Computational creativity and the future of AI

Purdue University

A team of Purdue University students has developed a device that uses sensors at a guitari...

No matter the size of the stage, most gigging guitar players are likely to have to return to the same spot from time to time to change the tone, increase the volume, check tuning or to operate the wah effect. Thanks to a team of students from Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering, the last of those has now been liberated from the pedal board and strapped to the player's ankle. But this doesn't involve attaching a large brick-shaped wah pedal to one leg, as one's imagination might suggest, but wearing a small wireless transmitter and a couple of sensors instead. Players operate the Ghost Pedal in much the same fashion as a physical pedal, the sensors registering the rocking motion of the foot and feeding data to a base station connected to the amplifier.  Read More

Two Purdue University engineering students have converted a gas-powered Yamaha YZF600r int...

It doesn't seem too long ago when we were reporting on breakthroughs in battery technology that would allow electric motorbikes like the Brammo Enertia to travel as much as 45 miles (72 km) on a single charge. These days, we're seeing most of the recent arrivals (such as the 2012 Zero S range, for instance, or the gorgeous custom-built Brutus 2.0) flying past the 100 miles (160 km) barrier with relative ease, a range long enough to quieten even the most fervent of petrol-heads. Two Purdue University engineering students have recently completed the conversion of a Yamaha YZF600r to electric power that further pushes the envelope to more than 120 miles (193 km), using batteries cooled by phase change material.  Read More

Prototype of Purdue's new rap music-powered implantable pressure sensor

We've been following the evolution of patient-embedded medical sensors for some time - miniature devices that run on batteries, transcutaneous (through-the-skin) induced current, even sugar and provide constant monitoring of various metabolic parameters. Now, a team from Purdue University's Birck Nanotechnology Center has developed a prototype pressure sensor which promises to address the shortcomings of previous designs and utilizes a novel power supply: the acoustic energy from bass-heavy riffs of rap music.  Read More

The Purdue microtweezers, which are said to be less expensive to produce than conventional...

In order to do things such as building microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) or grabbing individual stem cell spheres for analysis, scientists use extremely fine-tipped tools known as microtweezers. While such devices aren't a brand new innovation in and of themselves, researchers from Indiana's Purdue University have developed a new type of microtweezers that are said to be easier and cheaper to manufacture than their conventional counterparts. Not only that, but unlike most similar devices currently in use, they don't require heat, magnetism or electricity to operate.  Read More

Researchers have created silicon wire four atoms wide and one atom tall capable of carryin...

The world's narrowest silicon wires with a cross section of a mere four atoms by one atom have been created by a team of developers from the University of New South Wales, the University of Melbourne and Purdue University. The wires are fully functioning, with current-carrying capacity equivalent to that of a microprocessor's copper cable, despite being 20 times thinner - and 10,000 times narrower than a human hair.  Read More

The cockpit canopy reportedly made for the failed A-12 Avenger II attack aircraft, which i...

Twenty-eight years ago, the United States Navy decided that it wanted a field replacement for its A-6 Intruder ground-attack aircraft. A team from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics won the contract to design the plane, which would be an all-weather, aircraft carrier-based stealth bomber, known as the A-12 Avenger II. Its first flight was planned for December 1990, but technical difficulties and cost overruns kept the team from meeting that deadline. By January 1991, in fact, the Secretary of Defense cancelled the program due to breach of contract. A legal battle between the Navy and McDonnell Douglas ensued, and continues to this day. Now, however, it’s possible to own a literal “piece” of the story – a cockpit canopy reportedly made for the A-12 is for sale on eBay.  Read More

The new diode is made from two silicon rings that measure just 10 microns in diameter and ...

When it comes to speed, photons leave electrons for dead and have a higher bandwidth, which means optical computers will be much faster than their current electron-based cousins. While optical diodes for use in optical information processing systems already exist, these require external assistance to transmit signals so cannot be readily integrated into computer chips. Now researchers at Purdue University have developed a “passive optical diode” that not only doesn’t require any outside help to transmit signals, but is also so small that millions would fit on a computer chip, potentially leading to faster, more powerful information processing and supercomputers.  Read More

A diagram of a three-dimensional indium-gallium-arsenide transistor (Image: Peter Ye, Purd...

Starting next year, computers will be available with three-dimensional transistors – these will incorporate vertical components, unlike the flat chips that we’re used to seeing. This structure will allow them to have shorter gates, which are the components that allow the transistors to switch the electrical current on and off, and to direct its flow. The shorter the gate, the faster the computer can operate. While the new 3D transistors will have a gate length of 22 nanometers, as opposed to the present length of about 45, the use of silicon as a construction material limits how much shorter they could ultimately get. That’s why scientists from Purdue and Harvard universities have created prototype 3D transistors made out of indium-gallium-arsenide – the same compound recently used in a record-breaking solar cell.  Read More

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu with the winners of the 2011 Solar Decathlon - Team Unive...

On the last two occasions, the overall winner of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has gone to Germany's Technische Universität Darmstadt but this year the top honor has stayed with one of the home teams. As the name might suggest, the University of Maryland's winning WaterShed project features some novel innovations to make the best use of water, in addition to an intriguing internal waterfall that helps reduce the load on the structure's air conditioning system. Read on for a brief look at the top five winning projects, as well as the People's Choice.  Read More

Layout of FeTRAM, which combines silicon nanowires with a 'ferroelectric' polymer to creat...

Researchers at Purdue University are developing a new type of computer memory that they claim could be faster than SRAM and use 99 percent less energy than flash memory. Called FeTRAM, for ferroelectric transistor random access memory, the new technology fulfills the three basic functions of computer memory; writing, reading and storing information for a long time. It is also a nonvolatile form of memory, meaning that it retains its data after the computer has been turned off. Its creators claim it has the potential to replace conventional memory systems.  Read More

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