TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
We have all done it before; you get to work and realize that you forgot to charge your phone the night before. Now you can forget plugging in that USB cable for a battery boost, because the Epiphany One Puck will charge your phone by recycling the heat in your beverage into electricity.
The technology behind the Epiphany One Puck is quite simple actually. A Peltier is used to convert the heat into electric energy by thermo-electric-cooling. Basically as one side of the Peltier gets hot, the other side cools down and electrons are shed, generating electricity.
We have seen this technology before and in fact it is used in custom PC cooling setups all the time. Cooler Master even built an entire CPU cooler based on a TEC. The company behind the Epiphany One Puck is about to wrap up their quite successful Kickstarter, so if you want one you better hurry quick to get in on the savings.
If you are anything closely related to a science geek, space nerd, casual star gazer or hard core astronomer, you have most likely heard of Comet ISON. NASA has just released awesome video of the comet streaking through space. ISON could prove to be the largest comet the Earth has seen in recorded history later this fall.
Later this year, Comet ISON will make a close pass to Earth and as it approaches the sun, its tail will glow as well as grow. Many leading authorities believe that ISON will be the largest comet ever witnessed from Earth's surface. At its peak it could be brighter than the full moon, and its tail could stretch the width of 96 full moons.
Chances are high that ISON might even be bright enough to be visible during the daytime, which is virtually unheard of. I for one have set aside several days in November and December to photograph and observe the great comet, which is believed to have originated in the Oort Cloud and has an orbit of several hundred thousand years.
Scientists develop 3D-printed embryonic stem cells, we could soon see lab-made organ transplants a reality
3D printers are huge right now, where we're not only looking towards the world's first 3D-printed building, but we have the European Space Agency talking about a 3D-printed base... on the Moon. The latest 3D printing news is scientists working with 3D-printed embryonic stem cells that could one day lead us toward lab-made organ transplants.
A team at the Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh, Scotland are the ones who have developed a method for 3D printing clusters of human embryonic stem cells in various sizes. Researchers have previously, and successfully printed 3D cells before, but this is the first time that embryonic cell cultures have been build in 3D.
With human embryonic stem cells capable of replicating pretty much any type of tissue in the human body, this is huge news. The scientists at the Heriot-Watt believe that lab-made versions could one day found their way into organ transplants, making donors unnecessary.
Want a drone and can't afford the crazy expensive models? Well, Bitcraze has you covered with their new quadrotor drone that measures just 4-inches across. This pint-sized drone is extremely extensible due to the use of open-source code and components. The best way to let you check out the drone is with the following video:
It's small, which allows it to be used indoors. This is something you can't necessarily do with larger drones. Another benefit of the small size is that it makes it safer to use. It's pretty hard to do much damage with something as small and light as the Crazyflie Nano.
Pre-orders for this awesome little drone are up on Seeed and will set you back $149. If you want a more advanced drone with more sensors, you can pick up the $173 version that comes with a magnetometer and altimeter, which could be useful for flying without actually looking at the drone.
When the Raspberry Pi was first announced, there were many skeptics that thought a $35 fully functional Linux computer was just a pipedream. Then the launch of the Raspberry Pi model B took the world by storm, selling out in mere hours globally.
This morning the long awaited and much anticipated Raspberry Pi Model A was released in Europe for $25. For less than the cost of dinner for two, you can get a fully functional Raspberry Pi, that is missing the Ethernet jack, one USB port, and only contains 256MB RAM. On the Model A network connectivity is achieved by a USB WiFi adapter that is supplied by the end-user.
For now the Raspberry Pi Model A is only available in Europe at the moment. I do have it on good authority from my sources within Element14, that we will be seeing the Model A state side very shortly. For now US customers can purchase the Model A from UK distributors, but the Raspberry Pi Foundation warns of a slight delay.
Until now, shifting around data in 3D has been but a pipe dream, but the University of Cambridge have broken outside of that dream and began experimenting with a chip that is capable of much, much more.
The team at Cambridge have put a layer of ruthenium atoms between cobalt and platinum, where the researchers have found they can move data bo th up and down, in an otherwise silicon-based design through spintronics. This method uses the magnetic field manipulation to send information across the ruthenium to its destination.
This layering is perfect enough to create a "staircase" that has the data take one step at a time, incredible stuff! Unfortunately there's no ETA on whether this would take the step (pun intended) to real-world circuitry, but with all steps - it will eventually happen.
Sunjammer, NASA's codename for the largest solar sail ever constructed, should leave the launch pad in 2014 and head into space to demonstrate "propellant-less propulsion."
The giant solar sail measures about 124 feet per side and boast a whopping total surface area of nearly 13,000 square feet. The project is being contracted by L'Garde Inc., and is being supervised under NASA's Space Technology Program within the agency's Office of the Chief Technologist.
Sunjammer will launch into space on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and will be testing several of the technologies features in the following months. These include successful deployment of the sails, vector control of the sail-tipped vanes, navigational accuracy, and ease of maintenance at a gravitationally stable orbit location of Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 1, which lies about 200,000 miles from the Earth's surface.
Nokia receives $1.35 billion grant, will use the funds to develop the "strongest material ever tested"
Finnish smartphone maker Nokia have received a tidy $1.35 billion grant which will see them attempt to develop the strongest material ever constructed - how incredibly exciting! Currently, graphene is a class 2D structure measuring just a single atom thick.
This is an incredible feat, and it is currently the strongest material ever produced. Graphene is 300 times tougher than steel and is also one of the lightest conductors available. Nokia is leading the pack of the Graphene Flagship Consortium, which includes 73 other companies and academic institutions from a number of mediums.
Nokia's grant will see them research and develop graphene for practical applications, where the European Union for the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) the ones behind the $1.35 billion grant. Research Leader at Nokia Research Center, Jani Kivioja, says:
Not only does creating a graphene research consortium open up new research possibilities, it will also create work and jobs across all of Europe. This kind of research is also an investment to the people that live within the EU, from an economy perspective. When we talk about graphene, we've reached a tipping point. We're now looking at the beginning of a graphene revolution. Before this point in time, we figured out a way to manufacture cheap iron that led to the Industrial Revolution. Then there was silicon. Now, it's time for graphene.
We've previous reported about entire 3D-printed buildings, but now we're looking at taking one small step for man, one giant leap for 3D printing with the idea of 3D-printed moon bases. Yes, that's not an error - 3D-printed moon bases.
The European Space Agency and partners from London-based architecture firm Foster + Partners are currently scribbling down some ideas on how they would get 3D-printed moon bases onto the surface of our moon. Lunar dust creates a difficult a problem in terms of building materials, which has forced those involved to think outside of the box, big time.
Simulated moon dust has been combined with magnesium oxide and a "binding salt", which helps to mixture stick together, with the entire process capable of working within the vacuum of space thanks to a new approach to extruding liquids on the moon. The first concept designs from Foster + Partners used a large weight-bearing dome with a "cellular structured wall" in order to keep the people who would be inside of these structures safe from ambient radiation and micrometeroid strikes.
South Korea have just become the 11th country in the world to successfully build their own rocket and satellite and wave goodbye as it flies into space. South Korea have launched their self-developed, two-stage Naro rocket, as well as putting the vehicle's Science and Technology Satellite-2C into orbit.
South Korea's great achievement arrives after two unfortunate failures in 2009 and 2010, but the fun stops here as there's no short-term plans to send anything else into space. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute is working with contractors to build their own in-house rocket stages in 2016, where they hope to reach 300 tons of thrust by 2018.