Extra removable robotic fingers to make more effective our hands

Scientists have developed a robot that improves gripping movement of the human hand. The device, which is subject to the wrist, works essentially as two extra adjacent to the little finger and thumb fingers. A novel algorithm control lets you move in sync with the fingers of the person wearing it, thus helping to better grip objects of various sizes and shapes.

Extra removable robotic fingers

While wearing this unique robot wrist, a user could use one hand to some commonly require two actions, such as take bulky items, turn a screwdriver, remove the cap from a bottle and a banana peel.

The striking robotic device developed by the team of Faye Wu and Harry Asada, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA, and is very easy to use. The movement of the robotic fingers is controlled in a completely intuitive way and we need not give orders to the robot, but simply move our fingers naturally. Then the robotic fingers react and help us. Read the rest of this entry »

Fuel cells to supply energy to homes

One of the possible applications of fuel cells is to supply energy homes. A research group of the Department of Mineralogy and Petrology of the UPV / EHU (Spain) has studied the use of a type of material, perovskites, for the design of these batteries.

Preparation of an SOFC cathode by the combustion method.

Fuel cells are similar to batteries, but differ from these mainly in that the reactive-hydrogen and oxygen consumed, above all are continuously replenished. “After the electricity generation process, there is, as waste, heat and water”, explains Dr. Karmele Vidal, researcher of the UPV/EHU. Hence, these energies are cataloged as “clean, because in the process of energy conversion not emits greenhouse gases,” adds the researcher.

The aforementioned research group of the UPV / EHU has worked in a particular type of fuel cell: fuel cells solid oxide SOFCs called by its initials in English that operate at high temperature. Unlike conventional batteries, this ion-conducting electrolyte is solid, which presents several advantages over other types of cells, as explained Vidal Read the rest of this entry »

Profitable conversion of carbon dioxide to an industrially useful substance

Research to mitigate global warming caused by rising atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, usually handle three approaches: One is the development of alternative energy sources. Another involves the capture and long term storage of greenhouse gases, usually burying them deep underground. The third is to capture these gases and reuse them for some practical purpose.

conversion of carbon dioxide

Adopting the latter two approaches, researchers in the laboratory of Andrew Bocarsly, professor of chemistry at Princeton University in New Jersey, USA, and the company collaborated with Liquid Light Inc. in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, with the aim of design an efficient method to harness sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into a potential alternative fuel, formic acid. Read the rest of this entry »

Key step towards quantum computing error free

The emerging field of quantum computing has been a milestone: An experiment whose results were presented recently demonstrated a sufficiently reliable to build a quantum computer resistant to all kinds of errors strategy. It is the first time you get correct arbitrary errors, and perform robust and resistant quantum computations. The constructed quantum state is the most complex and innovative experimentally achieved to date. It is truly different from those obtained in previous experiments, because, among other things, complexity of quantum entanglement is greater than that of the previously built systems.

quantum computing error free

This promising achievement is the result of close collaboration between Spanish and Austrian physicists. This team, from the University of Innsbruck in Austria and the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain, has managed to encode a quantum bit in entangled states of several particles and for the first time, it has managed to make with simple computations. The quantum register of seven components could serve as a building block for a quantum computer that can correct all types of errors. Scientists have released their results through the journal Science.

Computers are susceptible to errors. Small perturbations can modify the information and distort the calculation result. Therefore, in conventional computers specific procedures which can continuously detect and correct errors are used. Read the rest of this entry »

The way to convert heat into electricity through certain porous materials

Approximately 70 percent of all energy in the world is wasted as heat. Each machine and device in our life, include from the car to the computer, usually hot when they work, and wasted a lot of energy through the loss of the heat generated.

convert heat into electricity

The thermoelectric devices that convert heat into electricity and vice versa, could use the residual heat, but have not yet reached a level of optimization good enough to be pursued systematically. This may change in the near future, and perhaps an ideal way to achieve this is the scanned in a recent study, the authors have documented how exactly certain porous substances can act as thermoelectric materials. This opens the door to development based on such porous materials that take advantage of practical and cost-effective waste heat devices.

