MIT Lab’s Toroidal Propellers Make Drones Much Quieter
A team at MIT’s Lincoln Lab have designed a new shape of quadcopter propeller which drastically reduces the noise generated from the drones.
In figuring out why it works so well, they realized that the vortices generated by the design are distributed across the whole of the propeller instead of just the tips, making it dissipate faster in the atmosphere.
Increasing Trend Of Remote/Autonomous Surveillance Robots
Here are a couple new videos which highlight how more and more robots are being used for various autonomous surveillance applications.
The first shows ClearPath’s Alpacabot which is currently being tested on a farm to monitor Alpaca’s and other animals, and the other is Robotnik’s RB-VOGUI which patrols an electrical substation.
CYBATHLON Is Looking For Teams For 2024 Prosthetics Comp
From video description:
“Arm prostheses are becoming smarter, more customised and more versatile. We’re closer to replicating everyday movements than ever before, but we’re not there yet. Can you do better? Join teams to revolutionise prosthetics and build a world without barriers”
Look How Much Atlas’ Balance Has Improved
Boston Dynamics uploaded another blooper reel type video showing the Atlas bot falling and stumbling about. The above clip really highlights how far the humanoid robots balance has progressed.
(They’ve still yet to figure out how to make a robot that doesn’t walk like it’s pooped itself though)
Monitoring Progression Of Movement Disorders W/ Soft Sensors
A multi-disciplinary team of researchers has developed a way to monitor the progression of degenerative movement disorders such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) using wearable motion capture technology and AI.
Tracking the progression of these diseases is normally done through intensive testing in a clinical setting. This research offers a more precise assessment that increases the accuracy and objectivity of the data, and should allow for a quicker and more efficient path to developing new drugs compared to current methods.
New Carbon Nanotube Yarn Harvests Mechanical Energy
UT Dallas researchers have made novel carbon nanotube yarns that convert mechanical movement into electricity more effectively than other material-based energy harvesters. Their new version is constructed much like traditional wool or cotton yarns and could be incorporated into clothing to harvest human motion.
Researcher Dr. Ray Baughman, “Our materials do something very unusual. When you stretch them, instead of becoming less dense, they become more dense. This densification pushes the carbon nanotubes closer together and contributes to their energy-harvesting ability.”
New 3D-Printed Home Community Coming To Texas ~$450k Each
From press release: “ICON, the leader of advanced construction technologies pioneering large-scale 3D printing, and Lennar, one of the nation’s leading homebuilders, announced today that construction is underway on the largest community of 3D-printed homes and reservations will begin in 2023.”
“Situated north of Austin in the city of Georgetown’s master-planned community of Wolf Ranch by Hillwood Communities, a Perot company, the 100-home community combines innovative robotics, software and advanced materials to create homes that are technologically advanced, environmentally sustainable and architecturally striking…Prices are anticipated to start from the mid-$400,000s”
Helping People Talk Again With Brain Computer Interfaces
Researchers at Stanford recently published a preprint paper showing their thought-to-text BCI working at 62 words per minute, allowing a woman who lost the ability to speak due to ALS, to communicate by thinking.
Similar technologies already exist, but the team claims this is around 3x faster than other systems.
Researchers Explore Harvesting Energy From Moving Trains
“Virginia Tech researchers have created a new type of railroad tie that generates electricity as a train’s wheels roll over it, providing power in remote locations to operate rail systems.”
“Their high-tech tie, placed underneath the rail, is topped with a heavy metal bar mounted on a spring. As the wheels of the train pass over the rail, the train’s weight pushes down on that bar, triggering a series of gears. Those gears rotate a generator, creating electricity, which can then be stored in a battery.”
A Self-Cooling Tent That Runs On Just Water And Sunshine
Al Kasani, a research assistant at UConn has invented a novel way of cooling tents with only water and sunshine. The technology combines a water reservoir with a propietary fabric that wicks the water through the entire surface area of the tent, and the evaporation cools it down.
A single gallon of water can cool the tents internal temperature by up to 20F below ambient levels for 24 hours.
BuildList.org Adds More On-Demand Manufacturers To Directory
Hey everyone, quick update from Build List. If you haven’t checked it out since it launched in December, I’ve added quite a few more links from around the world to the directory.
Each link has instant quoting, so you can upload your project files and know exactly how much it’ll cost and how long it will take to make. Hope y’all find it useful!
NVIDIA Broadcast v1.4 Introduces New Eye Contact Feature
The Broadcast app by NVIDIA is primarily made for livestreaming and video conferencing, and in a recent new release (1.4), the company added an interesting eye contact feature that’s currently in beta.
Though it’s not particularly groundbreaking, it does show how more and more of what we’re seeing on screens may not be as it seems.
ChatGPT Capable Of Passing Different University Exams
Two separate pre-print studies were posted recently showing how ChatGPT was capable of passing different school exams. One was for a medical exam used to license doctors, and the other was for MBAs.
In both instances, the researchers found that the AI was able to pass the test, giving correct answers, as well as generating sufficient explanations for them.
