1:Energy storing bricks
Scientists have found how to store energy within the red bricks that are wont to build houses.
Researchers led by Washington University in St Louis, in Missouri, US, have developed a way which will turn a budget and widely available artifact into “smart bricks” which will store energy sort of a battery.
Although the research remains within the proof-of-concept stage, the scientists claim that walls made from these bricks “could store a considerable amount of energy” and may “be recharged many thousands of times within an hour”.
The researchers developed a way to convert red bricks into a kind of energy memory device called a supercapacitor.
This involved putting a conducting coating, referred to as Pedot, onto brick samples, which then seeped through the fired bricks’ porous structure, converting them into “energy storing electrodes”.
Iron oxide, which is that the red pigment within the bricks, helped with the method , the researchers said.
2:Robotic guide dogs
A student at Loughborough University has designed a “robotic guide dog” which will help support visually impaired people that are unable to deal with a true animal.
The product, designed by Anthony Camu, replicates the functions of a seeing-eye dog also as programming quick and safe routes to destinations using real-time data.
Theia, named after the titan goddess of sight, may be a portable and concealable handheld device that guides users through outdoor environments and enormous indoor spaces with little or no input.
Using a special control moment gyroscope (CMG), Theia moves users’ hands and physically “leads” them – very similar to holding the brace of a seeing-eye dog .
The device is meant to process real-time online data, like traffic density (pedestrians and cars) and weather, to guide users accurately and safely to their destinations.
It will have a fail-safe procedure for high-risk scenarios, like crossing busy roads – pushing the user back to a “manual mode”, almost like employing a cane.
3:Sweat powered smartwatches
Engineers at the University of Glasgow have developed a replacement sort of flexible supercapacitor, which stores energy, replacing the electrolytes found in conventional batteries with sweat.
It are often fully charged with as little as 20 microlitres of fluid and is strong enough to survive 4,000 cycles of the kinds of flexes and bends it’d encounter in use.
The device works by coating polyester cellulose cloth during a thin layer of a polymer, which acts because the supercapacitor’s electrode.
As the cloth absorbs its wearer’s sweat, the positive and negative ions within the sweat interact with the polymer’s surface, creating an electrochemical reaction which generates energy.
“Conventional batteries are cheaper and more plentiful than ever before but they’re often built using unsustainable materials which are harmful to the environment,” says Professor Ravinder Dahiya, head of the Bendable Electronics and Sensing Technologies (Best) group, based at the University of Glasgow’s Watt School of Engineering.
“That makes them challenging to eliminate safely and potentially harmful in wearable devices, where a broken battery could spill toxic fluids on to skin.
“What we’ve been ready to do for the primary time is show that human sweat provides a true opportunity to try to to away with those toxic materials entirely, with excellent charging and discharging performance.