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University of Twente

— Robotics

Robot developed to perform ballast tank inspections on ships

By - November 24, 2014 2 Pictures
In order to maintain a consistent buoyancy as their cargo loads change, ocean-going ships pump seawater in and out of their ballast tanks. Needless to say, that salty water isn't exactly the least-corrosive liquid in the world. That's why crews of inspectors regularly have to go inside those steel tanks, to check for damage. Thanks to the German/Dutch RoboShip project, however, autonomous robots may soon be performing the task. Read More
— Science

MagnetoSperm could find use in drug delivery, or even baby-making

By - June 3, 2014 1 Picture
When it comes to moving simply but effectively through a liquid medium, few things are as good as sperm. This fact isn't lost on scientists, who have built tiny sperm-like robots (or even used "hijacked" sperm) in efforts to create new methods of targeted drug delivery, among other potential applications. The latest such endeavor has resulted in a batch of microrobots known as MagnetoSperm. Read More
— Science

Researchers develop new microengine, but aren't sure how it works

By - March 22, 2014 1 Picture
If you’re going to do something like building a Porsche 911 that fits on the head of a pin, or make a microscopic medical pump, you need a microscopic engine. A team of researchers from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Germany’s University of Freiburg have developed a micro-engine that burns oxygen and hydrogen, but there’s a small problem; they’re not sure how the thing works. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Photoacoustic imaging promises breast cancer screening without ionizing radiation

By - May 10, 2012 2 Pictures
While breast cancer screening tests are accepted as safe – and we definitely wouldn’t want to scare anyone off from a potentially life-saving test – they do have some risks associated with them. The most obvious being the exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation, which in itself is a risk factor for breast cancer. X-ray mammography can also give false positive and negative results. In the quest for a safer, more accurate alternative, Dutch researchers have provided proof of concept that photoacoustic imaging can be used to detect and visualize breast tumors. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Lab-on-a-chip counts and sorts sperm

By - October 31, 2011 2 Pictures
While just about everyone is familiar with home pregnancy testing kits, what many of us may not realize is that a (sort of) equivalent product exists for men - home sperm count kits. These kits, however, will simply tell users if their sperm count is above or below a standard value. While a yes or no answer like that might suffice for the pregnancy kits, a little more information would definitely help a man who suspects he might be infertile. Loes Segerink, a PhD student from The Netherlands' University of Twente, hopes to change that with this prototype lab-on-a-chip device. Segerink's chip counts exactly how many sperm are present in a sample of ejaculate, and can even differentiate between the good swimmers and the duds. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

ForceShoes enable extremely precise tracking of how their wearer walks

By - June 13, 2011 2 Pictures
There may not be many people interested in the precise measurement of all the forces and movements that are at play as someone walks, but for those few, a new tool has been developed to help them carry out their research - ForceShoes. Developed by researchers at the University of Twente's MIRA research institute in The Netherlands, these modest-looking sandals feature high-tech data-gathering electronics. Read More
— Electronics

Researchers demonstrate self-repairing chip

By - March 16, 2011 2 Pictures
As chips continue to get smaller, the technological possibilities just get larger. One of the trade-offs of miniaturization, however, is that smaller things are also often more fragile and less dependable. Anticipating a point at which chips will become too tiny to maintain their current level of resilience, a team of four companies and two universities in The Netherlands, Germany, and Finland have created what they say could be the solution – a chip that monitors its own performance, and redirects tasks as needed. Read More
— Electronics

Solar powered microchips put batteries in the shade

By - December 30, 2010 3 Pictures
In a new, more efficient approach to solar powered microelectronics, researchers have produced a microchip which directly integrates photovoltaic cells. While harnessing sunlight to power microelectronics isn't new, conventional set-ups use a separate solar cell and battery. What sets this device apart from is that high-efficiency solar cells are placed straight onto the electronics, producing self-sufficient, low-power devices which are highly suitable for industrial serial production and can even operate indoors. Read More
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