Illinois & Princeton Researchers Use Biomimicry For Tiny Bots
“Mechanical science and engineering professor Sameh Tawfick led a new study introducing click beetle-sized robots small enough to fit into tight spaces, powerful enough to maneuver over obstacles and fast enough to match an insect’s rapid escape time.”
“The team envisions these robots accessing tight spaces to help perform maintenance on large machines like turbines and jet engines, for example, by taking pictures to identify problems.”
The Development Of Rice-Based 3D Printing Filaments
Japanese company Biomass creates a plastic called RiceResin, which is made up of 70% rice. The rice itself is taken from unedible waste which would usually be thrown away or incinerated during food production.
They don’t currently plan on making a 3D printing filament, but a twitter user Archi_Peace has been experimenting with it. The original RiceResin is available in both biodegradable and non-degradable forms and it could be an interesting potential 3D printing material.
Self-Reflowing Circuit Boards Don’t Require Soldering Equipment
Electronics engineer Carl Bugeja uploaded another great video the other day showing off his self-reflowing PCB.
He created a layer in the board with a long winding trace, so when power is added, it acts like a heating element. 9V of input voltage is enough to reach 165C (329F) and melt the solder.
AntVR Shows Off Glasses That Instantly Switch Between AR & VR
At CES the company unveiled it’s mixed waveguide AR optics glasses that can switch between see-through AR mode, and black out into VR mode.
AntVR showed off 3 versions of the optics, a 6mm thick one with 56° FOV, 9mm thick with 85° FOV, and 10.5mm thick with 120° FOV. Interestingly, the thickest version uses 2 displays per eye (half above and half below) to achieve this.
Stanford Researchers 3D Print At Single-Digit-Micron Resolution
The study, published recently describes a new approach to addressing multiple microfabrication challenges, enabling 3D printed objects with characteristics as small as 1.5 microns.
The new high resolution technology, dubbed micro-CLIP, allows for 50X smaller part features than commercial CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production) printers while retaining a high print speed, which is more than 100X quicker than other high-resolution microfabrication 3D printing methods.
Haddy: A New 3D Printed Furniture Startup
VacuumSnap Desktop Vacuum Former Launches On Kickstarter
The machine is aimed at “small companies, DIY creators, and hobbyists”, and works like a standard type of vacuum former, using heated plastic sheets to create different molds, trays, and other things. The bed is 400x400mm, the plastic is heated by a 2KW halogen heater, and the vacuum is included with the machine.
The early bird bundle is available for $299, and there’s just over 20 days left.
How To Build A Electric Cargo Bicycle Mounted Snow Plow
From Phil’s Shop on Youtube:
“This video is showcasing a snow plow attachment I have been working on for my electric front loading cargo bicycle. It’s had a few hours use now and around 25 kilometers of total riding distance. The plow is easy to install and you can ride to your destination then drop the blade down and start plowing!”
Dolphin-Inspired Sonar For Underwater Acoustic Imaging
The researchers trained a dolphin to investigate it’s surroundings using sound pulses (clicks), then they recorded the echoes the dolphin receives back and extracted object shape data from it.
They then subsequently built a biomimetic sonar system which they believe could lead to better, more compact, and higher resolution sonar imaging technologies than what’s currently available.
A Look At The KAT Walk C 2 Virtual Reality Treadmill
Last month VRScout took a look at the KAT Walk C 2 virtual reality treadmill. This thing apparently supports all headset types and games/apps which have free locomotion options, allowing you to walk, run and crouch in 360 degrees for increased immersion. It’s available for $1299.
It seems this category of device is in it’s very early stages, and I’m curious to see how it all develops.
MIT Develops AI That Can Detect Future Lung Cancer Risk
The AI model is called Sybil and can analyze low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung scans without the need of a radiologist to predict the risk of a patient developing a future lung cancer within six years.
The team demonstrated that Sybil obtained C-indices of 0.75, 0.81, and 0.80 over the course of six years from diverse sets of lung LDCT scans taken from various medical intitutes (models achieving a C-index score over 0.7 are considered good and over 0.8 is considered strong).
ZSWatch / The Open Source Zephyr Based Smartwatch
Jakob Krantz has designed the ZSWatch, an open source smartwatch. Features include nRF52833 BLE chip, 1.28″ 240×240 circular display, accelerometer, heartbeat sensing, vibration motor, external 8MB flash, 220 mAh battery and more.
All the files are included on Github, though Jakob suggests waiting for V2, which is in the works. You can get notifications on the new release via Github, or through the Google form he has set up.
Using Artificial Intelligence To Generate RPi Case Designs
Youtuber Michael Klements released a video the other day. He built a 3D printed case for a Raspberry Pi, but interestingly, the concept for the look and feel of the design was generated by the Stable Diffusion AI.
I think this highlights how product design aesthetics is currently an untapped area that AI could assist designers and engineers in creating unique things.
Shopify Releases Handy Open-Source XR Mocapping Tool
The tool allows users to easily motion capture their hands using Meta headsets, and translates the data into Blender animations.
They also showed a concept video of a future augmented reality shopping experience where the user navigates through products using hand gestures.