In order to build the capacity to capture the heat, researchers around the world have been trying to create more efficient thermoelectric materials technology. In this regard, a promising class of materials is that of those who are full of small holes whose sizes range from micron to nanometer in diameter. Read the rest of this entry »

The energy payback of wind turbines

Wind turbines are seen as a good way to generate clean and sustainable electricity, especially if they have an efficient system of high storage capacity to maintain stable during periods of time when the wind speed is inadequate for achievement.

wind turbines

However, critics of wind power have argued often that power, direct or indirect, that you need to make a wind turbine, do maintenance, repair it, and finally scrapping it and properly process your materials, it is not much lower than generated from wind throughout its life, and in some cases it might be even higher, especially when taking into account aspects of environmental cost.

Karl Haapala and Preedanood Prempreeda, of Oregon State University in the U.S. city of Corvallis, have carried out a detailed assessment of the life cycle of wind turbines of 2 megawatts planned for a large wind farm installed in the U.S. Pacific Northwest (which limits the west by the Pacific Ocean). The objective of the evaluation was to identify the net impact on the environment is the manufacture of such machines and their use to generate electricity. Read the rest of this entry »

Radioactivity detector designed for the general public

Some nuclear engineers have developed a detection apparatus for cheap and portable radiation should help people around the world to better understand the levels of radiation in their environment, and the type, intensity and whether specific or not pose a risk to health.

radiation detector

The device began to develop in the Oregon State University in Corvallis, United States, in part due to public demand after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, when many regional residents were not sure at what level radiation were being exposed and whether their homes, food, environment and drinking water are safe.

Many people wanted to buy a radioactivity meter guide them to the dangerous situation in which they were, but the devices that could provide such information were too expensive and also were not readily available to the general public. Read the rest of this entry »

Roofing can eliminate air pollution

Some engineers have created a coating for shingles to be applied to the roof of a house sized decomposes each year the same amount of certain oxides of nitrogen (for urban smog), which tends to generate a car journeys per 17,000 kilometers (about 11,000 miles).

Roofing can eliminate air pollution

These engineers, University of California at Riverside (UCR), USA, have calculated that daily 21 tons of nitrogen oxides are removed if a million roofs coated with the new product have been tested made from dioxide titanium. According to their calculations, 5 dollars is what it would cost the amount of titanium dioxide needed to coat the roof of a house of average size.

Nitrogen oxides form when certain fuels are burned at high temperatures. These oxides then react with volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight and create smoke that we see in the great metropolis, known as smog, a term that comes from the English words “smoke” and “fog”. Read the rest of this entry »

New and hopeful concept of cancer treatment

We have identified a promising new way of treating cancer. The concept is based on the inhibition of a specific enzyme called MTH1, cancer cells, unlike normal cells require for their survival. Without this enzyme, oxidized nucleotides are incorporated into DNA, resulting in lethal double strand breaks of DNA in cancer cells.

Thomas Helleday

The finding is the work of researchers from five Swedish universities, directed from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and SciLifeLab both institutions in Sweden too.

To accelerate the development of this treatment strategy and proceed with clinical trials in patients as soon as possible, the team of Thomas Helleday from the Karolinska Institute is working with an open innovation model. Even before the official publication of the results of their study, these inhibitors MTH1 scientists sent to various research groups worldwide. Read the rest of this entry »

The massive and unexpected magnetic field of black holes

For a long time, the force of a black hole is defined only by its gravitational field, but a new analysis of natural radio waves emitted from the vicinity of black holes now reveals that magnetic fields have an unexpected presence and an even more unexpected force that rivals even that of its powerful gravity.

black hole gas

The authors of the analysis, the U.S. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in California, and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany, have discovered that magnetic fields play an extremely influential role in the dynamics surrounding the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies. In fact, dozens of black holes studied, the magnetic field strength is comparable to the force produced by its powerful gravity.

The study by the team of Alexander Tchekhovskoy and Mohammad Zamaninasab is the first that has systematically measured the strength of the magnetic fields near black holes. Read the rest of this entry »