Friday, March 11, 2011

Top 10 Latest Inventions

Table that Allows Sharing Pictures on Handsets
Amnesia Connect is the latest invention from a company called Amnesia Razorfish. It allows different owners of smartphones and tablets to share visual data by putting their devices on a special table. The latter identifies images stored on a handset or tablet and helps the user share them by dragging them over to another device on the table.
Solar-Powered Roads
It takes a lot of time and money to clean the roads in places that witnessed the fall of an abundant amount of snow. This is the reason why an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute proposed the idea of solar-powered roads that during winter will never be covered in snow.
Holographic TV System
A team of scientists from the MIT Media Lab is on its way to developing a holographic television system, similar to the one that appeared on the Star Wars.
Robotic Waiter Able to Take and Delivers Orders
Researchers from Bangkok University were the ones to initiate an original project entitled MK Robot Project, which involves the creation of robotic waiters that will be able to carry dishes, take and deliver orders
Smallest Camera with Zoom
Scientists from the Northwestern University and the University of Illinois were able to create the world's first tiny eyeball camera will a zoom feature.
Garbage Can that Responds to a Person's Activity
This invention was presented at CES and represents a garbage can equipped with sensors that identify one's activity to open the can and hold it more a specific period of time.
LED Display Equipped with a Solar Panel
The display with a built-in solar panel is the invention of a Bulgarian company called Megatex. It is worth mentioning that this is the world's first display to have this feature.
Packaging that Signals the Buyer When Food is Spoiled
This invention was created by Scottish scientists. Their food packaging changes color when it spots a food that is going bad. This smart packaging will not only help buyers but marketers as well due to the fact that it offers some additional information.
Drinking Fountain that Harnesses Solar Energy
By making use of solar power, a drinking fountain, developed by students from the California Lutheran University (CLU), will surely be of much help to thirsty young people during hot Californian days.
BioKey - High-Tech Security System for Bikes
Invented by Hawk Systems Inc, the BioKey is used to help motorcycle owners to start their bike with a simple touch. Due to a technology that activates the bike only by the owner's touch, stealing is impossible.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Flying Car

ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2009) — A prototype of what is being touted as the world's first practical flying car took to the air for the first time this month, a milestone in a project started four years ago by students in MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.At 7:40 a.m. on March 5, the winged car taxied down a runway in Plattsburgh, N.Y., took off, flew for 37 seconds and landed further down the runway -- a maneuver it would repeat about a half dozen times over the next two days. In the coming months the company, a Woburn-based startup called Terrafugia, will test the plane in a series of ever-longer flights and a variety of maneuvers to learn about its handling characteristics.
Aviation enthusiasts have spent nearly a century pursuing the dream of a flying car, but the broader public has tended to view the idea as something of a novelty. Still, such a vehicle could have more practical appeal now that the Federal Aviation Administration has created a new class of plane -- Light Sport Aircraft -- and a new license category just for pilots of such craft, including Terrafugia's two-seater Transition. The "sport pilot" license required to fly the Transition takes only about 20 hours of training time, about half that required to earn a regular pilot's license.
The street-legal Transition is powered on land and in the air by a recently developed 100 hp Rotax engine that gets 30 mpg on the highway using regular unleaded gasoline. As a plane, its 20-gallon tank gives it a 450-mile range with a 115 mph cruising speed. The pilot can switch from one mode to the other from the driver's seat, simultaneously folding up the wings and shifting the engine power from the rear-mounted propeller to the front wheels in about 30 seconds.
Speaking at a March 18 news conference in which the Transition's first test flight was announced, Terrafugia CEO and co-founder Carl Dietrich '99, SM '03, PhD '07 said the FAA rule change and the Transition could help transform the way people move around the country -- especially in rural areas. "One of the biggest problems pilots have right now is that most of the 5,000 general aviation airports in the U.S. don't have any car rental facilities, or even a cab stand," he said, noting that the Transition could open many of these underused airports to easier, more practical use by private pilots.
The vehicle may also lead to improved safety. "One of the largest causes of accidents is pilots flying in bad weather," he said. With the Transition, a pilot who spotted bad weather ahead could simply land at the nearest airport, fold up the wings, drive through the weather on local roads, and take off from another airport once past the storm.
The first testing of Terrafugia's car-plane concept took place with a one-fifth scale model in MIT's Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel in 2005, while Dietrich and his wife, Anna Mracek Dietrich '04, SM '06, now the company's COO, and VP of Engineering Samuel Schweighart SM '01, PhD '05, were all students here, as were two of the other company principals.
The full-sized version being tested now is a proof-of-concept vehicle, to be followed later this year by a production prototype. The company is taking deposits now and hopes to start delivering its first Transitions -- or "roadable planes," as the company calls them -- in late 2011.
Test pilot Phil Meteer, who was at the controls in Plattsburgh, said that the short and simple first flight was both "remarkably unremarkable" and vitally important: "Ninety percent of the risk in the total program comes in the first flight, and now we're past that."
A retired U.S. Air Force colonel, Meteer said the plane handled so smoothly in the test flights that all of the possible contingencies he had practiced became irrelevant. "You're in a hypervigilant state" during the initial takeoff, he said, but as he saw how smoothly the flight was going he had a "wahoo moment: none of this is happening!"