Quadcopter Drone Clocks Over 220MPH For Record Speed
At the end of last year, engineer Ryan Lademann set a new record for the fastest ground speed by a battery-powered remote-controlled (RC) quadcopter, clocking 224.00 mph (360.503 km/h) under supervision of a Guiness World Records officiator.
The actual drone is surprisingly small and has an interesting ‘x’ design that combines a traditional quadcopter and a mini rocket.
Prisms Aims To Teach Kids Math In Virtual Reality
Prisms VR launched today in the Oculus store, and aims to teach children mathematics using immersive virtual reality games and puzzles.
It could be an alternative way to learn for those who aren’t cut out for doing textbook exercises and listening to teachers drone on.
Harvard Researchers Print Helix Structures With Rotating Nozzle
The multi-material process enabled the printing of conductive and insulating materials inside the same object, creating a helical dielectric elastomer actuator (HDEA) with individually addressable conductive channels.
That allows the printed object to change shape when electricity is applied, and could be used in robotics, biomedical devices and other ‘smart’ materials.
Frore’s AirJet Is A Silent Solid State Cooling System
At CES Frore Systems showed off the AirJet, an active cooling chip for use in electronics. It’s 2-3mm thick, silent, and outperforms fans.
Every chip has a cavity filled with vibrating membranes. This vibration creates back pressure which pulls air through holes in the top of the chip at 200km/h, which in turn hits a copper heat spreader and cools the processor.
Designing New 3D Printed Version Of Partial Prosthetic Hand
Ian Davis uploaded a new Youtube video recently showing off a new 3D printed version of his famous metal partial prosthetic hand that he originally created for himself.
Ian mentions that there are some drawbacks to compared to the alu based hand, but he is working through iterations with the aim of getting the design out to people who would benefit from it.
SIRIUS Goggles Designed For When You’re On The Mountainside
At CES earlier in the month, Swiss company Ostloong Innovations unveiled their SIRIUS augmented reality goggles, aimed at skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.
The goggles display GPS location data, cellular data, and also have a HD camera which can livestream.
Boston Dynamics Releases New Atlas Video
From video description: “It’s time for Atlas to pick up a new set of skills and get hands on. In this video, the humanoid robot manipulates the world around it: Atlas interacts with objects and modifies the course to reach its goal—pushing the limits of locomotion, sensing, and athleticism.”
(Behind the scenes video linked below too)
US Navy Warship Installs Metal 3D Printer For Tools & Parts
Via 3DPrint.com: “In 2022, the USS Essex became the first American Navy warship to install a metal 3D printer to ensure onboard repair capabilities of much-needed tools and parts. Now, the USS Bataan is following in its footsteps. The Naval assault ship announced the complete installation of a metal 3D printer on November 3, 2022. We have learned that the machine is a Phillips Additive Hybrid powered by Meltio and Haas.”
I think this trend will continue in many industries, providing a quick way to manufacture replacement parts on demand.
Researchers Develop Way To Visualize Humans With WiFi Signals
A trio of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have used a neural network to take WiFi signals and accurate represent human forms when they are within range. They call it DensePose.
From the paper: “We developed a deep neural network that maps the phase and amplitude of WiFi signals to UV coordinates within 24 human regions. The results of the study reveal that our model can estimate the dense pose of multiple subjects, with comparable performance to image-based approaches, by utilizing WiFi signals as the only input.”
Seoul Mayor Announces New ‘Metaverse’ For The Korean City
From XRToday: “This Monday, South Korea’s Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that its Metaverse platform for public service relationships is now open to the capital’s population.
The Mayor of Seoul, Oh Se-hoon, introduced the public launch of Metaverse Seoul which according to Se-hoon is a place of communication for the region’s citizens.
Metaverse Seoul allows its users to access various public services and resources within an immersive virtual reality (VR) environment.”
Companies Team Up To Bring Holographic Gaming To The Masses
Holographic display designers VividQ have teamed up with the world’s leading waveguide designer Dispelix and have created a “waveguide combiner that can accurately display simultaneous variable-depth 3D content within a user’s environment.
For the first time ever, users will be able to enjoy immersive AR gaming experiences where digital content can be placed in their physical world and they can interact with it naturally and comfortably.”
New Microsoft VALL-E AI Can Replicate A Voice With 3s Sample
A team at Microsoft recently released a paper showing off their language modeling approach for text to speech synthesis. They trained a neural codec language model (called VALL-E) for 60,000 hours, resulting in a system that can take 3 second voice samples and create realistic sounding replications that closely mimic tone and speech inflection.
View the link below for many audio samples.
Creating Shapeshifting Materials That Change With Button Press
Researchers at Fraunhofer are currently working on programmable materials that can change shape on demand. One of the first applications will be for matresses, aiming at stopping bed sores for bed-ridden patients. Initial pilot projects with industry partners are already underway.
Midjourney AI Imagines New David Cronenberg Movie
Here’s another example of the image generation abilities of the Midjourney AI. Music video and commercial director Keith Schofield recently tweeted out a ton of images for a Cronenberg movie which doesn’t exist. This one’s called Galaxy of Flesh and is pure nightmare fuel.
