Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

What Are Headphone Drivers and How They Effect Sound Quality

Headphone
For in-ear headphones, there is always talk of dynamic drivers and balanced armature drivers. Today we deal with the topic and show the differences. If the in-ear listener sits properly in the ear canal and thus "closes" well, the space between the eardrum and the membrane is closed and very small. The whole thing then works like a kind of spring system (or "push-pull mechanism") and the membrane can move the eardrum well with little deflection and little energy, ensuant in a very good bass upshot. As soon as there is a leak in this system, this is immediately noticeable by the fact that low frequencies are lost (as is the case with ear buttons). This is because the human ear is less sensitive to low frequencies (below about 150 Hz) than to higher frequencies.

So if we want to hear low frequencies better then a lot of energy has to be applied to amplify them. When using loudspeakers, low frequencies are still physically noticeable. This is not the case with headphones. Also, speaker diaphragms are larger and more stable (thicker material), which allows much more air to be set in motion than headphones. In order to be able to make the best possible use of the low energy that the headphone system develops, care must be taken to ensure that the headphones or in-ear headphones are optimally terminated.

Ok! Which driver was used certainly determines how well the in-ear headphones sound. In the development of the drivers most of the money usually flows in the production of in-ear headphones.
 

What are balanced armature drivers?

 
Balanced Armature Drivers (BA) are often used only in in-ear headphones in the higher price segment. Balanced armature drivers are made to sound particularly good in a certain frequency range, such as: As the heights, which is why in-ear headphones with Balanced Armature drivers often several drivers installed. For example, the Sony XBA 3 iP incorporates 3 Balanced Armature drivers, which ensure that the entire sound spectrum is covered.
 

Advantages of Balanced Armature Driver

 
  • You can make a frequency range sound great
  • The sound sounds more detailed
  • The sound plays faster
  • The treble sounds clearer than dynamic drivers
  • They are smaller than in-ear headphones with dynamic sound transducers and weigh less
  • They need less power than dynamic drivers
 

Disadvantages of Balanced Armature drivers

 
  • The bass is weaker than dynamic drivers
  • In-ear headphones with Balanced Armature drivers are more expensive
  • Often several drivers are necessary to cover all frequency ranges
 

What are dynamic drivers?

 
Dynamic drivers in in-ear headphones make it possible for in-ear headphones to be offered at a good price. Unlike Balanced Armature drivers, only one driver covers the entire sound spectrum. They work on the same principle as loudspeaker boxes.
Advantages of dynamic drivers
  • Cheaper than Balanced Armature sound transducer
  • Bass frequency is better
  • The sound signature is better coordinated
  • Often they are also more robust than Balanced-Armature drivers
 

Disadvantages of dynamic drivers

 
  • No detailed sound like Balanced Armature drivers
  • The heights are not that clear in comparison
  • They weigh more and are bigger too
 

Balanced Armature Drivers and Dynamic Drivers

 
In some in-ear headphones both types of drivers are worn, such. B. the Sony XBA H3. The advantage of having multiple types of drivers is that the bass and treble sound great, but the case is usually larger and they weigh more.

Moving Armature driver


Moving Armature drivers are new drivers that combine the benefits of Balanced Armature drivers and dynamic drivers. Moving Armature drivers work like Balanced Armature drivers but have the advantage that the entire frequency range is covered in contrast to Balanced Armature drivers where multiple drivers are needed, the Moving Armature driver in-ear headphones only need a driver. However, very few models use this type of driver so far and they are also quite expensive.

The classic and most commonly encountered headphone driver is - as with speakers - the electrodynamic principle assign.

However, in order to map the entire frequency spectrum as accurately as possible, partially modified drivers are used, such as the Variomotion technology from AGK (depending on the frequency position, a larger or smaller part of the diaphragm swings) or the ring driver of the Sennheiser HD800.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Researchers Developed Flexible Photonic Devices

Flexible Photonic Devices
Photonics will have a direct impact on many areas of our daily life. Soon photonics will be fundamental, both for the improvement or replacement of existing processes and for the development of new solutions and new products.

On the other hand, society demands products with better and better features: new functionalities and improved properties, lightweight, flexible photonic devices, and capable of adapting to different materials and surfaces. Likewise, these developments must be competitive and not increase the price of the final product.

A team of MIT Associate professor Juejin Hu from the University of Central florida, China and France has developed a new method of making light based photonic devices. These special flexible photonic devices is made from a kind of glass called Chalcogenide. This specialized kind of glass material has a great flexible property which can be bend and strech to the very large extent without any damage. These flexible photonic devices can be used in field of biomedical sensors and flexible connectors in Electronics.

How about a device that can simultaneously detect blood oxygen level, heart rate and blood pressure? Yes, these flexible photonic devices of optical technology which are made from the strechy and bendable material can be mounted in skin to monitor the condition.

By using these kinds of new light based flexible photonic devices, we can stave off the condition for the conversion process. Because, if the original data is light based is having the advantages for a lot of applications.

The current photonic devices applied in the field are made up of rigid materials on rigid matters thus rises an intrinsic counterpart. The polymer based softmaterials is having a less refractive index tracks to not so good ability to circumscribe a light beam. To confront this issue, the team of MIT researchers have developed a stiff material that can stretch and bend which is almost like a Rubber. Its confuguration is like a spring made from a polymer matter has no noticeable abjection in its optical performance.

Other flexible photonic devices that are made by implanting nanorods of a rigid substrates in a polymer base need extra developmental steps. And hence they are not congruous with current systems. These flexible photonic devices can also be used for applications where the devices require to adapt to the rippled surfaces of some other material. But optics technology is extremely sensitive to strain, thus can observe deformations of lower than one hundredth of one percent.

This team recently has formulated a way of segregating layers of photonics, made of chalcogenide and graphene with customary semiconductor photonic electronic equipment. Current method of segregating such material need them to be made on a surface and then take off and tranfern to a semiconductor thin layer. This process is very difficult. But the new procedure permits the layers to be fancied directly on the surface of a semiconductor. This process no need a special temperature condition for the entire process and thus allows very simplified fabrication and more punctilious coalition.

This team of MIT researchers have confirmed very soon they develop this new technology of flexible photonic devices to reach commercially.

Friday, 3 November 2017

DeformWear: Deformation Input on Tiny Wearable Devices

DeformWear
We have all seen various smart- somethings entering the market whether it be a smart watch or virtual glasses or wireless headphones, they all have one thing in common. They require an app on a smart phone or tab or some other device with not only WiFi connectivity but also a Bluetooth connection.
Using such devices at times therefore can be a handful while inputing all data into a phone or some other device. The world of science now brings DeformWear. DeformWear can be thought of as a tiny device the size of a pea that allows you to toggle data onto your gadget.

How was DeformWear made? 

