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University of Tokyo


— Science

Flexible pressure sensor could boost breast cancer screening

Pressure sensors in use today are fairly capable, being sufficiently flexible to adhere to uneven surfaces like human skin. However, once they're twisted more significantly, they're unable to accurately keep track of pressure changes. Now, researchers from the University of Tokyo have come up with a much more versatile option, creating a new sensor that's thinner than its rivals, and that can continue to sense pressure even when curved over a tiny radius.

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— Materials

Material that could revolutionize memory storage is magnetic, but not as we know it

Using a type of magnetic insulator material that normally doesn’t conduct electricity, scientists working at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have shown that electric currents can still be made to flow along the borders of the grains within the material. This latest research not only validates a long-held belief that magnetic insulators could be used to conduct electricity, but offers a more tantalizing possibility of creating highly-efficient magnetic memory devices.

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— Materials

Origami and the art of structural engineering

From military shelters and solar arrays to batteries and drones, engineers continue to prove that origami can be the inspiration for more than just paper cranes. The latest creation inspired by the ancient art of paper folding is a new "zippered tube" design that forms paper structures with enough stiffness to support weight, but can be folded flat for shipping or storage. The scaleable technique could be used in anything from microscopic robots and biomedical devices, to buildings and bridges.

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— Wearable Electronics

New conductive ink makes your clothing smarter

A new single-step printing process uses an elastic conducting ink to turn clothing and other textiles into flexible, wearable electronic devices or sensors. Researchers at the University of Tokyo developed the ink, which remains highly conductive even when stretched to more than three times its original length. They believe it has applications in sensors built into sportswear and underwear and that it could be part of a shift toward more comfortable wearable electronics.

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— Electronics

New e-paper can be written on like a whiteboard

By repurposing and updating an e-paper technology from the 1970s, researchers from the University of Tokyo have created a cheap but tough new electronic display that can be written on with a magnet. This new e-paper could be used in low-cost, lightweight electronic whiteboards as well as traditional classroom blackboards, and its creators hope that it will eventually reduce our dependence on real paper. Read More
— Electronics

HaptoMime lets users "touch" a mid-air display

Touchscreen interfaces may make our lives easier, but the things do tend to get smeared with finger oil and whatnot, plus they're notorious for spreading germs. That's why a team of researchers at the University of Tokyo, led by assistant professor Yasuaki Monnai, have developed the HaptoMime. It's an ATM-like interface that lets the user feel like they're touching a glass screen, when in fact they're touching nothing at all. Read More
— Digital Cameras

World's fastest camera captures 4.4 trillion frames per second

At a mind-boggling 4.4 trillion frames per second (FPS), the new STAMP (Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography) system developed by two Japanese universities is claimed to be the world’s fastest camera. Taking pictures at a resolution of 450 x 450 pixels, the new image-capturing device is purported to be so fast that it can be used to photograph the conduction of heat, which travels at a speed equivalent to one-sixth the velocity of light. Read More
— Robotics

One oven-baked robot to go, please

Lots of people make their own robots, and in all sorts of ways, but have you ever heard of anyone baking one in an oven? Researchers at MIT have demonstrated how to create self-assembling bodies that fold together when baked, as well as showing how a similar technique can be used to generate electronic components to control them. Read More
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