2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Transducers

The benefits of using sound to separate cells over conventional more aggressive methods me...

Researchers from MIT, Carnegie Mellon University and Pennsylvania State University have developed a novel technique of separating cells with the use of a gentle sound wave. The technique could potentially be used to screen a patient's blood, allowing medical practitioners to isolate rare tumor cells synonymous with diseases such as cancer.  Read More

The sound energy forms a 3D acoustic bottle of high-pressure walls and a null region in th...

Using a technique that has possible applications in acoustic cloaking, sonic levitation, ultrasonic imaging, and particle manipulation, scientists at the University of California Berkeley claim to have produced a "bottle" beam of acoustic energy in open air that can precisely redirect sound waves. Able to bend these waves along set trajectories without the need for waveguides or other mechanical assistance, the bottle beam is also able to flow around objects in its path while maintaining its shape.  Read More

Using bone conduction, the Dreampad delivers audio only the person lying on it

There are many people who find a little music helps them drift off to sleep at night. Conversely, there are many people who don't. The Dreampad from Integrated Listening could be just the thing for couples with a foot in each camp.  Read More

Will the F1 be among the last of McLaren's cars to have windshield wipers? (Photo: McLaren...

Windshield wipers are life-savers, but also can drive one to distraction with their incessant streaking and chattering. Well, the tyranny of the wipers may soon be over. McLaren Automotive’s chief designer Frank Stephenson told The Sunday Times that the performance motoring company is investigating the use of "ultrasonic force fields" to replace windshield wipers in automobiles. While Stephenson referred to a military source for McLaren's tech, there appears to be very little public information on how such force fields might clean a windshield during a storm, so I'm taking a look at the patent history to see how this might be accomplished.  Read More

Scientists have created an underwater speaker for use in studying dolphin communication (P...

While there’s little doubt that dolphins are saying something to one another with all their clicks, squeals and whistles, we’re still not entirely sure just what it is that they’re communicating. We may be getting closer to figuring it out, however, as Japanese scientists have created an underwater speaker that’s capable of playing back the creatures’ entire acoustic range. The next step - see how they respond.  Read More

Tristan Lawry's ultrasonic system is theoretically able to transmit data and power through...

Given the deepwater working conditions endured by submarines, one of the last things most people would want to do is drill holes through their hulls. That’s exactly what is necessary, however, to allow power and data to flow to and from audio and other sensors mounted on the exterior of the vessels. Not only do these holes present a leakage risk, but they also diminish the hull’s structural integrity, and the submarine must be hoisted into drydock in order for any new sensors to be added. Now, a doctoral student at New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has come up with a method of using ultrasound to transmit power and data wirelessly through a sub’s thick metal hull – no holes required.  Read More

A new system monitors underground soil acoustics to predict landslides

People living in landslide-prone areas will be glad to know that a new technology has been developed which monitors soil acoustics to determine when a landslide is imminent. The system consists of a network of sensors, buried across a hillside considered a risk. As soil moves within the hillside, it creates noise – the more the amount of movement, the louder the noise. When that noise reaches a threshold level, the system sends a text message warning to local authorities, that a landslide is about to occur.  Read More

Could a tiny piezoelectric generator provide convert enough energy from walking to power y...

Could walking or running generate enough energy to power your cell phone or GPS device? Dr. Ville Kaajakari has developed an innovative piezoelectric generator prototype small enough to be embedded in the sole of a shoe that's designed to produce enough power to operate GPS receivers, location tags and eventually, even a cell phone.  Read More

Earthquake tactile transducers deliver a lot of bang for your buck to enhance your movie-w...

For home theater enthusiasts or gamers who enjoy the deep thud of a good subwoofer but want a little more “jolt” without the extra noise, Earthquake Sound Corp. has added to its range of tactile transducers with the Q10B and MQB-1 that, when fitted to a theater chair or platform, can virtually loosen your fillings. Along with visualizing and hearing, low frequency sound adds a third sense which brings people further into the realm of virtual reality of movies and games.  Read More

AVL DiTEST DPM 800: dynamic pressure measurement for motorsport

With many auto racing formulae now requiring engines to last many races or a whole season, the new AVL DPM 800 (DPM stands for Dynamic Pressure Measurement) is a gadget many autosport race teams will be keen to get their hands on - it's an in-cylinder pressure transducer that comprises a proprietary Piezo spark plug system with built-in pressure sensor which will enable engine tuning and the accurate gauging of wear rates and potential longevity as the season progresses. The DPM 800 will cost EUR 6550 when it is launched at the Autosport Engineering Show at NEC in Birmingham next week - an absolute bargain compared to what it offers.  Read More

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