Scientists felt the need for a tiny device that could be used fast and discreetly to handle devices when gadgets such as the Apple watch came out. Their screens were so small that using the device made it impractical for many people. So DeformWear was born. It is a gadget no less than the size of a pea that can be moved in all directions, pressed, pinched, pushed right, left, down and up.

How DeformWear was thought of: 

Researchers at Saarland University tested smart phone gestures with the use of a person’s skin and found that many of them pinched and pushed to the side to access smart phone apps. This study combined with sensors that were initially thought of for robots led to the creation of a body carried device the DeformWear.

Functioning of DeformWear: 

DeformWear has a diameter of 10 millimeters and can be handled just like a balloon but minus the bursting part. DeformWear comes with a sensor that then allows an individual to maneuver it in all directions.

Testing of DeformWear: 

DeformWear was made into a charm, bracelet and ring. The device was then tested on multiple people for different applications while using a smart watch and virtual glasses discreetly and fast. Later on it was used on smart televisions and to play music all without the need to look at the screen. The results from the testing of DeformWear were all found to be successful. DeformWear uses the fine motor functioning of fingers along with push and press functioning to give desired results.

Researchers at Saarland University hope to use this device quickly and discreetly when handling devices with no screen or when the device has too small a screen. With the introduction of DeformWear, the world can be ready for even smaller gadgets which can be handled with DeformWear. Also with the development of DeformWear, there may also be different ways in which the device can be worn. At present it is tested only as a charm, bracelet and ring.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Material Could Bring Optical Communication Onto Silicon Chips

Soon silicon chips will feature optical communication with the discovery of a new material

With each passing year computing performance has advanced significantly and if we take decades into the equation then you will be astonished at the rate of advancement. Computing performance boost has been achieved through squeezing more number of transistors within a relatively tighter space on the microchips. Now scientists have been able to develop such ultrathin films placed on the semiconductor making optical communication possible on the microchips.
 

The ‘interconnect bottleneck’ in optical communication

 
The downsizing of the microchips over the years had led to signal leakage between the different components which eventually results in slower communication between them. This delay in communication has been termed as ‘interconnect bottleneck’ which has emerged as a major issue in the high-speed computing systems.

One of the best ways to eliminate the interconnect bottleneck in microchip is to make use of light to allow communication between different parts. Using wires for communication is simply out of the question but even using light isn’t a simple or easy way as silicon used to make chip doesn’t’ happen to emit light easily.
 

Finding a new material to emit light

 
Researchers have found a light emitter as well as detector which can help in bringing optical communication by integrating it in the silicon CMOS chips. A new device has been built from a common semiconductor material, molybdenum ditelluride, which belongs to a new revolution group of materials called two-dimensional transition-metal dichalcogenides.

The best thing about this material is that it can be stacked right top of the silicon wafers which wasn’t the case earlier. This 2D molybdenum ditelluride is such a remarkable ultra-thin material that it can be easily attached with any material without much hassle. A major difficulty faced by the scientists while looking for materials to integrate with the silicon semiconductors is that most of materials happen to emit light in the visible range. And silicon is notorious for absorbing the light emitted at such wavelengths. While molybdenum ditelluride happens to emit light in the infrared range which can’t be absorbed by the silicon and thereby it helps in enabling the optical communication on the microchip.

 

Future prospects of this new discovery in optical communication

 
Researchers have stepped their efforts towards finding other materials which can also be used for the chip based optical communication in future. Currently most of the telecommunication system operates mainly using the light having the wavelength of 1.3 or 1.5 micrometers. The good thing here is that molybdenum ditelluride happens to emit light at 1.1 micrometer which is suitable for usage in the silicon chips found specifically in the computers but unsuitable when it comes to usage in the telecommunications systems.

Therefore researchers are again looking for a new material which can help initiating the optical communication the telecommunication systems. Currently they are exploring another ultra-thin material known as black phosphorus which has the potential to emit light through altering the different layers used in the process. This research has been published in the science journal called Nature Nanotechnology.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Novel Circuit Design Boosts Wearable Thermoelectric Generators

Wearable Thermoelectric Generators
With Wearable Thermoelectric Generators, a continuous monitoring of the vital data is possible for athletes and patients. The difficulty is to supply the devices with power permanently. The Wearable Thermoelectric Generators with 40 mW of continuous power, which is worn along with the regular clothes, solves the problem.

Supported by Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and by PepsiCo, Inc., this research has paved a way to better understand the electronic and optical properties of polymer-based materials. A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, under the leadership of Professor Shannon Yee, has developed a Wearable Thermoelectric Generators that is both light and flexible and uses the body's heat to generate electrical energy. The thermal generators were applied both to organic and inorganic substrates. However, the polymer variant achieves a significantly lower output power. The performance of the inorganic variant, on the other hand, was satisfactory, but the prototypes were rigid, comparatively heavy and therefore not usable.

The team of Georgia Institute of Technology around Professor Shannon Yee has now developed a Wearable Thermoelectric Generators method in which a p-type and n-type materials are each presented in a pasty form and on a fabric to be printed. The pastes penetrate through the meshes of the fabric and form a layer of Wearable Thermoelectric Generators about one hundred micrometers thick. As a result, several hundred thermoelectrically active points are formed in the combination of p- and n-conducting material on a specific surface of the fabric.

The structure of this Wearable Thermoelectric Generators is stable; it does not require additional ceramic substrates that absorb a large portion of the available thermal energy. Here, the fabric itself serves as the upper and lower substrate of the generator between which the inorganic thermoelectrically active materials are introduced; the Wearable Thermoelectric Generators are also flexible. In particular, the weight of the Wearable Thermoelectric Generators in comparison with other systems could be substantially reduced: to about 0.13 g / cm 2. A 10 x 10 cm² Wearable Thermoelectric Generators designed for the power supply of a "smart fabric" produces an output power of 40 mW from the temperature difference between the skin of the wearer and the environment. 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Uses of Captured CO2

We’ve all heard of CO2, it is the gas that we breathe out. We also may have heard that CO2 emissions are a major concern to the atmosphere and us at large. So what do we do to control this progression into our ultimate destruction?

Recently scientists have found ways by which CO2 can be captured and transformed into something that is useful and not harmful. By this I mean that now those harmful CO2 emissions that we so dread, can now be mixed with other materials thereby making it not only more stronger but also and most importantly it will also reduce the CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

They say that we as humanity should never sleep on the problem of pollution, well with this solution we can control CO2 emissions by actually sleeping. This may sound that I have taken a trip down the crazy lane but by sleeping you can actually control CO2 emissions. But let me tell you how. Scientists have now come up with a technology that is fitted into your pillow that allows the CO2 breathed out by us to be captured into our pillows thereby reducing the CO2 emissions in the air.

It is not only in pillows that can capture CO2 emissions but also other everyday items such as the soles of our shoes, the spines of our books or even the concrete of our buildings and roads are all made of or can contain our CO2 emissions.

