Could

We Could Build an Artificial Brain Right Now

We Could Build an Artificial Brain Right Now

Large-scale brainlike systems are possible with existing technology—if we’re willing to spend the money Photo: Dan Saelinger 3. Engineering Cognition Photo: Dan Saelinger Brain-inspired computing is having a moment. Artificial neural network algorithms like deep learning, which are very loosely based on the way the human brain operates, now allow digital computers to perform such extraordinary feats(…)

Nanogenerators Could Charge Your Smartphone

Nanogenerators Could Charge Your Smartphone

A new polymer provides a 20-fold increase in the power output of nanogenerators Photo: Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have been exploring the applications and commercial potential for triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) since 2012.  These so-called TENGs essentially harvest static electricity from friction. Now a team of(…)

3 Ways Ford Cars Could Monitor Your Health

3 Ways Ford Cars Could Monitor Your Health

Ford is experimenting with car features that could help drivers with diabetes, heart problems, and more Illustration: iStockphoto/IEEE Spectrum People can form intimate connections to their cars in the course of daily commutes, frustrating traffic jams, and liberating road trips. How would you feel, though, if your car knew detailed information about your insides, such(…)

A Circuit That Sees Radiation Strikes Could Keep Errors at Bay

A Circuit That Sees Radiation Strikes Could Keep Errors at Bay

Engineers are working on a circuit that will help chip designers avoid vulnerabilities to common radiation-induced errors Photo: Chris Kim/University of MinnesotaBack sampling chain circuits preparing to be bombarded with neutrons. For a short time, it looked like the worlds electronics would be safe (well, safer) from radiation. With the switch from planar transistors to(…)

Zinc Battery Breakthrough Could Mean Safer, Lighter Cars and Smartphones

Zinc Battery Breakthrough Could Mean Safer, Lighter Cars and Smartphones

Rechargeable zinc-based batteries could hit the market for electric vehicles by 2019 Image: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Rechargeable zinc-based batteries could not only store as much energy as lithium-ion batteries but also be safer, cheaper, smaller and lighter, new research finds. The results suggest zinc batteries could find use in mild hybrids (microhybrids), electric vehicles, electric bicycles,(…)

Trump’s Plans Could Scuttle New Hybrid Car Tech in U.S.

Trump’s Plans Could Scuttle New Hybrid Car Tech in U.S.

Global standards drove fuel-saving “mild hybrid” technology, but weakened EPA rules could stall U.S. deployment Photo: Eaton Photo: Eaton Mild Yet Electric: Eaton’s Electrically Assisted Variable Speed supercharger uses braking energy and engine exhaust to power a mild-hybrid system. Global policy efforts to boost fuel economy are progressively electrifying the automobile and expanding technology options(…)

Graphene Photodetector Could Make Sharper Images With Fewer Pixels

Graphene Photodetector Could Make Sharper Images With Fewer Pixels

A graphene photodetector can pinpoint the position of light that falls far from it Photo: iStockphotoSilicon carbide is the key to a graphene photodetector While inventors of digital electronic applications are still wrestling with graphene’s lack of a band gap, in optoelectronics the wonder material is more popular than ever. This is no more apparent(…)

Keeping Block Copolymers in Line Could Lead to Smaller Microchips

Keeping Block Copolymers in Line Could Lead to Smaller Microchips

Scientists use directed self-assembly to make tinier microchip features Image: Provided by researchersAfter directed self-assembly, the resulting pitch dimension is one quarter the size of the original pitch. In an effort to keep Moore’s Law going, a team of engineers from MIT, the University of Chicago, and the Argonne National Laboratory has developed a technique to(…)

Combining Twisted Light and Plasmons Could Supercharge Data Storage

Combining Twisted Light and Plasmons Could Supercharge Data Storage

Creating and observing the orbital angular momentum of plasmons could open up a new data-storage system mage: Sven Hein/University of Stuttgart Research that started out with the humble aim of growing an atomically flat, single crystalline gold surface, ultimately morphed into a team of German and Israeli scientists using the gold surface they came up with(…)