A camera has successfully been powered using spare Wi-Fi signals

Researchers in the US have tweaked a regular Wi-Fi router and made it capable of continuously powering a battery-free surveillance camera. Even better, their work didn’t interfere with the router’s data transfer speeds.

The breakthrough could help researchers overcome one of the main challenges when it comes to the development of new technology – including the Internet of Things, which aims to put a chip inside all our household appliances and bring them online: how do we keep everything powered up without lots of cords?

Researchers have long known that the electromagnetic waves broadcast by Wi-Fi routers could be harnessed for energy as well as sending information, but the challenge was finding a way to do this reliably and continuously. A team from the University of Washington in the US has now accomplished this by simply changing the way a router broadcasts. They’re calling their new approach ‘power over Wi-Fi’ or PoWi-Fi.

“The ability to deliver power wirelessly to a wide range of autonomous devices and sensors is hugely significant,” writes MIT’s Technology Review. “PoWi-Fi could be the enabling technology that finally brings the Internet of Things to life.”

In the past, scientists have never been able to harness enough Wi-Fi signals to power anything of much use. But the team’s big break came when they attached a simple antenna to a temperature sensor in order to see how much power they could get from a nearby router.

They found that the resulting voltages produced by the Wi-Fi signals were never high enough to cross the operating threshold of around 300 millivolts. But they often came close.

The problem, they realised, was that Wi-Fi routers don’t continuously blast out electromagnetic waves, they send them out on a single channel in bursts. But by programming a router to broadcast noise across a range of Wi-Fi channels even when it wasn’t transmitting information, they were able to pump out enough signals that their antenna could then use to provide continuous power to electronic devices.

Using their prototype, the team managed to show for the first time that they could not only run battery-free temperature and camera sensors using Wi-Fi signals from a distance of six and five metres respectively, they also proved that they could charge a range of coin-cell batteries at distances of up to nine metres.

They then took their system into six metropolitan homes to show that the set-up worked in real life, and didn’t interfere with data transfer speeds. The results are published over at arXiv.org.

The question that needs to be answered now is how these routers interfere with other signals in the area. “Having a router next door that is blasting out signals on three Wi-Fi channels might not be everybody’s idea of neighbourly behaviour,” writes MIT’s Technology Review. “It is worth pointing out, however, that if this kind of interference turns out to be a problem for current routers, it is one that could be solved in future generations.”

The next step is further testing on these routers under a range of different conditions to make sure they really can help to provide us with regular power for our devices while we browse the Internet. And if that’s the case, then it could seriously change the way we power up our homes. We can’t wait.

Source: A camera has successfully been powered using spare Wi-Fi signals – ScienceAlert

Fly-catching robot developed by Stanford scientists speeds biomedical research – Deep Stuff

Bio-X scientists have created a robot that expands the scope of biomedical research that can be carried out with a common laboratory organism – fruit flies.

Source: Fly-catching robot developed by Stanford scientists speeds biomedical research – Deep Stuff

The development of new technology keeps going faster, and this is a good example of how robot technology is becoming more and more advanced.

Read the article, and get back here and share your thoughts.

Physicists Discover How The Ancient Egyptians Built the Pyramids

Egyptian pyramids are considered the oldest man-made wonder that are still existing on earth, they were built by the Pharaohs of the old and middle families as tombs of the Pharaohs and their entourage, building the pyramids started more than 4600 years ago. There are several types of pyramids a one step pyramids called the Mastaba, several steps pyramids which is called Step Pyramid and the smooth-sided pyramid.

Some people were convinced that the pyramids were built by slaves, others suggested that the pyramids were built by aliens; These are myth that lasted for thousands of years.

The biggest problem that have confused everyone is how did the Egyptians moved the huge rocks – that each weighs more than 2 tons. How did they transfer the rocks from the desert to the area were the pyramids lies and how they were able to get it up.

The secret lies in water as it was noticed in the Ancient Egyptians wall drawings from the tomb of the ancient nomarch that they watered the sand before the sledges run over it but no one knew why, some suggested that it was one of the sacred steps the ancient Egyptians usually did.

Lately Physicists at FOM Foundation and the University of Amsterdam have reached a major discovery that has proved the truth about building the pyramids. The physicists have proved that the Egyptians watered the sand in front of the sledges used to transfer the huge rocks. Adding water to the sand stopped it from piling up in front of the sledges than the dry sand.

Also the water make the sand stick together and easier to be shaped which allowed them to make a ramp for the sledges to run over easily in order they would stack the rocks above the others.

The Physicists did not just give us a theory but they proved it by experiment as they used a small sledge in the laboratory that is analogous to the Egyptian sledges and found out that using the right amount of water the sledge was able to slide on the watered sand as twice easier than the dry sand.

So, it took the scientists more than 4600 years to figure out how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids and that is a considered a great discovery, of course I can say that the great discovery was made by the Ancient Egyptians when they used the water to build the pyramids, and a great work to build the pyramids.

