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Category: Electrical Engineering

Is Bitcoin a Viable Currency?

The recent rise in the value of Bitcoin has the captured the world’s attention with its recent meteoric price bubble. The value of Bitcoin has grown over 200% in 2017 alone. If you are considering jumping into the mania and purchasing a Bitcoin, here are five good reasons why you may want to sit on the sidelines a little longer. The Pro’s of Bitcoin Bitcoin does have some truly unique characteristics. One of the most attractive points is the fact…

Combatting weeds with lasers

Tim Wigbels (left) and Dr. Julio Pastrana (right) with their weed recognition software which is detecting a plant and how the laser system is shooting and damage its foliage. Credit: Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn A robot automatically identifies weeds in a field and combats them with a short laser pulse. Sustainable agriculture, which avoids the use of herbicides as far as possible, could benefit from this smart idea. Dr. Julio Pastrana and Tim Wigbels from the Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation…

Researchers debut battery-less pacemaker

The internal components of a battery-less pacemaker introduced this week by Rice University and the Texas Heart Institute. The pacemaker can be inserted into the heart and powered by a battery pack outside the body, eliminating the need for wire leads and surgeries to occasionally replace the battery. Credit: Rice Integrated Systems and Circuits/Rice University A wireless, battery-less pacemaker that can be implanted directly into a patient’s heart is being introduced by researchers from Rice University and their colleagues at…

Researchers use AI to dramatically increase image clarity under severe conditions

NEC Corporation and Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) today announced their joint development of a multi-modal image fusion technology that dramatically improves the clarity of images by using artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically combine visible images taken by standard cameras with non-visible images taken by specialized devices, such as thermal or terahertz cameras. Credit: Obtained permission to use the severe environment simulator in the ImPACT Tough Robotics Challenge program. In recent years, technological advancements and cost reductions for specialized…

Cambria Corn Mill Dust Explosion Kills Three

Last Wednesday, May 31, everything seemed normal at the Didion corn mill in the small village of Cambria, Wisconsin.  Like most factories of its type, the mill operated 24 hours a day, and late that night only sixteen workers remained as the machinery processed corn into ethanol and other products.  Shortly after 11 P. M., a tremendous explosion sent flames high into the air, knocked out power, and destroyed most of the processing division of the plant.  Three workers were…

New mechanism behind Parkinson’s disease revealed — ScienceDaily

OIST researchers have identified the precise toxic mechanism at work during an overabundance of the protein alpha-synuclein in neurons — the protein is a key causative agent in the development of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating neurological illness that affects approximately 10 million people worldwide. It is marked by a progressive decline in physical function, the most iconic being uncontrollable tremors, and involves the malfunction and eventual death of nerve cells located in the brain. There is no…

Avoiding material inclusions such as dross in wind turbines

Dross in thick-walled cast iron with spheroidal graphite: casting surface after the fluorescent magnetic powder test. Credit: Fraunhofer LBF Wind turbines rise into the sky on enormous feet. To ensure these giants can reliably generate electricity for many years to come, the iron processing industry must manufacture their massive components in a stable, resource-saving and yet cost-effective way. However, material inclusions such as dross are often unavoidable while casting. Fraunhofer researchers are currently working to detect and analyze such material…

Wearable system helps visually impaired users navigate

New algorithms power a prototype system for helping visually impaired users avoid obstacles and identify objects. Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer scientists have been working for decades on automatic navigation systems to aid the visually impaired, but it’s been difficult to come up with anything as reliable and easy to use as the white cane, the type of metal-tipped cane that visually impaired people frequently use to identify clear walking paths. White canes have a few drawbacks, however. One…

Minimizing the risk of electric shock around pools and lakes

A danger that you can’t see or hear—electric shock in water—can easily go undetected. Electricity is deadly and often discovered only after it is too late. When alternating current of electricity is running through freshwater bodies, such as pools and lakes, there is risk that a person could succumb to electric shock drowning. Donald Burke, Ph.D., director of UAB’s Advanced Safety and Engineering Management concentration in the Master of Engineering Program, explains. “Electric shock drowning can occur in…

Doubling Down on Project Jengo

Jengo Fett by Brickset (Flickr) We knew the case against patent trolls was the right one, but we have been overwhelmed by the response to our blog posts on patent trolls and our program for finding prior art on the patents held by Blackbird Tech, which we’ve dubbed Project Jengo. As we discuss in this post, your comments and contributions have allowed us to expand and intensify our efforts to challenge the growing threat that patent trolls pose to innovative…