British Traffic Officers Using Varjo Headsets For XR Training
Varjo recently wrote a case study on how their headsets are being used by MXT and the UK gov’s National Highways organization to train their officers using mixed reality.
The headsets combine with a car attached motion rig as a way to simulate some of the different scenarios they may face while on the roads.
Team Develops High Density Microbatteries For Tiny Devices
A joint team of US and Korean researchers have developed a new type of microbattery designed for use with microdevices. They achieved this by foregoing standard packaging to reduce size and making the entire battery hermetically-sealed, fully-dense and stackable.
So far the batteries come in 3 stackable variations, single- (∼4V), double- (∼8V), and triple-stacked (∼12V) configurations with energy densities reaching 990 Wh/Kg and 1,929 Wh/L.
Magic Leap 2 AR Headset Gains New Medical Certification
Magic Leap CEO Peggy Johnson announced last night during the AMD keynote at CES that Magic Leap 2 has earned an IEC 60601 certification. This allows Magic Leap 2 to be used both in an operating room as well as in other clinical settings, and means surgeons can keep their focus on the patient during procedures instead of turning to look at other screens.
Volvo and Uber Freight Announce Strategic Partnership
From the press release: “Volvo Autonomous Solutions (V.A.S.) and Uber Freight have entered into a long-term strategic partnership to deploy Volvo’s autonomous transport solution on Uber Freight’s marketplace. As a part of the partnership, both companies will work together to offer autonomous freight capacity on select routes starting in Texas to Uber Freight customers.”
A Lot Happened In The World Of 3D Printing Last Year
Here’s a nice roundup of all the happenings in additive manufacturing in 2022. Tons of news processes, materials and applications for 3D printing, and I think it is only going to continue growing.
Multi-Material Digital Light Processing 3D Printing
A joint team of researchers from Japan and Singapore have developed a new technique for creating high resolution (40µm) hybrid plastic/metal parts. It’s called multi-material digital light processing 3D printing (MM-DLP3DP).
Similar to standard resin 3D printing, this process adds a few extra steps. Firstly the printer uses both resin and a pre-cursor material. Once printed, the parts are further processed in a plating bath, and the pre-cursor material is plated, while the standard resin is not. This allows for intricate and nested plated metals and could potentially be used as a way to create 3D circuits.
How To Make A Useful Mini Electric Saw For Your Workshop
KendinYap on Youtube uploaded a video the other day demonstrating a little 3D printed electric saw he designed.
In the video description is a full list of parts, along with other links to 3D files and more info.
AutoStore Launches Modular Storage System For Small Business
AutoStore has launched a new warehouse automation product aimed at small and medium sized businesses. It’s called Pio, and replaces conventional warehouse storage with a modular robotic system.
It integrates with Shopify and basically turns the storage system into a giant vending machine. When a customer places an order, Pio automatically finds the products in the cube, picks it and puts it in a box for the staff to process.
ChatGPT Writes Fake Scientific Abstracts That Fool Reviewers
A research team at Northwestern carried out a study to see whether OpenAI’s ChatGPT could fool reviewers of scientific papers with fabricated abstracts.
The reviewers were shown 25 abstracts, mixing real and fake ones together, and they had to give a score based on what they had read. They were fooled by the AI-generated ones 32% of the time.
Virtual Reality Version Of Colossal Cave Classic Out This Week
Colossal Cave, a VR remake of the classic text-based Colossal Cave Adventure, has been developed by Sierra On-Line, and arrives this week (Jan 19) on Meta Quest 2 (as well as other non-VR platforms).
This seems like a really good example of a potentially hyper immersive experience that can be had with VR. It’ll be interesting to see the reviews once released.
Feathered Robotic Wing Paves Way For Flapping Drones
A Swedish-Swiss research team at Lund University have been exploring how using bird biomimicry could help develop efficient, flapping drones, and have constructed a robotic wing.
“We have built a robot wing that can flap more like a bird than previous robots, but also flap in way that birds cannot do. By measuring the performance of the wing in our wind tunnel, we have studied how different ways of achieving the wing upstroke affect force and energy in flight”, says researcher Christoffer Johansson.
Overview Of Additive Manufacturing Used By Vehicle Designers
3DNatives wrote an interesting article talking about how widely used 3D printing has become in the automotive industry, with many vehicles being designed partially or entirely using different AM technologies.
Another Video From Sanctuary AI’s Telepresence Robot
About a month ago I showed you a video from Sanctuary AI and was impressed by how the remotely controlled robot could perform intricate tasks.
They’ve uploaded another video showing off this capability, this time showing the bot carefully open a valve. Their Youtube channel is full of different use-cases for the robots.
New Fabric Coating Responds To Toxic Gases By Changing Color
A team of researchers at Dartmouth College have developed a durable coating which can be precisely integrated into fabrics, to create responsive sensors for protective equipment and more.
The coating is based on a conductive metal-organic framework (MOF), which can respond to the presence of toxic gases in the air by converting them into less toxic substances that become trapped in the fabric.
