Monday, 15 December 2014

Can a robot cheetah save the world?

A robot which can run at speeds of more than 10 mph, jump almost 16 inches high, land safely and continue galloping for at least 15 minutes — all while using less power than a microwave oven has been unveiled by engineers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

The robot, inspired by a cheetah, is hoped to have real world applications including prosthetic limbs, wearable technologies, all-terrain wheelchairs and vehicles that can travel efficiently in rough terrain.

The team have had to create most of the components from scratch including motors, sensors and an on board computer. They have even created an algorithm which calculates how much energy should be exerted by each leg whilst running!

"This is kind of a Ferrari in the robotics world, like, we have to put all the expensive components and make it really that instinctive," said MIT Professor Sangbae Kim, Head of the school's Biomimetic Robotics Lab. "That's the only way to get that speed."

Watching the video of the robot in action, you can really see the cat-like movements of the robot. To say it weighs 70 pounds, the robot moves smoothly compared to other robotic devices and it is really possible to see how this technology could be used to enhance and even save lives. It is hoped this type of robot could be used in search and rescue operations or in hostile environments where it is too dangerous to send humans in.

The team still have some way to go in perfecting the technology but have come a long way in the last 5 years. “In the next 10 years, our goal is we are trying to make this robot to save a life," Kim said.

A worthy aim and we wish them all the best in achieving it.

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Friday, 12 December 2014

Miniature batteries open up a world of possibilities

Researchers at Maryland University have created a tiny battery that has the potential to revolutionise our electronic products.

The battery, unlike any we have seen before, consists of individual 'nanopores', which are a hole in a ceramic sheet that holds electrolytes to carry electrical charge between nanotube electrodes at either end.

Just one of these pores on its own won't do a great deal, but when you consider that a billion of these pores can fit onto a surface the size of a postage stamp, there's a lot of potential there!

Currently the battery is in prototype mode but first author Chanyuan Liu says: “It can be charged in 12 minutes and recharged thousands of time.” The battery is working though and now the nanopore technology has been demonstrated, the team are working on making the next version more powerful so it can be used in a wider range of applications.

With smaller and smaller power sources becoming available, the electronics market will be able to shrink and miniaturise products like never before. Smaller, lighter phones and tablets, portable medical equipment and even electric cars will be able to utilise Maryland University's technology.

It's an exciting time in electronics and Cyclops Electronics are here to keep you firmly up to date with all the latest technological advances, product updates and scientific discoveries! Don't miss out on anything by following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Season's Greetings and Best Wishes for 2015 from all at Cyclops Electronics!

Are you getting excited about the upcoming holiday season? Here at Cyclops Electronics we certainly are and would like to wish you a very happy holidays and a wonderful new year!

We will be closed for the holiday season from 12:30 (GMT) Wednesday 24th December 2014, reopening in the New Year at 08:45 (GMT) on Monday 5th January 2015.

We will be ready and waiting for your enquiries in the new year and look forward to a happy and prosperous new year.

Season's Greetings and have a fantastic holiday season!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Ready to experience a brand new kind of phone? Meet Google's Project ARA.

Google are currently working on the phone to change all phones. A new concept of modular phones which allow you to precisely tailor your phone – both aesthetically and functionally.

You begin with an endoskeleton, or 'Endo' as Google are affectionately calling it, which forms the basis of your phone and then add 'modules' which alter or add to the phone's functionality. Think of the ARA a little like a Lego phone, different bits snap in and out to make the phone whatever you want it to be.

Going on holiday? Get a great camera just by adding a new module. Into gaming? Add a faster processor while playing. Make music the centre of your world with super speakers or use medical sensors to keep a check on your health.

And the best part is you don't have to sacrifice one thing for another. Just a few clicks and swops and your super powerful gamer phone can transform into a lightweight, speedy phone perfect for the office. Or change the size by using different endos – have a tiny phone on Saturday night in your pocket or clutch bag and then make the same phone into a phablet for work on Monday morning!

The modules can also be shared by anyone else with an ARA phone – no need to upgrade every couple of years, upgrade constantly with modules that deliver what you need, when you need it.

This concept for phones, if it catches on (and let's face it, with Google behind it, it probably will catch on!) would be great news for electronic component companies. Rather than just needing a few components to make up the phone, every module will be made up of them. With the aim being that people own more modules than can be used at once, more electronic components will be needed than on a standard smartphone. More components is always a good thing for our industry!

(Google are still working on the prototype with a conference scheduled for January 14th 2015 where we should find out even more about the modular phone.)

Keep up to date with all the latest industry news by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, or connecting on Linked In and Google+


Monday, 17 November 2014

Electronica 2014 - A great week!

The team ready to greet all our customers!
The week we spent in Munich was absolutely brilliant! It was great to meet so many of our customers and to see some new faces too. Our team worked really hard delivering information and advice to everyone about electronic component distribution, scheduling and obsolete services.

The fair as a whole was a roaring success with 73,000 visitors across the 4 days all here with one interest – electronics! Our semiconductor hall was one of the busiest and had a great atmosphere all week.

Thank you to everybody that came to see us, we hope you enjoyed your time in Munich as much as we did! If you couldn't make it to Electronica this year – don't worry! You can still find out all that Cyclops has to offer you by downloading our company presentation here or for specific information regarding our services just follow the links below:

Time for us to recover now – Electronica may be fun but it's also a lot of hard work! 

Busy, busy meeting everyone!
If you have any Electronica pictures you want to share, head on over to our Facebook page or show us them on Twitter using @CyclopsGroup We would love to see how Electronica was for you!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Electronica 2014 – We're Here!

Well, we have made it to the lovely city of Munich and are all very excited to get Electronica 2014 underway! The stand is set up, drinks are chilled and we are ready to greet you all. Come by Hall A5, Stand 171 to be given the Cyclops Group hospitality treatment!

Choose from a range of beverages as you speak with our team about electronic component distribution. We are here all week so you have plenty of opportunity to spend some time with us.

Our team are ready and waiting for you!
You can even enter our prize draw to win a brand new iPad! Visit the stand for more details.

If you are not going to Electronica this year, you can find out more about the Cyclops Group here or download our company presentation here.

We hope you can make it down to see us and we are really looking forward to meeting as many customers as possible. We're ready to show you exactly why you should choose Cyclops for your component stocking and distribution requirements!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A Spooktactular Halloween 2014!

Any excuse to have a bit of fun in the Cyclops office and Halloween 2014 was no exception! We played trick or treat with the sales team, had some spooky fancy dress and of course ate lots and lots of sweeties!

We also like others to benefit from all the fun we had by raising money for Cancer Research UK with our dress down/dress up day. We raised over £90 for this great charity - thank you to everyone who participated, best get planning next years costume now!!