Bionic Hands With Gel-filled Fingertips Give Greater Sensitivity

Bionic Hands May Help Person “Feel” Objects 

 Bionic Hand With Gel-filled Fingertips

If things go well, prostheses may soon help a person “feel” too. Bionic hands with gelled fingertips may be the answer to provide the wearer with a sense of touch and sensitivity. This may even help them instinctively hold objects, because humans have a built-in reflex that responds to vibrations. The top part of the bionic hands are now going to consist of a rubber skin filled with thick silicon gel. If an object should slip, the elastic skin transmits the vibrations through the gel to acoustic sensors, which provide instant feedback, and the motors can tighten their grip. Also, the finger’s bone is covered with electrodes, which change the electric conduction according to the pressure that helps the user to feel.

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The Jelly Box: Workspace For The 21st Century

Jelly Box:  Workspace For The 21st Century 

Ever think about what it would be like to see the world from inside a Jell-O mold? Looking like a Jell-O mold, but calling itself the Jelly Box, this new workspace is now on display at the Truman Brewery during London 2008 Design Week. This clever design by architect David Hingamp of the London firm Archic, has just been named runner up in the 2008 Urbantine Project.

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Nanonets Could Convert Sunlight Into Hydrogen

Nanonets Could Convert Sunlight Into Hydrogen

The top image shows a nanonet magnified 50,000 times. At bottom, a
flexible nanonet rolls up when poked by the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope.

One problem with solar cells is that they only produce electricity during the day. A promising way to use the sun’s energy more efficiently is to enlist it to split water into hydrogen gas that can be stored and then employed at any time, day or night. A cheap new nanostructured material could prove an efficient catalyst for performing this reaction. Called a nanonet because of its two-dimensional branching structure, the material is made up of a compound that has been demonstrated to enable the water-splitting reaction. Because of its high surface area, the nanonet enhances this reaction.

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The Great Silicon Alternative

The Great Silicon Alternative

Chips made from

Every household is filled with dozens of silicon-based electronics, whose main component is usually a silicon-based transistor. But now, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student’s invention could replace this technology with a new generation of transistors that will not only cut energy consumption but also work under extreme conditions.

Weixiao Huang has made a breakthrough by developing a new transistor that uses a compound material known as gallium nitride (GaN), which has remarkable material properties and may act as a better alternative to silicon chip.

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