Category Archives: Innovation

American research institute develops micro-robots

Robotic arms are extremely effective in the production of larger goods, like cars, but making smaller electronics is still done mostly by hand. This is partly because smaller robots are difficult to manufacture and control. But SRI International, a non-profit research institute based in California, has developed a magnetic technology that might be the answer.

Lots of other companies have used magnets to control tiny robots, but what makes SRI’s work different is their ability to control lots of moving robots at once. They use a circuit board that the robots operate on top of, and the magnetic fields on the board can be localized very precisely – so much so that other tiny robots nearby aren’t affected by another robot’s field.

These robots move with accuracy and speed, and they are lightweight enough to work anywhere with a magnetic field. This means they could simultaneously assemble a small electronic and continue to work on the inside.

SRI International’s patented technology is called Diagmagnetic Micro Manipulation, and they hope to one day create entire assembly lines that employ thousands of micro-robots.

Sony Household Robots Previewed by Patent Application

Sony recently filed US patent application number 20140074292 titled, “Robot device, method of controlling robot device, computer program and program storage medium.” The pictures that come along with the patent application give us a preview of Sony household robots. The humanoid robot looks like one that Sony has teased in the past, but this one has transformed from a biped to one that moves on wheels. QRIO was that biped robot that Sony teased back in 2000. It cost about the same as a luxury…

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Giant Animated Screen Towers are the Buildings of the Future

Walking around my home city of Toronto I am surrounded by construction sites, most of which are building large glass towers. It’s getting old. The way of the future is giant animated screen towers. These awesomely futuristic buildings can display pictures, advertisements, or visual effects all with the press of a button. Green for St. Patrick’s Day, red and pink for Valentine’s Day, and so on. Your imagination is truly the limit. These animated screen towers are not just a prediction for the future, they are already a reality. Take a look at these futuristic buildings that are ahead of their time.

Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong
Bank of China Tower

Digital Beijing Building, Beijing, China
Digital Beijing Building

The Grand Casino, Basel, Switzerland
The Grand Casino

Ars Electronica Center, Linz, Austria
Ars Electronica Center

Kunsthaus Art Museum, Graz, Austria
Kunsthaus Art Museum

King Road Tower, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
King Road Tower

Uniqa Tower, Vienna, Austria
Uniqa Tower

Office Center 1000, Kaunas, Lithuania
Office Center 1000

Office Building, Singapore

Council House, Perth, Australia
Council House

The National Library of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus
National Library of Belarus

And currently in the works in Dubai is the world’s largest LED screen, which is currently unnamed.
Dubai LED Tower

Sources: webdesignerdepotio9

Flexible Electronic Patches: the Future of Healthcare?

As wearable technology continues to pick up steam, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champlain and Northwestern University have created flexible electronic patches that operate as health monitors.

The development of the patch was led by professors John A. Rogers and Yonggang Huang. Prof. Rogers is also working on a similar product that would not need a patch base. It would be similar to a temporary tattoo. However, using the patch base allows for the use of commercially available, and therefore cheaper and more abundant, materials to be used.

One of the true innovations in the flexible electronic patch is the origami-like arrangement of the components that allow the patch to bend without damaging components. The patches should lead to better monitoring of patient data. This includes more accurate fitness monitors, and health monitors that can detect problems before the wearer even feels sick. In the future, putting one of these on every morning could give us the most up to date info on our health and well-being. It would be a true step forward for the healthcare industry.


Bionic SmartBird Concept for Wind Turbines

New technology could change the way wind energy is collected

Seven years ago, a truck passed me on the highway, lugging what looked like the wing of a Boeing 787. But it wasn’t part of a plane – it was a wind turbine’s blade. Needless to say, these things are massive. And while they do a great job at maximizing a much-needed renewable source of energy, the people who live near them are not unanimously in favour of the technology. Aside from their size, they allegedly cause chronic sleep loss, they interfere with the landscape,…

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Audi's Vision of the Cockpit of the Future

Audi Previews What its Cockpits will be like in 2025

Audi and Volkswagen previewed what the cockpit of 2025 could be like at CeBIT. It’s called the James 2025 virtual cockpit. It is clear that over time our vehicles will include more and more technology like what we enjoy with our tablets and smartphones. This cockpit shows how some of this technology could be integrated into our vehicles.

This “virtual cockpit of the future” changes depending on driving conditions. For example, when automatic driving mode is enabled (because cars of the future will also have autopilot mode), the steering wheel, seating position and interior lighting all change. One display screen shows what the car’s upcoming driving maneuvers will be and another gives the driver access to the car’s infotainment system. As you can see in the video, screens are constantly popping out or hiding depending on exactly what you and your vehicle are doing.

Volkswagen CEO Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn said “The challenges we face here are the modernization of infrastructure, the clarification of legal aspects and the strengthening of Germany as an IT location. The automobile industry, the IT industry, business, scientists and politicians therefore need to join forces. The mobility of the future will be worthwhile for everyone concerned – especially for consumers, who will benefit from cars that are even safer, more comfortable and more intelligent.”

Winterkorn continued by saying, “Our cars are already mobile computer centers, with 1.5 kilometers of cables, more than 50 control units and the computing power of 20 highly advanced PCs. Now we face the considerable challenge of making mobility even more intelligent and more networked together with the IT industry.”

University of Michigan Night Vision Lenses

Graphene Sensors Could Lead to Night Vision Contact Lenses

Researchers at the University of Michigan have used graphene, a material that is composed of a single layer of carbon atoms, to create sensors that can detect the full spectrum of light, including infrared. The sensors work by measuring the behavior of electrons between two layers of graphene, separated by an insulator. Usually night vision goggles need to be fairly large in order to incorporate a cooling system. The graphene sensors are a leap forward because no such cooling system is needed. That means that…

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Google Launches Project Loon

Project Loon Delivers Internet For All

The Internet has a played a critical role in globalization and changing the way we communicate. Even with all of the users sharing information today, Google has estimated that, “two-thirds of the world’s population does not yet have Internet access.” Introducing Project Loon. The project doesn’t involve miles long cables or powerful satellites, but instead relies on a humble set of balloons that bounce signals between each other. With special internet antenna’s users on the ground in remote and isolated areas can tap into the…

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