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Arduino-based liquid level sensing hardware

SST Sensing has partnered with Sparkfun to develop a simple to implement solution for single point liquid detection using infrared technology. The solution comprises an Optomax Digital liquid level switch which is connected to an Arduino board via the TTL output and powered by a 5V source.

Metallic hydrogen for room temperature semiconductors

Nearly a century after it was theorised, Harvard scientists have succeeded in creating atomic metallic hydrogen. In addition to helping scientists answer fundamental questions about the nature of matter, the material could have a range of applications, including as a room temperature superconductor.

Electronic properties found in boron chains

A Rice University team that simulated one-dimensional forms of boron is said to have found they possess unique properties. If the metallic ribbons of boron are stretched, they morph into antiferromagnetic semiconducting chains, and when released they fold back into ribbons.

Dark lattice modes used to create laser light

A plasmonic nanolaser that operates at visible light frequencies and uses dark lattice modes has been made by researchers at Aalto University, Finland. The results are said to open new prospects for on chip coherent light sources.

Scientists create self-healing material

A transparent, self-healing, stretchable, conductive material has been developed by scientists at the University of California, Riverside and the University of Colorado, Boulder. The material can be activated electrically to power artificial muscles and could be used to improve batteries, electronic devices and robots.

‘Safe & Sound’ wearables design challenge

Sponsored by Texas Instruments (TI), element14 invites electronic engineers, designers and makers to participate in the ‘Safe & Sound’ design challenge. To win the challenge, makers need to design a safety-oriented wearable device or solution that protects a person from personal and environmental risks, monitors personal health or protects personal property from theft.

Optical fibre sensor enables real time detection

Optical fibre sensing shows promise for monitoring the condition of structures. By embedding long optical fibres into a structure, strain and temperature distributions along the fibres can be detected. Until now, however, time of distributed measurement took from several tens of seconds to several minutes.

Fluorescent dye could fuel liquid-based batteries

Scientists at the University at Buffalo have identified a fluorescent dye called BODIPY as a suitable material for stocking energy in rechargeable, liquid-based batteries that could one day power small and large scale devices, including cars and homes.

A smartwatch prototype uses wrist as a joystick

A Dartmouth-led team has developed WristWhirl – a smartwatch prototype that uses the wrist wearing the watch as a joystick to perform common touch screen gestures with one-handed continuous input – useful when the other hand is encumbered.

Visible light communication now possible in the dark

A Dartmouth project called ‘DarkLight’ is said to have demonstrated for the first time how visible light can be used to transmit data even when the light appears dark or off. DarkLight is claimed to provide a new communication primitive similar to infrared communication but it exploits the LED lights already installed rather than needing additional infrared emitters.

Liquid metals for elastic electronics

Self-propelling liquid metals, developed by researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, are said to be a critical step towards flexible and reconfigurable soft circuit systems, such as 3D electronic displays and components. Potential applications range from smart engineering to biomedicine.

Semiconductor database made available online

What is said to the largest and most comprehensive online semiconductor database has been unveiled by Chipworks. Called Inside Technology, the database gives access to Chipworks’ analysis of thousands of devices and technologies. The web portal is said to streamline the user’s ability to find competitive differentiators, as well as to match patents to products.

Rohde & Schwarz launches Scope in Space competition

Rohde & Schwarz has launched a competition to find the most innovative use for its recently announced Scope Rider, the rugged portable oscilloscope with lab performance. Ten shortlisted entrants will each receive a GoPro Hero4 silver camera to make a video of their idea, and the overall winner will receive a Scope Rider.

Electronic material ‘heals itself’, says team

A new electronic material created by a research team from Penn State University in the US and Harbin Institute of Technology in China is said to be capable of healing all its functions automatically, even after being broken multiple times. This material, the team contends, could improve the durability of wearable electronics.

Top five Raspberry Pi 3 project ideas

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is said to deliver up to ten times the processing performance of the original Raspberry Pi and includes connectivity with 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1. The board is claimed to be suitable for IoT-based projects, as well as application in security, home automation and machine vision.

Embedded World in brief

This year’s Embedded World event in Nuremberg saw an increased focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) and security as development in this area is becoming more mature and the threats posed by hackers and malware is understood better.

Conductive electronics almost as flexible as rubber

Researchers from EPFL have developed conductive tracks that they say are almost as flexible as rubber and can be stretched up to four times their original length and in all directions. The team claims the electronics can also be stretched a million times without cracking or interrupting their conductivity.

CUI in the lab – AMT zeroing and one touch

CUI in the Lab series takes viewers inside the engineering lab for technical and application-based demonstrations on the latest technologies from CUI. In this video CUI’s VP of Motion Control, Jeff Smoot, demonstrates the fast and simple process of aligning CUI’s innovative AMT modular encoder series versus an optical encoder.

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