Category Archives: Newsworthy

Two Raspberry Pi HAT Controller Modules

Atomo Systems, from Hong Kong, will be producing the Atomo Modular Electronic System for building electronic projects with four parts—Control, IO, Power, and Connector. The system also includes two low-cost HAT modules with onboard ARM MCUs compatible to the Raspberry Pi (RBPi). The combined controller connector board uses a small and inexpensive MCU, similar to what an Arduino Uno uses. However, the ARM MCU is faster, has more IO, and is better compatible with the RBPi. The idea behind building Read more [...]

Graphene Cells Generate Energy for Prosthetic Hands

At the Glasgow University, Scotland, a team of scientists has discovered a new use for graphene cells —the honeycomb form of carbon. They are using it to develop prosthetic limbs or more specifically, robotic arms with a sense of touch built-in. The world over, several researchers and their teams are trying to make synthetic skin, which is flexible, and at the same time, has a sense of touch similar to the various types of sensory receptors the human skin possesses. At the Glasgow University, Read more [...]

Five New Advancements in Solar Cells

The earth receives a huge amount of sunlight every hour. Converted to electricity, this would amount to 52 PW/hr. This is more than ten times the entire amount of electricity produced per hour by China in 2013. In the same year, top countries of the world together produced only 16 PW/hr. of electricity. As this is much less than the actual potential of generation of electricity from the solar energy falling on the planet earth, several countries are actively engaged on research and development on Read more [...]

SALTO the Agile Jumping Robot

In the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab at UC Berkeley, Duncan Haldane is responsible for numerous bite-sized bio-inspired robots—robots with hairs, robots with tails, robots with wings, and running robots. Haldane and the other members of the lab look at the most talented and capable animals for inspiration for their robotic designs. The African Galago or Bushbaby is one such animal. It is a fluffy, cute, talented, and capable little jumping animal weighing only a few kilos. However, this little 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]