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University of Sheffield

A front view of the 3d-printed UAV airframe

Because 3D printing allows one-off items to be created quickly and cheaply, it should come as no surprise that the technology has already been used to produce unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. Engineers at the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC), however, have taken things a step farther. They've made a 3D-printed UAV airframe that's designed to minimize the amount of material needed in its construction, and that can be printed and in the air within a single day.  Read More

The P-MOB prototype electric car

One of the criticisms made about electric vehicles is that they’re only as “green” as the source of the electricity used to charge their batteries. A Tesla Model S may not emit any carbon, for instance, but the coal-burning power plant that allows it to recharge certainly does. In order to be truly carbon-neutral, EVs need to be able to run completely on electricity derived from clean sources. Well, that’s just what the P-MOB prototype car does ... as long as you don’t need to take it too far.  Read More

ESA's Biomass Earth Explorer mission will map and measure the amount of biomass and carbon...

Kicking off with the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), which was launched in March 2009, the European Space Agency’s Earth Explorer missions are intended to provide a greater understanding of the Earth and the interactions between various natural Earth processes. “Biomass” is the seventh Earth Explorer satellite to get the nod and will provide and accurate picture of the amount of biomass and carbon stored in the world’s forests.  Read More

The IBM maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) (Photo: IBM)

If you've ever tried typing while talking to technical support with the phone crammed between ear and shoulder, then you know the meaning of frustration. Now imagine doing that upside down inside an airplane wing while juggling wires, crimps and a schematic printout. For some field engineers, that sort of thing is an everyday occurrence, so IBM in collaboration with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in the UK is developing a mobile maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) prototype robot. It's a combination of a smartphone app and a camera/projector mounted on a robot arm, that allows supervisors and experts to have a more active presence on the job.  Read More

A firefighting helmet that incorporates ultrasound and vibrational forehead pads could hel...

Firefighters can quite often find themselves in smoke-filled rooms, where it’s impossible to see more than a few inches in any direction. Not wanting those firefighters to run into walls, researchers at the University of Sheffield have created a prototype helmet that vibrates against the wearer’s forehead, letting them know the location of nearby obstacles.  Read More

A tree that could benefit from the formulas devised by students at the University of Sheff...

For those who prefer something more traditional than the Treeasy, members of the University of Sheffield’s Maths society have devised a formula for the perfect Christmas tree in response to a challenge by U.K. department store Debenhams.  Read More

NANA combines the potential of webcams and touchscreen computing

Researchers across a number of UK universities have developed a touchscreen computer system to help tackle the growing yet relatively unknown problem of malnutrition in older adults, and particularly those that live alone. The system combines specially-developed easy-to-use touchscreen software with the remote monitoring made possible by a simple webcam.  Read More

Scientists are working on creating a computer model of the honey bee's brain, which they p...

Honey bees are fascinating creatures. They live harmoniously in large communities, divided into different castes, with some of the worker bees heading out on daily expeditions to gather nectar and pollen from flowers. Already, a study has suggested that the efficient method in which bees visit those flowers could inspire the improvement of human endeavors such as the building of faster computer networks. Now, scientists from the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex hope to build a computer model of the honey bee’s brain, with the ultimate hope of using it to control tiny autonomous flying robots.  Read More

Clothing treated with the CatClo laundry additive can remove nitrogen oxides from the air

A laundry additive created by researchers from the University of Sheffield and the London College of Fashion turns clothing into a photocatalytic material that can help remove nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the air. One of the most prominent air pollutants, nitrogen oxides are emitted from the exhausts of ICE-powered vehicles and aggravate asthma and other respiratory diseases. The researchers claim one person getting around town in clothing treated with the additive for a day would be able to remove roughly the same amount of nitrogen oxides produced by the average family car each day.  Read More

Researchers have developed a system that uses a pressure wave to reliably and rapidly loca...

Tracking down the source of a leak in water pipes can be a tricky business. Current techniques rely on acoustic sensing with microphones often used to identify noise resulting from pressurized water escaping the pipe. In plastic pipes in particular, that noise can fall away quickly, making leak detection difficult and time consuming. Researchers at the University of Sheffield claim to have developed a much more accurate system that locates leaks by sending a pressure wave along the pipe that sends back a signal if it passes any anomalies in the pipe’s surface.  Read More

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