Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year 2014

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Awesome sculpture in Hamburg

Lake Powell, USA,

Creative Bamboo Art

You are looking at a horse on the 85th day of gestation. It's an extraordinary photo taken by Tim Flach.

A girl saw this man, bought a boxed lunch, and fed him. Kindness in action

Rainbow Bee-eater

Rainbow bee-eaters are a common species and can be found during the summer in forested areas in most of southern Australia excluding Tasmania. They migrate north during the winter into northern Australia, New Guinea, and some of the southern islands of Indonesia.

They may be found in open woodlands, beaches, dunes, cliffs, mangroves, woodlands and they often visits parks and private gardens

An amateur photo of an apparent lightning strike at Brisbane International Airport in Australia

Monday, 30 December 2013

Common Bulb Types

Generator manufacturing for Wind Turbine

Darth Vader made out of electronic component

Parts of a Power Line

2)Bundle of two conductors
3)Spacer to hold the two conductors apart
4)Earth wire at top of tower or pylon
5)The three bundles on one side of the tower make up one electrical circuit
6)Identity plate saying which line it is and who owns it.
7)Anti-climbing device - barbed wire to stop unauthorized climbing

Submarine Communications Cable Layers

2-"Mylar" tape
3-Stranded metal (steel) wires
4-Aluminum water barrier
6-Copper or aluminum tube
7-Petroleum jelly
8-Optical fibers (the main core that carry data)

The world’s first 800kV UHVDC power transformer (ABB)

Power transmission at ultrahigh voltage has considerable advantages for the environment, as it reduces the power losses and requires a smaller transmission corridor than conventional technologies. UHVDC technology is particularly suitable for large countries where the centers of power consumption are often far from the power sources.

Proud to be an Engineer 1

A punt gun; an extremely large shotgun used for duck hunting in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

New Boeing 747 Engines

Proud to be an Engineer

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Volkswagen Factory Garage - Germany

Sigiriya, an Ancient Magical Place

A College Kid Couldn't Afford a 3D Printer, So He Built One Himself.

When college student Shai Schechter didn't have access to an affordable 3D printer on his SUNY Purchase campus in New York, he set out to build his own model — one that would still crank out 3D-printed objects, but at a much lower cost. "We have a laser- and powder-based 3D printer at school, but it costs about $500 for a bucket of powder and that only lasts for about one or two prints," Schechter said. "It's never used because it is so expensive and classes weren’t offered that much in the curriculum."

He approached his sculpture professor about building a new 3D printer that uses plastic instead, and sought the help of three good friends. Schecter and his business partners launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring their low-cost design to the masses; the project nearly sold out of preorders in the first week alone. While a new MakerBot 3D printer costs $2,000, the Deltraprintr is significantly less: $475 unassembled or $685 assembled for the large size (2 feet high). It's also available in extra large (2.5 feet), which has a doubled printing capacity, two more inches in diameter and six more inches in height, for a price of $705.

"We are targeting educational institutions first, so people can learn how to assemble them," Schecter said. "When you buy a MakerBot, and you read a manual about how to use it, you don't learn a lot about how the printer and technology works. This is why we are offering the assembly manual on Kickstarter, too — we want people to really get their hands on it."

The Deltaprintr uses three stepper motors, located under the acrylic platform where the objects are printed. Motors control the carriages that move the hot end and ultimately create the 3D-printed objects. Since a Deltaprintr design doesn't rqeuire as many parts as other 3D printers, the savings are passed on to consumers.

"MakerBot uses belts to move the print head, but ours uses a fishing line," Schechter said. "With the fishing line, you can expand it to make it taller if you want by changing the aluminum rods. It allows it to go faster than the MakerBot and is more accurate." Although the Deltaprintr team is focusing on getting the product off the ground as an educational tool, it's eying the mass market, too. "We want it to have a place in education, but it's still for the everyday user," Schechter said. "We have a lot of ideas that we plan to execute in the next year to make the Deltaprintr even better and lower the cost even more."