UCalgary Researchers Create 3D-printed Materials With Liquids
The team added nanoparticles to water and chemical compounds, or surfactants molecules, to oil. One of the researchers, Dr. Hossein Hejazi explains, “By injecting this water into the oil, the interface between the oil and water spontaneously turns into emulsion, forming an interfacial skin made of many tiny water droplets that are sticking together.”
This creates 3D tube-like structures in the oil, which can be injected with other materials, and this liquid-in-liquid process could enable many potential uses including energy storage, microreactors, and for creating biomimetic materials like tissues and polymers.
More Information On USB-C Power Delivery From Hackaday
Arya Voronova over at Hackaday has written another interesting article on USB-C, this time focusing on the many aspects of power delivery.
Learn How To 3D Print Your Own Mini Wind Turbine
Youtuber 3DPrintedLife made an informative video showing the wind turbine he designed and printed. He went all out with the features, replicating full size wind turbines by adding variable pitch blades, on board wind measuring station and a fully custom PCB for controlling the power generated.
The files are open source and available to recreate your own.
Laser Research Lays Groundwork For Faster Data Transmission
Japanese scientists have designed a new type of distributed feedback (DFB) laser, and have demonstrated it’s ability to transmit data at speeds of 200 Gb/s over a record distance of 10km.
The research will be presented at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference taking place March 5–9 2023 in San Diego, California, U.S.
Researchers Exploring Nanoscale Metal 3D Printing
Researchers at the University of Oldenberg are currently exploring the limits of how small they can 3D print metals.
The team is currently able to print as small as a single molecule, with the ultimate goal of printing atom by atom. This will open up many potential applications in the areas of microelectronics, nanorobotics, sensor and battery technologies.
Activ Surgical Announces Completion Of First Case Using AI
During a procedure at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, surgeons successfully used Activ Surgical’s ActivSight intelligent light for the first time.
Using laser speckle technology, and combining with their own AI software, the ActivSight gave surgeons realtime enhanced visuals of inside the patients body, allowing them to switch between modes, and automatically show or hide important and unimportant visual information depending on what they were doing.
DigiLens Inc. Introduces ARGO Extended Reality Sunglasses
According to DigiLens, the ARGO is the first purpose-built, standalone AR/XR device designed for enterprise and industrial-lite workers.
The glasses offer voice and gaze recognition, spatial awareness, a 48MP camera, and multiple microphones for picking up the users voice in noisy industrial environments.
Fairphone 2 Software Updates End After March
The Fairphone team recently announced that after 7 years, software support for the Fairphone 2 will be coming to an end after March 2023.
The team do note that third-party builds of LineageOS and /e/OS are still actively supported, which means that users will continue to receive security updates for as long as those developers support the phone.
Researchers 3D Print Soft Worm-Like Gel Robots
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have designed worm-like ‘robots’ which are made from a gel material. Parts of their bodies expand and contract during temperature changes, enabling it to move.
The research aims to eventually use similar techniques to create tiny soft robots that can autonomously deliver medicine inside patients bodies under specific circumstances.
RealWear Unveils Their Next Generation Assisted Reality Headset
RealWear unveiled RealWear Navigator 520, its next generation rugged assisted reality headset for frontline professionals, with an upgraded and fully redesigned viewing system, they call the HyperDisplay.
These headsets are aimed at enterprise customers, especially for on-site and training purposes. Remote workers can see and interact with the on-site staff via the headsets to visually guide them.
ZF Announces Partnership To Bring Autonomous Shuttle To US
ZF unveiled its next generation shuttle for autonomous driving in urban environments and mixed traffic at CES 2023. For the new shuttle generation, ZF announced a strategic partnership with U.S. mobility services provider Beep, Inc.
This agreement aims to deliver several thousand shuttles to customers over the coming years, combining ZF’s vehicles with Beep’s mobility services into a single solution.
Breylon/LG Introduce OLED Virtual Monitor With 155 Degree FOV
From description: “Featuring some of the latest and greatest of possibilities from Brelyon and LG; This pixel guzzling 8K computational display is the worlds first 8K OLED virtual monitor with 155 degree field of view featuring some of the Brelyon’s lightfield expansion and depth modulation technologies.
The display shows a 120″+ virtual images to the user with surround sound and surround telecom capabilities. This model is now available to enterprises for flight simulation and telepresence applications in limited volume.”
The Sol Reader – A Unique Headset With E-Ink Displays
Youtuber SadlyItsBradley recently uploaded a video of his time trying out the Sol Reader, a simple lightweight headset that has e-ink displays, and is designed for reading ebooks.
The device has wifi and bluetooth built in, so it would be cool to see if you could hook up a keyboard and run a text console through it.
Version 1 is slated for release later in 2023.
Arduino Releases The Nicla Voice Module For Speech Recognition
At CES last week, Arduino introduced the new Nicla Voice board, a sensor packed module aimed at AI and voice recognition applications. The Nicla Voice runs audio inputs through the Syntiant NDP120 Neural Decision processor, and has a microphone, 6-axis motion sensor and magnetometer.
