Road trains may be coming soon to Europe w Video

first_img( — Road trains linking vehicles together in a traveling convoy are planned for Europe. With only the lead vehicle being actively driven, the road trains would allow commuters to sleep, read a book or watch TV, or anything else they fancy as they drive to work. A research project financed by the EU’s Framework 7 plan looked at ways to reduce the cost of traveling along European highways and has suggested the idea of a “road train” that could link up to eight vehicles to a lead vehicle by wireless sensors. The vehicles could be any mix of cars, trucks or buses, but the project focuses on commuters traveling long distances to work. The project is named Sartre, for Safe Road Trains for the Environment. Citation: Road trains may be coming soon to Europe (w/ Video) (2009, November 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Co-ordinator of the project, Tom Robinson of British Consultancy firm Ricardo, told the BBC that each vehicle joining the road train would have its own control system, communications equipment, and software monitoring system, but the lead vehicle would monitor the entire road train. Vehicles would be able to join by stating their destination and using their navigation system to locate the nearest road train. They could leave it whenever they wished, by signalling the lead vehicle, and then taking control of their own vehicle.It should be possible to use readily available components to enable vehicles to link up to the road train, and changes to the roads should not be necessary.The Sartre project will be tested for about three years once the preliminary research on the elements required and on the safety issues is completed. Robinson said that the first platoon of two trucks and three cars will be tested on special tracks in Sweden, the UK, and Spain. Later tests will probably also be carried out on public roads in Spain.According to Volvo, the first prototypes of the road train could be tested within a couple of years. Nissan’s new concept car ‘feels like flying’ (w/ Video) Explore further Early results suggest linking the vehicles and having them travel close together could reduce fuel consumption by around 20% for all the vehicles except the leader. Traveling as a group could also result in a reduction in travel time, fewer accidents and less congestion on the roads. Relaxing, or even sleeping on the way to work could also cut out the stress of driving.A professional driver (such as a bus or truck driver) in the leading vehicle would be charged with steering and controlling the convoy and monitoring its members. Drivers of the other vehicles could relax, since the leader would be controlling their vehicle. © 2009 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Molecules could create tiny circuits on computer chips

first_imgPolymer molecules can be deposited onto computer chips where they arrange themselves into small-scale patterns like the one shown here. Credit: Yeon Sik Jung and Joel Yang. ( — As the features on computer chips become increasingly smaller, finding ways to fabricate the chips has become a big challenge. In a new study, researchers from MIT have demonstrated that certain molecules can be deposited on mostly empty chips, where they arrange themselves into patterns that form the outlines of tiny functioning circuits. Researchers Karl Berggren, the Emanuel E. Landsman Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, and Caroline Ross, the Toyota Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, have published their new method in a recent issue of Nature Nanotechnology. New Laser Technique Advances Nanofabrication Process Citation: Molecules could create tiny circuits on computer chips (2010, March 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Joel K. W. Yang, Yeon Sik Jung, Jae-Byum Chang, R. A. Mickiewicz, A. Alexander-Katz, C. A. Ross & Karl K. Berggren. “Complex self-assembled patterns using sparse commensurate templates with locally varying motifs.” Nature Nanotechnology. Doi:10.1038/nnano.2010.30. via: MIT News © 2010 As explained in an article at MIT News, the process currently used to fabricate circuits on chips – photolithography – has changed very little over the past 50 years. Photolithography involves shining a light through a patterned mask onto a layer of light-sensitive material coated on the computer chip. Light exposure causes the photoresist to harden, and when the unhardened area is washed away, only the patterned area remains.However, now that chip features have become smaller than the wavelength of light used in this process, photolithography cannot be used anymore. To confront this challenge, researchers have tried using electron beams instead of light beams due to their smaller wavelength. However, the problem with electron-beam lithography is that it takes a long time, and so it is more expensive. Unlike photolithography, which can expose an entire chip at once with light, an electron beam is more focused and can only expose small areas at a time, so that it has to scan back and forth across the chip to cover the entire area.In the new method, Berggren and Ross have greatly minimized the need for electron-beam lithography, using it only to create sparsely patterned guidance posts throughout the chip. To fill in the patterns between the posts, they deposited long, repeating chains of polymer molecules that attach themselves to the posts and then arrange themselves in specific patterns. To get the desired patterns, the researchers used copolymers, which are made of two different types of polymer molecules. The different polymer chains don’t like to mix, yet they are still joined together – like “the characters played by Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in the movie Midnight Run, a bounty hunter and a white-collar criminal who are handcuffed together but can’t stand each other,” in Berggren’s analogy. By trying to pull away from each other, the polymers arrange themselves into predictable patterns.Later, when exposed to a plasma, one of the polymers turns to hardened glass, while the other burns away. Like in photolithography, the glass polymer could be used as the photoresist, which hardens to form the pattern. By controlling different characteristics – such as polymer lengths, their relative proportions, and the shape and location of the posts – the researchers could produce a variety of specific patterns that could be useful for designing circuits. With its minor reliance on electron-beam lithography, the new method could offer cost-effective fabrication in areas besides computer chips. For example, the technique could be used to produce stamps for creating magnetic patterns on hard disks, which are currently produced with electron-beam lithography. However, more research is required before manufacturing individual computer chips with self-assembling molecules, such as getting the molecules to form the exact patterns needed to produce functioning circuits. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Memristors with a twist Quasiliquid soft matter foreshadows biocompatible electronics and flexible