Here is 1 such impressive LEGOs mechanical creation

Playing with LEGOs can be serious business. Kids and adults alike are. Constantly pushing the limits with deceptively simple plastic bricks. Fan-run LEGO conventions take place nationwide now, including regional gatherings that include Brick Fiesta in Texas, Bricks by the Bay in California and BrickFete in Canada.

Steve Sammartino of Australia and Raul Oaida of Romania built a life-sized working car using Legos. Most of the car, except for the tires and a few load-bearing components, is made from about a half a million Legos. The engine has 256 moving LEGO pistons that run on air and can propel the car forward at 20 miles per hour. Sammartino and Oaida call their car the Super Awesome Micro Project and for now, have it stored in an undisclosed location in Melbourne.

A Japanese Humanoid Robot Won the DARPA Challenge

A Japanese robotics team dominated the field after an ambitious two-day competition that saw robots driving cars, climbing ladders and wielding power tools.

A two-legged robot built by engineers at SCHAFT Inc., a Japanese robotics firm, won the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials on Dec. 21, scoring the most points across tasks that tested the robots' mobility, dexterity, perception and autonomous operations. Florida-based IHMC Robotics' humanoid robot claimed second place in the competition, with Carnegie Mellon University's Team Tartan Rescue rounding out the top three.

The DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials were held Friday and Saturday (Dec. 20-21) here at the Homestead Miami Speedway. Seventeen teams qualified to compete, but travel issues prevented one team from China from making it to Florida in time for the competition.

During the Trials, the robots were evaluated based on their performance in eight physical tasks . These included driving a vehicle through a designated course; traversing across uneven terrain and piles of rubble; removing debris from a doorway; climbing an industrial ladder; retrieving and connecting a hose; opening three different types of doors; using tools to cut through drywall; and closing a series of valves to demonstrate dexterity.

Team SCHAFT 's robot, named S-One, scored a total of 27 points in the competition. The two-legged robot weighs 209 pounds (95 kilograms), and excelled at most of the tasks that emphasized mobility and dexterity.

Team IHMC Robotics had an impressive showing during the second day of competition, making efforts to close the gap between the top two teams. When the team's two-legged humanoid robot successfully navigated through three different types of doorways, the robot's engineers and the surrounding spectators erupted into loud cheers and applause.

Team Tartan Rescue, made up of engineers from Carnegie Mellon University and the National Robotics Engineering Center in Pittsburgh, Penn., designed a 400-pound (181 kg) robot, dubbed CHIMP, that resembles a human, but rolls around on rubberized tracks like a tank to give it more stability on uneven terrain.

Bangkok designers draw attention for air-purifying bike idea

Some observers are calling it "the photosynthesis bike." The bike of interest is only a concept, not even a prototype yet, from designers in Bangkok. Nonetheless, in concept alone, it has captured a lot if imaginations, press coverage, and even picked up an award in the 2013 Red Dot competition for design concept. Dubbed "Air Purifier Bike," from Bangkok-based Lightfog Creative and Design, the bicycle presents a next-level functionality to bicycles as environmentally sound vehicles—to the point where the rider not only uses a clean mode of transport but also helps to purify the air along with the ride. (The Red Dot Award for design concept is part of a professional design competition for design concepts and prototypes worldwide.)

Silawat Virakul, Torsakul Kosaikul, and Suvaroj Poosrivongvanid are the designers behind the award-winning idea. They said their Air-Purifier Bike incorporates an air filter that screens dust and pollutants from the air, a photosynthesis system (including a water tank) that produces oxygen, an electric motor, and a battery. "While it is being ridden, air passes through the filter at the front of the bike, where it is cleaned before being released toward cyclist. The bike frame houses the photosynthesis system. When the bike is parked, the air-purifying functions can continue under battery power."

Unbelievable But True Renewable Energy Now Has 40% Market Penetration In Scotland

Renewable energy use is at a record high in Scotland, according to new government figures. In 2012, Scotland got 40.3 percent of its electricity from renewable sources — up from 36.3 percent in 2011 and just 24.1 percent in 2010. The Scottish government plans to get half of its electricity from renewable energy by 2015 — a target it said it was on track to meet — and 100 percent of its electricity by 2020. Scotland’s renewable energy numbers are much higher than many other U.K. countries — renewables produced only 8.2 percent of England’s electricity in 2012, and in Wales, 8.7 percent of electricity comes from renewable sources.

