Stanford University

Stanford Researchers Create Self-propelled Medical Implant

You may have noticed a running theme with many of the posts here on Engineering on the Edge. It is science fiction made science fact. I don’t know how many sci-fi movies, TV shows and books I’ve seen in which a doctor can solve all manner of ills with a simple hypodermic injector. In go nanobots or tiny medical implants and Presto! the patient is good as new.

The problem with real, functional medical tech that could produce results inside the human body is how to power them. While science has made astonishing strides in miniaturization over the years, methods to power these devices has lagged behind. In most cases, the battery required to power the tiniest devices takes up around half of the machine.

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Fantasy Car Design Blends Reality, Sci-Fi Specs

Sometimes it’s fun to see what creative designers can come up with when they aren’t encumbered by pesky constraints like, you know, reality. For example, Portuguese designer Tiago Miguel Inacio has come up with concept car design that’s so futuristic it includes a teleportation feature.

Using the Batmobile from the Tim Burton films as a starting point, Inacio concocted the Mithos, a zero-emissions car with a 1.5 Mw electric motor, a theoretical top speed of 247 mph, crash-resistant, high-fiber body panels that “remember” their shape, and “quantum boost” technology that would allow it to levitate on electromagnetic freeways. Continue reading

Batteries: Recharged

Cars and mobile devices are among our most beloved pieces of technology. President Obama refused to give up his BlackBerry when he entered office, and many people hang on to their favorite ride with a similar sort of passion. With all the love floating around, it should come as no surprise that battery research to power these devices is ongoing, with possible breakthroughs looming just around the corner.

Design engineers may be incorporating new battery technologies into products that double current battery performance in just a few years, according to researchers.

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The Robots Are Coming

Mankind has been fascinated by robotics since ancient times when myths told of bronze guardians and the Greek god of blacksmiths, Hephaestus, building mechanical servants. We’ve come a long way from the clockwork automatons built in Archytas and Lu Ban to the industrial robots common in today’s factories. However, we’ve always fallen short of the sci-fi robots that would help us with our daily tasks … until now.

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