first_imgVelev’s earlier work focused on gel-based photovoltaics, diodes and other devices – but their downside was the rigid electrodes used as contacts. Currently, however, the research team is studying a moldable liquid metal. “We originally thought about combining the metal with the gels to make a device completely out of soft materials resembling Jell-O,” quips Dickey. “What we discovered is that the gel environment and the oxide that forms on the metal can work synergistically to form memory. Once we made this observation, the main challenge was elucidating the exact mechanism – which our rather brilliant students figured out with some very clever experiments.” Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of At the same time, the materials that make memristors (and electronic devices in general) possible are usually rigid in structure and can never operate in water. This means that some of the most promising uses of memristor technology – such as in vivo sensors and oceanic rescue robots – are not feasible without needing protection from the liquid environment in which they operate.The best of all possible electronic worlds, then, would have the ion-based functionality of memristors embodied in a flexible hydrophilic material. As it turns out, that – and potentially much more – is precisely what researchers in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University have demonstrated. Prof. Orin Velev, Prof. Michael Dickey, and graduate students Hyung-Jun Koo and Ju-Hee So, have devised a new class of easily fabricated memristors based entirely on so-called soft matter – hydrogels doped with polyelectrolytes sandwiched with liquid metal electrodes – that operate using ionic conductance in aqueous systems rather than conventional electron transport. Moreover, in being able to operate in water, the new gel-based soft matter differs significantly from the many soft matter electronics efforts that use polymer semiconductors but are not water-compatible.In essence, this suggests that in addition to having the potential to realize memristor-based neuromorphic structures, the polysaccharide hydrogel core of these devices is biocompatible, could possibly be interfaced with live neural and other tissue, and could lead to three-dimensional soft circuits and their in vivo operations. A crossbar array of soft material-based memristors. (a) Photo¬graph of a prototype of an integrated soft memristor circuit with a 2 × 2 crossbar array. The device is flexible as shown in the inset image and compatible with water. (b) Schematic of the prototype in (a). The arrows point to the gel nodes. (c) Switching performance of the memristor circuit device. The switching bias to turn ‘off’ (+5 V) and ‘on’ (−5 V) the nodes is applied to the 1-B node for the first and second cycles and to the 2-A node for the third cycle, respectively, as shown by the arrows. The filled symbols represent the nodes in the ‘off’ state. The switching bias was applied to each node for 1 sec to minimize the crosstalk. © 2011 PNAS, doi: 10.1002/adma.201101257 Citation: Memristors with a twist: Quasi-liquid soft matter foreshadows biocompatible electronics and flexible robots (2011, July 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More specifically, Dickey continues, “there are two key research issues that we addressed to make the technology work. The first was learning that the thickness of the oxide layer controls the resistance through the soft device – a property we use to define on and off states that correspond to conductive and resistive states, respectively. The second was learning that we could introduce asymmetry into the device – a requirement for memristors – by doping the gels with polymer to control the chemical environment around the metal.”Going forward, Dickey continues, “We hope to take advantage of the fact the water-based gels in the device are biocompatible, and could in principle be integrated with biological species, such as cells, enzymes, proteins, and tissues. We also made no attempt to optimize the memory capacity in our prototypes, which is an area for improvement. Finally, we’re working to understand the subtle aspects of the operating mechanism.”Velev stresses that two primary areas of the group’s future soft-matter research are electrochemical biosensors and soft-matter actuators. “For example,” he explains, “gel-based