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!