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Colin Jeffrey

Colin Jeffrey
Colin discovered technology at an early age, pulling apart clocks, radios, and the family TV. Despite his father's remonstrations that he never put anything back together, Colin went on to become an electronics engineer. Later he decided to get a degree in anthropology, and used that to do all manner of interesting things masquerading as work. Even later he took up sculpting, moved to the coast, and never learned to surf.
Top Articles by Colin Jeffrey
  • Oxygen absorbing material may allow us to breathe underwater

    Scientists from the University of Southern Denmark have created a substance that is able to absorb and store oxygen in such high concentrations that just one bucketful is enough to remove all of the oxygen in a room. The stored oxygen is able to be r...

  • Liquid metal could be used to create morphing electronics

    North Carolina State University researchers have developed a way to control the surface tension of liquid metals with the application of very low voltages. This may lead a new field of morphing electronic components or – maybe one day – even self-ass...

  • Canada's next-generation military smart gun unveiled

    The latest integrated assault rifle developed by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and Colt Canada is packed with some very smart weapons technology, including a secondary grenade launcher or shotgun and electronic accessories like elect...

  • Radical dual tilting blade helicopter design targets speeds of over 270mph

    As a contender in the Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator program, AVX Aircraft Company is developing a futuristic machine kitted out with coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a retractable undercarriage that could hit speeds of over 270 mph.

  • Siemens' world-record electric aircraft motor punches above its weight

    Researchers working at Siemens say that they have produced a light but powerful prototype electric aircraft motor that could one day help power large passenger airliners. Weighing in at just 50 kg (110 lb) the new motor is claimed to produce about 26...

Researchers claim to have created a molecule-sized electrical switch and proven its operat...

In the pursuit of ever-shrinking circuitry for nanotechnology electronics, increasingly smaller devices and components are being developed. Now researchers at the University of Konstanz and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) claim to have micro-miniaturized the humble electrical switch all the way down to molecule size and proven its operation for the very first time. Unable to flick such a tiny switch mechanically, however, the researchers instead used light to turn it on.  Read More

The WiFO system developed by researchers at Oregon State University uses both Wi-Fi RF and...

The vast range of Wi-Fi-enabled devices available today means that anyone could have several personal electronic devices all trying to connect to a network simultaneously. Multiply this by many hundreds of people in a busy public place with Wi-Fi connectivity and this often means that available bandwidth is greatly reduced. To help address this problem, researchers at Oregon State University claim to have invented a new system called WiFO that incorporates infrared LEDs to boost the available Wi-Fi bandwidth by as much as ten times.  Read More

Researchers working at Siemens say that they have produced an electric aircraft engine wit...

Researchers at Siemens have created a new prototype electric motor specifically designed for aircraft that weighs in at just 50 kg (110 lb) and is claimed to produce about 260 kW (348 hp) at just 2,500 RPM. With a quoted power five times greater than any comparable powerplant, the new motor promises enough grunt to get aircraft with take-off weights of up to 1,800 kg (2 ton) off the ground.  Read More

Housed in a 3D-printed body, the prototype device is of low resolution at present, but the...

By using the light reflected from the object being recorded, researchers claim to have created a prototype video camera that could potentially record indefinitely under its own power. By incorporating energy-harvesting photodiodes within the pixels of its image-capture array, the new camera produces self-sustaining electrical power while simultaneously capturing video footage.  Read More

Using layers of graphene, scientists claim to have created a photodetector that converts l...

Converting light to electricity is one of the pillars of modern electronics, with the process essential for the operation of everything from solar cells and TV remote control receivers through to laser communications and astronomical telescopes. These devices rely on the swift and effective operation of this technology, especially in scientific equipment, to ensure the most efficient conversion rates possible. In this vein, researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (Institut de Ciències Fotòniques/ICFO) in Barcelona have demonstrated a graphene-based photodetector they claim converts light into electricity in less than 50 quadrillionths of a second.  Read More

A few of the many space history items up for auction on April 21 (Photo: Bonhams)

Bonhams auction house in New York is preparing for the seventh annual Space History auction where a vast and intriguing collection of space memorabilia will be offered for sale, including items flown on Apollo, Mercury, Gemini, and Soyuz along with components and souvenirs of a range of other manned and unmanned missions. A highlight of the auction will be a bevy of items belonging to Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean, some of which flew with him in space and to the moon. Slated for 21 April, the auction will showcase over 350 rare objects and collectibles – there's even a real spacesuit or two up for grabs.  Read More

Using a standard inkjet-printer, researchers claim to be able to produce flexible electron...

Researchers at Purdue University have shown how standard inkjet-printers can be employed to produce flexible electronic circuits from liquid-metal nanoparticle inks. This simple printing solution promises faster, cheaper, and easier production of stretchable, bendable electronics for clothing, soft robotics, and wearable devices.  Read More

Virginia Tech's Prof. Percival Zhang (right) and doctoral grad Joe Rollin are part of the ...

Hydrogen is the ideal gas for use in low-emissions combustion engine or fuel cell-powered vehicles, due to its almost non-existent greenhouse gas emissions. Production costs, however, are higher compared to gasoline and around 95 percent of it is currently produced, somewhat counter-intuitively, from fossil fuels. Now researchers at Virginia Tech claim to have created a method to produce hydrogen fuel using a biological technique that is not only cheaper and faster, but also produces hydrogen of a much higher quality ... and all from the leftover stalks, cobs, and husks of corn.  Read More

Researchers claim to have created shape-shifting nanoprobes able to report on internal bod...

Scientists have developed a new type of shape-shifting nanoprobe that can perform high-resolution remote biological sensing not possible with current technology. Around one-tenth the size of a single red blood cell, the nanoprobes are designed to provide accurate feedback on internal body conditions by altering their magnetic fields in response to their environment. The researchers predict wide-spread applications for the nanoprobes in the fields of chemistry, biology, engineering and, one day, to aid physicians in high-accuracy clinical diagnostics.  Read More

Sir Kostya Novoselov (left, one of the two graphene Nobel laureates) and Chancellor George...

In two claimed firsts, researchers at the University of Manchester have produced both the first commercial application of graphene and the world's first graphene light-bulb. It is expected that this new device will have lower energy emissions, cheaper manufacturing costs, and a longer running life than even LED lights. And this isn't just a pie-in-the-sky prototype, either. The team who developed it believes that the graphene light-bulb will be available for retail sale within months.  Read More

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