Monthly Archives: June 2017

Six-Legged Robot is faster than Insects

Evolution follows very intelligent designs, filtering out the failures by trial and error. However, evolution in nature takes place over billions of years, but that span of time may not be available to designers of robots. Usually, robotics design, inspired by biology, is about the designer figuring out the clever tricks that evolution has perfected and applying them to the robot for beating nature at her own game. For instance, studies have shown that most six-legged insects move with a tripedal Read more [...]

Connect with a New Type of Li-Fi

Many of us are stuck with slow Wi-Fi, and eagerly waiting for light-based communications to be commercialized, as Li-Fi promises to be more than 100 times faster than the Wi-Fi connections we use today. As advertised so far, most Li-Fi systems depend on the LED bulb to transmit data using visible light. However, this implies limitations on the technology being applied to systems working outside the lab. Therefore, researchers are now using a different type of Li-Fi using infrared light instead. Read more [...]

How Do Wind Turbines Work?

Wind turbines generate electricity from moving winds. You can see them in large numbers on wind farms both onshore and offshore. The blowing wind turns their blades, and rotates the shaft on which the blades are mounted. The shaft in turn, operates an electric generator and the resulting electric output is sometimes stored in a battery. A swarm of wind turbines can generate a substantial amount of energy. Wind turbines are often called a renewable source of energy, as they generate power from natural Read more [...]

Lichee Pi – Another Contender for the Raspberry Pi

If you are looking for an alternative to the ubiquitous Raspberry Pi (RBPi), check out the Lichee Pi Zero. The basic board costs only $6.00 and another two dollars will get you the Wi-Fi version. Powered by the Allwinner V35 CPU, it is even smaller than the RBPi Zero, and works with the latest Linux kernel 4.10. The crowdfunding campaign offers a huge range of accessories. The ARM-based processor on the Lichee Pi Zero, the Allwinner V35, is an ARM Cortex-A7 CPU. It has a maximum speed of 1.2 GHz, Read more [...]

Rechargeable Battery Packs Benefit From Integrated Battery Pack Monitor

Increasingly, electronic devices are depending on more than one battery unit for deriving power—driving motors require a higher voltage than does the control system. This includes energy storage systems, toys, scooters, e-bikes, handheld power tools, lawn equipment, and vacuum cleaners. So far, battery monitors could only monitor the entire battery pack and not the individual batteries making up the pack. Now, Intersil has developed a battery pack monitor with a difference. Not only can it monitor Read more [...]

Treat Yourself to a Raspberry Pi Zero W

The launch of the Raspberry Pi Zero W (RBPiZW) by the Raspberry Pi Foundation recently has added two features many fans of the RBPi have been requesting for a long time. The two features, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, added to the wonderful RBPi Zero have improved the functionality of the tiny single board computer. After all, the RBPiZW is only a variant of the RBPi Zero, and therefore, does not merit a full length, in depth review. However, we will focus on the new features the RBPiZW brings Read more [...]

Sensing Movement in Three Axes

All modern vehicles must sense the position and movement of automotive control functions such as turn signal indicators and gear selectors. However, engineers face challenges here with conventional sensor technologies as the requirement is for sensing movement in the three axes simultaneously. The challenge lies in the physical size of the device, its reliability, power consumption, and its cost. However, 3-D magnetic sensing technology, recently introduced, could be helping engineers to address Read more [...]

PiRyte Mini ATX PSU: Power Your Raspberry Pi

Powering the Single Board Computer, the Raspberry Pi (RBPi) is always simple using the wall-wart type power supply and the micro-USB cable. However, there is always the possibility of accidentally shutting off power to the RBPi without going through the proper shutdown sequence. As the RBPi relies on its micro SD card to store its Operating System and working files, a sudden loss of power is sure to corrupt them and render the RBPi incapable of rebooting in the next session. Additionally, you Read more [...]

An Autonomous Robot Called Bat Bot or B2

Although detested and at the same time revered by people all over the world, bats are undoubtedly remarkable creatures when it comes to their ability to fly. While birds do perform the most nimble aerobatics, and most fishes swim superbly in water, bats possess the most refined powered flight mechanism, unmatched in the animal kingdom. Now a team of scientists has studied the way bats fly, and have built the first robot to mimic their flight mechanism. They have named the robot Bat Bot, or B2. The Read more [...]

Non-Toxic Batteries for Humans and Fish

Lithium-ion batteries are very popular nowadays, as everyone has one in their cell phones. Although people use batteries of a large variety of technologies and form factors, everyone wants one with high energy density, low weight and volume, superior charge/discharge characteristics, and low cost. The Lithium-ion chemistry is popular, as it tends to meet most of the above desirable characteristics, even though it has several variations. However, some applications need batteries with unusual construction, Read more [...]