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Category: Electrical Engineering

Powerful micro diaphragm pump for mini-sensors

The world’s smallest micromembrane pump measures just 25 square millimeters. Credit: Fraunhofer EMFT Particulate matter harms the heart and lungs. In the future, a smartphone with an inbuilt gas sensor could be used to warn of heavy exposure. To help the sensor respond quickly and provide accurate measurements, researchers at Fraunhofer have developed a powerful micro diaphragm pump for delivering ambient air to the sensor. “Our smart pump measures only 25 square millimeters, making it the world’s smallest pump. That…

Higher processor performance with microchannel cooler

The integration of microchannels into the silicon interposer allows for the first time to cool a processor also from the bottom and thereby increase the computing power. Credit: Fraunhofer IZM One of the limiting factors for the computing power of processors is the operating temperature. As part of the CarriCool project under the aegis of IBM, Fraunhofer researchers have developed a new, effective cooling method: By integrating microchannels into the silicon interposer it is for the first time possible to…

Team builds flexible new platform for high-performance electronics

Literal flexibility may bring the power of a new transistor developed at UW-Madison to digital devices that bend and move. Credit: Jung-Hun Seo, University at Buffalo, State University of New York A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has created the most functional flexible transistor in the world—and with it, a fast, simple and inexpensive fabrication process that’s easily scalable to the commercial level. It’s an advance that could open the door to an increasingly interconnected world, enabling manufacturers to…

Bringing signals into phase

Blending polymer materials in the right combination can create fractional-order capacitors that are compatible with printed circuit boards. Credit: KAUST How we use and generate electricity has changed dramatically over the past century yet the basic components that control its flow remain remarkably similar. Researchers at KAUST have now developed a novel type of component that could improve the performance of electrical circuits. Electronic circuitry is traditionally constructed from three primary elements; a resistor, a capacitor and an inductor. A…

Drones can almost see in the dark

Drone with an eye-inspired camera. Credit: UZH UZH researchers have taught drones how to fly using an eye-inspired camera, opening the door to them performing fast, agile maneuvers and flying in low-light environments. Possible applications could include supporting rescue teams with search missions at dusk or dawn. To fly safely, drones need to know their precise position and orientation in space at all times. While commercial drones solve this problem using GPS, this only works outdoors, and is not very…

Lighter weights, lower costs in additive manufacturing

Critical instant analysis, a new process for improved structural optimization in additive manufacturing, unveils the possibility of designing products that are lighter in weight and cheaper to produce. Credit: Burak Kara and Erva Ulu, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University It’s never long before the most advanced technology needs its own innovations. Additive manufacturing, the gold standard for innovative industry production, has reached that point. With its use steadily increasing, there arises the need to fine-tune this production method;…

Startup develops animal detection system to prevent roadkill

Through means of sensors e transmitters, an animal detection system aims to feed message boards for drivers hundreds of meters before wild specimen can cross the road. Credit: Fernanda Delborgo Abra / ViaFauna Wildlife road accidents threaten endangered species, but roadkill incidents also jeopardize drivers and passengers, and may oblige road operators to disburse costly compensation. Considering that domestic animals such as horses, cattle and dogs are just as likely to be victims, the scale of the problem is apparent.…

Researchers design the building blocks of synthetic muscle using computational method

Muscle is made up of molecular motors called myosin that form complex combinations to perform specific functions, such as powering muscle contraction. Synthetic myosin could one day be used in regenerative medicine and robotics. Credit: Paul Egan/College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University Each time you flex your bicep, millions of molecular motors work together in a complex process inside your muscle. These motors—called myosin—are chemically-powered proteins. Combinations of them perform different muscular functions like maintaining a heartbeat or bearing weight. …

Researchers develop spectroscopic ‘science camera’ system for smartphones

Top view and side view of the compact spectrometer for the smartphone science camera, comprised of an image sensor chip with a linear variable filter attached over the surface. Credit: Micro and Nanotechnology Lab, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign The latest versions of most smartphones contain at least two and sometimes three built-in cameras. Researchers at the University of Illinois would like to sell mobile device manufactures on the idea of adding yet another image sensor as a built-in capability…