What are Light-Emitting Capacitors good for?

HLEC, or Hyper-elastic Light-Emitting Capacitors are good for making electroluminescent skin for robotics, and you can do a lot with them. That is according to Dr. Rob Shepard of Cornell University and his team of graduate students, who have published a paper on the electroluminescent skin they have developed recently. The team was inspired to develop the electroluminescent skin by observing several cephalopods such as the Octopus. According to the team, their material can change its color, just Read more [...]

Advanced Applications Need Alternate Switch Technologies

Although conventional reed switches have been in use for their excellent properties, their large size makes them difficult to integrate in advanced applications. Most equipment now use miniature components and manufacturers have found a way to reduce the size of reed switches to match. They now use HARM MEMS or High Aspect Ratio Microfabrication MEMS technology to make miniature reed switches, keeping all their desirable properties intact. Reed switches are popular because they do not require Read more [...]

How Can I Protect My Raspberry Pi?

By connecting the Single Board Computer to the Internet, you actually run the risk of compromising your Raspberry Pi or RBPi to different types of attacks from malicious persons. However, as several advantages of an Internet connection far outweigh such risks from attackers, there is merit in looking for ways to mitigate them. Spain Hardware from Madrid is venturing on a Kick Starter project to enable hardware protection for the RBPi. When your RBPi requires secure communication, you can rely Read more [...]

Integrating Piezoelectric Flexure Actuators

The familiar reed switch comes with a unique set of properties. These include ON resistance of the order of milliohms, OFF resistance of the order of tera-ohms, total immunity to ESD or electrostatic discharge, hot switching capability of about one watt, and almost zero power operation. However, as all electronic components are shrinking to surface mount sizes of 0402, 0201 and even to 01005 (0.4 x 0.2 mm), the large size of the reed switch is anachronistic. Since 70 years of its invention, the conventional Read more [...]

Tractor Beams are a Possibility Now

For some time now, science fiction has been predicting the tractor beam, the strange column of energy that can transport everything from living beings to inanimate objects through space. Now this long-envisioned chunk of technology from science fiction is en-route to becoming science fact. At the Public University of Navarre in Spain, scientists are successfully manipulating tiny objects in midair. They are doing this with what they claim are acoustic holograms. Ordinarily, holograms are three-dimensional Read more [...]

Sleep Better with a Raspberry Pi

Sleep is an integral part of our lives, and lack of quality sleep quickly leads to a whole host of issues related to physical, emotional, behavioral, etc. Quality sleep is linked to a good environment that includes proper bedding, clothing, temperature, humidity, and lighting among other things. Although electronics may not be able to help much with the proper choice of bedding and clothing, a cheap but versatile single board computer such as the RBPi or Raspberry Pi is a good contender for controlling Read more [...]

PINE64 : A 64-bit Contender for the Raspberry Pi

Earlier, a DIY computing project could cost an enthusiast hundreds of dollars. Now, with single board computers such as the Raspberry Pi or RBPi or its latest kin, the Raspberry Pi Zero, anyone can start a new project at the cost of a cup of coffee. Seen from the other side of the fence, a competitor has to include a better choice of components, offer a better price or both. PINE64 Inc. has taken the third route. PINE54 Inc. is attempting to improve on the legacy so far built up by the RBPi. According Read more [...]

A Camera to See around Corners

That light travels in straight lines, is a well-known fact of physics. This property of light prevents us from seen around corners, unless helped by a mirror. However, scientists have not allowed this limitation to prevent them from developing a far from average camera that can see around the average corner, without using x-rays or mirrors. Genevieve Gariepy, along with his group of scientists, has developed a latest device with a detector that treats walls and floors as if they were virtual mirrors. Read more [...]

How Sensors help Seniors Live Independently

With the benefits of medical science and increased awareness, people are now living longer than their ancestors did. Along with longer living, they also desire to live as independently as possible in their senior years. However, certain risks are part of independent lifestyles. These include inadequate care resulting in deteriorating health and debilitating falls. Researchers are addressing these issues by developing smart homes. They are using sensors and other devices and technologies for enhancing Read more [...]

How Smart Sensor Technology helps Beehives

Plants are necessary for life on the planet Earth, as they transform the gas Carbon-Di-Oxide that animals exhale into life-sustaining Oxygen. Plants, in turn, depend largely on bees to pollinate their flowers and propagate thereby. That makes honey bees a keystone species, which humans have recognized throughout history. Bees help to pollinate nearly 70% of all plants on earth assuring about 30% of the global food supply. That makes bees a predictor of our planet's future health. Global warning Read more [...]