A new conductive, transparent, and stretchable nanomaterial that folds
up like an accordion could one day be applied to the development of
flexible electronics and wearable sensors, as well as stretchable
displays. The researchers at North Carolina State University who created
this "nano-accordion" structure caution that it is early days yet, but
they hope to find ways to improve its conductivity and eventually scale
it up for commercial or industrial use.
(EL) panels are found in many electronics applications, particularly
as backlighting for LCD displays, keypads, watches, and other areas
requiring uniform, low-power illumination. While relatively flexible,
when EL panels made from
plastic are bent too sharply, fractures and a severely diminished
output usually result. As a result,
EL panels have generally been restricted to flat or slightly curved
surfaces. However, researchers from Karlsruhe
Institute of Technology (KIT) and
Franz Binder GmbH & Co have now developed a new manufacturing process to print
EL panels directly onto the surface of almost any convex and concave shape. Even, apparently, onto spheres.
When surgeons are trying to operate on hard-to-reach organs, they'll
often have to make multiple incisions to get at the area from different
angles, or use tools such as retractors to pull other tissue out of the
way. A team of researchers from Italy's Sant'Anna School of Advanced
Studies, however, is developing an alternative – a flexible octopus arm-inspired tool that can squirm its way between organs, then hold them back while simultaneously operating.
It's kind of ironic that while many cyclists ride lightweight bikes, they still carry heavy-duty U-locks that weigh several pounds. In most cases, however, lighter cable locks can easily be defeated with a set of bolt cutters. That's why Prof. Neil Barron, a former aeronautical engineer, has created the Litelok. It's light and flexible like a cable lock, but reportedly stands up to over five minutes of attack from tools such as bolt cutters, jacks and hack saws.
For years now, we've been promised miraculous new flexible touchscreen displays
, but the deployment of such technology in big consumer products, like say the LG G Flex
, hasn't started any revolutions just yet. That could soon change thanks to a team of computer scientists from Germany's Saarland University who have developed a technique that could allow anyone to literally print their own custom touchscreen displays.
When serious cyclists want a little more vibration damping (or lower weight) in their handlebars, they'll often shell out hundreds of bucks for a carbon fiber bar. French company Baramind, however, wants to extend the concept of shock-absorbing handlebars to everyday commuters, with the not-so-expensive but even-flexier Bam City.
New help may be on the way for healthcare personnel tasked with monitoring multiple patients. Researchers from the University of Tokyo have created a solar-powered arm band, that sounds an alarm if the wearer's body temperature gets too high.
When companies begin to outgrow the office-space they have available, it can be difficult to squeeze everything in. To combat this, Likearchitects has designed an office that can be adapted as required. Sliding partition walls at Kinematix allow the spaces to be easily reconfigured.
Researchers from South Korea have developed a thin, highly-flexible film that could enable a new generation of wearable devices that wrap around your finger or wrist. The multiferroic film even amplified the properties inherent in the bismuth ferrite it was made from, and the enhanced properties were preserved when the film was curved into a cylindrical shape.
Researchers from the University of Manchester and University of Sheffield have developed a new prototype semi-transparent, graphene-based LED device that could form the basis of flexible screens for use in the next-generation of mobile phones, tablets and televisions. The incredibly thin display was created using sandwiched "heterostructures", is only 10-40 atoms thick and emits a sheet of light across its entire surface.