Ice Age

Ice AgeIce Age 5 will be in cinemas on 2016, after the great success of the Ice Age series on the years 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2012. The story of the films are around a group of mammals surviving one of the Ice Ages in the Paleolithic Ice Age, this group is composed in the first film from a mammoth, a sloth and a tiger and other characters joins on the following films.

The Ice Age is the very long period that lasted from about 30 million to 300 million years when the earth was mostly covered with ice sheets. Earth has been exposed to several Ice Ages divided to sub Ice Ages called glacials, the Ice Ages were in cycles along with warmer ages as the ice sheets would melt. About 11 thousand years ago the three factors lead to a warmer period and the ice melted.

No one can be sure why Ice Ages happens, but scientists suggested that an Ice Age could happen when several factors are combined as: The ratio of carbon dioxide and methane. The second factor is the change of the Earth orbit around the sun. The third factor is when the continents are close to each other which leads to preventing the flow of warm water and the variation of ocean currents. These factors would lead to a very cold winter that allows the ice accumulate, then the short and not hot summer is not enough to melt the ice, years after years and centuries after centuries the ice would get sicker and stronger.

Did you find this post interesting? Scroll further down to find other interesting facts.

Cairo University, Faculty of Engineering ranks eighth in eco-friendly car competition

cairo-universityThe Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, ranked eighth in the international competition for eco-friendly cars held in the Philippines from 6 to 9 February 2014.

Egypt participated in the competetion with two teams from the Universities of Cairo and Ain Shams. The race depended on energy-saving and high- efficiency cars manufactured by students from different countries all over the world. Each car had to score the greater distance using the least amount of fuel.

Sherief Morad, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, said that the Egyptian team has worked on the car in Egypt over the past two years. The car can make 122 km using one liter only of gasoline. Its body is made of the carbon fiber, a material of high strength and light weight, Morad said.

Facts About Pollution

Facts About PollutionA Fact everybody know about is that the Global warming of Earth is the major outcome of pollution on Earth, Global warming is the rising of the temperature of the atmosphere and the oceans. The rise of the temperature can lead to the death of some plants and animals and that affects the amounts of food than people use.

The Noctilucent Clouds are a result of the global warming, noctilucent clouds are light clouds that appears in the sky. Noctilucent clouds happens due to the smoke in the sky that are caused by meteorites along with the pollution. Although the noctilucent clouds looks amazing but it is considered a great worry because of the great effect of the pollution.

Other facts about pollution as:

  • Pollution killed about one million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals all over the world due to the 14 million tons of garbage thrown at sea.
  • Polluted water are one of the main reasons of death especially the children in the African countries and the Indian peninsula.
  • The radioactive water polluted due to the Japanese tsunami caused the pollution of fish in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Number of death from respiratory problems due to pollution have reached about 6500 yearly in Mexico.
  • One ton of oil is split in water out of every 1 million ton during the shipping.
  • China is the most producer of Carbon dioxide emissions in the world.
  • People living in polluted territories are more exposed to lung cancer by 20 percent the people in non polluted areas.
  • The Mexico Gulf is polluted yearly by 1.5 milloion tons of nitrogen that are poured in it from the Mississippi river.
  • Trillions gallons of sewage and industrial waste are thrown in the seas and oceans yearly.
  • The only unpolluted place in Earth is Antarctica.
  • Million of people suffers from stress diseases due to the noise pollution.

New Conductive Unbreakable And More Stretchable Wires

North Carolina State University researchers have reached to a new conductive wires that can stretch 8 times more than their original size while keeping their quality as it is. The new wires can replace any type of wires, the wires can be used in headphones and phone chargers and it might be used in electronic textiles.

To make the wires, researchers start with a thin tube made of an extremely elastic polymer and then fill the tube with a liquid metal alloy of gallium and indium, which is an efficient conductor of electricity.

While the manufacturing of the new wires is relatively straightforward, Dickey notes that one challenge needs to be addressed before the wires can be considered for popular products: how to minimize leakage of the metal if the wires are severed.
The paper, “Ultrastretchable Fibers with Metallic Conductivity Using a Liquid Metal Alloy Core,” is published online in Advanced Functional Materials. The paper was co-authored by Shu Zhu, a former undergraduate at NC State; Dr. Ju-Hee So, a former Ph.D. student at NC State; Robin Mays and William Barnes, Ph.D. students at NC State; Dr. Sharvil Desai, a former postdoctoral researcher at NC State; and Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi, the William A. Klopman Distinguished Chaired Professor of Materials in NC State’s College of Textiles and a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the university’s College of Engineering.
The research was funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award and the NSF’s Research Triangle Materials Research Science & Engineering Center.

The Most Computer Simulation Of The Human Brain

The human brain
The human brain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Canadian University of Waterloo researchers have announced that they have reached for the most computer simulation of the human brain. The simulation is the most accurate ever reached as the computer can see the inputs and process it and then write it using a computer arm. They called it Spaun (Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network).

The “reverse engineering” approach of attempting to understand the biology of the human brain and then build a computer that models it isn’t new; but now, thanks to the promising results of research efforts led by Prof. Chris Eliasmith, the technique could gain even more traction.