“Renewable electricity in Scotland is going from strength to strength, confirming that 2012 was a record year for generation in Scotland and that 2013 looks set to be even better,” said Scotland’s energy minister Fergus Ewing.’ Lang Banks, Director of WWF Scotland, told the BBC that if Scotland is to meet its target of renewable energy generating 100 percent of electricity by 2020, the country will need to invest more in offshore wind.

“In order to remain on target Scotland will need to deploy significant amounts of offshore wind in the near future,” he said. “It’s therefore vital that the U.K. government gives a stronger signal of its ambition on the growth of offshore wind in Scotland’s seas, as well as the necessary support needed to deliver that growth.”
Wind power is Scotland’s fastest-growing renewable energy source — in In 2012, Scotland’s wind power generation jumped by 19 percent. The country is home to the U.K.’s largest wind farm and constructed its first offshore wind farm in April 2010. The country is also working to harness tidal power and is home to world’s first commercial wave power generator.

New tech may replace windscreen wipers in cars

The humble windshield wiper may soon become a thing of the past - thanks to a new system that creates vibrations to shake off water or any debris from the car windscreen. The McLaren Group, Britain's most advanced automobile company and a leading designer of Formula 1 supercars, is planning to dispose of the windscreen wiper with new technology adapted from fighter jets.

The new system will use high-frequency sound waves similar to those used by dentists for removing plaque from teeth and by doctors for scanning unborn babies. By in effect creating a force field, water, insects, mud and other debris will be repelled from the screen. As well as improving visibility, McLaren said that removing wipers could improve cars' fuel economy by eliminating the weight of wiper motors and streamlining the windscreen, 'The Times' reported. It would also prevent the problem in cold weather of wiper blades freezing to the glass. The system is expected to be introduced in McLaren's range of cars, which cost between about 170,000 pounds and 870,000 pounds, but is unlikely to be ready before 2015. While McLaren is reluctant to release details about its wiper-free windscreen, experts suggest that it may make use of ultrasound, waves outside the human hearing range, to create tiny vibrations on the windscreen. These would in effect shake off any object that landed on the screen. It could cost as little as 10 pounds to mass-manufacture.

"The obvious way of doing it is to have an ultrasonic transducer in the corner of the windscreen that would excite waves at around 30kHz to bounce across the windscreen," said Paul Wilcox, professor of ultrasonics at Bristol University's faculty of engineering. "You would not be able to see anything moving because the amplitude of vibration would be at the nanometre level," Wilcox said. It is not the first time that such a design has been suggested. In 1986, Japan's Motoda Electronics Company patented an ultrasonic windscreen wiper system, which used ultrasonic waves to push rain off a windscreen. Motoda's patent is not thought to have gone into production.

Researchers Proposed Method For Producing Electricity On the Moon at Night

Scientists from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and other international collaborators have proposed a system of mirrors, processed lunar soil and a heat engine to provide energy to vehicles and crew during the lunar night. This would preclude the need for batteries and nuclear power sources such as those used by the Chinese rover that recently landed on the moon.

The lunar night lasts approximately 14 days, during which temperatures as low as -150 ºC have been recorded. This complicates vehicle movement and equipment functioning on the lunar surface, requiring the transport of heavy batteries from Earth or the use of nuclear energy, as exemplified by the Chinese rover Yutu.

Now, a team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, along with collaborators from the USA, have studied two options for storing energy on the Moon during the day for use at night. The details have been published in the journal Acta Astronautica, in an article featuring the participation of former NASA administrator, Michael Griffin.

"The first system consists of modifying fragments of regolith or lunar soil, incorporating elements such as aluminium, for example, such that it becomes a thermal mass," Ricard Gonzalez-Cinca, a physics researcher at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and co-author of the study, explains. "When the Sun's rays hit the surface, a system of mirrors reflects the light to heat the thermal mass, which later," he adds, "can transmit heat during the night to rovers and other lunar equipment."

