Alipay, a China-based online payment platform by Alibaba Group, has come up with an innovative digital payment system in China. The technology allows customers to make payment by merely flashing a smile that authenticates customers’ identity for the online transaction. Introduced as a beta version in 2015 by Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, the service has now been launched by the company’s Ant Financial Affiliate in Hangzhou headquarter, where the technology is being trialed with KFC. It makes use of Face++ functionality from Chinese startup Megvii.
A group of researchers from the Harward University in the US has developed a soft, stretchy fabric-based Sensor that can turn any cloth into a fitness tracker. It’s a highly sensitive soft capacitive sensor composed of silicone and fabric that moves and flexes with the human body to unobtrusively and accurately detect movement. The technology involves a thin sheet of silicone i.e. a poorly conductive material which is flanked by two layers of silver-plated, conductive fabric i.e. a highly conductive material, forming a capacitive sensor. This kind of sensor registers movement by measuring the change in capacitance, or the ability to hold electric charge of the electrical field between the two electrodes.
As per the recent market reports, at least 7 km of roads in the central business district area of Bengaluru is going to be equipped with IoT-enabled solutions. Dubbed as ‘Smart SURE’ by the civic corporation, these kinds of roads will contribute towards the establishment of a smart city, backed by hi-tech amenities. The roads in the vicinity of Vidhana Soudha including MG Road, Brigade Road, and Commercial Street will be covered under this plan. The facilities include 50 smart card-enabled public cycle sharing points, 30 e-rickshaw stands, 35 e-toilets, water ATMs, 420 sensor-based dustbins and 50 designated vending kiosks.
Hyperloop One, previously known as Hyperloop Technologies, is aiming to commercialize the high-speed transit envisioned by Elon Musk. In a bid to take the concept a bit forward towards practicality, the company is conducting several tests of the Hyperloop; out of which a crucial one is going to take place in Nevada. The company will conduct a test run in which a pod measuring 28 foot i.e. 8.5 meters, will be hurled down on a set of tracks. The transit system will be aimed towards achieving the speed of 250 mph i.e. 402 kph in its upcoming phase of testing. Interestingly, the results from Hyperloop’s test run in Nevada desert on 12th May were recently revealed in which a Hyperloop pod sled on wheels for the first time and moved above a track using magnets.
Recently in China, 4 students volunteered to be sealed inside a 160 m2 laboratory where they are supposed to spend the next 6 and-a-half months. This experiment is one of the last steps in China’s plan to land its astronauts on the moon by 2036.The lab is known as Yuegong-1 or Lunar Palace. It contains two plant cultivation areas, a living space consisting of 4 bed pods, a bathroom, a waste-treatment facility, and a room for raising animals. This self-sustaining ecosystem has been designed to mimic the living conditions of a lunar space station. These volunteer students belong to China’s leading Aeronautics and Astronautics University of Beihang.
After the successful launch of South Asia Satellite, ISRO is gearing up to add another feather in its cap with the maiden launch of GSLV Mark-III. Weighing 64-tonnes, it’s going to be the heaviest rocket that India has ever launched. After 12 years of labour and rigorous research, the space agency will finally launch the rocket in the first week of June. The Mark-III space vehicle is going to transport a 4-tonne communications satellite described as a “game-changer” in one of its kind space mission. The aim is to attain a greater share of the multi-billion dollar space market and reduce dependency on international launching vehicles.
According to a recent study that was made by a team of researchers from the University of Sussex, the telecom service providers will have to find ways to share 5Gf frequencies if they need to bring improvements in high-speed mobile broadband across Britain. The team proposed abstraction from latest cognitive radio techniques and wireless networks that can allow intelligent sharing of frequencies as per demand. If this can happen, the team says, it would bring significant movement ahead from 4G, where frequencies were auctioned for special usage. In order to support things like VR (Virtual Reality) and UHD video over mobile phones at much higher frequencies that are actually needed for this purpose. Though there is the provision of more bandwidth with 4G, high ranges of frequencies can get very crowded, this implies that only safe solution for future purposes is to share the frequencies.
According to a screening method that was recently developed by a team of chemists working at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, we can now easily identify structure meant for Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) with much better luminescence along with many other charge-transport properties. According to the research team that was working on this project, organic materials are counted among some of the most effective sources for meeting the increasing demand for display technologies. In a specific manner, molecules from this class of materials are called as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can always be used in the production of flexible large sized flat screens that have higher resolution and lower energy consumption.
Just think about a single unit battery that can be recharged with light and also portable. A team of researchers working at UNIST at Korea was recently able to accomplish this task. The team announced the development of a single-unit, photo-rechargeable power source that can be ported from one place to another. The battery is based on highly-efficient silicon-based lithium-ion and solar cells based batteries. It is a completely new class of monolithically infused portable PV-battery system that has solar power as its power source. It has been designed well to work with sunlight as well as indoor lighting and is perfectly capable of empowering electric devices even in absence of light.
A team of physicists working at the University of California recently registered success in the development of two-dimensional quantum materials that have new kind of magnetic and electrical features. The team worked in coordination with their colleagues from Furan University, University of Maryland, Princeton University, and UC Berkeley. What makes these unique is the fact that these materials do not use electrons as their signal carriers, the usual two-dimensional semiconductors do make use of electrons for this purpose. The Dirac and Majorana fermions are those particles that have zero mass and move with the speed of light. The researchers also claim that these newly developed materials can easily become building blocks for future quantum computing based computers as well as other kinds of advanced electronics.
