Google Assistant as a service on boot, the unit can be used headless. Also, i have added a cool startup audio and an audio alert for wakeword detection.Clone the project from github and follow the instructions in the readme file. It should not take you more than 10-15 mins." [...]
"This is a 4-wheel drive camera vehicle controlled by Arduino and Bluetooth module(HC-05). Wifi action camera is mounted on it. This can be controlled remotely by an android device for easy operation. It uses android application commands to move in front, back and left right directions. This vehicle is capable of turning 360 degree in any direction at the same place. On receiving command from the receiver, The microcontroller operates the movement through the motor driver. Range is approximately 10 Meters (30 feet)." [...]
"Remember that time when your were watching your favourite movie on TV and you wanted to switch off/on lights or fan but were too lazy to get up.. Don't worry, we have a solution for you. This project is about controlling your room lights and/or fan wirelessly, all while sitting on your couch. The reason why I chose this project was because TSOP receiver was the best suited component for a short ranged wireless communication. Hardware components: IR receiver (generic) Arduino UNO & Genuino UNO or AVR Atmega328p if you want to make a permanent soldered circuit. HL-525 relay module/any relay board having 2 or more channels TV remote" [...]
"This is a photophillic --- light-following --- robot. That is, it uses a photosensor to detect the lighting levels on the environment and moves towards the light source. It behaves similarly to your cat when it follows a laser pointer." [...]
"How do we track fire using 8 Channel Flame Sensor that will be driven by servo motor? The workflow of this fire tracking is the reading of 8 Channel Flame Sensor simultaneously, and then searched for the smallest flame value using the MIN function of the Arduino. Why do we use the smallest? Because the closer the source of flame, the smaller the value will be generated. After searching for the smallest value, it will then look for the position on which the Flame Sensor detects the flame, which will serve as the reference point of movement of the servo motor. If the first flame sensor is read, then the servo movement will go to 180 degrees. If the 8th flame sensor is read, then the servo will move to 0 degrees." [...]
"The idea is to use RFID/NFC tags placed in a grid pattern on ground. The robot contains a "map" of the RFID/NFC tags ID numbers. and Using this number knows where it is on the map. (under the strictest this robot uses NFC) I am using a small home/student/educational robot called a Bitty Bot Rover - It's a 2 wheeled robot, with a Arduino Mega 2560, and L298 motor driver. The battery is 9v. It's a simple 2 wheeled robot, and any should work for this project. The project is still a work in progress, but I will admit, it's a slow work in progress. And a prove of concept for a 2 wheel robots. Introduction: This type of indoor location has been used for years inside factories and warehouses. Mainly with 4 wheeled robots that are expensive, and have some type of omin-wheel (meaning they can move in all 4 directions just by turning the wheels in different directions) Here is a video of one of the industrial robots My robot is different in costs (under $100 and in some cases under $50 depending on the robot cassie used) uses only 2 wheels, and can not move in all four directions without turning the whole body of the robot. Turning the body of the robot was the biggest challenge of this project. " [...]
"The monitor is powered with a 1000mAh rechargeable lithium battery and can be left running for several weeks before it needs recharging via its own internal USB/5v lithium charger. It incorporates an internal digital temperature sensor but an external sensor can be plugged into a 3.5mm jack socket to provide remote temperature measuring. Two alarm setpoints can be set with either an audible or a visual alarm if the measured temperature goes out of the set limits. The interval between temperature measurements can be adjusted from once every couple of seconds to once every four minutes. The longer the delay, the longer the battery will last between charges. Temperature can be measured & displayed in Fahrenheit or Celcius; changing between scales will automatically re-calculate the two setpoint temperatures." [...]
"From the first day I started playing around and working with 1-wire networks and devices I wanted to have a nice display for all kind of information, like e.g. current temperatures in- and outside the house. I use owfs to access my 1-wire devices and thus the display needs to be supported as I don't want to figure out how to fiddle around with the PIC or DS2408 devices by myself." [...]
"Hello everybody! Today I'm going to show you how to make an awesome mini hovercraft using an Arduino Naon and a Velleman Motor board. Let's get right into it!" [...]
"Moisture is a problem for most things in storage. Now you can have confidence that your bin is air tight and desiccant is still working. Moisture is a problem for most things in storage. How do you know that your storage bin is air tight? How do you know if your desiccant is still working? You could get a hygrometer but that would require your bin to be transparent enough for you to read the device. This project is perfect for bins that are opaque or too cloudy to read a meter from the outside. I store 3d printer filament in a Pelican case that is solid black. I needed a way to make sure the case was air tight and that the desiccant still worked. This project is also great for when you need to monitor out of sight storages.This project uses the ESP8266 Wi-Fi module and Cayenne by myDevices. The ESP8266 is inexpensive and easy to use. Cayenne is an IOT service that provides a very nice, intuitive drag and drop dashboard to display data from the ESP8266. Cayenne also monitors your data and provides custom alerts sent via text message to your phone or email." [...]