So how can all this be done we might ask ourselves. Well CO2 which is a technically unreactive gas can be made to react with petrochemical raw materials which are used in making a lot of plastics. In this new form CO2 can account for upto 50% of the materials used to make up plastics. Also while using CO2 in this way, the CO2 emissions not only get used but also the resulting CO2 from the process also gets absorbed by the process. The resultant materials are also found to be alot stronger than if CO2 were not used.

Other companies are now using CO2 emissions to make jet fuel and diesel through carbon engineering . While somewhere else CO2 emissions are being captured and used in making soda ash which is an important ingredient in making fertilizer, dyes and synthetic detergents.

Scientists claim that through this process, by the year end the process would have reduced CO2 emissions by 3.5 million tonnes in the atmosphere which is like taking 2 million cars off the road.

But of course all the captured CO2 is very small compared to the actual amount that it is in the air and that could, nay will potentially harm us. Scientists have discovered that CO2 emissions account for 12 to 14 gigatonnes of toxic waste emissions a year. That is roughly 12 to 14 billion tonnes a year.
We burn a burn a lot of fossil fuels a year to provide for gas, coal and oil and all this adds to the CO2 emissions in the air among other undesirable gases. Although through the process of capturing CO2 emissions we are reducing it in the atmosphere, the process is used only in a very small scale and therefore is very expensive.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Open Rotor Jet Engine That Could Revolutionize Air Travel

Open Rotor

A new design of with an open rotor jet engine is expected to revolutionize air travel

 
Aerospace will see a new egg shaped jet engine which has the potential to dramatically cut down the fuel consumption and simply change the scenario of modern air travel. This new technology or more importantly the new ‘open rotor’ prototype has been designed by a French engine maker going by the Safran and he is hoping to see them in action by the year 2030. This new technology based engine was developed in association with European Union and it is being tested currently at a French military based present near Marsellie. The Open Rotor engine technology simply bring out the usually hidden whirring part outside in order to capture more air and provide more powerful thrust to the plane.
 

How it works?

 
This new technology based engine design is expected to help in cutting down fuel consumption which will in turn help in reducing the air fares. This engine is designed like an elongated egg having two rows of blades present at the back end. This engine is designed with an aim of burning 15 percent lesser amount of fuel than the current generation of turbofan engines. Even the traditional technology used in the turbofan had improved significantly in the recent past but the prospects & potential of the new egg shaped engine is massive.

This newly engine will be placed right at the back of the airplane rather than being placed right under the wings which has been common place with today’s technology. It will also leave some room for the two rows carbon blades shaped like scimitar which will swirl in the opposite direction.
 

Tinkering with the traditional engine technology & design

 
This isn’t the first that people had decided to tinker with the traditional engine technology and design of our airplanes. In the 1980 a number of US engine makers worked on the unducted fans but this design and technology was dropped as the oil prices steeply declined. During that time airplane engines were considered to be extremely noisy. The current study and change in the popular engine design and technology is powered by the continuous rise in the energy costs and the impositions of different resolution for fewer emissions.

One of the researchers has stated that if we are looking forward to turn this engine into reality by 2030 then the development has begin from today. In case the oil prices ever jumped over $100 then the whole industry will get more interested in such a viable engine technology which reduces the amount of fuel consumption.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Rolls Royce has shown its interest in this new peculiar engine technology. A another question which is being thrown at the developers is how the passengers are going to react to find two find two naked engine right at the back of the airplane. Developers have no answer for it and this technology still has to be certified by the regulator before it debuts on the modern planes.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

What are the Importance of IT Disaster Recovery Plan

No matter what industry you work in, you very likely rely on some form of information technology. When something goes wrong with your IT system, it can bring operations to an immediate stop. The Importance of IT Disaster Recovery for business is most evident after a disaster. Without a plan, a company in any industry risks losing massive amounts of money, taking hits to their reputation, and may even pass these risks onto customers or clients. Waiting until a disaster hits, however, is dangerous and risky. Many people believe that such things can not happen to them, but in reality, they can, and do happen to everybody. Recent storms and cyberattacks should be enough to convince you that you need a disaster recovery plan.

Recent Examples

The climate on this planet is undergoing massive changes. This has led to many costly natural disasters. Hurricane Sandy, for example, did $65 billion worth of damage, and that was, at its height, a Category 2 hurricane. More recent hurricanes, like Harvey and Irma, were significantly stronger and cost even more money. Only 30% of respondents to a survey conducted under the name “2013/2014 Information Governance Benchmarking Survey,” believed that their organization had sufficient systems as it relates to disaster and crisis recovery and management and business continuity. The National Small Business Association conducted a study in which they found that a vast majority (83%) of organizations still had no business continuity plan a year after Hurricane Sandy wreaked its havoc.

Being Prepared

Even if your organization understands the importance of a contingency plan, it can be hard to understand how to start creating one. It is especially difficult for those who have never had to deal with disaster recovery. These people are susceptible to thinking that they will never need to utilize such a plan. They may also simply have no idea exactly what to prepare for. Either way, having a plan is essential for all organizations, as it is guaranteed to save costs in the long run.

If no one in your organization has any experience with planning for disaster recovery, it is important to consult with someone who has. There are so many things that need to be considered in a contingency plan, and it can be impossible to cover all of the bases without any experience in doing so. Many people also have difficulty recognizing the difference when it comes to disaster recovery vs. business continuity. While a business continuity plan is often used in conjunction with a disaster recovery plan, they are separate plans. The business continuity plan should indicate how business will continue after a disaster. The disaster recovery plan deals specifically with IT.

Once there is a well thought out plan in place, and any previous gaps in the plan have been fixed, any organization will be able to recover from a disaster quickly and efficiently. This helps prevent financial loss and loss of reputation. It can also help reduce the risk of damage to equipment during a disaster, and protect the privacy of client records.

World’s Longest Running Synchrotron Light Experiment Reveals Long Term Behaviour Of Nuclear Waste Materials

Nuclear waste experiment
Longest ongoing synchrotron light experiment in the World unveils behaviour of nuclear waste materials that are long term

University of Sheffield researchers, in collaboration with the Diamond Light Source, are the forerunners in studying and understanding gradual transformations in nuclear waste materials. Their experiment just reached a major milestone of 1000 days which makes it the world’s longest running synchrotron light experiment.

Led by Dr Claire Corkhill from the University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the research has utilised the world’s best facilities at the Diamond Light Source to study the long-term behaviour of cement materials used in nuclear waste disposal through the synchrotron experiment.

Dr Corkhill explained that these cements are used to securely lock away the radioactive elements present in nuclear waste for a time period of more than about 10,000 years, hence it is vital that the properties of these materials are accurately predicted in the future. She also added that the exclusive provision at Diamond has enabled them to follow this reaction in situ, for a period of 1000 days and the data received from this study is already helping them recognize exact phases that will securely and safely lock away radioactive elements in a time span of 1000 years’ which is something they would not have been able to determine otherwise.