A team of researchers working at the US Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Chemistry Division reported that they have developed a much safer option for lithium-ion batteries. They mentioned in their report a big breakthrough in the Nickel-Zinc (Ni-Zn) technology under which a 3D zinc ‘sponge’ has been used for replacing the customary anode using powdered zinc. The result was a water-based battery that has rechargeability and energy content competent enough with that of lithium-ion batteries. A senior scientist and also a principal investigator in this project, Dr. Debra Rolison, adds, “Our team at the NRL pioneered the architectural approach to the redesign of electrodes for next-generation energy storage. The 3D sponge form factor allows us to reimagine zinc for the 21st Century.”
There are a number of cities in the United States that are enhancing their energy goals, Chicago, for example, is aiming for the adoption of hundred percent renewable energy by the year 2025. Similarly, Houston adds that they have no issues if ninety percent of their municipal energy has already been generated by a source of renewable energy. Part of this energy will be harnessed by the recently built SolaireHolman plant that took its first breath in spring this year. It is a 50MW solar powerhouse that will offer electricity to the city of Houston with a PPA or a Power Purchase Agreement. Apart from this, the plant is also capable of delivering wholesale power to the Texas state power grid, ERCOT. It will cover an area worth 360 acres of area, the array will have more than 200, 000 solar panels that have been arranged in 26 blocks.
Robotic automation of industries has definitely created a buzz in a negative as well as positive manner. The fear-mongers and hopefuls are all skeptical if this will take away their jobs or not. Many of these updates seem undesirable till now but there are several others that have worked wonders in terms of workplace safety and efficiency. Automation industry is now bringing in products for electronics and automotive industries as well. The CPG (Consumer Products Group) sales manager for Yaskawa America, Jack Uhl, recently highlighted this point in his blog post. He emphasized on significance of automation in food industry and how it will play a key role in tying all its different wheels together. Uhl also asserted that beverage production facilities are now making use of rotary fillers in manufacturing of soft drinks, water, milk, as well as wine.
All those explorers that plan to settle down on Mars and make it home, may soon be able to built homes there with red soil present on the planet without any oven or any other extra ingredient. The only thing you will need is to apply some extra pressure to compact the soil or some equal pressure blow with a hammer. The findings for the same were recently published in a famous journal. The study was carried out by a team of engineers working at the University of California located in San Diego. It was sponsored by NASA as its significance has been raised since a new bill has been passed by Congress under President Donald Trump’s rule, it has directed NASA to send a manned mission to Mars anyhow by the year 2033. A professor of structural engineering at the UC San Diego and also the lead author of this paper, Yu Qiao, adds, “The people who will go to Mars will be incredibly brave. They will be pioneers. And I would be honored to be their brick maker.”
The team of engineers working at the Power Practical was too much into coffee but was disappointed by a large engineering inequality – while the coffee was brewed at a temperature between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit, the drinking temperature for most people differed between 120-150 degrees. To heighten this problem further, the disposable cups went on cooling the coffee too quickly while the insulated thermos mug kept it dangerously hot for several hours. So, they decided to sit and work out on a smart coffee mug that can simply keep your coffee at a drinkable temperature.
A team of engineers from the Columbia University-based biomedical engineering faculty recently announced that they were finally successful in reviving a historical medical technique that will help in keeping donated lungs safer for transplantation surgeries. They made use of a surgical procedure that was designed in the 1960s for exchanging flow of blood between patients, they were finally able to develop a new procedure that can support lungs that are kept outside the body and can be used in the treatment of ischemia. It is a cross circulation method that offers critical systemic as well as metabolic factors that are usually missing from present day strategies that can support living organs outside the human body.
Cobox came in with a resin-based 3D printer a few days back and now it is finally out with an accessory device called LIFTcell. It is being offered in multiple configurations that offer a wide range of pre and post printing automation features. The 3D printing process is an automatic process, However, what is important is that comes before and after it which is one of the major issues. Manual labor includes loading, unloading, and post-process prints on every kind of machine. It is one of the biggest barriers that has stood against adoption of this technology on a wider basis especially the manufacturing industry.the manufacturing industry has moved towards automation till last extent. And unless they introduce an element that reduces manual intervention, it wouldn’t be possible to use this technology on a larger scale.
A team of researchers in South Korea was finally able to deconstruct “ingenious mobility strategies” of seeds that are capable of burrowing themselves into soil rotationally. It is one of the best examples of one of the many ways of biological geometry that are used by nature to offer plant with strong muscular capabilities. The research was led by professor Ho-Young Kim who works at the Seoul National University located in Korea, he started the project by bringing together all his colleagues for beginning a project that took roots after working of plants. Seeds move smartly to dig themselves into the soil with the help of coiled appendages, called an awn, that swiftly responds to humidity.
A team of engineers at MIT recently came up with a new system that allows the users to control water movement on the surface with the help of light. This new development may open up scope for several new developing technologies like microfluidic diagnostic devices whose valves and channels can easily be reorganized on field or fly systems that would separate oil from water at drilling rigs. The team working on this project had Kripa Varanasi as the head who is also an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. the rest of the team had members from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals from Saudi Arabia and MIT.
A new research recently revealed that microscopy can have severely damaging effects which means it is not that good as we were all expecting it to be. It was being counted as those technologies that could help the scientists manipulate as well as study everything at a very microscopic scale. The Focused Ion Beam Milling process makes use of some highly energy filled particles for cutting and analyzing materials measuring one-thousandth of a human hair strand. This technology had remarkable ability to alter scientific fields right from materials science to biology and engineering as well as earth sciences. FIB has now become an essential tool for numerous applications like automotive applications, nuclear and aerospace engineering, as well as prototyping of micro-fluids and micro-electronics.