Archive January 2020

Removing heavy metals from water

Simultaneously removing heavy metals such as arsenic, chromium, cadmium and mercury from wastewater with very high efficiency now appears possible, thanks to the work of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. The carbon-based nanostructure that the team fabricated shows 80-90% adsorption efficiency for all the four heavy metals studied.

Public autonomous vehicle – Tesla

Tesla’s designers envisioned a fun idea for autonomous vehicles that could be used publicly. It is a modular self-propelled vehicle that is not a one completed vehicle but a POD (application-specific upper module) mounted on a standardized platform. The idea is that the basic platform can be self-propelled in five stages, and the POD module is designed to be divided into the following categories: public transport, commercial transport, and personal transport.

Stretchable Battery That Can Safely Power Wearables

Researchers from Stanford University have developed a soft and stretchable battery for wearable electronics that relies on a special type of plastic to store power more safely than flammable material used in conventional batteries today.

The experimental battery maintained a constant power output even when squeezed, folded and stretched to nearly twice its original length. The prototype is thumbnail-sized and stores roughly half as much energy, ounce for ounce, as a comparably sized conventional battery.

Smart Toilets Are Revealing the Health Data That Wearables Can’t

Toi Labs developed the TrueLoo, a smart toilet seat that the company claims can be installed in minutes, like a bidet. The TrueLoo uses sensor technology to analyze human waste and help aging users and their caregivers monitor a variety of urinary and digestive disorders. By taking optics-based measurements of waste and analyzing the data for signs of disease and disorder, the company says the TrueLoo has the potential to detect dehydration, infection with viruses, and urinary tract infections, one of the most common infections seniors experience. The company is testing the product this year in senior-living facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area, with plans to market it to general consumers as soon as 2021.

Finger devices for controlling objects in AR and VR

Apple has filed a patent application for small “finger devices” loaded with sensors that allow people to interact with objects in AR or VR.  

Elements such as force sensors, optical sensors and ultrasonic sensors would be used for “gathering finger input from a user.” That input could then be used to control virtual objects in mixed reality or virtual reality environments, with the finger device providing haptic feedback for a realistic effect. For example, someone could change the volume on a HomePod speaker by turning a virtual dial while wearing the finger device.