2C3D is the first camera for blind people

Electric chopsticks will replace the use of salt

A new method to make residential solar panels twice as efficient

Robotic fish that could enable a closer study of aquatic life

A soft robotic fish, called SoFi, that can independently swim alongside real fish in the ocean has been developed by the engineers at MIT. During test dives in the Rainbow Reef in Fiji, SoFi swam at depths of more than 50 feet for up to 40 minutes at once, nimbly handling currents and taking high-resolution photos and videos using a fisheye lens. Using its undulating tail and a unique ability to control its own buoyancy, SoFi can swim in a straight line, turn, or dive up or down. The team also used a waterproofed Super Nintendo controller and developed a custom acoustic communications system that enabled them to change SoFi’s speed and have it make specific moves and turns.


3D-printed prototype for bionic eye

An array of light receptors on a hemispherical surface has been completely 3D printed by the team of researchers at the University of Minnesota. This discovery marks a significant step toward creating a 'bionic eye' that could someday help blind people see or sighted people see better. Extrusion‐based 3D printing, an emerging technology, has been previously used in the comprehensive fabrication of light‐emitting diodes using various functional inks, without cleanrooms or conventional microfabrication techniques. Here, polymer‐based photodetectors exhibiting high performance are fully 3D printed and thoroughly characterized. The researchers also hold the patent for 3D-printed semiconducting devices.


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

A highly maneuverable search-and-rescue robot that can creep, crawl and climb over rough terrain and through tight spaces has been developed by the team of researchers at Ben-Gurion University (BGUni) of the Negev (BGU). It is called RSTAR. RSTAR stands for Rising Sprawl-Tuned Autonomous Robot. It utilizes adjustable sprawling wheel legs attached to a body that can move independently and reposition itself to run on flat surfaces, climb over large obstacles and up closely-spaced walls, and crawl through a tunnel, pipe or narrow gaps. The innovative new robot was introduced in May at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2018) in Brisbane, Australia.


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

An adjustable shading system that adapts itself independently during the day

A new cooling system for the hazmat suits

A spinning heat shield for future spacecraft

A prototype flexible heat shield for spacecraft that could reduce the cost of space travel and even aid future space missions to Mars has been developed by the Ph.D. student, Rui Wu, at the University of Manchester. Heat shields are essentially used as the brakes to stop spacecraft burning up and crashing on entry and re-entry into a planet's atmosphere. This design is the first in the world to utilise centrifugal forces that stiffen lightweight materials to prevent burnup. The existing spacecraft heat shield methods include huge inflatables and mechanically deployed structures that are often heavy and complicated to use. As well as being lightweight in design is prototype is also self-regulating. 


Graphene based sensor for environmental monitoring

Pollution sensors were developed by scientists from the University of Southampton and the Japanese Scientific and Technical Institute. They are miniature graphene sensors that are capable of recording the level of CO2 and toxins in the house. Unique sensors that capture negligible concentrations of carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds can be embedded in interior decoration, furniture or household appliances, reliably controlling the cleanliness of their home without unnecessary costs and inconveniences. In recent years, there has been an increase in health problems due to air pollution in personal living spaces, known as sick building syndrome, along with other conditions such as sick car and sick school syndromes. Harmful volatile compounds, even at concentrations of the order of a few particles per billion (ppb), can harm human health, especially children.


The Terrafugia Transition is the world's first practical flying car

The flying car was developed by Terrafugia. Terrafugia’s mission is to create practical flying cars that enable a new dimension of personal freedom. Terrafugia (ter-ra-FOO-jee-ah) is derived from the Latin for 'Escape the Earth'". The company presented 'Transition', which is the world’s first practical flying car. A folding-wing, two-seat, roadable aircraft, 'Transition' is designed to fly like a typical Light Sports Aircraft in the air and drive like a typical car on the ground. It will run on premium unleaded automotive gasoline, fit in a standard construction single-car garage, and convert between flight and drive modes in under a minute. This model is able to drive both on ordinary motorways as a hybrid electric car, and, spreading its wings, fly at speeds up to 160 km/h.


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