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Dario Borghino

Energy

Energy storage advance readies concentrated solar power for the smart grid

The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources is a huge burden on the power grid, making flexible and economical energy storage an essential step to a greener future. Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) and the University of Florida have now devised a way to conveniently store and release energy harvested through concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, improving on the cost and energy density of previous systems and preparing this technology for the smart grid.Read More

VR

Videogame technology enables real-time 2D to 3D conversion of soccer matches

Scientists at MIT and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) have leveraged videogame technology to generate broadcast quality 3D video of soccer (aka football in much of the world) matches from a 2D source in real time. The resulting video can reportedly be enjoyed with any 3D TV or virtual reality headset, and could lead to much more 3D content becoming available in the near future.
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Automotive

Hudway develops budget-friendly car HUD

Head-up displays are becoming more common in high-end cars, but stand-alone units remain beyond the financial reach of many drivers. The crowdfunded Hudway Glass is a basic device that will take full advantage of your smartphone to give you a flexible HUD on a very modest budget.Read More

Physics

Terahertz radiation to enable portable particle accelerators

Researchers at MIT in the US and DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) in Germany have developed a technology that could shrink particle accelerators by a factor of 100 or more. The basic building block of the accelerator uses high-frequency electromagnetic waves and is just 1.5 cm (0.6 in) long and 1 mm (0.04 in) thick, with this drastic size reduction potentially benefitting the fields of medicine, materials science and particle physics, among others.Read More

Quantum Computing

Quantum computing breakthrough: Qubits made from standard silicon transistors

In what is likely a major breakthrough for quantum computing, researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia have managed for the first time to build the fundamental blocks of a quantum computer in silicon. The device was created using standard manufacturing techniques, by modifying current-generation silicon transistors, and the technology could scale up to include thousands, even millions of entangled quantum bits on a single chip. Gizmag spoke to the lead researchers to find out more.Read More

Robotics

Robo Wunderkind is a modular robot even a five-year-old can program

Minecraft has partly replaced Lego bricks as a creative platform for young tinkerers, but while it is a fantastic avenue for training computer and block-building skills, Mojang's hit videogame also does little to improve handcrafting. Robo Wunderkind, from the German "wonder child," is a modular toy that promises to marry the old with the new by letting even the youngest hands and minds (aged five and up) build and program their own robot creations.Read More

Good Thinking

Tempescope brings you the weather in a box

A Japanese startup is raising funds through Indiegogo for Tempescope, a sleek-looking device that will fetch the weather forecast from your smartphone and recreate rain, lightning, fog and sunshine inside a clear plastic box sitting in your living room. The idea for the Tempescope first came to its inventor Ken Kawamoto after returning from a holiday in the Pacific Northwest. Wishing to take the skies back home with him, he created a prototype (out of shampoo bottles, a fan, LEDs and a mist diffuser) that could physically reproduce weather conditions in a confined space.Read More

Electronics

"Designless" brain-like chips created through artificial evolution

Scientists at the University of Twente in the Netherlands have devised a new type of electronic chip that takes after the human brain. Their device is highly power-conscious, massively parallel, and can manipulate data in arbitrary ways even though it doesn't need to be explicitely designed to perform any task. The advance could pave the way for computers that think more like we do.

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