Dr Corkhill also stated that she has definite plans to return to Diamond Light Source to investigate and observe the reaction of these particular phases with uranium, plutonium and technetium on a single beamline of the X-ray absorption spectroscopy.


The Director of the Immobilisation Science Laboratory and co-investigator of this particular research, Professor Neil Hyatt, said that they all are very enthusiastic to be chosen to partake in this synchrotron experiment as the first ever consumers, in this world’s best facility and capability and are grateful to the people at the Diamond Light Source, Dr Chiu Tang, Dr Sarah Day and Dr Claire Murray from I11 in particular, for all the support they provided in helping all their experiments seeing the light of day and for being the perfect curators of their samples for a period of 1000 days. He added that they were very pleased that this 1000 day milestone established firmly their long-term association between the University of Sheffield and the scientists present at the Diamond Light Source.

Dr Corkhill is, at present, keeping an eye on the alterations in eight nuclear waste cement materials by determining the high resolution diffraction patterns at Diamond Light Source on the I11-1 beamline. Diamond Light Source happens to be UK’s national synchrotron science facility which was financed as a joint venture by the UK Government with the help of the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust. Dr Corkhill’s results and findings are currently being utilised to provide support to the ongoing safety case development meant for the UK Government policy to get rid of nuclear waste in a disposal facility that is geologically deep.
Scientists at Diamond plan to construct five more beamlines for these synchrotron experiments by 2020. But for now, there are no plans to put a stop to this experiment and it will in all probability continue to break records until the materials don’t change anymore or the space is required by another space.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

TU Delft Researcher Makes Alcohol Out Of Thin Air

Method of Producing Alcohol from Thin Air

Ming Ma, a TU Delft PhD student of Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, haslocated a method of producing alcohol from thin air.. He has found out a way of efficiently and accurately controlling the process of electro-reduction of CO2 in producing a wide range of useful products comprising of alcohol.

 With the possibility of utilising CO2as a means of resource in this manner could be just essential in dealing with climate change. His PhD defence took place on September 14th. For the purpose of modifying atmospheric CO2 concentration, carbon capture together with utilization CCU can be a practicable alternative strategy to carbon capture and sequestrations –CCS.

The electrochemical reduction of CO2 to fuels together with value-added chemicals has drawn significant attention as a capable solution. In this course of development, the captured CO2 is utilised as a means of resource and transformed to carbon monoxide – CO, methane – CH4, ethylene and also liquid products like formic acid –HCOOH, methanol – CH3OH and ethanol C2 H5OH. The great energy density hydrocarbons tend to be utilised directly and conveniently as fuels in the existing energy infrastructure.

Feedstock in Fischer-Tropsch

Besides the production of CO2 seems to be interesting as it could be utilised as feedstock in the process of Fischer-Tropsch, which is a strong technology used extensively in industry in the conversion of syngas CO and hydrogen H2 into useful chemicals like methanol and synthetic fuels like diesel fuel.

Ming Ma, in his PhD theory, while working in the group of Dr Wilson A. Smith had defined that the processes that seemed to occur at the nanoscale when various metals were utilised in the electro-reduction of CO2. For instance, while utilising copper nanowires in the electro-reduction procedure would lead to production of hydrocarbons though nanoporous silver could develop CO.

Moreover, as per the discovery of Ma, the process could be quite accurately regulated by altering the lengths of the nanowires as well as the potential of the electrical. On modifying these conditions one is capable of generating any carbon based production or alternatively combinations in any desired ratio, thereby producing the resources for the three follow up processes mentioned above. On utilising metal alloys in the procedure, would lead to more stimulating results.

Formic Acid – Favourable usage in Fuel Cells

Though platinum tends to produce hydrogen on its own, and gold tends to generate CO, an alloy of these two metals tend to unexpectedly produce formic acid – HCOOH, in relatedly huge quantities where formic acid is said to have the possibilities of a very favourable usage in fuel cells. After this, the next step for the team at the Smith Lab for solar Energy Conversion and Storage at TU Delft is to look for means of enhancing the selectivity of individual products as well to start the designing of scaling up the procedure.

Smith had received an ERC Starting Grant to work on that to improve the understanding of the complicated reaction mechanism to obtain an improved control of the CO2electro catalytic process. The other task in the lab is directed on solar driven splitting of water wherein the simple solution tends to make hydrogen production from solar water splitting more efficient and cheaper. With cheap efficient and stable photo electrode would help in improving water splitting with solar energy.

New Machine Learning Algorithms of Google and MIT Retouch Your Photos Before You Take Them

Google Pixel

New machine learning algorithms by Google and MIT retouch your photos before being captured


It is getting tougher and tougher, as time goes by, to extract more and better performance out of your phone’s camera hardware. That is the reason why companies like Google are adopting the method of computational photography: using machine learning algorithm to improvise the output. The most recent exploration from the search giant, conducted along with scientists from MIT, progresses this work to a new level, creating machine learning algorithm that are able to retouch your pictures just like a professional photographer in reality, prior to capturing them.

The researchers utilised machine learning algorithm to build their software, instructing neural networks on a dataset of 5,000 images that are produced by Adobe and MIT. Every image in this compilation has been worked upon and improved by five various photographers and Google and MIT’s algorithms made use of this data to understand what kind of improvements are to be made to different photos. This might involve increasing the brightness at certain places, reducing the saturation elsewhere and so on.

Machine learning algorithm has been used before to improve photos, but the real progress with this particular research is concision of the algorithm so that they are compact and resourceful enough to efficiently and seamlessly run on any user’s device. The software itself if as big as a single digital image and as a blog post from MIT describes, it could be very well capable to “development images in a assortment of styles.”

This proves that in order to train the neural networks, new sets of images can be used and could also be able to replicate a particular photographer’s specific look. In similar way, companies like Facebook and Prisma have produced artistic filters that imitate the style of famous painters. Although smartphones and cameras are already processing the imaging data in real time, these recent techniques are more subtle and spontaneous and rather than applying general settings to the whole of the individual image.

For slimming down the machine learning algorithm, the researchers utilised a few varied techniques. These consisted of converting the changes made to every photo into formulae and using co-ordinates that are grid-like to map the pictures out. All of this means that the data about how the photos can be retouched can be mathematically expressed, instead of full-scale photos.

Google researcher Jon Barron told MIT that this technology has the probability to be very valuable for real-time image enrichment on a mobile phone. He added that utilising this machine learning algorithm for computational photography has an interesting outlook but it is retrained because of the severe constraints in computation and power of mobile phones. This paper may offer a way to avoid these hindrances and create new, interesting, real-time photographic memories without getting the battery drained or giving a slow viewfinder experience.

