Inspired by origami and children's pop-up books, Harvard engineers have pioneered a means of mass-producing bee-sized flying microrobots. The breakthrough mechanizes the already state-of-the art process of making Harvard's Mobee robots by hand, by mass producing flat assemblies by the sheet which can be folded and assembled in a single movement. The technique, which cunningly exploits existing machinery for making printed circuit boards, can theoretically be applied to a multitude of electromechanical machines.
While plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan LEAF
and Chevy Volt
are currently making a play for eco-conscious consumers’ attention, some automobile manufacturers believe hydrogen fuel cell
vehicles are the way of the future as they can be filled-up in minutes as opposed to the hours it takes to recharge EVs. One of the companies set on bringing Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles to showrooms is Hyundai, which has just completed development of its Tucson ix Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV). Hyundai will begin testing the vehicle next year, with the goal of starting mass production in 2015.
Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have documented a major breakthrough in the production of nanocircuitry on graphene, a material that many envision as the successor of silicon for our electronics needs. Using thermochemical nanolithography (TCNL), the team found that the electrical properties of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) can be easily tuned to reliably produce nanoscale circuits in a single, quick step.
Uni-Pixel, a company based in Woodlands, Texas, has announced it is about to start mass production of a thin-film to be used in time-multiplexed optical shutter (TMOS) displays, a next-generation display technology that exploits retinal persistence in the human eye and promises significantly better performance than CRT, LCD and OLED displays with, among other things, great durability and dramatically improved energy efficiency.
Researchers at Stanford University have discovered a more reliable way of printing semiconducting organic compounds which also delivers improved performance - a breakthrough which could finally pave the way for the mass production of plastic electronics.
June 4, 2007 We've long been excited by the possibilities offered by wearable micro-screens
. The ability to mount a miniature display in a set of glasses opens up a whole new portable video experience where any seat on the bus can be a personal movie theatre and you'll be able to enjoy your video in complete privacy. Now, with the anouncement of a volume manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany, MicroEmissive Displays (MED) is ready to step beyond the prototype and bring commercial microscreens into the mass market. They'll start things off with mass production of the eyescreen ME3204, a 320 x 240 RGB display packed into a 6mm pixel array. It's tiny, bright and clear, with ultra-low power consumption, and the wearer sees the equivalent of a 30" screen at a 2 metre distance.
May 11, 2007 We’ve written about Rhino Off-Road Industries several times
now, basically because it’s a new class of off-road vehicle with the abilities of a mountain goat. For those who are similarly enamoured with the beast’s abilities, here’s some great news – the Rhino is destined for mass production. The company has shipped a fully outfitted Rhino Off-Road RTV-XT2 vehicle to its production partners in China, marking a key step in the process of mass production of the vehicle for distribution worldwide. For a rather extreme demonstration of what the Rhino is capable of in rock-crawling competition, see this video (WMV download)
A spate of new amphibious vehicles
in recent times and the seeming resurgence of interest in the area has seen us receive a wave of correspondence informing us of many amphibious projects around the world. One of the most fascinating amphibious vehicles to come to light has been the German-produced Amphicar - the only non-military amphibious vehicle ever to go into mass production. Like the Gibbs Aquada
, the Amphicar was a convertible and a serious watergoing vessel and a number of lengthy sea voyages were recorded, most notably Africa to Spain and three crossings of the English Channel, once in a Force 6 gale. Note, the Aquada now holds the record for an English Channel crossing by an amphibious vehicle.