actuators respond to external voltage with controllable biomimetic movement that mimics the locomotion of jellyfish – and like jellyfish, are water-based and even biodegradable. This could lead to the development of gel-based soft robotics technology, which would have some parallels with DARPA’s earlier Soft Robotics program, although this similarity is not intended as much as arises from a shared focus on futuristic ideas that are based on mimicking Nature. I also believe,” he continues, “that our research ideas are close to some of the goals of the DARPA Programmable Matter program, but we are not supported by or participating in this program – although we hopefully will apply in the future after we have some actuation results.”One of the most-discussed memristor characteristic is its synaptic biomimesis. “State-of-the-art computers have difficulty mimicking the operation of the brain,” Dickey notes. “Memristors, on the other hand, are effective at mimicking synapses. If you were interested in only mimicking brain function, then solid-state memristors would be more practical because they contain many more memory elements and are much more optimized at this point. One of the things distinguishing our work is that the device behaves like a memristor and has other properties similar to the brain. Conventional electronics tend to be rigid, 2-D, moisture-intolerant, and operate using electrons; the brain, in contrast, is soft, 3-D, wet, and operates using ions and in addition to adopting many of these properties, our device is composed of biocompatible hydrogels.”Dickey points out that while the team has not demonstrated any interfacing of their soft-matter devices with biological species, and that it is unclear if it is even possible to interface with the brain, their technology “has many of the obvious properties one would look for this type of interface – including the ability to scale down to 10-100 microns in length. In fact,” he acknowledges, “we’ve just started a project to study the interface of these materials with neurons, but it is too early to comment on it.” Velev is also cautiously optimistic that while he doesn’t foresee medical applications of the soft-matter devices at the moment, he agrees that “hypothetical interfacing with living neurons is possible.” The real strength of the group’s technology, he adds, is that “both neuronal tissue and soft matter use an ionic current to propagate signals. In the near future,” Velev adds, “likely applications include an advanced biocompatible matrix – for biomolecules and living cells, biosensors, and interfaces with mammalian cells other than neurons – immersed in water and biological fluids. While we’re not working on experiments involving live cells right now,” he concludes, “we’re hopeful that this could be a future development – potentially through new collaborations and funding.” More information: Towards All-Soft Matter Circuits: Prototypes of Quasi-Liquid Devices with Memristor Characteristics, Advanced Materials; Article first published online July 4, 2011, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201101257center_img Memristor prototypes based entirely on soft materials. (a) A schematic depiction of the memristive device. Two polyelectrolytes entrapped in a matrix of agarose/H2O dictate the pH values of each hydrogel layer. (b) I-V traces of the device with ±5 V sweeps. The numbers and the arrows represent the order and the direction of the bias sweeps, respectively. The hysteresis of the I-V curves is a characteristic feature of memristors. The dotted line indicates the reading bias of 1 V, where the “memorized” resistance is measured. The sweep rate is 0.04 V/s. © 2011 PNAS, doi: 10.1002/adma.201101257 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In some circles, memristors (from “memory resistor,” as coined by Leon Chua in a 1971 paper outlining memristive theory) are all the rage – and for good reason: As circuit elements which “remember” the amount of current that has passed through them in the past and show great functional flexibility, memristors show promise for applications as diverse as artificial synapses, nanoscale memory and sensors, and eventually a new class of computers based on neuromorphic architecture. Explore further Soft memory device opens door to new biocompatible electronics (w/ Video)last_img read more