Raspberry Pi Launches Camera Module 3 Now With Autofocus
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the new Camera Module 3, which comes with powered autofocus, which can focus from 5cm to infinity.
The module has a few variations, including standard and wide field of view, and visible light and infrared light options.
Researchers Convert Harvested Water Into Hydrogen
From press release: “EPFL chemical engineers have invented a solar-powered artificial leaf, built on a novel electrode which is transparent and porous, capable of harvesting water from the air for conversion into hydrogen fuel. The semiconductor-based technology is scalable and easy to prepare.”
This Paper-Thin Smart Label Is Designed To Track Packages
Pod Group, SODAQ and Lufthansa Industry Solutions have teamed up to create an ultra thin tracking label which looks like a regular paper sticker.
The device has a printed battery which lasts up to 6 months, and can track location (via low power 5G cellular connection) and temperature. The companies say this is designed primarily for tracking high value packages.
Bluetooth Support For Raspberry Pi Pico W Coming This Month
Raspberry Pi staff member Alasdair Allan recently confirmed in a tweet that Bluetooth support is coming to the Pico W sometime in January 2023.
It was recently added to the 1.5.0 release of the Pico C SDK. You can veiw the comments on the official Github page.
Caltech Launched Space Solar Power Demo into Orbit in January
At team at Caltech recently successfully launched a space solar power technology demo which aims to study the feasibility of harvesting solar energy directly in space.
The hardware, which went up via SpaceX’s Transporter-6 mission, uses photovoltaic cells on it’s frame, and beams the energy back to earth using microwaves.
Luminar Announces New 3D Road Mapping Technology At CES
As part of it’s upcoming roadmap, Luminar announced it is aiming to equip over 1 million cars worldwide with it’s mapping technology, with the goal to map every road on earth, similar to Google Street View, but they claim at much higher resolution.
The company said they have already signed on its first mapping customer, though they did not name them.
More Details On HTC VIVE XR Elite Mixed Reality Headset
Following the post from a few days ago, HTC announced the VIVE XR Elite standalone mixed reality headset at CES. We now know that it will be available in late February for $1100, with pre-orders opening now.
It’s hardware follows current trends, using pancake lenses to reduce size, and being powered by the same Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 processor seen in most other standalone headsets.
The dual LCD displays have a resolution of 1920×1920 each, and “up to 110 degree” field of view.
Lumus Launches Augmented Reality Z-Lens At CES 2023
AR glasses designers Lumus have updated their 2D Maximums system with the 2nd gen version of their Z-Lens waveguide architecture, allowing them to shrink the projector modules by 50%.
The company claims the new upgrades enable 2K resolution per eye. More details about how they achieved this are on their site.
Midjourney AI Reimagines LOTR As An 80’s Dark Fantasy
This new video by Digital Dream on Youtube really highlights how far AI has come in recent times, in this case creating visuals for a movie that doesn’t exist.
I suspect it won’t be long until entire movies are generated on the fly using similar techniques.
Vrgineers Announce Wireless Module For Ultrawide FOV Headset
The company worked with IMRNext to create a belt-style Wi-Fi module to stream 4K resolution per eye wirelessly.
The current version of the ultrawide FOV XTAL headset is used in pilot training systems for professional and military clients, as well as in other enterprise settings.
A Quick Look At How Wing Design Their Drones
Drone delivery company Wing recently uploaded a video talking about some of the considerations they have to factor in when designing their drones.
The hybrid quadcopter + fixed wing design needs to have a range of failsafes built-in in order to make sure the drones remain safe.
Labrador Systems Previews New Assistive Robots At CES 2023
Labrador Systems showed off a new proof of concept robot, aimed at assisting the eldery, disabled and general care givers. The robot itself is called the Labrador, and has an Amazon Echo Show 10 built in, so users can interact with it by voice.
Enabot EBO X Family Robot Companion
Video description: “The average human spends 26 years sleeping and 30 years working. That leaves just 1~2 hour in a day to truly connect with family, elders, or pets—if we’re lucky. With all that time apart and no one there to supervise, there can be a lot of concern about the health and safety of our loved ones.
This is why we created EBO X—not just for you but for ourselves as well.”
BMW Dee Concept Car Can Change Colors Dynamically
At CES 2023 BMW unveiled the “Dee” concept car, which can change colors on demand. It comes as part of the companies potential vision for what near-future cars could be like. Check their press-release for more info and videos.
Centrifugal Manufacturing Allows For Multi-Resin 3D Printing
Chinese researchers have figured out a way to enable multimaterial resin 3D printing, overcoming the problem of mixing incompatible resins.
They created a process called ‘Centrifugal Manufacturing’ which is similar to regular resin UV printing, but between layers, the build plate is removed from the tank and spins extremely fast, removing all wet resin.
The system can then automatically continue the print in different resin tanks, enabling multi-colour and multi-material resin prints.
Iridium & Qualcomm Collaborate to Support Satellite Messaging
Iridium satellite communications recently announced a new partnership with Qualcomm to enable satellite messaging and emergency services in smartphones powered by Snapdragon.