The second system is similar, but incorporates a more sophisticated series of mirrors and a heat engine. The mirrors are Fresnel reflectors, such as those used in some solar energy technologies on Earth, which concentrate solar rays upon a fluid-filled tube. This heat converts the liquid into a gas, which in turn heats the thermal mass. Afterwards, during the long lunar night, the heat is transferred to a Stirling engine to produce electricity.

"This system is better equipped than the previous model for lunar projects with greater energy needs, such as a manned mission spending the night on the moon," reports Gonzalez-Cinca. Starting in 2020, the world's major space agencies, including NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the China National Space Administration, are planning their first manned missions to our satellite. Other countries, such as India and Japan, have also voiced their interest to send their own missions from that date onwards.

New Steel-Cable Corrosion Test Method Could Replace Manual Checks

Details: Researchers at the University of Buffalo measure the corrosion level of a steel-cable strand using a non-invasive monitoring technique, aimed to replace structurally invasive manual checking processes for concrete-embedded steel cables on bridges. “Checking post-tension structures for corrosion is a challenging problem,” says Alireza Farhidzadeh, a University of Buffalo PhD candidate in structural engineering. He says projecting the accurate evolution of corrosion to a cable is nearly impossible because of a variables such as the salting of roads during the winter and the rain and snow levels during the year. Structurally invasive corrosion monitoring techniques are required, such as drilling into the concrete to check structural cables manually, he says.

To create a non-invasive technique, Farhidzadeh and his team outfitted a seven-wire cable strand with eight piezoelectric transducers and sent guided ultrasonic waves (GUWs) to monitor any changes in frequency as the corrosion level evolves.

“Measuring velocity and the time of flight of the frequencies sent out, you can localize where the corrosion or micro cracks occur in the cable,” says Farhidzadeh The permanently attached transducers allow the team to perform real-time passive structural monitoring and routine inspections, without seeing the cable.

The research consists of three phases, two of which are complete. The first was to evaluate the seven-wire strand cable under load to create a baseline for the following tests. The second phase was submerging the cable in a saltwater tank with 2-volts DC current running through, creating accelerated electrochemical corrosion.

“We monitored the level of corrosion, day by day, until the strand broke,” says Farhidzadeh. For the last test, researchers will load the strand, pour concrete on it and wait for concrete to cure, then run the same test.

“We can corrode the steel in less than a month,” says Tresor Mavinga, a senior civil engineering undergrad who is working on the project. Testing the strand under load was enough to give researchers a baseline frequency measurement and an idea of how corrosion of the strand changes the frequencies produced by GUWs.

Farhidzadeh and his team will release a paper detailing their findings in January. The third phase of testing is ongoing.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Ultrafast Heating of Water This Pot Boils Faster Than You Can Watch It

Detail — Scientists from the Hamburg Center for Free-Electron Laser Science have devised a novel way to boil water in less than a trillionth of a second. The theoretical concept, which has not yet been demonstrated in practice, could heat a small amount of water by as much as 600 degrees Celsius in just half a picosecond (a trillionth of a second). That is much less than the proverbial blink of an eye: one picosecond is to a second what one second is to almost 32 millennia. This would make the technique the fastest water-heating method on earth.

All it takes for superfast water heating is a concentrated flash of terahertz radiation. Terahertz radiation consists of electromagnetic waves with a frequency between radio waves and infrared. Terahertz flashes can be generated with devices called free-electron lasers that send accelerated electrons on a well defined slalom course. The particles emit electromagnetic waves in each bend that add up to an intense laser like pulse. The terahertz pulse changes the strength of the interaction between water molecules in a very short time, which immediately start to vibrate violently.

The scientists calculated the interaction of the terahertz flash with bulk water. The simulations were performed at the Supercomputer Center Jülich and used a total of 200,000 hours of processor time by massively parallel computing. On a single processor machine this would correspond to about 20 years of computation. "We have calculated that it should be possible to heat up the liquid to about 600 degrees Celsius within just half a picosecond, obtaining a transiently hot and structureless environment still at the density of the liquid, leaving all water molecules intact," explains Vendrell.