Researchers find most BitTorrent users being monitored

first_img Explore further Image from the research paper. BitTorrent file sharing sites work by means of a Peer to Peer sharing scheme. Users log in and download chunks of a file they want from several different other users at the same time who share the load as a swarm. At the same time, files that they’ve already downloaded are shared with others. The protocol and hosting sites, known as trackers don’t differentiate between files that are traded legally, or illegally, hence the presence of monitors, which are “users” or clients that log in for the express purpose of finding out who is downloading illegal content. The very nature of the protocol makes it very easy for such monitors to note which users are downloading which files as it’s all tracked via IP addresses.One way to get around having an IP address cataloged by a monitor is to block their IP address; disallowing them from joining the swarm that is sending pieces of files. Users who frequent BitTorrent sites generally become aware of what are known as blocklists (lists of the IP addresses of known monitors); unfortunately, the researchers found such lists to include many false positives and negatives, making them generally useless in preventing monitoring.To figure out which clients were real users and which were monitors, the researchers noted several characteristics of the monitors that make them stand out. One was the fact that monitors tend to hold a large number of the subnets that access sharing sites. Other ways were that they tend to stay connected a lot longer than regular clients and to connect to a lot more swarms and also generally fail to report actually ever completing downloads. In short, they are simply much busier and active, though with little to show for it, than users who generally tend to only log on when they want a certain file and then go away for a period of time after they get it.After compiling lists of IP addresses they suspected of belonging to monitors, the team compared them against other known information about such IP holders and were able to verify that many of them were indeed known BitTorrent monitoring entities. They conclude by making it clear that virtually everyone that uses such sites to download files will have their IP address cataloged at some point, but add that the information gathered by such monitors likely wouldn’t withstand legal scrutiny. More information: (—Researchers from Birmingham University in the UK have found that users who frequent BitTorrent file sharing sites such as The Pirate Bay, risk having their IP address logged by monitors as quickly as within three hours of getting on. The team, led by Tom Chothia, discovered the extent to which monitors are tracking users on such sharing sites by monitoring activity themselves over a two year period. They found as they note in their paper presented this week at the SecureComm conference, that virtually all users of such sites wind up having their IP address noted and recorded at some point. Citation: Researchers find most BitTorrent users being monitored (2012, September 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Press release This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Anonymous exposes visitors to child porn sites © 2012 Phys.orglast_img read more

Japan group tests fuelsaving driverless trucks

first_img Explore further Citation: Japan group tests fuel-saving driverless trucks (2013, March 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has tested a caravan of self driving trucks. They put four trucks on the road, with the first truck driven by a human, followed by three autonomous trucks. The caravan successfully used technologies for steering, for maintaining speed, and for staying in formation, at a speed of 80km/h with a four-meter distance between each truck. As for technologies involved in the run, the self-driving vehicles had to be able to detect obstacles in front of them, “see” white lines, and carry out inter-vehicle communications; also included was the unit that controlled the vehicles running in formation. According to reports, a milliwave radar and infrared laser radars were used to detect obstacles. Cameras and infrared laser radars helped the trucks recognize white lines. A wireless communication module and infrared communications module enabled inter-vehicle communication. Two printed-circuit boards were used for the control unit to maintain formation. The NEDO self-driving trucks will not be part of Japan’s transportation system any time soon. NEDO hopes to have a practical version of this automated driving system ready around 2020. More tests are scheduled for later this year. More information: … -trucks-in-formation Autonomous-driving Volvo convoy takes road in Spaincenter_img NEDO was established as a semi-governmental organization in 1980 to promote new energy technologies. The group is described on its website as Japan’s largest public research and development management organization. The NEDO project has a number of participants that include Hino Motors, Mitsubishi Electric, Oki Electric Industry, NEC, Denso, the University of Tokyo and Nihon University. The February 2013 test run is part of a project that was started in 2008 by NEDO. The key goal of NEDO’s truck exercise has been to see what can be accomplished in fuel efficiency. They reported that drag decreased by keeping the trucks in a straight line and four meters apart. They said that running convoys of trucks in this manner could contribute to lower air resistance, helping to reduce fuel consumption by 15 percent or more. © 2013 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Revisiting Kumbh