This will enable two way satellite messaging through smartphones, starting with devices based on the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, starting Q3 2023.
FormLabs Introduces Automation System For Resin 3D Printers
SLA printer manufacturer FormLabs just announced some new tools for automated printing and processing. This includes new software tools, and the Form Auto, a new hardware extension which removes finished parts from Build Platform 2 and starts the next print without the need for operator interaction.
Shiftall’s Ultra-Lightweight Headsets Launching Early 2023
At CES 2023, Shiftall announced two versions of the MeganeX ultra-lightweight VR headsets coming in March 2023. The MeganeX ($1699) and MeganeX Business Edition ($TBD) both are equipped with a 5.2 K/10 bit HDR micro OLED display by Kopin and pancake lens by Panasonic. It supports 6DoF and works with SteamVR.
Holoride Launches In-Car Virtual Reality Device For Any Vehicle
In-car VR company Holoride announced the launch of Holoride Retrofit, a new device that can bring VR content to any vehicle.
The device is roughly the size of a smart speaker and allows passengers to connect up to 2 VR headsets at a time via bluetooth to play multiplayer games or other apps on the go.
ION3 Digital Scent System For Virtual Reality Is Announced
OVR Technology just announced the ION3 wearable scent system at CES 2023. The ION connects to both desktop and mobile VR headsets, and aims to increase immersion.
It includes 4 base scent catridges, which can be mixed to create thousands of potential smells.
Fortify’s Magnetic FluxPrint 3D Printing Process
I recently learned about Fortify’s proprietary 3D printing process which is unique. During printing, it actively mixes photopolymers with other additives such as fiber or metals.
It then uses magnetic fields to align these additives inside the photopolymer, allowing them to intentionally lock alignment in different directions for different sections of prints, resulting in unique features, such as high functional strength, toughness and conductivity.
NODE Is Looking For A Front End Web Developer (HTML/CSS/JS)
Hey everyone, I’m looking for a front end web developer with good design sense to collab with on an open source HTML template project. It’ll be a free resource for designers/engineers/makers.
If you want to help build something awesome, send portfolios/github links to:
Samsung Showcases Foldable, Rollable And Extendable Displays
At CES 2023, Samsung held an invitation-only exhibit showing off some prototype OLED products. Among these was the ‘Flex Hybrid’ which combines both foldable and slidable capabilities into one display and large-screen slidables.
The company says these types of displays are in development for potential future laptops, including a screen which expands from 13inch to 17.3inch.
NEI Researchers Use Bioprinting Technique To Create Eye Tissue
A team at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have been bioprinting cells in their study of degenerative retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The hope is that this particular technique will theoretically provide an unlimited supply of patient-derived tissues to investigate these diseases.
Article On Opener’s BlackFly Single Person E-VTOL Vehicle
IEEE Spectrum just wrote a detailed piece on the BlackFly E-VTOL by Opener. A unique looking flying vehicle, which is currently seeking FAA certification for personal use.
Designer Marcus Leng had stated previously that he believes this may cost in the region of a luxury SUV once available to the public.
Informative Look At Carima’s CMYK Color 3D Printing Resins
Fabbaloo recently wrote a couple articles on their tests of the Carima CMYK resins. Unlike other 3D printing resins, this one allows you to mix any color you like, just like the regular 2D printing process. The company also states that these resins are non-toxic too, so they’re suitable for a wide range of applications.
HTC’s Potential Quest Pro Competitor, The Vive XR Elite
Rumors of HTC’s Vive XR Elite headset may be proven correct this week as CES 2023 kicks off.
Official announcements withstanding, it seems like the headset will be priced around $1400, and will be completely standalone, targeting Meta’s Quest Pro directly. It also apparently has high resolution passthrough, allowing users to read phones/laptops whilst wearing it. More details soon.
Company Launches Microscale 3D Printing Technology At Show
At a recent Formnext tradeshow in December, microfabrication start-up Horizon Microtechnologies launched their new ‘micro-AM’ process.
It’s a little thin on details, but it seems to be another polymer based system, but this time it enables the creation of micrometer-level precision for conductive parts for electrodes, electrical contact pins, ESD-safe parts, microfluidic devices and more.
Sarcos Robotics / Changi Airport Test Robotic Baggage Handling
Sarcos Robotics is teaming up with Singapore’s Changi Airport to test a new outdoor system to automate the loading and unloading of loose passenger bags from narrow-bodied aircraft.
Initial demonstrations were carried out in September 2022, and the airport group says this could help ‘meet long-term staffing needs’.
Researchers Develop Simple, Small Soft Robot Based On Hair Clip
A team of researchers from Columbia University have created an interesting robot based on a hair clips 2 functioning states.
This means the ‘clip’ works as both the skeleton and the muscle of the soft robot, so only a small amount of electricity going to a servo is required to make it move.
Team Discovers Simple Method Of Bonding Polymers to Steel
Researchers at The University of Tokyo demonstrated how to bond a polymer to galvanized steel simply by pre-treating the steel with an acid wash and dipping it in hot water.
