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Sound mapping ferrets out dead spots

November 8, 2011 4:17 am | News | Comments

Despite dramatic improvements in the sound quality of loudspeakers over the years, manufacturers still wrestle with the issue of “dead spots”. A new noninvasive method to visualize sound propagation may help sound engineers design out the deconstructive interferences that cancel sound waves.

Mask-bot: A robot with a human face

November 7, 2011 7:22 am | News | Comments

A prototype of a new robot face that teams in Germany and Japan have developed ingeniously solves the problem of how to make realistic human features from a variety of angles. A projector accurately beams a human face onto the back of the mask, changing the face on demand.

Tank robot drives itself up the wall

November 2, 2011 12:54 pm | News | Comments

Researchers in the U.K. have built a tank-like robot that has the ability to scale smooth walls. It gets its ability from tiny mushroom cap-shaped fibers on its treads that use van der Waals forces to adhere to flat surfaces. Inspired by the feet of geckos, the robot could find use in power plants or search and rescue.

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Toyota shows machines to help sick, elderly move

November 1, 2011 11:13 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

On Tuesday, the auto giant Toyota showcased experimental robots that can help disabled patients work, or even get up out of bed. The company intends to commercialize its walk-assist products sometime after 2013.

Paper-based wireless sensor could help detect explosive devices

October 27, 2011 5:01 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a prototype wireless sensor capable of detecting trace amounts of a key ingredient found in many explosives. The device, which employs carbon nanotubes and is printed on paper or paper-like material using standard inkjet technology, could be deployed in large numbers to alert authorities to the presence of explosives, such as improvised explosive devices.

Mobile electrons multiplied in quantum dot films

October 17, 2011 6:22 am | News | Comments

Researchers of the Opto-electronic Materials section of Delft University of Technology and Toyota Europe have demonstrated that several mobile electrons can be produced by the absorption of a single light particle in films of coupled quantum dots. These multiple electrons can be harvested in solar cells with increased efficiency.

Kodak to license laser projection patents to Imax

October 17, 2011 4:54 am | by Bree Fowler, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The financially troubled 131-year-old photography Eastman Kodak Co. has made a deal with Imax to license thousands of patents. The deal, which includes laser-projection technologies, is reportedly worth tens of millions of dollars.

X-ray camera makes A-grade particle detector

October 11, 2011 12:25 pm | News | Comments

A group of nuclear physicists and molecular scientists from the Université Paris Sud and Hamamatsu Photonics have demonstrated a new type of detector that can, for the first time, perform equally well at detecting spatial location and energy of target molecules.

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Steve Jobs told us what we needed before we knew

October 6, 2011 9:23 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

From the moment he saw Steve Wozniak’s homebuilt computer a pattern was set for Steve Jobs’ career. He moved technology from garages to pockets, took entertainment from discs to bytes and turned gadgets into extensions of the people who use them.

Low-cost electronic tablet proves worth in Indian classroom

October 4, 2011 4:21 am | News | Comments

The U.S.- and Singapore-based creators of the low-cost I-slate electronic tablet are preparing for full-scale production now that a yearlong series of tests has shown that the device is an effective learning tool for Indian children.

Physicists play ping-pong with electrons

September 22, 2011 7:00 am | News | Comments

Researchers from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory have moved an individual electron along a wire, batting it back and forth over 60 times, rather like the ball in a game of ping-pong. The technique helps retain coherence, and could be beneficial in the development of quantum computing.

3M, IBM to develop new types of adhesive to create 3D semiconductors

September 8, 2011 9:24 am | News | Comments

3M and IBM announced that the two companies plan to jointly develop the first adhesives that can be used to package semiconductors into densely stacked silicon "towers." The companies are aiming to create a new class of materials, which will make it possible to build, for the first time, commercial microprocessors composed of layers of up to 100 separate chips.

Automation in the air dulls pilot skill

August 31, 2011 5:26 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Pilots' "automation addiction" has eroded their flying skills to the point that they sometimes don't know how to recover from stalls and other mid-flight problems, say pilots and safety officials. The weakened skills have contributed to hundreds of deaths in airline crashes in the last five years.

