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2020
18 May 2020

Self-Charging Medical Devices

Expect more healthcare wearables that power themselves, many even managing with no battery. The IDTechEx report, "Energy Harvesting for Electronic Devices 2020-2040" covers this and more.
23 Apr 2020

Lung-Heart Super Sensor on a Chip Tinier Than a Ladybug

During a stroll, a woman's breathing becomes a slight bit shallower, and a monitor in her clothing alerts her to get a telemedicine check-up. A new study details how a sensor chip smaller than a ladybug records multiple lung and heart signals along with body movements and could enable such a future socially distanced health monitor.
2019
25 Dec 2019

Storing Medical Information Below the Skin's Surface

Every year, a lack of vaccination leads to about 1.5 million preventable deaths, primarily in developing nations. One factor that makes vaccination campaigns in those nations more difficult is that there is little infrastructure for storing medical records, so there's often no easy way to determine who needs a particular vaccine.
5 Dec 2019

Perovskite Nanocrystals More Durable with Plastic Hair and Silica

Perovskite nanocrystals hold promise for improving a wide variety of optoelectronic devices - from lasers to light emitting diodes - but problems with their durability still limit the material's broad commercial use.
12 Nov 2019

Novel Solar Cells Arrive at International Space Station for Testing

Five different types of solar cells have arrived at the International Space Station to be tested for their power conversion rate and ability to operate in the harsh space environment as part of the MISSE-12 mission. One type of cell, made of low-cost organic materials, has not been extensively tested in space before.
9 Oct 2019

3D printing technique accelerates nanoscale fabrication a thousandfold

Using a new time-based method to control light from an ultrafast laser, researchers have developed a nanoscale 3D printing technique that can fabricate tiny structures a thousand times faster than conventional two-photon lithography techniques, without sacrificing resolution.
24 Sep 2019

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.
24 Sep 2019

Wearable brain-machine interface could control a vehicle, computer

Combining new classes of nanomembrane electrodes with flexible electronics and a deep learning algorithm could help disabled people wirelessly control an electric wheelchair, interact with a computer or operate a small robotic vehicle without donning a bulky hair-electrode cap or contending with wires.
12 Sep 2019

Stretchy plastic electrolytes for new lithium-ion battery design

The growing popularity of lithium-ion batteries in recent years has put a strain on the world's supply of cobalt and nickel - two metals integral to current battery designs - and sent prices surging. In a bid to develop alternative designs for lithium-based batteries with less reliance on those scarce metals, researchers have developed a promising new cathode and electrolyte system that replaces expensive metals and traditional liquid electrolyte with lower cost transition metal fluorides and a solid polymer electrolyte.
4 Sep 2019

Stretchable wireless sensor could monitor healing of cerebral aneurysm

A wireless sensor small enough to be implanted in the blood vessels of the human brain could help clinicians evaluate the healing of aneurysms -- bulges that can cause death or serious injury if they burst. The stretchable sensor, which operates without batteries, would be wrapped around stents or diverters implanted to control blood flow in vessels affected by the aneurysms.
19 Aug 2019

A robot that can build its own tools

Thanks to new technology that enables them to create simple tools, robots may be on the verge of their own version of the Stone Age.
6 Aug 2019

Soft wearable health monitor uses stretchable electronics

A wireless, wearable monitor built with stretchable electronics could allow comfortable, long-term health monitoring of adults, babies and small children without concern for skin injury or allergic reactions caused by conventional adhesive sensors with conductive gels.
29 Jul 2019

LightSail 2 successfully deploys solar sail

The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft has successfully deployed the large, aluminized Mylar sail it will use to raise its orbit solely with sunlight.
24 Jul 2019

Tiny vibration-powered robots are the size of the world's smallest ant

Researchers have created a new type of tiny 3D-printed robot that moves by harnessing vibration from piezoelectric actuators, ultrasound sources or even tiny speakers. Swarms of these "micro-bristle-bots" might work together to sense environmental changes, move materials - or perhaps one day repair injuries inside the human body.
10 Jul 2019

Tiny supersonic jet injection for nanoscale additive manufacturing

By energizing precursor molecules using a tiny, high-energy supersonic jet of inert gas, researchers have dramatically accelerated the fabrication of nanometer scale structures. The rapid additive manufacturing technique also allows them to produce structures with high aspect ratios. Now, a theory developed to describe the technique could lead to new applications for additive nanomanufacturing and new nanoscale materials.
5 Jun 2019

Slothbot takes a leisurely approach to environmental monitoring

For environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, infrastructure maintenance and certain security applications, slow and energy efficient can be better than fast and always needing a recharge. That's where "SlothBot" comes in.
17 May 2019

Army discovery opens path to safer batteries

Soldiers carrying 15-25 pounds of batteries could carry batteries a fraction of the weight but with the same energy and improved safety, a new study shows.
1 May 2019

Safer electrochromic inks

Anyone who has a rear-view mirror that automatically dims blue in reaction to annoying high-beam headlights glaring from behind has seen an electrochromic film in action. Chemists have developed a new method to more safely and, by extension, easily produce these shear films, which change their color with the help of a tiny electric current. This could make them available to many industries that have not been able to feasibly use them before.
21 Mar 2019

Seeing through a robot's eyes helps those with motor impairments

An interface system that uses augmented reality technology could help individuals with profound motor impairments operate a humanoid robot to feed themselves and perform routine personal care tasks such as scratching an itch and applying skin lotion. The web-based interface displays a "robot's eye view" of surroundings to help users interact with the world through the machine.
15 Mar 2019

Ultra-low power chips make small robots more capable

An ultra-low power hybrid chip inspired by the brain could help give palm-sized robots the ability to collaborate and learn from their experiences.