It’s not unlikely that this machine learning algorithm will be seen in one of Google’s future Pixel phones. Earlier, the company used its HDR+ algorithms to show more detail in terms of light and shadow on mobile phones right since the time the Nexus 6. And Google’s computational photography lead, Marc Levoy, told The Verge last year that they are “only just begun to scratch the surface” with their work.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

3D Muscle that could Lift 1,000 times its own weight

Scientists are one step closer to humanoid robots. They have come up with an artificial 3D Muscle that can lift 1000 times its own weight.

The device in 3D Muscle is also known as an actuator can push, pull, bend, twist and even lift weights. This new device will not require a high power outage or even a separate compressor as did previous models.

Scientists are saying that this 3D Muscle is the closest they’ve ever come to a functioning human muscle.

The main goal of such a project is to combine artificial intelligence to control this 3d developed muscle. The 3D Muscle is said to have a range of applications especially in the medicine sector such as surgeries.

The way the 3D Muscle is developed will allow it to perform in high stress and high strain without being high in density. This study was achieved by lead author Aslan Miriyev.

The material derived is easy to make, made with environmentally safe materials and also has a low cost of development. The material developed by scientists combines the elastic properties and volume change attributes of other material systems.

After the desired shape is 3D printed, the muscle is made to expand, contract and rotate using a resistive wire and a low power consumption.

This 3D muscle was then tested in various settings and in each of these settings it was able to demonstrate significant expansion and contraction abilities.

In this testing environment, the 3D muscle was able to expand to up to 900% when heated at 80 degrees.
Via the use of a computer this 3D muscle is able to perform any tasks in almost any setting.

Up and until now no material was capable of replicating the functioning of a human soft muscle. None of the previously discovered materials was capable of showing the desired properties of high strain and stress.

Professor Hod Lipson said that the 3D printed material was capable of showing much promise especially in areas of high human interaction such as manufacturing and healthcare. He continued to say that till date the all materials made were extremely rigid. This limited their applicability. Today with the newly discovered 3D printable material, these soft robots can perform normal functioning such as grasping, manipulating objects, performing delicate tasks and picking up objects. The mobility that such a material affords makes it adept in performing all these tasks.

Scientists have made great strides in developing robot minds but robot bodies have remained altogether primitive. With these newly achieved 3D made muscles, scientists are now making great strides in the right direction. This new actuator can now be shaped in different ways depending on the setting it is to be used and its applicability.

This 3D printed muscle is the closest scientists have come to replicating human muscle. The material is now being used with different materials such as conductive materials are used in place of wire, which is said to increase the artificial muscle’s shelf life and response time.

Dr Aslan further stated that in time these muscles used in combination with artificial intelligence would be a milestone in replicating natural motion.

The 3D printed muscle showed great promise when weighing in merely 13 grams it was able to lift a 1 kg object in the testing environment.

Researchers are now aimed at using artificial intelligence in controlling the muscle, they say this would be the last milestone in achieving natural motion.

With this breakthrough technology, mechanical engineers at Columbia University have said that this 3d muscle will be even stronger than human muscle.

Friday, 22 September 2017

HyperLoop: Futuristic Hyperloop Hitting 200mph

HyperLoop

Hyperloop Concept – Innovative Transport


A footage displaying an innovative travel concept that is rolled in altering Britain has been released to the public. Elon Musk, entrepreneur, funding the so-called Hyperloop project tweeted out a video from a test pod that travelled at 200mph on social media. Musk who had in 2013 been the first in coming up with the Hyperloop concept defined the innovative transport as a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.

 The pods are said to be driven by magnets or air expelled through the vessels while the tubes would be suspended off the ground for the sake of protection from weather conditions as well as earthquake. Supporters of the projects have advised the Government to abandon HS2 and build the Hyperloop that could revolutionise London-focused economy of Britain.

The Hyperloop is said to complete the 163-mile journey from Manchester to London in around 18 minutes. Though Musk had been behind the initial concept, he is not included in the two companies competing to make his dream a reality. Hyperloop One known earlier as Hyperloop Technologies had in May 2016, completed the first public test of the propulsion system.
 

Futuristic Transport System; The Hyperloop

 
This had come up two months after the opposing start-up Hyperloop Transportation Technologies had got hold of a deal with the Slovakian government in discovering building system in central European country. The President of the think tank Policy North, David Harrison had stated that `Hyperloop could make jobs in London accessible to people living hundreds of miles away, challenging the north-south divide and also create a more balanced spread of wealth all over the country’.

He further added that workers would not need to move to London in order to access the best-paying opportunities, only to have the advantage of those positions wiped out by the soaring cost of living there. Likewise, businesses could locate to the north of England where there seems plenty of space there’. After Dubai had announced a deal with Hyperloop in November last year with a vision of bringing it to the Persian Gulf, the futuristic transport system could be going to the other areas of the world too.
 

Hyperloop – Vacuum Tube Technology

 
The space-age system which is developed by business magnate Elon Musk has been termed as the `fifth mode of transport’. The vision of travelling from London to Edinburgh has now been enhanced after Hyperloop One effectively verified a passenger pod travelling at 192 mph.

Visualized by SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk, Hyperloop is said to be the vacuum tube technology which could modernize transportation. Currently the US-based Hyperloop One firm has directed its first pod rocketing along a 500-metre test track in the Nevada desert. The company ultimately intends to hit speeds of more than 700mph, capable of transporting passengers from LA to San Francisco in about 30 minutes or London to Edinburgh in 50 minutes.

The team were capable of restraining air resistance and shoot the soaring pod alongside a magnetised track on developing a vacuum. Made of structural aluminium as well as being lightweight carbon fibre, the pod is said to measure 28 feet long. The pod would be transporting passengers as well as cargo inside the tube utilising electromagnetic force together with magnetic floating.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Great Tech Panic: What You Should Worry About?

Tech Panic – Cause for Worry 

Technology has been making great progress in transforming our lives which has given rise to panic. Experts have been weighing on how much one should be stressed with regards to self-driving cars, malevolent AI etc.

 In cities like San Francisco; Boston, Tempe, Arizona where self-driving cars have been verified on public roads, there have been trained engineers on board to ensure that the emerging tech does not take on the pedestrians. Nidhi Kalra, co-director of the RAND Centre for Decision Making Under Uncertainty, had commented that it is that persons’ task of paying attention to what the vehicle seems to be doing.

As per the most optimistic estimates of experts, fully autonomous cars on the public roads seems to be at least three years away and that technology will never be infallible, people would still die in car crashes.

However, eventually, self-driving vehicles would probably save lives according to Mark Rosekind, chief safety innovation office at Robotaxi start-up Zoox as well as the former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and 94% of the crashes are credited to human mistake.

Would hackers leak my emails? 