first_imgPhotographers Pavan Mahatta and Inder Gopal are all set to take photography lovers on a trip to the Kumbh Mela.The Maha Kumbh is held every 12 years on the banks of Sangam, at the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati in Allahabad. It is a dream for any photographer to shoot there as it is an amazing spectacle of the world’s largest gathering of people at a single point. With multitude of photographers shooting there, it is a challenge to be different and capture the spectacle differently. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’To make a choice of images to display was the most difficult task, say the photographers. The selection of images displayed at the gallery outlines their experiences through their lens at the Maha Kumbh. Through pictures both photographers have tried to bring about the divine presence of a force unknown to humanity.Pavan Mahatta (Mehta) was born in 1959 in New Delhi in a family of photographers. The Mahatta studios have a distinguished history as one of the biggest and most well known family-run studios in North India. Pavan is a Chartered Accountant by education. He joined the family’s Delhi studio upon finishing his chartered accountancy in 1984 and introduced digital imaging in 1986 for the first time in India along with his brother Pankaj Mahatta. Mehta works across all genres of photography — portraiture, industrial, architectural, nature, landscapes and commercial photography.Inder was born in Delhi. Photography was a childhood hobby which he raised to a new level in Germany when learning and working under an industrial, fashion products photographer Detlev van Eupen from the early 1970s till his return in late 1977. His experiences of many years in photography has got him on the guest faculty of National Institute of Fashion Technology.last_img read more

US team meets officials to discuss Obama visit

first_imgIn order to ensure fool-proof security during the upcoming Republic Day celebrations in which US President Barack Obama will be the chief guest, Delhi Police held meetings with sleuths of US Secret Service and top police officials of neighbouring states to chalk out a coordination plan and identify any possible challenges on Friday.According to sources, officials of the US Secret Service discussed the overall security set up for Obama’s visit and also sought a certain details regarding the hotel he would stay, routes he will travel and the places he will visit. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreThey have also asked access to CCTV cameras installed on all the routes traveled by the US President and several emergency exit routes were also finalized for President Obama’s entourage. In a related development, an interstate co-ordination meeting aimed at strengthening cooperation and coordination in order to address various issues related to policing in NCR was held under the chairmanship of Commissioner of Police BS Bassi today at PHQ.The main objective of the meeting was to share terror related intelligence and inputs about various extremist outfits and their designs, besides curbing criminal activities in NCR region and having better coordination on all aspects of policing in view of the coming Republic Day and Delhi Assembly Elections.last_img read more

Anticonversion law needed Kalraj Mishra

first_imgAmdist ongoing row over “ghar wapsi”, BJP leader and Union Minister Kalraj Mishra on Wednesday said an anti-coversion law was needed and every party must support it.”We have been saying from the beginning that a law should be framed on conversion and every party should support it. I am of the opinion that an effective law should be enacted on this issue,” he told PTI in an interview. Kalraj said he had already favoured framing of such a law. He also made it clear that the party had nothing to do with the the ‘ghar wapsi’ programme of VHP.last_img