"This instruction illustrate principal create railway classical model layout control unit. A communicate through bluetooth between Arduino and Android (or computer, or minicomputer) allows you to switch arrows, run trains." [...]
"This instructable is about how you how you can built a very nice looking electronic dice using an oled display and an Arduino uno or similar.At the very beginning of this project I decided that after the prototype was finish I wanted to build a custom made version, so in this inscrutable there is descriptions how to build the prototype version and useful tips if you want to build your own custom version." [...]
"Hello all in this post i will show you how to make an arduino piano and play your first song in it. Arduino is an open-source platform used for building electronics projects. Arduino consists of both a physical programmable circuit board (often referred to as a microcontroller) and a piece of software, or IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that runs on your computer, used to write and upload computer code to the physical board.The Arduino platform has become quite popular with people just starting out with electronics, and for good reason. Unlike most previous programmable circuit boards, the Arduino does not need a separate piece of hardware (called a programmer) in order to load new code onto the board you can simply use a USB cable. Additionally, the Arduino IDE uses a simplified version of C++, making it easier to learn to program. Finally, Arduino provides a standard form factor that breaks out the functions of the micro-controller into a more accessible package." [...]
"In this instructable, I would like to explain how to build a powerful smart Bluetooth speaker in a very simple way. The radios made a revolution in the 20th century every NEWS including war alerts were sent through the radio communication only. But the due to the use vacuum tubes during those days, size of radios were very big and most of them are packaged in a huge cuboidal box with 2 speakers. In this instructable, I've tried to give the retro look to my smart speaker. It has following features,1. OLED display to show Date, Time, Day, Humidity & Temperature2. Spectrum analyser to visualise the Music frequency Spectrum3. Powerful sound output with around 10 hours of battery life4. AUX input5. TP4056 controlled charging unit6. Bluetooth connectivity using F6188 Module7. Hands-free mode to receive calls via BluetoothFeatures are cool, so let's make one..." [...]
"When people say that they’ve built their own computer, what they really mean is that they’ve taken an off-the-shelf CPU, plugged it into a motherboard, added the extra peripherals, and then hit the “on” button. This isn’t really building a computer so much as it is assembling a computer. In this DIY Hacking series, we will actually build a computer based around the Z80 CPU. In the process, we’ll learn how it works and how to program it!" [...]
"Everyone with pet fish, either in a pond or an aquarium, has had the issue of not being able to feed them when on holiday. To solve this, I decided to make an automatic fish feeder. Since my fish are in a pond outside, I wanted to make this project solar powered. The feeder also allows you to feed them smaller quantities of food several times a day as recommended by the producers of the food (although this could also be a trick to sell more). Besides the solar panel, we will use a few other cheap components to keep the project low cost. Don't forget to vote if you like what you see, but for now: lets get building!" [...]
"What if you had to store something precious to be picked up by someone you do not know? What if you were far away from the box and had to change the password for security reasons? This is where Sigfox comes in! Indeed, Sigfox allows you to use 4 downlink messages per day. The idea is to be able to update the password controlling the opening of the box. Therefore in this tutorial, every 6 hours (4 times per day), the box's password will be set with a newly generated one from a web application. The owner can then decide to share the password to whom he wants. He will also be notified every time the box is opened! This tutorial includes: the firmware to upload on the MKRFox1200 the web API generating a new password and receiving the box's notificationsA video presentation is available here! Some photos show how the mechanical part works." [...]
"Imagine if you were lost in the middle of nowhere and needed some help? Or more simply, if you had no phone network coverage and needed to send an important message? Well, Sigfox allows you to send a small message to a contact of your choice by using a third-party texting API. In this tutorial, we will use Twilio. You will see how to send text messages with only a bluetooth connected phone!" [...]
"Very very low cost drawing robot draw like what u draw in the Computer. Its movement are not traditional its very cute. Every one like it. I want to make a robo arm with less cost which draw cute pictures. That robot want to make my Daughter happy and it can able to dance. I saw a Cutest drawing robot in Kickstarter. I like it very much and want to make one such robot. So i go through my school life studies and check out trigonometry and Algebra to find out how it works and after several days i find the solution and check the result in calculation. Then i surprised i find the solution. So i want to build it with some cost (because all my previous projects are maxinum 90% from trash). Lets see how I develop it step by step. I am sure even i do it with out any special tools u with tools do it very easily" [...]
"So you've decided to build a homemade CNC router or maybe youre just considering it, but where do you start? There are many advantages to owning a CNC router. Homemade CNC routers can cut and carve almost anything. For any hobbyist or DIYer, this opens many doors. The fact that you could own one for a fraction of the retail cost is even more enticing. Yes, you can build a CNC router that is just about as good as any other for a fraction of the retail price, and its not that difficult! This is not a sales pitch, this guide is FREE its all below. There is also a great deal of flexibility when you design and build your own machine. You will be able to customize your machine to fit you needs best. Not to big, not to small, just right. There are many reasons people want to build their own homemade CNC router. Its usually because we simply cant afford to buy one off the shelf and thats as good of a reason as any other. Or you may be like me and enjoy working with your hand and creating something unique. You might simply be in it for the learning experience. For me personally, I think it was a little of both." [...]
