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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mercedes- Benz

Mercedes-Benz has been an innovator for decades. You can thank the German auto manufacturer for diesel andsupercharged engines on passenger cars, antilock brakes, electronic stability systems and more. But nothing could be more innovative than the BIOME concept car, unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2010. Here's how the official press release described the vehicle: "The Mercedes-Benz BIOME grows in a completely organic environment from seeds sown in a nursery. Out on the road the car emits pure oxygen, and at the end of its lifespan it can be simply composted or used as building material."
Engineers from the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios in Carlsbad, Calif., created the car as part of the Los Angeles Design Challenge, which called for a safe and comfortable compact car of the future that could accommodate four passengers, demonstrate good handling and weigh only 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms). The BIOME represents the Mercedes-Benz vision. It is made from an ultralight material called BioFibre so that the finished vehicle, though wider than a typical car, only weighs 876 pounds (397 kilograms). If you think that sounds too good to be true, then get this: The BIOME isn't assembled. It grows from two seeds -- one that forms the interior and one that forms the exterior. The wheels germinate from four additional seeds placed in the nursery.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Superconducting Devices

A major activity of the division has been continuation of basic research in doped MgB2 superconductors. Bulk samples of MgB2 with different dopants like Al, nano-C, nano-SiC and nano-diamonds were synthesized and characterized by thermoelectric power S(T), magneto-resistivity [r(T,H)] and magnetization M(H) in high fields. A unique phenomenological interpolation formula was evolved to fit both positive and negative S(T) dependence observed as a function of Al concentration in Mg1-xAlxB2. The doping of nano-C, nano-SiC and nano-diamonds were shown to significantly enhance the upper critical field Hc(T), the irreversibility field Hirr(T) and the critical current density Jc(B,T) in the MgB2 bulk material.
We study the effect of n-SiC addition on the crystal structure, critical temperature, critical current density and flux pinning in MgB2 superconductor. X-ray diffraction patterns show that all the samples have MgB2 as the main phase with very small amount of MgO, further with n-SiC addition the presence of Mg2Si is also noted and confirmed by SEM & EDS. The Tc value for the pure MgB2 is 18.9K under 8 Tesla applied field, while is 20.8K for the 10-wt % n-SiC doped sample under the same field. This points towards the increment in upper-critical field value with n-SiC addition.
Polycrystalline MgB2-nDx (x= 0 to 0.1) samples are synthesized by solid-state route with ingredients of Mg, B and n-Diamond. The results from magneto-transport and magnetization of nanodiamond doped MgB2-nDx are reported. Superconducting transition temperature is not affected significantly by x up to x = 0.05 and latter decreases slightly for higher x > 0.05.
Thermoelectric power, S(T) of the Mg1- xAlxB2 system has been measured for x = 0.0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8 and 1.0. XRD, resistivity and magnetization measurements are also presented. It has been found that the thermoelectric power is positive for x ≤ 0.4 and is negative for x ≥ 0.6 over the entire temperature range studied up to 300 K, see Fig.7.1. The thermoelectric power of x ≤ 0.4 samples vanishes discontinuously below a certain temperature, implying existence of superconductivity.
We report the synthesis and variation of superconductivity parameters such as transition temperature Tc, upper critical field Hc, critical current density Jc, irreversibility field Hirr and flux pinning parameter (Fp) for the MgB2-xCx system with nano-Carbon doping up to x=0.20. Carbon substitutes successfully on boron site and results in significant enhancement of Hirr and Jc(H).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Turn Vibrations In To Electricity

With the current talk about global warming, and the impact of carbon emissions on our planet, focus is now shifting to green energy, and wind electricity has reigned supreme in this regard. People, organizations, and even governments are investing heavily in coming up with wind turbines to generate the much needed electricity. However, traditionally wind energy has been associated with huge installation costs, expensive turbines, and so forth. In this regard, researchers have come up with the less expensive Vibro wind set up, which uses less space, is not as expensive, and produces much electricity.
These Vibro wind panels will work like the solar panels do, where they will be fitted on top of buildings, where they will not only generate electricity, but will also convert even minor wind breezes. Unlike windmills and turbines that need plenty of space for them to be installed, the Vibro wind panels will herald a new dawn, where smaller and equally effective wind set ups will be used. It is worth noting that this project is being done in conjunction with engineers and architects, to ensure that it does not flop. This is also meant to ensure that the mechanical energy is easily converted to electrical energy. Conversion of the mechanical energy to electrical energy is being made possible by using a piezoelectric transducer.

Human And Machines Got Even Closer

In this era when technology continues to get advanced and better, it may pleasantly surprise many to note that machines are getting closer to humans and they are performing duties that no one hitherto would be possible. In other words, machines and gadgets are being invented that can imitate the human functioning, for example in the human brain, eyes and so forth.
But perhaps one of the latest inventions, that is a clear manifestation of humans getting even closer to humans, is a machine that has been made and which can imitate the human voice. The machine was invented as part of a completion, for the Artificial Conversational Entities, known as the ACE. Several machines that could imitate the human voice were entered for the competition and the winner was really awesome. During the competition, judges selected some of the five best machines and competed for five minutes, to get the best. This comprised if a five minute kind of interrogation, where there were unrestricted conversations with the machines, which tried to pass of as human beings. So real did these machines sound, that one would not tell whether one was a machine, or a human being.

Brain Scan And Mind Reading – Not So Far

Brain scan and mind reading of the part of the brain responsible for memory have been used to detect a person’s location in the virtual environment. This enables the location of individuals as they navigate through the virtual rooms. These are used to discern what someone was doing, where they are or were and where they are planning to go. This shows that detailed mind reading will be possible with the advancing technology and research.
The hippocampus underpins the ability of a person’s mind to navigate, form, recollect memories and imagine future experiences. The mind reading and scanning is done by using multivariate pattern classification and high resolution functional MRI to decode activities across the population of neurons in the human medial temporal lobe while the participants navigate in a virtual reality environment. The position of an individual can be predicted accurately even when the visual input and task are held constant. Reading precise locations or other types of memory is difficult because fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) resolves the activity of thousands of neurons at a time. 

Artificial Cornea Implants – donors of the future

The cornea is the clear protective layer covering the eye. Injuries and diseases affecting the cornea might lead to adverse eye problems like blurred visions. The cornea is responsible for filtering out ultraviolet rays that comes from the sun. However, with the advancement in medical technologies and the constant efforts of scientists through research, corneal diseases can be treated. The artificial corneal implants are the most recent of the treatments.
Artificial corneal implants proved to be beneficial because: it caters for the huge number of people who are waiting for corneal transplants and operations for instance Europe has a waiting list of over 40000 people and a worldwide list of 10 million. They are also biocompatible ensuring that there are no complications when in contact with the eye surface. In cases where traditional corneal transplants (also referred as corneal grafts) have failed to work, artificial cornea can be used. The risk of getting diseases from donors is also reduced. It prevents astigmatism and enhances rapid visual recovery.  Additionally, they are useful to patients who have not qualified to get living cornea donors.

3D printing

3D Printing Technologies

3D printing is used to come up with three dimensional objects and is a form of additive manufacturing. It is now easier and more affordable to come up with a prototype using the 3D technology. Before these technologies were introduced, it used to take several hours, skilled labor and tools to create a prototype.
One form of 3D printing technology is made up of inkjet printing systems. Fine powder layers made of resins, corn starch or plaster is bonded selectively on adhesives produced by the inkjet print heads. This kind of technology makes it possible to print a full color prototype and is considered to be one of the fastest methods.