The novel method can only heat about one nanolitre (billionth of a litre) in one go. This may sound small, but is large enough for most experiments. For comparison, ink-jet printers fire droplets that are as small as one picolitre, which is a thousand times less than a nanolitre.

Iranian scientists develop lifeguard drone

Human lifeguards may become a thing of the past, as scientists have developed and successfuly tested a drone capable of saving drowning victims at sea.

Iranian engineers working for RTS Labs , led by. Amin Riji, have been testing the machine since August, and the results are as promising as they are practical. The Pars Aerial Rescue Robot, or Pars robot for short, is capable of flying to a victim at sea in record time and dispensing a lifesaver within arms reach of the person in need. In the initial tests, the robot was able to rescue the victim within 22 seconds, while a human lifeguard took about 90 seconds. The drone can fly at speeds up to 22 mph, and can stay airborne for up to ten minutes at a time.

Mr. Riji and his team have high hopes for the future, saying, "We think that [one day] the drone could be used for rescues at coastlines, for offshore missions from floating marine platforms, and also to carry out rescues when floods occur." Future improvements may include infrared imaging for night rescues, increased lifesaver capacity, and image processing and recognition, eleminating the need for human controllers.

Mass high-tech startup launches device that transforms any bike into an electric-hybrid

A Massachusetts startup is launching a new device that transforms almost any bicycle into an electric-hybrid vehicle using an app on a smartphone. The device, called the Copenhagen Wheel, is installed as part of a rear hub of a bike wheel and is packed with a proprietary computer, batteries and sensors that monitor how hard a rider is pedaling and activate an onboard motor whenever support is needed. The device uses wireless connectivity to communicate with the biker's smartphone to track distance traveled and elevation gained, share with friends the number of calories burned and lock the wheel remotely as soon as the owner walks away from the bike. "The motor integrates itself with the rider's motion very, very seamlessly," said Assaf Biderman, who co-invented the device at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's SENSEable City Lab, where he is associate director. "It's almost like having a riding companion riding together with you, making the ride easier, simpler." The combination of power from the Copenhagen Wheel and the cyclist's energy can make an average biker move "almost like a Tour-de-France-level athlete in your daily commute," said Biderman, who founded Cambridge, Mass.-based Superpedestrian Inc. that secured an exclusive license for the technology from MIT.

The Copenhagen Wheel packs sufficient power to propel a rider as fast as 60 kph (37.28 mph), but developers have put speed limits in software to meet local speed limits, effectively turning off the motor once the speed reaches 20 mph in the U.S. and 25 kilometers in Europe. The concept was inspired by a simple question: "How can we get more people to cycle?" Biderman said. The project received funding from the Italian ministry of the environment and office of the mayor of Copenhagen, a Danish city known as one of the most bicycle friendly locations in the world and whose tourism website says 55 percent of its residents bike 1.2 million kilometers (750,000 miles) every day. The initial 1,000 units of the Copenhagen Wheel became available for pre-order through the Superpedestrian website earlier this month. Two weeks later, at least 810 had been sold for $699 each, the majority of them to customers in the U.S. Other orders went to Europe, Australia, Kenya, Madagascar and elsewhere. Shipping is scheduled for next spring. The Copenhagen Wheel does not replace a cyclist's existing bicycle. Consumers get the stylish hubcap-sized device already installed on a new rear wheel that fits their current bicycle. They remove the current wheel from their bike and install the souped-up unit and they are ready to go. The batteries are rechargeable. The Copenhagen Wheel seeks to tap into a lucrative and highly competitive market for electric bikes, also known as e-bikes. In a recent report, clean-technology consulting company Navigant Research estimated that worldwide revenue from electric bicycles will grow from $8.4 billion this year to $10.8 billion in 2020, fueled in part by desire for a viable alternative to increasingly congested city roads that makes crawling in car traffic less palatable. In the U.S., the trend is reflected in Census Bureau data showing the number of bicycle commuters rose 60 percent in the decade ending in 2010. "Over the past few years we've seen a cycling renaissance throughout the world," Biderman said. "People are looking for alternatives."