To gain access of one’s email is not at all tough. We find phishers who seems to get more refined from the increased power of ransomware attack encountered.

Seth Schoen, senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier foundation commented that `a cleverly composed email which states `I’m your tech support person and need to know your password’, still tends to function as a shocking percentage of the time.

When it comes to leaking those emails, the threat to the average person is quite insignificant and attacks like the DNC leaks, the Panama Papers together with the Macron campaign hack could encourage your sense of paranoia, unless you are a Kardashian or a Trump, your personal correspondence is likely to be of little interest to cyber thieves’.

Are We Prepared for Cyberwar?

Former US counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke in his 2010 book had ranked on how well some countries tend to fare in a digital conflict As per his formula, the US had been placed dead last and on top – North Korea.

Clarke had figured that the US and Russia could have the best offensive hacking capabilities in the world. However, North Korea seemed to have a bigger advantage - absence of digital dependence. The solitary kingdom’s hackers tend to indulge in a scorched-earth cyberwar without risking much since its citizen tends to stay disconnected.

The US on the other hand is in need of the internet than its opponents. Hence Clarke found America more susceptible to what he termed `the next threat to national security’. Seven years thereafter we need to quit worrying that the period of cyberwar is approaching and we need to admit the fact that the digital attacks on infrastructure are unavoidable.

On the contrary we need to focus on how we should recover from them. This would mean bringing down our reliance on digital systems and enhance on maintaining our consistent, out-dated, analog systems, in order that we can fall back on them when digital disaster occurs.

Essential to Hold On to Era of Physical Override 

When a team of hackers had blacked dozens of electrical substations in Ukraine, in 2015, the utility companies had the technician equipped to switch the power back manually, within a period of six hours.

They had been alert since the Soviet-era grid of Ukraine seems to be stiff on a normal day. The modern, highly automated grids of America do not tend to break often. US institutions should develop the readiness of Ukrainian-style, in an event of a grid attack. In case of interference, it is essential for voting machines to have auditable paper ballots as a backup.

 Organisations of all types should be kept updated, offline data backups for speedy recovery when cyber-attacks like the global WannaCry ransomware outburst. There is no need to relinquish on hyper-connected infrastructure though it is essential to hold on to the era of physical override – since when hackers tend to hijack the elevator of your high-rise apartment, one can be glad that the stairs was another option to resolve the issue.

Would Hackers Launch Nuclear Weapons?

Senior researcher at RAND, Bruce Bennett who seems to specialize in counter proliferation and risk management had stated that `in spite of the act flicks imagining that very scenario, it seems highly improbable. Nuclear weapon does not seem to be connected to the internet, making it complex for anyone to hack them.

On the contrary such weapons seems to be organized by standalone computers together with code keys that are distributed by human couriers, which is a method developed and maintained precisely with security in mind according to an aerospace engineer and analyst John Schilling, for 38 North a Korea-focused analysis group.

He informed that there could be a possibility of sabotaging a nuclear bomb by hacking its secondary as well as tertiary guidance system, which is a tactic the US could have utilised on the missiles of North Korea, though there seems little chance that the troublemaker agents could launch bombs.

Would AI Turn Against Humans? 

Paul Christiano, a researcher at the non-profit Open Ai had mentioned that AI ultimately would be capable of directing science experiments executing construction projects as well as develop more AI without human involvement. He together with his colleagues does not seem to worry that the evil robots would destroy us someday.

 Engineers at Google’s DeepMind unit and Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute however are collaborating in understanding which kind of AI systems could take actions in reducing the chance of being turned off. Their concern lies in the fact that as AI tends to progress beyond human understanding, the behaviour of the technology may deviate from our intended goals. Hence it is up to the researchers to construct a foundation which tends to have human values at heart.

Am I Being Spied on Through my Microphone – Equipped Device? 

Third-party developers, cyber-criminals and at times also the companies which tend to develop smart devices could have the means of accessing your audio stream. Mordechai Guri, head of R&D for Cyber Security Research Centre at Ben-Gurion University in Israel had stated that they are always accompanied by high-quality microphones and your smartphone or smart TV can be turned into a spying device for advertising purposes.

It is also the same in the case of smart home devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home with far-field always-on microphones. Furthermore apps are probing to access smartphone microphone in order to feed on hyper-targeted ads.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Supercapacitive Performance of Porous Carbon Materials Derived from Tree Leaves

carbon

Converting Fallen Leave – Porous Carbon Material

An innovative system of converting fallen tree dried leaves to porous carbon material which could be utilised in producing high tech electronics have been found by researchers in China. Researchers have defined in a study printed in the Journal of Renewable and sustainable energy, on the procedure of converting tree leaves into a system of integrating into electrodes as active resources. Initially the dried leaves are ground into powder and thereafter heated to 220 degrees Celsius for about 12 hours which formed a powder comprised of small carbon microspheres.

The carbon microspheres are then said to be preserved with a solution of potassium hydroxide and heated on gradually increasing the temperature in sequences from 450 to 800 degrees Celsius. Due to the chemical treatment it tends to corrode the surface of the carbon microspheres which tends to make it tremendously permeable.

The concluding production which is a black carbon powder is said to have a great surface area owing to the existence of several small holes which tend to have been chemically carved on the surface of the microspheres. The great surface area provides the ultimate produce with unusual electrical properties.

Permeable Microspheres



Led by Hongfang Ma of Qilu University of Technology in Shandong, the detectives followed a succession of standard electrochemical test on the permeable carbon microspheres in order to enumerate their possibility for utilisation in electronic devices.

The current-voltage curves for these materials showed that the element tends to make exceptional capacitor. Additional tests indicated that the materials had in fact been super capacitors having precise capacitances of 367 Fards/gram.

 These were said to be over thrice the value seen in some of the graphene super capacitors. Capacitor is said to be an extensively utilised element which tends to store energy on holding a charge on two conductors, which are detached from each other with the support of an insulator.

Super capacitor tend to store 10 to 100 times the energy as an ordinary capacitor and has the tendency of accepting and delivering charges much quicker than a usual rechargeable battery. Hence super capacitive materials have the potentials for an extensive selection of energy storage essential in particular in computer technology as well as hybrid or electric vehicles.

Enhance – Electrochemical Properties



The roadsides of northern China are said to be scattered with deciduous phoenix trees which produce abundant fallen leaves during autumn and these leaves are usually burnt in the colder climate, aggravating the air pollution issue of the country.

The investigators in Shandong, China, had recently found the new system of resolving this issue by means of converting waste biomass into porous carbon materials which could be used in energy storage technology. Besides tree leaves, the team together with the others have also succeeded in changing potato waste, corn straw, pine wood, rice straw as well as other agriculture wastes into carbon electrode materials.

