Hacked Gadgets Forum

October 18, 2014

Fast Charging Batteries that last 20 Years?

at 8:44 am. Filed under Educational, Insane Equipment

 Fast Charging Batteries that last 20 Years

 

Apple is famous for making nice looking products that are practically sealed for life even though many of us consider the internal battery a serviceable part. Having to access batteries for occasional replacement might be a thing of the past. Also planning to charge items is currently something that revolves around many things, you probably plan to charge your phone while you sleep, your electric car gets topped up when you are at work, you have a few sets of batteries for your cordless power tools. Wouldn’t it be nice it charging took a few minutes instead of many hours? How about a battery that lasts 20 years, which is typically more than the entire usable life of the device? This might not be science fiction for much longer. Scientists at Nanyang Technology University have developed fast charging batteries that can be recharged up to 70 per cent in only two minutes!

Thanks for the tip John.

“In the new NTU-developed battery, the traditional graphite used for the anode (negative pole) in lithium-ion batteries is replaced with a new gel material made from titanium dioxide.

Titanium dioxide is an abundant, cheap and safe material found in soil. It is commonly used as a food additive or in sunscreen lotions to absorb harmful ultraviolet rays.

Naturally found in spherical shape, the NTU team has found a way to transform the titanium dioxide into tiny nanotubes, which is a thousand times thinner than the diameter of a human hair. This speeds up the chemical reactions taking place in the new battery, allowing for superfast charging.”

 

Fast Charging Batteries that last 20 Years_2


October 10, 2014

U.S. Navy Autonomous Swarm Robot Boat

at 11:25 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, Insane Equipment

U.S. Navy Autonomous Swarm Robot Boat

 

The U.S. Navy is developing Autonomous Swarm Robot Boats. These boats are outfitted with Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing (CARACaS), this technology was developed by NASA for the Mars rover. 

“Navy researchers installed the system on regular 7-foot and 11-foot boats and put them through a series of exercises designed to test behaviors such as escort and swarming attack. The boats escorted a manned Navy ship before breaking off to encircle a vessel acting as a possible intruder. The five autonomous boats then formed a protective line between the intruder and the ship they were protecting.”

 

 

 


October 3, 2014

Fostex FE206En Back-Loaded Horn Loudspeakers

at 11:57 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Check out this crazy internal baffle structure of this cool Fostex FE206En Back-Loaded Horn Loudspeaker.

 “The back-loaded or rear-loaded horn loudspeaker system is like bass-reflex and double bass-reflex speaker types in that the sound radiated from the back of speaker transducer is utilized to enhance the bass response. The difference however is that back-loaded horn (BLH) speaker enclosures make among the most efficient use of the back wave from the speaker driver. The back-loaded horn speaker enclosure operates by developing the bass response using the back wave from the speaker driver and an expanding horn section. The remainder of sound spectrum (mid and high-frequency ranges) is radiated directly from the front wave produced by the speaker driver. Back-loaded horn speaker enclosures are generally amongst the most efficient enclosure systems and respond well to the subtlest components of music signals. For “tighter” sound reproduction, you can reduce the interior volume of the horn speaker cabinet using fill material. Sound absorbing material should be used directly behind the driver and also at the mouth of the horn to smooth out the frequency response.”

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


September 27, 2014

Murata Cheerleaders

at 1:56 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment

 murata_cheerleaders

 

Murata is always pushing the envelope when it comes to demonstrating their technology in action. You probably remember the close up look we got of the technology behind Murata Girl and Murata Boy. This time they have made an entire group of robotic cheerleaders who dance in formation. They sit on top of a ball and balance as they are moving around. We have seen balancing ball robots before but the complexity of moving all of these balancing robots in unison must be quite challenging.

You need to see them in action. Click here to see the video, scroll down to see how the technology comes together.

Thanks to Amy from Murata for the info.

 

 

September 18, 2014

MIT Cheetah Robot

at 6:20 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Insane Equipment

MIT Cheetah Robot_4

 

The MIT Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory has been working hard on the MIT Cheetah Robot. Deborah Ajilo, Negin Abdolrahim Poorheravi,John Patrick Mayo,Justin Cheung, Sangbae Kim, Shinsuk Park, Kathryn L. Evans, Matt Angle, Will Bosworth, Joao Luiz Almeida Souza Ramos, Sehyuk Yim, Albert Wang, Meng Yee Chuah, and Hae Won Park are members of the huge development team. Why so many team members? This is not a simply problem to tackle, as you read through their post you will see that there were a number of challenges that they needed to overcome in the development of the system.

Via: Evan Ackerman at IEEE Spectrum

“Now MIT researchers have developed an algorithm for bounding that they’ve successfully implemented in a robotic cheetah — a sleek, four-legged assemblage of gears, batteries, and electric motors that weighs about as much as its feline counterpart. The team recently took the robot for a test run on MIT’s Killian Court, where it bounded across the grass at a steady clip.

In experiments on an indoor track, the robot sprinted up to 10 mph, even continuing to run after clearing a hurdle. The MIT researchers estimate that the current version of the robot may eventually reach speeds of up to 30 mph.

The key to the bounding algorithm is in programming each of the robot’s legs to exert a certain amount of force in the split second during which it hits the ground, in order to maintain a given speed: In general, the faster the desired speed, the more force must be applied to propel the robot forward. Sangbae Kim, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, hypothesizes that this force-control approach to robotic running is similar, in principle, to the way world-class sprinters race.”

 

MIT Cheetah Robot_1

 

MIT Cheetah Robot_2

 

MIT Cheetah Robot_3

 

 


August 6, 2014

Vintage Precision Power Supply Teardown

at 6:34 am. Filed under Insane Equipment

 

Our friend Dave from the EEVBlog took apart this Vintage Precision Power Supply. With a quick look at the front panel you might think this is something that you would have got from Radio Shack 40 or 50 years ago for your hobby kit but this is a 0.001% precision power supply! It was designed by Power Designs Inc of New York back in 1964. When you see the internals you will see lots of point to point wiring which was popular back in the day, these days you only generally see point to point components bodged onto cheap Chinese equipment. The condition of the internals is very clean considering the age of the device! Unfortunately a simple adjustment of the trim pots wasn’t enough to calibrate it. I am assuming that some of the crusty old caps are desperately needing replacement.

July 26, 2014

How OSB is Made

at 7:35 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment

 

We use OSB (oriented strand board) for many building projects these days as plywood is getting more expensive. The process of how it is made is quite interesting.

“Oriented strand board is manufactured in wide mats from cross-oriented layers of thin, rectangular wooden strips compressed and bonded together with wax and synthetic resin adhesives (95% wood, 5% wax and resin). The layers are created by shredding the wood into strips, which are sifted and then oriented on a belt or wire cauls. The mat is made in a forming line. Wood strips on the external layers are aligned to the panel’s strength axis, while internal layers are perpendicular. The number of layers placed is determined partly by the thickness of the panel but is limited by the equipment installed at the manufacturing site. Individual layers can also vary in thickness to give different finished panel thicknesses (typically, a 15 cm layer will produce a 15 mm panel thickness). The mat is placed in a thermal press to compress the flakes and bond them by heat activation and curing of the resin that has been coated on the flakes. Individual panels are then cut from the mats into finished sizes.”

 

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