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Flexible electronics hold promise

August 29, 2011 6:44 am | News | Comments

Plastic-based flexible electronics, produced in large volume using roll-to-roll processing, inkjet printing or spray deposition, is the "electronics everywhere" trend of the future, says Oana Jurchescu, assistant professor of physics at Wake Forest University. And the key to success in this market will be the low-cost production of large molecular structures with excellent electronic performance.

Photon loops may be key to optical photonics

August 22, 2011 12:25 pm | News | Comments

Fiber optic technology is well-established for long-distance data transmission, but efforts to use photons in microcircuits have been hampered the tendency for materials defects to deflect the signal. A new type of circuit component now allows photons to find their around these defects.

Reports: Hewlett-Packard to spin off PC business

August 18, 2011 11:07 am | News | Comments

Hewlett-Packard plans to spin off its personal computer division into a separate business, according to unnamed sources in major news outlets. It marks a reversal from HP's previous stance, in March, when it denied this rumor.

Reliability issues uncovered for carbon nanotubes in future electronics

August 17, 2011 4:57 am | by Laura Ost | News | Comments

Carbon nanotubes offer big promise in a small package. For instance, these tiny cylinders of carbon molecules theoretically can carry 1,000 times more electric current than a metal conductor of the same size. It's easy to imagine carbon nanotubes replacing copper wiring in future nanoscale electronics. But—not so fast.

Researchers demo and deploy disaster communication system

August 16, 2011 9:31 am | News | Comments

In the aftermath of most disasters—from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to this year's earthquake in Japan—communication systems have been overwhelmed, leaving people without phones and Internet when they need these tools the most. Fortunately, Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing researchers have developed a possible solution.

Wanted: 2011's Top Technologies

August 15, 2011 6:12 am | Blogs | Comments

The editors of R&D Magazine have opened the nominations for the 2012 R&D 100 Awards competition, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the awards. If your organization introduced a new product this year, or is planning to, you can begin the entry process now.

High-definition and 3D recording, to go

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

The Integrated Twin-Lens 3D Camera-Recorder, developed by Panasonic Corporation places high-definition 3D video recording a single consumer-level camera. It automatically compensates for visual disparities and capture 3D video without adjustments or external equipment.

e-readers Search for Just the Right Touch

August 11, 2011 6:08 am | by Hanvon Technology Co. Ltd | Articles | Comments

Touch display has become ubiquitous. New touch-enabled devices—including tablets, smartphones, and laptop computers—are now introduced on an almost daily basis.

Wearable, Wireless Sensors Beat Power Demands

August 11, 2011 5:58 am | by R&D Editors | Articles | Comments

Wireless sensor nodes (WSN) have been used for decades to measure physical and environmental conditions. Small, low power, wearable sensors to monitor a patient's heart, muscle, or brain activity as they conducted their daily activities has been more challenging to develop. That is until now.

Event-driven Architecture Puts Processor In Charge

August 11, 2011 5:51 am | by R&D Editors | Articles | Comments

The 32-bit event-driven processor architecture from XMOS offers an alternative approach to embedded computing solutions. Instead of the operating system managing and servicing interrupts, the processor creates and looks for events.

GPUs Enhance Interactions On The Battlefield Or In The Casino

August 11, 2011 5:46 am | by R&D Editors | Articles | Comments

The AMD Radeon E6760 GPU from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. targets performance-driven embedded graphics and GPU computing applications. The GPU, packaged as a multi-chip module (MCM) with a ball grid array (BGA) footprint, features 1 GB of GBBR5 memory and a power dissipation of 35 W.

Power for Portability

August 11, 2011 5:38 am | by R&D Editors | Articles | Comments

As demands grow for portable sensing equipment in the medical equipment and other sectors, instrument designers will demand better power efficiency from the electronic components they specify for their instruments. ON Semiconductor believes its Q32M210 family of mixed-signal microcontrollers will fill a niche for precision measurement and monitoring.

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