Professor Ma together with her colleagues expects to enhance more on the electrochemical properties of porous carbon materials by augmenting the preparation procedure and enabling fixing or adjustment of the raw materials.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Energy Storage Solution Combines Polymers and Nanosheets

Energy Storage

Fresh Lightweight Composite Material – Energy Storage 

 

According to a team of Penn State scientists a fresh lightweight composite material for the purpose of energy storage in flexible electronics, electric vehicles and aerospace application has experimentally revealed energy storage at operating temperatures beyond present commercial polymers.

The said polymer-based ultrathin energy storage material can be produced utilising techniques which are already being used in industry. Professor of materials science and engineering, Penn State, Qing Wang had stated that this is part of a series of work which had been done in the lab on high temperature dielectrics for use in capacitors.

 Prior to this work they had developed a composite of boron nitride nanosheets and dielectric polymers, though had realized that there had been significant issues with scaling that energy storage material up economically’. The defining challenge for several of the new, two-dimensional energy storage materials that are being established in academic labs is scalability or making advanced materials in commercially significant quantities for devices.

Wang has mentioned that `from a soft material perspective, 2D materials are fascinating though how to mass produce them is a question. Moreover, being able to combine them with polymeric materials is a key feature for future flexible electronics applications and electronic devices’.

Functional Dielectric Device-

 

In order to resolve this issue, his lab collaborated with a group at Penn State operating in two-dimensional crystals. Nasim Alem, assistant professor of materials science and engineering as well as a faculty member in Penn State’s Centre for 2-Dimensional and Layered Materials had stated that the work had been conceived in conversations between his graduate students, Amin Azizi together with graduate student of Dr Wang, Matthew Gadinski. He further informed that this was the first strong experiment wherein a soft polymeric material together with a hard 2D crystalline material had come together in order to develop a functional dielectric device.

Azizi who presently is a post-doctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley and Gadinski, a senior engineer at DOW Chemical had generated a technique utilising chemical vapour deposition in order to make multilayer, hexagonal boron-nitride nanocrystal films to transfer the films to both areas of a polyetherimide (PEI) film.

Thereafter they bonded the films together by utilising force on the three-layer sandwich structure. In the outcome which was surprising to the researchers, pressure itself without the need of any chemical bonding had been adequate in making a free-standing film essentially strong to potentially be manufactured in a high-throughput roll-to-roll process.

 

Hexagonal Boron Nitride – Wide Band Gap Material

 

In a recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials in a paper titled `High-performance Polymers Sandwiched with Chemical Vapour Deposited Hexagonal Boron Nitrides as Scalable High-Temperature Dielectric Materials’, the results had been reported. Hexagonal boron nitride is said to be a wide band gap material having high mechanical strength.

 Its wide band gap tends to make it a worthy insulator, protecting the PEI film from dielectric breakdown at high temperatures, the cause for failure in the other polymer capacitors. Above 176 degrees Fahrenheit, at operating temperatures, the prevailing best commercial polymers begins to lose its efficiency though hexagonal-boron-nitride-coated PEI tends to function at high efficiency at above 392 degrees Fahrenheit.

The coated PEI seems to be stable for over 55,000 charge-discharge cycles in testing even at high temperature. Wang has mentioned that `theoretically all these high performance polymers which seem to be so commercially valuable could be coated with boron nanosheets in order to block charge injection. He further added that he is of the opinion that this would make this technology feasible for forth-coming commercialization.

 

Supported – U.S. Office/National Science Foundation 


Alem has also commented that there are several devices that are made with 2D crystals at the laboratory scale; however the defects tend to make them an issue for manufacturing. With the help of huge band-gap material such as boron nitride, it tends to do a good work in spite of the fact that small microstructural features could not be perfect.

 The first-principles calculations resolute that the electron barrier recognized at the interface of the PEI/hexagonal boron-nitride structure as well as the metal electrodes practical to the structure for the purpose of delivering current was said to be significantly higher than typical metal electrode-dielectric polymers contacts, thus making energy storage materials more complex for charges from the electrode to get injected into the film.

This task had been done by the theoretical research group of Long-Qing Chen, Professor of Materials, Science and Engineering, professor of engineering science and mechanics as well as mathematics – Penn State, Donald W. Hamer. Several others contributing to this work comprise of post-doctoral scholar Qi Li as well as graduate student Feihua Liu in the lab of Wang, undergraduate Mohammed Abu AlSaud in the lab of Alem, senior scientist Jianjun, Wang, post-doctoral scholar Yi Wang together with graduate student Bo Wang who were all from the Chen group at that point of time. This work had also been supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research as well as the National Science Foundation.

Friday, 11 August 2017

The Computer That Know What Humans Will Do Next

AI

Computer Code – Comprehend Body Poses/Movement

A fresh computer code tends to provide robots with the possibility of an improved understanding of humans around them, making headway for more perceptive machines from self-driving cars to investigation. The new skill enables the computer to comprehend the body poses as well as movements of various people even to the extent of tracking parts as tiny as individual fingers.

Though humans tend to communicate naturally utilising body language, the computers tend to be somewhat blind to these interactions. However, by tracking the 2D human form and motion, the new code is said to improve greatly the abilities of the robots in social situations.

A new code had been designed by the researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute by utilising the Panoptic Studio. The two-story dome has been equipped with 500 video cameras developing hundreds of views of individual action for a specified shot. Recording of the system portrays how the system views the movement of humans utilising a 2D model of the human form.

Panoptic Studio – Extraordinary View of Hand Movement

This enables it to trail motion from the recording of video in real time, capturing everything right from the gestures of the hand to the movement of the mouth. Besides this, it also has the potential of tracking several people at once.

Associate professor of robotics, Yaser Sheikh had stated that they tend to communicate mostly with the movement of the bodies as they tend to do with their voice. However computer seems to be more or less blind to it. Multi-person tracking gives rise to various challenges to computers and hand detections is said to be more of an obstacle.

The researchers, in order to overcome this, utilised a bottom-up approach localizing individual body area in an act. Thereafter the areas were associated with certain individuals. Though the image datasets on the hand of the human seemed quite restricted than those on the face or body, the Panoptic Studio provided extraordinary view of hand movement.

 A PhD student in robotics, Hanbyul Joo had stated that a distinct shot provides 500 views of individuals hand and also automatically interprets the position of the hand.

2D to 3D Models

He further added that hands tend to be too small to be interpreted by most of the cameras, but for the research they had utilised only 32 high-definition cameras though were still capable of building a huge data set. The method could ultimately be utilised in various applications for instance helping to enhance the ability of self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movements.

 It could also be utilised in behavioural diagnosis or in sports analytics. Researchers would be presenting their work CVPR 2017, the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference, from July 21 -26 in Honolulu. Up to now they have released their code to several other groups in order to expand on its skills.