The wash strips the outer layer on the zinc coating of the steel which allows the water to form nanoscale needle structures on the surface. When the polymer was injection molded into the metal it filled in the tiny gaps and ridges between the structures creating very strong mechanical linkages.
EvoBOT Is A Unique Approach To Autonomous Transport Robots
A team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics have developed the EvoBOT, an interesting auto-stabalizing two-wheeled robot which can pick up and carry things autonomously.
Project Aims To Build Offline Open Source Home Assistant
The Home Assistant project recently uploaded a new blog post stating their intentions for 2023. The team plans to make an open source Alexa/Siri-like platform that works in multiple languages and can be used offline too.
Information about contributing and testing is on the page for those interested.
Introducing BRUCE, A Kid-Sized Mini Bipedal Robot
Westwood Robotics recently announced the BRUCE (Bipedal Robot Unit with Compliance Enhanced) mini humanoid robot.
Originally developed at RoMeLa in joint effort with Westwood Robotics, BRUCE will be made open source to the robotics community, and is currently open for application, with only 10 units being available for testing during Q2 2023.
First Stable Release Of Vanilla OS 22.10 Kinetic Is Out
The launch of Vanilla OS 22.10 marks the first stable release of the polished GNOME-based OS.
This could be a good choice for those who would like an alternative to Ubuntu. Check out the official blog post for more details on the features.
Hisense Hi Reader Pro Is An Android Phone With An E-Ink Display
Saw this phone and thought it was unique. The Hisense Hi Reader Pro is a 6.1 inch smartphone with an e-ink display. It’s specs are pretty midrange with Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, and is currently for sale for under $250.
It would be nice to see these displays make their way to the hobbyist market.
Solar Roof Tiles Designed To Look Like Ancient Roman Terracotta
Invisible Solar is an Italian company that creates photovoltaic modules (i.e. solar cells) and disguises them as other materials.
Currently being made by hand, these tiles are being used in Pompeii, Italy, mimicking the ancient roman style, and lighting the frescos.
MIT Researchers Create Soft Implantable Venitlator
The soft ventilator is implantable, and can augment the diaphragm’s natural contractions, providing a new proof-of-concept way to approach ventilation.
Designer Ellen Roche explains: “The biomechanics of this design are closer to normal breathing, versus ventilators that push air into the lungs, where you have a mask or tracheostomy. There’s a long road before this will be implanted in a human.”
Knight-Swift Transportation Teams With Autonomous Truck Co
One of North America’s largest transport companies, Knight-Swift
announced recently their new partnership with Embark Trucks to provide autonomous technology.
The companies have been jointly working on several operational initiatives to prepare for the handoff of Embark-powered trucks into Knight-Swift’s daily operations, including moving loads for large shippers on the Los Angeles to Phoenix lane.
Experiments In Re-Inforcing 3D Prints With Fiberglass Mesh Tape
Russian creator Brother-live recently uploaded a video detailing his experiments in adding painters fibreglass mesh tape into 3D prints to increase the strength.
The process involves repeatedly pausing the prints and adding a layer of tape, then resuming. While the finished pieces are crude and require finishing, it is an interesting idea that could be developed further.
@Shiura Creates Open Source ‘Space Mushroom’ 6DOF Mouse
Engineer Shinsaku Hiura (@shiura) recently released the Space Mushroom mouse which has 6 degrees of freedom. It uses three analog joystick sensors for game controllers.
Shinsaku has created an Instructables page, detailing how it’s made along with code and 3D models to download to free.
Meta Confirms Acquisition Of 3D Printed Lens Manufacturer
Meta recently confirmed the purchase of Belgian 3D printed lens manufacturer Luxexcel for an undisclosed sum.
Although it’s not stated what they intend to do with this new manufacturing capability, it’s assumed that it relates to augmented reality optics.
Overview Of 3D Printable Resins Currently Available
If you’re new to 3D printing resin, 3DNatives wrote a useful little guide explaining the different types of resins available and their particular properties.
Researchers Develop Novel Way To 3D Print Functional Silicone
Researchers from Bingham University have developed an interesting way to print silicone with variable stiffness as required.
The findings stem from research into a study on replicating vocal cords, where the team came up with an interesting dual extruder system which mixes 2 parts of silicone to change flexibility on demand.
New Haptic VR Glove Uses Electroshocks To Simulate Touch
Japanese wearables company AI Silk recently announced their new ‘Lead Skin’ soft haptic glove for VR. What’s interesting is that it uses conductive fibers to not only measure movements through current impedance changes when they stretch, but it also can deliver small electric shocks to various parts of the hand to simulate haptic feedback, foregoing bulky motors.
Artificial Intelligence Effective At Predicting Cancer Outcomes
A recent study by York University researchers suggests an innovative artificial intelligence (AI) technique they developed is considerably more effective than the human eye when it comes to predicting therapy outcomes in patients with brain metastases.
In a recent Youtube video York Professor Ali Sadeghi-Naini talked about his AI technique and why the method is potentially superior to human inspection.