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Electromagnetic

Environment

Random vibrations turn tiny trees into power plants

Step aside windmills, there's a new way to harvest kinetic energy in the works. A research team at the Ohio State University has created electromechanical devices that look like tiny leafless trees and can generate electricity when they are moved by seismic activity, the slight swaying movements of a tall building, or the vibrations from traffic on a bridge.Read More

Mobile Technology

Smartphones could run 30 percent longer, by harvesting their own radio waves

Scientists have already devised systems that allow electronic devices to scavenge power from ambient electromagnetic energy sources such as radio waves. While the technology has generally been limited to small devices such as wireless sensors, a research team has recently created a scavenging system that charges a smartphone's battery, letting it last up to 30 percent longer per charge – and the system does so using radio signals emanating from the phone itself.Read More

Medical

Scientists reduce blood sugar levels in mice by remote control

Sufferers of type 1 diabetes regularly need to inject themselves with insulin in order to regulate levels of sugar in their blood, a process that is invasive and requires particular care. But a new study conducted at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute suggests that more comfortable treatment methods may not be all that far away, with scientists remotely manipulating insulin production in mice using electromagnetic waves. Read More

Architecture

ThyssenKrupp unveils revolutionary multi-directional elevator concept

Elevator design hasn't progressed very much during the past 160 years, and still comprises cabins which move vertically in a shaft supported by cables. This is inefficient and limiting, taking up a relatively large footprint and requiring people to wait a long time for the next lift. However, German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp has unveiled a revolutionary Willy Wonka-style elevator concept that allows several cabins to move both horizontally and vertically in the same elevator shaft, at the same time. Read More

Miito reimagines the kettle

We all know that you should boil only what you need in a kettle to avoid wasting energy, but overfilling is still very common. The Miito combats this problem by using induction heating to boil just the water you need.Read More

Electronics

New RF circulator to run rings around old technology

In the world of electronic components, there are many devices out there that do their job well and reliably, but are almost never heard of – even though they may be vital to equipment that plays a role in our technology-driven lives. The radio frequency (RF) circulator is just such a device: it has simply done its job as a nondescript box of gubbins buried in radio communications systems, quietly directing radio frequency signals to the places they should go. Now researchers at the University of Texas have given the RF circulator a makeover. Not only is the new prototype smaller, lighter, and cheaper, it's also claimed to be easily adapted to different frequencies on the fly, which is something the old style circulator cannot do.Read More

Space

Rosetta spacecraft picks up target comet's mysterious "song"

On the eve of the planned first landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the unmanned Rosetta orbiter carrying the Philae lander has recorded a "song" emanating from the comet. The electromagnetic melody was detected by the probe’s Rosetta Plasma Consortium, which is a suite of five instruments used to study 67P.Read More

Bicycles

Veloloop lets bicycles trigger traffic light sensors

If you're a regular bicycle commuter, then you've no doubt experienced the following scenario: you're the only vehicle going in your direction at a controlled intersection, and the light is red, but it won't change to green because the traffic sensors embedded in the asphalt can't register your presence. Well, that's where the Veloloop comes in. It's designed to make those sensors think that your bike is a car. Read More

Military

Electromagnetic system to replace steam launches on US Navy carriers

A fighter plane taking off from a strike carrier is a dramatic sight – not the least because of the woosh and plume of steam as the catapult blasts the aircraft into the air. In a few years, such launches may still be dramatic, but they’ll also be a bit quieter and very plume-free. That’s because the US Navy has completed testing of its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS); clearing it for use on the new Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carriers.Read More

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