Piezoelectric

  • Canadian researchers have developed a chin strap capable of generating electricity from jaw movements. The team is hopeful that the strap will be able to harvest energy from common actions like eating, chewing and talking to power medical implants and wearable devices.
  • Four years ago, we first heard about how Korean scientists had proposed using sound to charge mobile phones. At the time, however, they couldn't generate enough of a current to actually charge one. Now, however, scientists have succeeded in doing so.
  • Science
    The Ormia ochracea fly has a unique hearing mechanism that allows it to precisely determine the location of a chirping cricket. Scientists have now duplicated that mechanism, with hopes that it could find use in hearing aids.
  • A group of researchers has developed a cardiac pacemaker that is powered semi-permanently by a flexible piezoelectric nanogenerator. Designed to be implanted directly in the body, it is claimed to generate enough electricity to directly stimulate the heart from small movements of body muscles.
  • Science
    Focusing high-powered lasers isn't easy. A powerful laser distorts the mirror, throwing the beam off and spreading it out uselessly. To combat this, Fraunhofer is developing a lens that can compensate for heating and other distortion factors to keep lasers focused on target.
  • Science
    While it's already possible to wirelessly recharge smartphones in cars, those cars need to be equipped with a special charging pad. Thanks to a new nanogenerator, however, it might soon be possible to place the phone anywhere in any car, letting the vehicle's vibrations provide the power.
  • Aisen Caro Chacin wants to give everyone the ability to tell time using their noses. Her chemical-based watch called the Scent Rhythm emits specially-designed fragrances in minute doses,in tune with the body's circadian cycle. Users can smell coffee in the morning, money in the afternoon and more.
  • The tyranny of streaking, chattering windshield wipers may be at an end, with McLaren Automotive's disclosure that the performance motoring company is investigating the use of military jet "ultrasonic force fields" to replace windshield wipers in automobiles.
  • Imagine if conditions that presently cause blindness could be treated by simply by fabricating new retinal tissue. We may not be at that point yet, but we've definitely taken a step closer – scientists have successfully used an inkjet printer to "print" rats' retinal cells onto a substrate.
  • Science
    Combining sun and sound, precisely the conditions in many urban and military settings, could lead to more efficient hybrid solar cell arrays. Researchers found that zinc oxide nanotubes increased the solar cell efficiency by up to 50 percent when excited by sound.
  • While some people have developed impact sensors that can be attached to football players' helmets, a student at Utah's Brigham Young University has devised something less obtrusive – impact-sensing helmet-lining foam.
  • Science
    During the recent LEGO2NANO summer school held at Tsinghua University in Beijing, a group of Chinese and English students succeeded in making a Lego-based scanning atomic force microscope with nanoscale resolution in five days at a cost less than $500.