Being a vegan helps lose weight Study

first_imgIf you are looking for a size zero figure, then following a vegan diet that includes no animal products could offer better results than other weight-loss plans, says a study.“Vegetarian diets are more effective than non-vegetarian diets for weight loss,” said researcher Ru-Yi Huang of E-Da Hospital in Taiwan.The study reviewed the results of twelve diet trials, involving 1,151 dieters who followed a specific eating regime for between nine and 74 weeks. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Overall, individuals assigned to the vegetarian diet groups lost significantly more weight (around 2.02 kg) than dieters who ate meat and other animal products. Vegetarians who followed a vegan diet lost even more weight. Comparatively, they lost around 2.52 kg more than non-vegetarian dieters. Vegetarians who consumed dairy products and eggs lost around 1.48 kg more than those on a non-vegetarian diet. According to Huang, the abundant intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables might play a role in the favourable results seen in vegetarian diets. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhole-grain products and vegetables generally have low glycaemic index values and do not cause blood sugar levels to spike. Fruits are rich in fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and protective chemicals that naturally occur in plants.Whole-grain products contain soluble fiber. Such so-called good fiber helps to delay the speed by which food leaves the stomach and ensures good digestion. The researchers found that people following vegetarian diets that prescribe a lower than normal intake of calories (so-called energy restriction) also shed more kilograms than those without any such limitations being placed on their eating habits. The findings appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.last_img read more

Reminder of the impaired Education system

first_imgThe 19th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, – International theatre festival at National School of Drama, in the capital, witnessed the classic Bengali play ‘Neelima’ whose Playwright is Eugène Ionesco; is directed by Biplab Bandyopadhyay and performed by the renowned Kolkata theatre group, ‘Prachyo’. The play focuses about a student who comes to a teacher’s house to study. She is ambitious, hence, wants to do research in several fields. The choice of her field is perplexing. As the story unfolds, the student is seen as lacking the understanding of the fundamental concepts of mathematics, like addition and subtractions. The professor tries to use several techniques but fails to make her understand. Then the professor decides to teach her literature since she fails to respond to mathematics. The professor tries to prove the depth and knowledge he has about literature. Eventually, the student gets fed up and complains of toothache. But the professor doesn’t listen to her and starts getting violent, and finally kills her. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf’Neelima’ is a Bengali adaptation of Eugène Ionesco’s ‘The Lesson’. It is a masterpiece that is full of sarcasm and tells the tale of impaired education system that is prevalent in the society. The way in which education is imparted in our country is grossly mechanical. Knowledge has given way to rank and result. Any sensible person cannot overlook the crisis. Eugène Ionesco was a Romanian-born French dramatist whose one-act “antiplay” La Cantatrice chauve (1949; The Bald Soprano) inspired a revolution in dramatic techniques and helped inaugurate the ‘Theatre of the Absurd’. Elected to the Académie Française in 1970, Ionesco remains among the most important dramatists of the 20th century. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveHis tragicomic farces dramatize the absurdity of bourgeois life, the meaninglessness of social conventions, and the futile and mechanical nature of modern civilization. His plays build on bizarrely illogical or fantastic situations using such devices as the humorous multiplication of objects on stage until they overwhelm the actors. The entire cast put up a wonderful show with the brilliant acting prowess and coordination in the scenes. The protagonists included eminent theatre artist Gautam Halder along with Saoli Chattopadhyay who beautifully essayed the roles of the Teacher and the student respectively. Director Biplab Bandyopadhyay has been acting in different theatre groups and was awarded the Best Actor Award in the year 2001 from the cultural department of the Government of West Bengal and Shyamal Sen Smriti Samman in the year 2002 for a major contribution in the field of Bengali theatre. As a director, he formed the theatre group ‘Prachyo’ in the year 2009 and till date has produced five plays. He has also directed two short films and a documentary, and acted in many films. His plays ‘Andhare Akela’ and ‘Caligula’ have participated in the Bharat Rang Mahotsav.’Prachyo’ is a group of performing artists, actors and cultural organizers endeavouring to promote and support regional, national and international artistic expressions in the fields of visual as well as performing arts, and to organize workshops, debates, conferences and seminars on various art forms as well as present original and thought provoking works in various artistic areas.last_img read more