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Electronic

— Electronics

Summon the geek squad: An Oscilloscope Watch!

What do you wear on your wrist, is one-third the size of a deck of cards, and helps you troubleshoot your latest electronics project? The Oscilloscope Watch, of course. The Swiss army knife of electronics, this tiny test lab (or bulky watch) includes a 2-channel oscilloscope, frequency analyzer, arbitrary function generator, and a protocol sniffer. The price? An amazing US$125. Oh yes ... it also tells time. Read More
— Science

New resin can be used for custom-shaped electrodes – or bacterium-sized bunny sculptures

Other than putting it in a tiny art gallery, what could you do with a rabbit sculpture that sits just a few micrometers tall? Perhaps not much, although it’s a remarkable example of the level of detail that can be achieved using a new electrically-conductive shapable resin. That same resin could find use in custom-formed electrodes for things like fuel cells, batteries, or even biosensor interfaces used to treat brain disorders. Read More
— Music

MIT students develop oneTesla self-build, music-playing Tesla coil kit

Educational electronics kits like the one from Minty Geek are a great introduction to the world of circuit building and electronic tinkering, but are perhaps a little too basic for more advanced hobbyists. Three MIT students are currently enjoying enormous success on the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform with a DIY Tesla coil kit called oneTesla that can make artificial lightning sing ... well, erm, play music from a MIDI source. Now where did I put that polyphonic version of This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us by Sparks? Read More
— Children

ATOMS bricks convert LEGO sets and other toys into iPhone-controlled monsters

Michael Rosenblatt, design lead behind the first iPod touch, has a point to make about toys. Not all toys. Just the best kind: the ones that enable children (and grown-ups, let's be honest) to create things, be it from LEGO, K-NEX, crayons, paints or Play-Doh. The thing is, they're generally a little on the inert side. With ATOMS from ATOMS Express Toys, Rosenblatt is hoping to redress the balance with a series of modules that can be fitted to other toys (including LEGO) to effectively turn them into moving and sensing robots. Read More
— Electronics

Silver pen allows electrical circuits to be handwritten on paper and other surfaces

People have been using pens to jot down their thoughts for thousands of years but now engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a silver-inked rollerball pen that allows users to jot down electrical circuits and interconnects on paper, wood and other surfaces. Looking just like a regular ballpoint pen, the pen’s ink consists of a solution of real silver that dries to leave electrically conductive silver pathways. These pathways maintain their conductivity through multiple bends and folds of the paper, enabling users to personally fabricate low-cost, flexible and disposable electronic devices. Read More
— Science

New alloys mean all that glitters need not be gold for electronic applications

Gold has long been seen as a financial safe haven in times of economic uncertainty. This don’t look like changing any time soon with the price of gold reaching a record high of US$1377.60 an ounce this week on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. That might be good news for gold miners but not so good for the manufacturers of electronic devices that are reliant on not only gold, but also other precious metals. In some modern day alchemy, researchers have modeled and developed new classes of alloy materials that boast the properties that makes gold so attractive for electronic applications. Read More
— Electronics

New piezoelectric device harvests wasted energy from electronics

Piezoelectric generators that harness otherwise wasted energy from vibrations has been proposed for capturing energy in everything from shoes to roads. Now a new device made out of piezoelectric material by researchers at Louisiana Tech University could allow a wide range of electronic devices to harvest their own wasted operational energy, resulting in devices that are much more energy efficient. It even offers the potential to perpetually power micro and nano devices, such as biomedical devices or remotely located sensors and communication nodes. Read More
— Computers

New record set for ferroelectric data storage

For most of us, storing and accessing the vast majority of our computer data involves using either hard disk or solid state drives or perhaps a combination of both. Each method boasts its own advantages and while the battle for storage supremacy between the two rages in public, research at Japan's Tohoku University has revealed another option. Using a pulse generator to alter the electrical state of tiny dots on a ferroelectric medium, Kenkou Tanaka and Yasuo Cho have successfully recorded data at around eight times the density of current hard disk drives. Read More
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