"This is simple device which imitate organic motion (natural wave) by means of mechanical movements. First Inspiration and reference is taken from Kaleb Craft project, due credits to him! Here in this project I have tried to simplify making process as much as possible, so anyone without high technical design knowledge can replicate the same and have fun to educate/demonstrate others!:) Educator can use this to teach various kinetic motions to students, just by placing different types of camshafts (which can be 3d printed). And this also can be used for large scale kinetic art installation!Kinetic wave simulator in motion!" [...]
"The CCS811/BME280 (Qwiic) Environmental Combo Breakout work together to take care of all of your atmospheric quality sensing needs with the CCS811 and BME280 ICs. The CCS811 is an exceedingly popular sensor, providing readings for equivalent CO2 (or eCO2) in the parts per million (PPM) and total volatile organic compounds in the parts per billion (PPB). The CCS811 also has a feature that allows it to fine tune its readings if it has access to the current humidity and temperature. Luckily for us, the BME280 provides humidity, temperature, and barometric pressure! This allows the sensors to work together to give us more accurate readings than they’d be able to provide on their own. We also made it easy to interface with them via I2C." [...]
"In this project, we use a 2.4 Arduino TFT LCD screen to build our own Arduino Touch Screen calculator. Arduino has always helped to build projects easily and make them look more attractive.Programming an LCD screen with a touch screen option might sound like a complicated task, but the Arduino libraries and shields had made it really easy. In this project we will use a 2.4 Arduino TFT LCD screen to build our own Arduino Touch Screen calculator that could perform all basic calculations like addition, subtraction, division and multiplication." [...]
"In this instructable i will explain how to control R.G.B leds wireless by using arduino and bluetooth.This is an very simple project it can be done in 10 minutes.You can use this for mood lighting or Christmas , house decorations in cars etc.So lets start the project :)" [...]
"This is a guide on how to create a Coffee Grinder using3d printed parts, a steel conical burr, and a high-torque motor. This guide assumes that you are using parts that are rated for foodsafe applications." [...]
"Let's make a Web-based remote controller for Spider Robot. This project is similar to this one, but the hardware components are different. Here I use DC Motor Controller expansion board for controlling spider robot. It seems that PES-2404 DC Motor Controller is a useful board to control DC motor." [...]
"This is a small pocket size gadget to help to develop habits. The user is required to do predefined tasks/habits marked by NFC tags and collect corresponding LED lights on a gadget. After collecting all markers user can reset progress by holding the button for 5 seconds. The user could do this once or more times a day. At any time user can check the status by tapping a button." [...]
"This is the latest version of the Bucket Bot - a mobile PC based robot that can be easily transported in a 5 gallon bucket. The previous one used simple wood based construction. This newer version is based on aluminum and T-Slot, so it is easily expandable. The bucket bot concept is a vertically oriented robot where all the components are easily accessible. This is superior to the layered approach since you don't need to unscrew layers to work on the lower level components. This design has the all-important features for mobile robots: a handle and motor power switch! I also incorporated some new components that make the building easier. There is a little fabrication involved, but it can all be done using hand tools. You can also use a laser cutter for a plastic version of this robot, or use a metal cutting service like the Big Blue Saw if you would like with the included designs. This robot uses a tablet Windows PC. But, the design will work with ITX, Mini-ITX boards as well as smart phones and boards like the Arduino, Beagle Bone and Raspberry Pi. Even the Arduino Uno for motor control could be used exclusively. This design was intended to be compatible with the Vex / Erector hardware. The holes are 3/16" on a 1/2" center pattern. I cannot say enough good things about the T-slot used in this design. I used the 80/20 20 series, which is 20mm on a side. That's right around 3/4", and the cool thing is that you can use standard #8-32 screws with it (same as the Vex). When you use #8-32 square nuts, they do not spin in the channel, and standard angle brackets work well alongside the higher end hardware you can get. The T-slot extrusions are easily available on Amazon and EBay - the ~4' piece used for this project only costs about $10. The t-slot allows a very nice way to make 3D objects from 2D cut parts, so the combination is great for building things with minimal fabrication - you can especially see that in the motor mounts. This robot is controlled with the RoboRealm machine vision system. It determines where the robot should go, and sends motor control commands over the serial port. The serial port is connected to an Arduino Uno and Adafruit Motor Control Shield. The Arduino runs a simple serial listener program to receive commands and run the motors and camera tilt servo. The sample application here is a Fiducial Course - the robot will move between a series of fiducial markers in order." [...]
"Smartphone Controlled Arduino Robot Car via Bluetooth With G-sensor app..that the robot will move depending on the slope of your smartphone." [...]
That's all Folks!