Today's Science Agenda

  • Elite Scientific Advisory Panel Says New Technology is Needed to Verify Emissions Cuts

    JASON--The group's latest report explores the feasibility of using ground monitoring stations, aircraft and satellites to measure CO2, as well as methods to estimate emissions by monitoring a country's energy infrastructure
  • Teachers Fail Evolution Education

    Pennsylvania State University--Only a minority of high school teachers are effectively educating students about evolution, with many expressing personal views rather than the assigned curriculum
  • African Farmers Beat Back Drought and Climate Change with Trees

    Burkina Faso--Farmers in the western Sahel have achieved success by growing trees along with crops. Scientists say that the mix--a practice called farmer-managed natural regeneration--brings a range of benefits including increased crop yields
  • Stone Tools Point to Earlier Exit from Africa

    University of Tubingen et al.—Climatic shifts may have enabled early humans to cross what is now the Red Sea into the Arabian peninsula 125,000 years ago—tens of thousands of years earlier than thought and 75,000 years after Homo sapiens came to be

. The Electric Eye

electric_eyeMIT researchers are developing a microchip that will enable a blind person to recognize faces and navigate a room without assistance, helping the blind to regain partial eyesight. The chip, which is encased in titanium to prevent water damage, will be implanted onto a patient’s eyeball. Users are required to wear special glasses fitted with a small camera that transmits images to the titanium-encased chip, which fires an electrode array under the retina that stimulates the optic nerve. The glasses will help to power the coils surrounding the eyeball.

XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System

smart_bulletThe XM25, currently under development for the U.S. military by Alliant Tech systems, allows soldiers to measure the distance to a target using a laser range finder, dials in exactly where the bullet should explode (over or past walls, the corner of buildings) at precise distances. At a cost of $30/round, the bullets are equipped with microchips capable of registering distance according to the number of times they’ve rotated.

The Smart Thermostat

smart_thermostatCalled one of Time Magazine’s “best new gadgets” and “breakthrough ideas of the year”, the EnergyHub Dashboard is a device that lets you know exactly how much electricity (or gas) you’re using in your home and how much it’s costing you. It also turns appliances on or off and raises or lowers temperatures within your house depending on use. EnergyHub will be available direct to consumers in early 201

Android Phone

android_phoneThe Android has proven itself a force to be reckoned with, offering a legitimate alternative to the all-mighty iPhone. If you haven’t heard, Android is a Google-backed operating system for cell phones. The code is free, open-source and easy to alter. Users can create their own interfaces and control many kinds of hardware, plus it has over 10,000 Android apps.