A new handy sensor can enhance food safety

A sweat sensor to monitor your health

A smart clock that shows you the right information at the right moment

2C3D is the first camera for blind people

The means of visual reproduction of the surrounding world are a great achievement of mankind since they allow us to shoot beautiful lands and moments of life, turning them into memories that can be viewed in the future. Until now, people with visual impairments, unfortunately, had no such opportunity. However, Oren Geva from the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Israel, developed an innovative 2C3D camera that provides blind people with the ability to see. This groundbreaking camera is a development and design of a tactile camera concept for the vision impaired. It creates 3D photos and videos and has a 3D screen. The screen, inspired by 'Pin Toy', is built by numerous 3D pixels that shift depending on the photo to forms the 3D shot on the screen surface. The device provides the term 'touch screen' with a new and more literal interpretation.


Electric chopsticks will replace the use of salt

Electric Chopsticks, which are capable to replace the taste of salt, were developed by scientists from the Multisensory Interactive Media Lab (MIM Lab) at the University of Maine, USA. Too much salt isn’t good for the human body. In the United States alone, about 30 percent of all adults have high blood pressure, and should, therefore, reduce their sodium intake. Scientists created a pair of chopsticks with electrodes embedded in the tips, enabling them to gently zap the tongue to produce simulated flavors. According to Nimesha Ranasinghe, an Assistant Professor at the School of Computing and Information System; also directs the Multisensory Interactive Media Lab (MIM Lab) at UMaine, such technology could one day let people hack the flavor of their food while sticking to a healthy diet. 'The flavor would be external to whatever they’re consuming'.


A new method to make residential solar panels twice as efficient

The solar panels that could deliver up to twice as much energy as traditional panels has been developed by Insolight, a company which is based in EPFL’s Innovation Park. The company came up with a thin structure that directs the sun’s rays to the small surface area of very high performance solar cells. The result is a highly efficient flat photovoltaic system. The researchers have developed a prototype with a yield – the quantity of electricity produced from the light energy received – of 36.4%, while solutions currently available on the market offer throughput of only around 18-20%. These results, which could represent a world record, have just been validated on a prototype by the Fraunhofer Institute, an independent lab based in Germany.


Robotic fish that could enable a closer study of aquatic life

3D-printed prototype for bionic eye

Robot that carries payloads necessary for search-and-rescue operations

A new camping stove that reduces the heat loss and negative effects of wind

A novel stove that can cope even in strong winds has been developed by the team of researchers at ETH Zurich. A kettle shaped like a Bundt cake tin encloses a gas burner, protecting it from the wind. Moreover, other design features make the kettle extremely energy efficient: the wall of the gas burner is rippled, like a citrus juicer. This increases the contact area between the flame and the jug. The fact that the wall is very thin, makes heat transfer to the contents of the jug ideal. The interior of the burner is also packed with engineering expertise: the gas nozzles are what are known as Venturi nozzles. Their geometry causes a localised drop in pressure. This increases airflow, which enhances the quality of the flame and boosts efficiency.


An adjustable shading system that adapts itself independently during the day

An alternative to motor-driven sunshades has been developed by Chiara Vailati, ETH doctoral student at the Institute for Building Materials. It gets hot in the city in summer, and buildings in direct sunlight get particularly warm. At night, it can then be difficult to get rid of that accumulated heat. These days, many people dream of efficient air conditioning. Anyone who is now picturing a fully automatic high-tech shading with sensors, actuators, and complex controls is a long way off the mark. The prototype may be high-tech, but it is still refreshingly modest. The system uses shade-producing wooden planks and requires no sensors or motors - or even electricity. 


A new cooling system for the hazmat suits

The cooling systems for athletes that circulate cool water through a negative pressure glove to lower body temperature in between bouts of activity have been developed by the researchers at Stanford University. The team had also created cooling systems for bomb-sniffing dogs, who don’t sniff when they are panting. But fitting their work under a sealed protective suit was a whole new issue. Since that initial inquiry, the researchers have been developing and testing a solution with help from students in their undergraduate course, Human Physiology Laboratory. Altogether, the advances have roughly doubled the amount of time people can spend working in protective gear. Now the team is engineering the final version of the cooling system that it plans to manufacture.


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