Japanese Research Group Develops Battery with 7 Times the Capacity of Li-Ion

rav4ev battery cutawayThe longest running smartphones on the market today last at best two days. Imagine if they ran for almost two weeks.

A group at the University of Tokyo School of Engineering led by professor Noritaka Mizuno, and working in cooperation with Nippon Shokubai Co Ltd. are developing a new manufacturing method which might substantially improve energy density in cars and as storage units for homes connected to a smart grid.

Using an “oxygen rocking” design, the team is confident their new storage technique should be capable of storing up to seven times the energy of traditional Lithium Ion cells, while maintaining a high degree of reliability and safety.

Of course like several of the other recent “exciting” scientific battery discoveries, this is still at the research phase. However developments like this should mean improved run time for our gadgets and vehicles is getting closer.

WSU Engineers Teach One Computer to Teach Another Computer How to Play Pac-Man

Pac-Man (1980), will go on show at MoMA in New York in 2013Well I for one welcome our robotic overlords…

Matthew E. Taylor, Allred Distinguished Professor in Artificial Intelligence at Washington State University has published a paper detailing a system where one computer can share information and processes with another computer. The first practical demonstration? Video games!

One system “taught” another how to play Pac-Man, and the “student” system was eventually able to surpass its “teacher”.

A system for delivering “advice” could be an exciting breakthrough, especially if these systems can share information and processes between computers with different hardware builds. Often a set of instructions wont work if you change hardware parameters.

If you’re worried about Skynet happening soon, Taylor had this to say:

“They’re very dumb.”

(via WSU News)

Harvard researchers craft transparent audio speaker using ionic conduction

Now the science of this is just a touch above my pay grade, but this is apparently a proof of concept for the use of ionic conductors to carry electrical charge instead of electrons. These ionic conductors can be soft, stretchy, and completely transparent, things most electronics aren’t good at doing. This breakthrough could open all kinds of doors for “soft” electronics, and as the human body uses ions to transfer information (think signals from nerves to the brain and heart), we could be looking at the beginnings of better bio-engineering. A new generation of artificial organs and limbs could be on the horizon.

As it stands now, we have one really interesting commercial application on display in the attached video. Speaker systems which are completely transparent. Might not be a ton of practical application for such a design, but I’m sure there are folks out there who would prefer their audio set up blended in with the more modern aspects of their home’s interior decor.

I guess we might see a new industry arise featuring “Consumer Ionics” instead of electronics?

(via Harvard Gazette)