Details -- The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is currently working to develop technology "that sucks up the gases necessary to produce synthetic jet fuel ships right out of the water the ships tread."

According to the National Journal , this research coincides with a Department of the Navy pledge "to cut petroleum use in the services commercial fleet in half by 2015, and produce at least 50 percent of its jets fuel using alternative sources by 2020."

The method of production being tested by NRL would make the Navy's aspirations realistic and "could transform naval operations." NRL's process "begins with a three-chambered cell that receives a stream of seawater in the central compartment " The cell then "pulls a relatively pure and concentrated source of carbon dioxide from the sea water." The cell captures "up to 92 percent of carbon dioxide from the seawater, which is 140 times higher in concentration than in the air."

Hydrogen is made from this, and then the gases are turned into a chemical compound which "can undergo further catalytic conversion into a liquid that contains hydrocarbon molecules." Prices for fuel made from seawater are estimated at $3 to $6 a gallon, "which is comparable to current prices for petroleum fuel." NRL analytical chemist Heather Willauer says with "money and more time... seawater-sourced jet fuel could become a commercial reality in 10 to 15 years."

Loudspeaker Is First-Ever 3-D-Printed Consumer Electronic

Detail — Cornell University researchers have 3D printed a working loudspeaker, seamlessly integrating the plastic, conductive and magnetic parts, and ready for use almost as soon as it comes out of the printer.

It's an achievement that 3D printing evangelists feel will soon be the norm; rather than assembling consumer products from parts and components, complete functioning products could be fabricated at once, on demand.

The loudspeaker is a project led by Apoorva Kiran and Robert MacCurdy, graduate students in mechanical engineering, who work with Hod Lipson, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and a leading 3D printing innovator.

"Everything is 3D printed," said Kiran, as he launched a demo by connecting the newly printed mini speaker to amplifier wires. For the demo, the amplifier played a clip from President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech that mentioned 3D printing. A loudspeaker is a relatively simple object, Kiran said: It consists of plastic for the housing, a conductive coil and a magnet. The challenge is coming up with a design and the exact materials that can be co-fabricated into a functional shape.

Lipson said he hopes this simple demonstration is just the "tip of the iceberg." 3D printing technology could be moving from printing passive parts toward printing active, integrated systems, he said. But it will be a while before consumers are printing electronics at home, Lipson continued. Most printers cannot efficiently handle multiple materials. It's also difficult to find mutually compatible materials -- for example, conductive copper and plastic coming out of the same printer require different temperatures and curing times.

In the case of the speaker, Kiran used one of the lab's Fab@Homes, a customizable research printer originally developed by Lipson and former graduate student and lab member Evan Malone, that allows scientists to tinker with different cartridges, control software and other parameters. For the conductor, Kiran used a silver ink. For the magnet, he employed the help of Samanvaya Srivastava, graduate student in chemical and biomolecular engineering, to come up with a viscous blend of strontium ferrite. It's not the first time a consumer electronic device was printed in Lipson's lab. Back in 2009, Malone and former lab member Matthew Alonso printed a working replica of the Vail Register, the famous antique telegraph receiver and recorder that Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail used to send the first Morse code telegraph in 1844.

Alonso, who was an undergraduate at the time, decided to try to print an electromagnetic device, and Lipson suggested the Vail Register -- it was an early application of electromagnetism, and, because Ezra Cornell made his fortune in the telegraph industry, it was also central to Cornell history -- "kind of poetic," Lipson said. After making a detailed digital model of the telegraph, they printed it on a research fabber also developed by Malone that was a predecessor to the Fab@Home. And it worked. As a demo, the researchers received and printed the same message Morse and Vail first did in 1844: "What hath God wrought."

Creating a market for printed electronic devices, Lipson said, could be like introducing color printers after only black and white had existed. "It opens up a whole new space that makes the old look primitive," he said.
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