Finally, the team expects to move from 2D models to 3D models by using the Panoptic Studio in refining the body, face and hand detectors. Sheikh had mentioned that the Panoptic Studio had boosted their research and they are now capable of breaking through various technical barriers mainly as a result of the NSF grant 10 years back.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

New 4D Camera Designed by Stanford Researchers

4D Camera

Stanford researchers created a new camera to enhance virtual reality and robot vision

Robotics is advancing at a frantic pace and Stanford researchers giving it a new push by bringing such a technology which can play a remarkable role in its future. A new 4D camera has been built by the researchers which have the ability as the name suggests generating four dimensional images. Furthermore this camera can even capture images in 140 degrees which is unbelievable and one of a kind in itself. This camera will find its way in the robots in upcoming days where it will help them in airborne package deliveries by offering a remarkable view of surroundings.

Camera designed specifically with robots in mind

This 4 D camera has been developed by the team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego. This camera is designed with robots in minds therefore it comes loaded with some exquisite features like wider field of view, light weight and single lens rather the multiple lens used in the modern consumer electronics.

This camera will be showcased at the upcoming computer vision conference called CVPR 2017. Researchers had stressed the current demand of the robotics are quite heavy on the robots wherein they are required move around and gather information from different perspectives in order to understand the varied aspects of the environment.

This camera will help robots in gathering large amount of the information from a single image like never before.Researchers believe that this camera will find wider application in the autonomous vehicles along with the ever growing augmented and virtual reality technologies.

Desirable features for the robotics

If robotics and wearable technologies want to grow by leap and bounds then this new 4D camera will be a boon for them. It has some of the most desirable features like detailed depth information, wider field of view and ability to be manufactured in any shape or size. This would give a great boost of the imagining system incorporated in the robotics, augmented and virtual reality as well as the wearables.


When compared to the conventional cameras, the images taken from the 4 D camera offers a refreshing perspective of looking through a ‘window’ rather than a ‘peephole’. In normal 2D images users can move their head to gain more information but the images taken from this camera allows users to identify features such as shape, brightness, transparency and much more.

The best thing about this 4 D camera is that it can also function as the modern conventional camera at far distances. A unique feature about this camera is that it can enhance the close up images to a great extent which means it can be used for a really wide variety of tasks and operations like it can used in the small robots which tends to navigate small areas in the landing drones or self-driving vehicles.

 Its other characteristic of offering incredible depth information will come in handy in the augments and virtual reality system wherein it will be help in seamlessly rendering real scenes. It will also bring support for better amalgamation between the actual scenes as well as the virtual components in an efficient fashion.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Climbing Stairs Just Got Easier with Energy-Recycling Steps

 Energy-Recycling Steps

Scientists make it easier to climb stairs with new age energy recycling steps

If you have trouble walking up and down stairs then researchers from Georgia Tech has a device meant just for you. They had been successful at making the world’s first energy recycling stairs which has the unique features of storing as well as returning the energy to the users while moving up and down the stairs. The working of this device is quite simple and right to the point which makes it easier for anyone to make use of it.

It has been found that this spring loaded stairs results in saving energy by 26 percent while going up or down the stairs. When some goes up using this device then it releases the stored energy and in the process it makes it 39 percent easier for the subject to move up the stairs. It also remains soft on the knees and seriously limits the amount of energy which is usually wasted while using the conventional stair cases. The best thing about this device is that it can be easily placed on the existing stairs without the need of even installing it permanently.

How this stairs works? 


The working of this energy recycling device has been defined by Karen Liu, an associate professor AT Georgia Tech. She explains that normal walking usually results dissipating energy with each heel strike which can be easily store and utilized in the ascent using this device. In order to achieve this functionality each stair is made up of springs which are equipped with pressure sensors. When a user walks downstairs the steps sinks and lock in a certain position which helps in storing the generated energy and when someone walks upstairs then this stored energy is released. Researchers are going to publish their findings in the journal called Public Library of Science PLOS ONE.

A simple idea with wider future application of Energy Recycling

 

The idea behind this device came to Liu when she attended a conference and got to see a unique ankle brace which effectively works on the basis on storing and releasing the energy. Secondly she also saw her 72 year old mother having grave walking difficulty and problems associated with climbing the steps. Thereon she got the idea of creating smart stairs rather than the sneakers.

Her device is extremely low cost which means wider number of people suffering from the knee and walking issues will be able to buy it. This energy recycling stairs can be easily installed in the home which isn’t possible when it comes to having stair lifts or elevators at home.

It is also believed that this device will allow users to maintain their mobility by allowing them to keep walking and moving around even through injury and it will eventually help in elevating the quality of life in the long run. When it comes to application this energy recycling stairs can act as the temporary stars at home, hospitals or old age homes where older people or people recovering from surgery are spending their time.


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Neural Networks Model Audience Reactions to Movies

reactions

Deep learning software models the audience reactions to the movies

Blockbusters and tentpole movies have become a mega event not just for the fans but also for the studios. A huge amount of money is stake when movie are released but for some time now movies are failing to get desired results as per the expectations of studio executives.

Engineers at the Disney Research had developed a new deep learning software which makes effective use of the neural networks to map and access the viewers’ facial expressions to the movies. This particular software is result of collaboration between Disney Research and researchers from the Caltech and Simon Fraser University.

This new age deep learning software will arm studios with the knowledge of how movies are going to perform on box office through utilizing a newly developed algorithm called factorized variational auto encoders (FVAEs).

How it works?

This software makes use of the deep learning to translate the images of highly complex objects automatically. These objects can be anything from the human face, forests, trees to moving objects and this software essentially turns their images into sets of numerical data through a process called encoding or latent representation.

Thereby they were able to understand how human react to the movies by understanding how much they are smiling or how worries they were in a particular scene and so on. In next stage these neural networks are fed with the metadata which helps in bringing better understanding of the audience responses.

Researchers are all set to showcase their findings to the world at the upcoming event called IEE Conference ion Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in July.

Futures prospects and application of this new software

Research team has performed extensive testing of this software to make the best use of the neural networks to unlock how human perceive movies in real life. This software was applied in more than 150 showings of nine blockbusters ranging from The Jungles Book, Big Hero 6 to Stars Wars: The Force Awakens.

In the 400 seater cinema hall researchers made use of four infrared cameras to make out the audience face reactions in the dark. The result of these testing provided highly astonishing findings with the help of some 16 million individual facial images captured by the cameras.


Lead researcher has stressed the amount of data collected by the software is too much for a person to comprehend on its own. The FVAEs effectively understood the nueral networks and brought some of the greatest finding for the researchers. It helped in understanding how audience reacted to certain scenes and how movie making can be enhanced to strike cord with audience hot points.

This software will not be just limited to study the audience reaction to the movies but it can also find application in analyzing varied things or places like forest wherein it can state how trees responds to different climatic and environmental changes. Later on this very finding can be utilized in creating animated simulation of the flora all around us with precision.