Drone Spray Hornet Destroys Nests
Drone Volt has introduced the Drone Spray Hornet to locate and destroy the nests of Asian hornets that are becoming an issue in parts of Europe.
The Asian Hornet arrived in France in a shipment of pottery over a decade ago, and has since spread itself over much of the country and other European regions. The wasp preys on a variety of insects, including bees and other native pollinators. The species also defends its nests by attacking perceived threats in swarms, hence the reason for the new drove development.
Drone Volt collaborated with a beekeeper to develop a drone equipped with a tilting spray system and a Go Pro HD camera to safely track down and eliminate the hornet nests. The drone weighs about 7 pounds, has a payload capacity of up to a 750 ML aerosol can, emergency parachute in the case of failure, and battery life of 9 to 18 minutes depending on the number of batteries onboard. An optional guidance and obstacle detection module is also in the works.
Wearable Device Generates Power As a Soldier Walks
Development of piezoelectric (PEE-zo-electric) and triboelectric generators that harvest kinetic energy during movement has been gaining momentum over the past few years, and now the US Army and the Marine Corps are taking the technology into the field. Vancouver-based Bionic Power will soon supply troops with its PowerWalk Kinetic Energy Harvester, a lightweight device worn around the knee that recharges batteries while soldiers walk.
The PowerWalk features a gearbox that mechanically converts the knee’s rotation speed into a higher speed that is more efficient for the onboard power generator to then convert it to electrical power. The result is 10 to 12 W of electricity, which is then converted to charge lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride batteries. Wearing a PowerWalk on each leg, users can generate enough electricity to charge four smartphones after an hour of walking at a reasonable pace. The PowerWalk is also able to analyze the wearer’s gait to determine the most efficient time to generate power, and the company claims a secondary benefit of reducing muscle fatigue during downhill walking, which lowers the risk of knee injury.
The device’s military applications are clear. Electricity is vital in the field since communications, navigation and optics devices all require power and (as a result) heavy battery packs. Soldiers typically carry 16 to 20 pounds in batteries on a 72-hour mission, so if they can generate power with wearable energy-harvesting devices, the weight on their backs will be reduced, making them more effective during a mission. The contract between Bionic Power and the US Army and Marine Corps will see PowerWalk units tested in the field in early to mid-2017.
The Toilet That Pays For Poop
Public toilets are generally pretty crappy, hahahaha, but researchers have built one at a university in South Korea that might make it fun to poop. The toilet turns your browns into green energy solutions, and eventually, you might even be paid to poop.
The Science Walden Pavillion, as the scientists call it, is a laboratory/lavatory on the grounds at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. The point of the project is a waterless toilet system, which turns your stool into biofuel.
The toilet uses an anaerobic system. A grinder inside the toilet dehydrates and breaks the waste down into a dry, odorless powder, which is then transferred to a digestion tank that is home to thousands of different microbes. As they go to work, the compost biodegrades, which the scientists then harvest.
The ultimate goal of the new toilet system to save water and operational costs for wastewater treatment plants, and to establish an ecosystem that supports technology innovation.
To encourage people to use the toilet, the team is developing a smartphone app that can tell you what your waste is worth, and even pay you a digital currency for it.
Robotic Cockroach Leaps Five Feet into the Air
I hate cockroaches. I almost didn’t even do this story because of how much they creep me out, but here we go. Researchers have developed a new springing mechanism for small robots that enables them to jump several times their height, a technology they have demonstrated in their JumpRoACH leaping milli-scale robot.
Earlier this month, researchers from UC Berkeley demonstrated cockroach-inspired robots that can climb stairs. In search of an easier way for crawling bots to overcome obstacles in their path, they teamed up with researchers from Seoul National University to develop a spring system that allows them to jump to different heights. The mechanism is shaped like a diamond and has joints that bend like knees. Atop the diamond is a pulley system that is powered by gears and a DC motor to stretch eight latex bands. The system is able to wind up and hold as much or as little energy as is required to clear an obstacle, before releasing to launch into the air.
On its own, this system can jump to a height of nearly 10 feet. But since the robotic critter weighs about two ounces, it can spring about 5.2 feet into the air. To address the problem of the robot landing on its feet, the team hooked up the same DC motor to its shell, which spreads the robot’s exterior and turns it the right way up should it land on its side or back. The team presented its research at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Stockholm, Sweden this month.
But robot or not, I’d still squish it.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)