Butterfly Technology Boosts Solar Panel Output

We normally do not relate butterflies to solar panels. After all, bees and butterflies are good for pollinating flowers and transforming them to fruits so that nature can propagate. On the other hand, solar panels are human creations that collect energy from the sun for the use of humankind. The link between the two seems rather distant, apart from the fact that the sun is the basic force that drives all life on our planet. However, science finds the humble butterfly could be holding the key to unlock Read more [...]

A Primary Display HAT for the Raspberry Pi

A portable single board computer such as the Raspberry Pi or the RBPi ought to have a portable screen, preferably a touch screen that is comfortable to use. This is a long overdue, much sought-after request from users, especially from developers, who see and use several smartphones and tablets with capacitive and or resistive touch screens. The Pi Foundation has been hard at work on developing a seven-inch touch screen as an add-on to the RBPi. This would be appropriate for a number of projects Read more [...]

What is 3D Flash Memory?

Slowly, but steadily, the memory market is veering away from magnetic disc storage systems to solid-state drives or SSDs. Not only are prices falling fast, manufacturers are producing SSDs with improved technologies, leading to denser memories, higher reliability and lower costs. For example, Samsung has recently announced SSD and systems designs that will drive their new 3-D NAND into mass markets. Samsung's latest SSDs are the 850 EVO series. According to Jim Eliot, a marketing executive for Read more [...]

UPS-PIco for Uninterruptible Power for the Raspberry Pi

The innovative Raspberry Pi or RBPi, the tiny single board computer, has endeared itself to the young and old alike. When used for critical applications, it is often necessary to supply the RBPi with continuous power, for which, an advanced uninterruptible power supply such as the UPS PIco offers several innovative power back up and development features. With a 300mAh LiPO battery, the standard UPS PIco offers a safe shutdown during a power cut. However, you can easily upgrade this battery to Read more [...]

Quadriplegics Can Control Exoskeletons with Their Brain

Artificial limbs help people who have lost a part of their arms or legs to regain partial functionality of their extremities. However, for those who have lost control of a major part of their bodies and thus rendered quadriplegic, artificial limbs are not of much use. For addressing such and other whole-body disabilities, exoskeletons are showing great promise. Scientists working at the Technische Universitat Berlin and Korea University are creating such lower-limb exoskeletons. The control system Read more [...]

Liquid Droplets That Levitate On a Blue Light Pad

Scientists in France have found a novel technique to levitate liquid droplets on a cushion or pad of blue light. The effect sets off a striking light show with the droplets generating sparks as they drift over the blue gap. The effect is quite like the Leidenfrost Levitation in which a liquid drop is made to levitate on its vapor layer created over a hot surface. However, while in the Leidenfrost effect, the temperature is the initiating factor, here it is electricity creating the interesting Read more [...]

Leap Motion with the Raspberry Pi

Robots have the capability to work where humans would find it inconvenient. In fact, that is one of the reasons people build robots. For example, in areas where high amounts of nuclear radiation would be fatal for a human being, a robot can work happily. Science fiction movies have exploited this feature several times - a robot mimicking the hand movements of its human controller, when watched and manipulated from a safe distance. Now, with a few motion-controlled servos, Leap Motion and Raspberry Read more [...]

Is Your Solar Panel Installed the Right Way?

Although few people would have noticed, the costs of solar photovoltaic cells have been dropping over the years. As the technology took off, costs plummeted in the first 12 years. However, between 2005 and 2009, global market demand surged, making it difficult for supply to keep up. As manufacturing picked up post 2009, solar PV cell prices have continued their downward trend steadily. Now, it makes sense for companies to switch to PV cells purely based on economics. As solar grows to become a Read more [...]

Conducting Elastic Fibers for Artificial Muscles and Electronic Devices

A study at the Dallas based University of Texas shows how scientists have wrapped electrically conducting carbon nanotube sheets around a rubber core to create super elastic fibers. In addition, these fibers conduct electricity and have some special electronic properties as well. The elasticity of the fibers is phenomenal. They can be more than 14 times longer than their original lengths by stretching and the process is reversible. The fibers regain their initial lengths once the stretching force Read more [...]

What is Hyperscale Cooling?

We are more familiar with heat generation in electronic gadgets and methods followed for its removal. Heat sinks are commonly recognized for their function – removing unwanted heat by conduction and convection. Most engineers know how to keep the temperature of the components on their printed circuit boards such as ICs below some maximum allowable value. They are also aware of the heat within the overall enclosure, which may be for a standard rack of boards, a power supply, or a DVR. Engineers Read more [...]