Using a supercomputer, the researchers modeled the mammalian brain in close detail, capturing its properties, overall structure and connectivity down to the very fine details of each neuron – including which neurotransmitters are used, how voltages are generated in the cell, and how they communicate – into a very large and resource-intensive computer simulation.

Then, they hardwired into the system the instructions to perform eight different tasks that involved different forms of high-level cognitive functions, such as abstraction. Tasks included handwriting recognition, answering questions, addition by counting, and even the kind of completion of symbolic patterns that often appears in intelligence tests.

But in its present state, the model is still affected by some severe limitations. For one, it cannot learn new tasks, and all of its knowledge has to be hardwired beforehand. Also, Spaun’s performance isn’t exactly breathtaking: it takes the system approximately two and a half hours to produce an output that you and I could carry out in a single second.

And yet, a bit paradoxically, the most interesting results of the project aren’t Spaun’s successes, but rather its shortcomings. All in all, the model exhibited a behavior that was surprisingly similar to that of a human. When asked a question, it hesitated before answering, pausing for about as long (when correcting for performance) as a human would; when trying to memorize a series of numbers, it struggled when the list got too long and, just like a human, it remembered the first few numbers better than the ones in the middle of the list.

These similarities suggest that the system could be used to offer a coherent theory of how the brain works. Already, the researchers have used their system to show exactly how the loss of neurons – either from aging or injury – affects performance on cognitive tests. Going forward, the model could inspire promising new designs for a general-purpose artificial intelligence.

Glass window that can produce electricity

Solar cells on a Photovoltaic panel at the Nat...

New Energy researchers have developed a working prototype in the development of new methods and technologies for applying New Energy’s electricity-generating the world’s first glass window that can produce electricity.

A glass window was generated  using the world’s smallest working organic solar cells.

In contrast to the conventional solar systems, the solar cells developed by New Energy Technologies can produce power from both natural and artificial sources of light. These solar cells show a 10 times better performance than the solar and thin-film technologies used today.

Spray-on Liquid Glass that Can Cover Any Surface

The main ingredient used in the liquid glass is silicon dioxide that is obtained from quartz sand.  Water or Ethanol can be added according to the type of surface that needs to be covered.  The spray produces a coating that is just 100nm thick. This coating can be easily cleaned using water or a damp cloth.

It is flexible and breathable. The invention was tested in plants, scientists found that the plants could resist the fungal diseases much more, and the seeds grew faster.

The liquid glass can protect any type of surface from damages caused by water, UV radiation, dirt, heat, and bacterial infections.  The invention could be also used on clothing, because it cannot be seen by the naked eye, thus clothes could become stain resistant. Due to its unique properties, the liquid glass can be used to cover bathrooms, tiles, sinks and many other surfaces in the home. According to the researchers, the spay-on glass can last for a year.

Source: SolarWindow – glass window that can generate electricity

The Inventions of Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison ( 1847 – 1931) was an American inventor, scientist, and businessman. Edison is considered one of the most prolific inventors in history, holding more than a thousand U.S. patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, telecommunications. His advanced work in these fields was an outgrowth of his early career as a telegraph operator.
He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including:


The phonograph, The first great invention developed by Edison was the tin foil phonograph. While working to improve the efficiency of a telegraph transmitter, he noted that the tape of the machine gave off a noise resembling spoken words when played at a high speed. This caused him to wonder if he could record a telephone message. He began experimenting with the diaphragm of a telephone receiver by attaching a needle to it. He reasoned that the needle could prick paper tape to record a message. His experiments led him to try a stylus on a tinfoil cylinder, which, to his great surprise, played back the short message he recorded, “Mary had a little lamb.”

The word phonograph was the trade name for Edison’s device, which played cylinders rather than discs. The machine had two needles: one for recording and one for playback. When you spoke into the mouthpiece, the sound vibrations of your voice would be indented onto the cylinder by the recording needle. This cylinder phonograph was the first machine that could record and reproduce sound created a sensation and brought Edison international fame.

Carbon telephone transmitter, In 1877–1878, Edison invented and developed the carbon microphone used in all telephones along with the Bell receiver until the 1980s.  The carbon microphone was also used in radio broadcasting and public address work through the 1920s.

 A long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, Edison is probably best remembered for his work with the light bulb, although he didn’t make the very first light bulb (that distinction goes to Humphry Davy), it was Edison and his team that found a filament that made the light bulb a practical technology. Early light bulbs required huge amounts of electricity and at best lasted only a couple hours. In 1879, using lower current electricity, a small carbonized filament, and an improved vacuum inside the globe, he was able to produce a reliable, long-lasting source of light.

The Kinetoscope and The moving Picture Machine, another Edison invention was the Kinetoscope, a box containing a strip of photographs. When one looked into the box while the strip was moved, the objects in the photos appeared to be moving. He later invented the Edison Moving Picture Machine, an early cinema projector.
Edison set up the first film studio in 1893 and there his assistant Charles Batchelor experimented with combining moving pictures and sound. The Edison Studio produced the first talking motion picture in 1912.

He also invented a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures. Edison originated the concept and implementation of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories – a crucial development in the modern industrialized world.