Spider silk could be used as robotic muscle
Spider silk, already known as one of the strongest materials for its weight, turns out to have another unusual property that might lead to new kinds of artificial muscles or robotic actuators, researchers have found.
Charting a path to cheaper flexible solar cells
There's a lot to like about perovskite-based solar cells. They are simple and cheap to produce, offer flexibility that could unlock a wide new range of installation methods and places, and in recent years have reached energy efficiencies approaching those of traditional silicon-based cells. But figuring out how to produce perovskite-based energy devices that last longer than a couple of months has been a challenge.
Unleashing perovskites' potential for solar cells
Researchers have been able to decipher a key aspect of the behavior of perovskites made with different formulations: With certain additives there is a kind of "sweet spot" where greater amounts will enhance performance and beyond which further amounts begin to degrade it.
Converting Wi-Fi signals to electricity with new 2-D materials
Imagine a world where smartphones, laptops, wearables, and other electronics are powered without batteries. Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have taken a step in that direction, with the first fully flexible device that can convert energy from Wi-Fi signals into electricity that could power electronics.
Sodium ion battery research could power up renewable energy storage
Longer life and increased capacity for a new technology battery that could be the workhorse of a renewable energy grid are the goals of a study of the effect of charging cycles on the structure of anodes in sodium ion batteries.
IDTechEx analyst Nadia Tsao interviewed AxoSim Technologies CEO Dr Lowry Curley and Director of Business & Partnership Development Ben Cappiello. AxoSim provides a nerve-on-a-chip platform for drug development.
Foldable drone flies through narrow holes
A research team have developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Manganese may finally solve hydrogen fuel cells' catalyst problem
Manganese is known for making stainless steel and aluminum soda cans. Now, researchers say the metal could advance one of the most promising sources of renewable energy: hydrogen fuel cells.
Fuel cell runs on methane at practical temperatures
Fuel cells have not been particularly known for their practicality and affordability, but that may have just changed. There's a new cell that runs on cheap fuel at temperatures comparable to automobile engines and which slashes materials costs.
Small flying robots haul heavy loads
A closed door is just one of many obstacles that poses no barrier to a new type of flying, micro, tugging robot called a FlyCroTug. Outfitted with advanced gripping technologies and the ability to move and pull on objects around it, two FlyCroTugs can jointly lasso the door handle and heave the door open.
Using machine learning and optimization to improve refugee integration
Each year, tens of thousands of refugees--many fleeing war, violence, and persecution--are resettled in dozens of host countries around the world. While there is growing evidence that the initial placement of refugee families profoundly affects their lifetime outcomes, there have been few attempts to use technology to optimize resettlement destinations.
Speech recognition system helps preserve Seneca language
A new research project will help ensure the endangered language of the Seneca Indian Nation will be preserved. Using deep learning, a form of artificial intelligence, researchers are building an automatic speech recognition application to document and transcribe the traditional language of the Seneca people.
Robotic skins turn everyday objects into robots
When you think of robotics, you likely think of something rigid, heavy, and built for a specific purpose. New "Robotic Skins" technology flips that notion on its head, allowing users to animate the inanimate and turn everyday objects into robots.
Color-changing sensor detects signs of eye damage in tears
A new point-of-care rapid-sensing device can detect a key marker of eye injury in minutes - a time frame crucial to treating eye trauma.
Guinness World Record for smallest medical robot
It can't be seen with a human eye. But, nevertheless, it is a robot (all 120nm of it) and its creators are now world record holders in the Guinness World Records for creating the Smallest Medical Robot.