New Chip Wakes Up Small Wireless Devices, Could Extend Battery Life
A new power saving chip developed by engineers could significantly reduce or eliminate the need to replace batteries in Internet of Things devices and wearables. The so-called wake-up receiver wakes up a device only when it needs to communicate and perform its function. It allows the device to stay dormant the rest of the time and reduce power use.
New soft actuators could make soft robots less bulky
Engineers have developed a way to build soft robots that are compact, portable and multifunctional. The advance was made possible by creating soft, tubular actuators whose movements are electrically controlled, which makes them easy to integrate with small electronic components.
Stretchable and flexible biofuel cell that runs on sweat
A unique new flexible and stretchable device, worn against the skin and capable of producing electrical energy by transforming the compounds present in sweat, was recently developed. This cell is already capable of continuously lighting an LED, opening new avenues for the development of wearable electronics powered by autonomous and environmentally friendly biodevices.
Shape-shifting robots built from 'smarticles'
Building conventional robots typically requires carefully combining components like motors, batteries, actuators, body segments, legs and wheels. Now, researchers have taken a new approach, building a robot entirely from smaller robots known as "smarticles" to unlock the principles of a potentially new locomotion technique.
Study identifies main culprit behind lithium metal battery failure
A research team has discovered the root cause of why lithium metal batteries fail—bits of lithium metal deposits break off from the surface of the anode during discharging and are trapped as "dead" or inactive lithium that the battery can no longer access.
Robotic contact lens controlled by the eyes
A research team has developed a soft robotic lens whose movements are controlled by the eyes—blink twice and the lens zooms in and out; look left, right, up or down and the lens will follow.
3D printed get up and go bots getting closer, study says
Robotics researchers have for the first time used a commercial 3D printer to embed complex sensors inside robotic limbs and grippers. But they found that materials commercially available for 3D printing still need to be improved before the robots can be fully functional.
New mechanism allows lower energy requirement for OLED displays
Scientists have found a way to significantly reduce the amount of energy required by organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). OLEDs have attracted attention as potential replacements for liquid crystal diodes, since they offer advantages such as being flexible, thin, and not requiring backlighting.
Technique unlocks graphene for semiconductors
To truly be useful, graphene would need to carry an electric current that switches on and off, as silicon does in the form of billions of transistors on a computer chip.
Cooling and heating patch serves as personal thermostat
Engineers have developed a wearable patch that could provide personalized cooling and heating at home, work, or on the go.
Robots to the rhino rescue
With just two northern white rhinos remaining in the world, both of whom are female, scientists are racing against the clock to rescue the species from the brink of extinction. Decades of poaching and habitat loss have led to their dramatic decline. Hope for their survival now rests on scientists' ability to develop innovative methods for repopulating the species.
Printed sensors provide on the spot fentanyl detection
Researchers have developed screen-printed sensors that could offer a faster, convenient and low-cost method to detect the drug fentanyl. The sensors can detect micromolar concentrations of fentanyl in just one minute. They are easy to produce, cost only a few cents apiece, and are disposable.
Robots to assist dementia caregivers
Building robots that can help people with dementia has been a longtime goal for roboticists. Yet until now, no one has sought to survey informal caregivers, such as family members, about what characteristics and roles these robots should have.
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.
Vagus nerve stimulation eases PTSD
In a randomized, controlled pilot trial, participants pre-treated with noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation experienced less pain after heat stimulus than mock-treated participants.
CRISPR/Cas9 to control genetic inheritance in mice
Biologists have developed the world's first CRISPR/Cas9-based approach to control genetic inheritance in a mammal.
3D printed implant treats spinal cord injury
For the first time, researchers have used rapid 3D printing technologies to create a spinal cord, then successfully implanted that scaffolding, loaded with neural stem cells, into sites of severe spinal cord injury in rats.
CRISPR-based technology to control pests
Combining historical lessons with modern genetic technologies, scientists have developed a new way to control and suppress populations of insects, potentially including those that ravage agricultural crops and transmit deadly diseases.