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Electronics

— Electronics

18 year-old electrical engineering student wows with levitating light

The inclusion of a floating lamp, bed or just about any appropriately-sized household object in a room is almost certain to be received with open-mouthed wonder and demand closer inspection from the curious minds of young and old alike. Add the wireless transfer of power into the mix and you're guaranteed to have a winner. Such is the case with 18 year-old Chris Rieger's LevLight. It's not exactly huge, doesn't break any new ground in a technical sense and is more functional than flashy. Nevertheless, the floating LED is quite the visual feast. Read More
— Electronics

Awesome Nixie chess set now available as a limited edition kit

The gentle orange glow of a Nixie display tube has held a special place in the hearts of DIY device builders for as long as I can remember but they seem to be undergoing something of a mainstream revival of late. Many are used as clock displays (as evidenced by our recent coverage of the Ramos alarm clock and ThinkGeek’s DIY Nixie Tube Desk Clock kit), due to the most common tube featuring a stack of numerical cathodes. Some display scientific symbols, of course, and its these Nixie tubes that have been used in the creation of the gorgeous chess board you see above. Developer Tony Adams (otherwise known as Lasermad) has received such a positive response to his design that he's decided to sell a limited number as self-build kits. Read More
— Electronics

“Rubber-Band Electronics” can stretch to 200 percent their original size

In the quest to develop implantable electronics to monitor the human body from within, flexibility and stretchability have been major hurdles. We’ve seen numerous developments including stretchable LED arrays, an implantable device for measuring the heart’s electrical output, and an electrode array that melts onto the surface of the brain. Now researchers have developed technology that combines a porous polymer and liquid metal that allows electronics to bend and stretch to more than 200 percent their original size. Read More
— Electronics

Sony to become first major manufacturer to take Google TV global with new set top box

After nearly two years of availability in the United States, Sony is updating its Google TV offerings running on the Android platform, and making them available in a number of international markets. With the upcoming release of the NSZ-GS7 Internet Player and NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray Disc player with Google TV, Sony will be the first major manufacturer to launch Google TV devices outside the U.S. Both units will also come with a redesigned remote control that features a touchpad and QWERTY keypad for easier navigation of content on the big screen. Read More
— Electronics

Pizza-making vending machines on their way to the U.S.

Remember how people reacted when McDonalds announced that it was going to start selling pizzas? Well, if buying pies from a chain best known for cheap hamburgers might have been difficult for some folks to get their heads around, they will likely find this even stranger – buying them from a vending machine. Nonetheless, that’s exactly what Dutch company A1 Concepts is hoping Americans will do, when its Let’s Pizza machines arrive in the U.S. Read More
— Electronics

"Tin whiskers" could triple the capacity of lithium-ion batteries

For over 60 years, electrical engineers have been trying to minimize the problem of tin whiskers. Growing on tin-plated electronics, the needle-like structures get up to ten millimeters long, and can cause short circuits. Instead of trying to eliminate them, however, Washington State University’s Prof. Grant Norton has been looking into ways of growing them – albeit in a controlled manner. His research has led to the creation of a tin battery anode, which he claims could triple the capacity of lithium-ion batteries. Read More

Special solar cells produce electricity from underwater sunlight

Although solar cells are proving indispensable for powering things such as electronic sensors on dry land, sensors located underwater have typically had to rely on batteries, or electricity piped in from photovoltaic panels situated above the surface. That could be changing, however, as scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have recently developed functioning underwater solar cells. Read More
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