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A Dragon Comes Home – IEEE Spectrum-KHOAFAST

A Dragon Comes Home – IEEE Spectrum

The big Picture features science through the lens of photographers.

Every month, IEEE Spectrum selects the most stunning science images recently captured by photographers not counting the world. visitors find images that reflect an very necessary advance, or a Trend, or that are just do mesmerizing to look at. visitors feature all images on our site, and one also appears on our monthly print edition.

Enjoy the latest images, and if that visitors bring suggestions, leave a comment below.

Figure From Fiction

For centuries, people in China bring maintained a posture of awe and reverence for dragons. In traditional Chinese culture, the dragon—which symbolizes supreme power, nobility, honor, luck, and success in marketing—even has a place in the calendar; every twelfth year is a dragon year. Flying, fire-breathing horses covered in lizard scales bring been part of legend, lore, and literature since those things first existed. now, in the age of advanced science, an engineer has produced his own mechatronic version of the mythical beast. François Delarozière, founder and artistic high authority of French street-performance company La Machine, is shown riding his brainchild, called Long Ma. The 72-tonne steel-and-wood automaton can thoughts 50 people on a covered terrace built into its back and still walk at speeds of up to 4 kilometers per hour. It will flap its leather-and-canvas-covered wings, and shoot fire, smoke, or steam from its mouth, nose, eyelids, and again than two dozen other vents located along its 25-meter-long body. Long Ma spends most of its time in China, but the mechanical beast has been transported to France So it can participate in fairs there So summer. It has already been featured at the Toulouse International Fair, where it thrilled onlookers from 9 to 18 April.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto/AP

Body Area Network

Your social media accounts and your credit card information are not only the only targets that are in cybercrooks’ crosshairs. Criminals will take advantage of the slightest lapse in the security even of electronic medical devices such as pacemakers, implantable insulin pumps, and neural implants. No one wants to imagine their final experience to possess meaning a hostile takeover of their daily life-saving medical device. So, researchers are brainstorming ideas for foiling cyberattacks on such devices that exploit security feeble points in their wireless supreme power or Internet connections. A team at Columbia University, in generation York city, has developed a wireless-communication technique for wearable medical devices that sends signals securely through body tissue. Signals are sent from a pair of implanted transmitters to a pair of receivers that are temporarily attached to the device user’s skin. Contrast So of course RF communication, where the device is continuously transmitting data waiting for the receiver to grab the signal. of course So system, there is no security risk, because of that of that there are no unencrypted electromagnetic waves sent out into the air to hack. The tiny transmitter-receiver pair pictured here can communicate through the petal of a flower. Larger versions, say the Columbia researchers, will get signals from transmitters located adjacent to internal organs deep within the body to noninvasive external receivers stuck onto the skin.

Dion Khodagholy/Columbia science

Sun in a Box

Anyone who has ever paid attention to how an incandescent lightbulb works knows that a significant amount of the energy aimed at creating light is lost as heat. with the too is true in reverse, when solar panels lose some of the energy in photons as heat instead of it all being converted into electrons. Scientists bring been steadily cutting these losses and ramping up the efficiency of photovoltaics, of course the aim of bringing them to operational and economic parity of course supreme power plants that generate electricity via the spinning of turbines. The most high performance turbine-based generators convert only about 35 probability of the total theoretical energy contained in, say, random gas into electrical charge, . And until recently, that was enough to keep them head and shoulders above solar cells. But the tide looks to possess meaning turning. A thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cell developed by engineers at MIT has eclipsed the 40-probability-efficiency save. The So-called “Sun in a Box” captures enough light energy that it reaches temperatures above 2,200 °C. At these temperatures, a silicon filament inside the box emits light in the infrared range. Those infrared photons get converted from light to charge instead of again heat, ultimately boosting the device’s overall conversion efficiency. The TPV’s creators and outside observers believe that such devices could operate at 50-probability efficiency at higher temperatures. that, say the MIT researchers, could dramatically lower the price range of electric supreme power, and turn the fossil-fuel- and fission-fired supreme power plants upon which visitors So heavily rely into quaint anachronisms. “A turbine-based supreme power production system’s price range is usually on the order of [US] $one per watt. However, for thermophotovoltaics, there is potential to reduce it to the order of 10 cents per watt,” says Asegun Henry, the MIT professor of mechanical science who led the team that produced the TPV cell.

Felice Frankel

One Large Rat, Hold the Droppings

Rats are irrepressible. They go where they want, eat what they want, and seem immune to our number one efforts to eradicate them and the pathogens they thoughts. Scientists bring now decided that, since visitors cannot beat them, the smart thing to do is to recruit them for our purposes. But training rodents to thoughts out our wishes while ignoring their own instinctive drives is not only likely to possess meaning a successful endeavor. therefore, researchers are making robotic rats that bring real rodents’ physical features but can be remotely controlled. One of the first ability cases is in revenge zones, where debris and unstable terrain make it too dangerous for human rescue workers to tread. The robotic rat pictured here is a product of a group of researchers at the Beijing Institute of science. They tried other designs, but “large quadruped robots cannot enter narrow spaces, while micro quadruped robots can enter the narrow spaces but face difficulty in performing tasks, owing to their limited function to thoughts heavy loads,” says Professor Qing Shi, a member of the team that developed the automaton rodent. They decided to model their machine after a period of time a time the rat because of that of that of how adept it is at squeezing into tight spaces and turning on a dime, and its remarkable strength relative to its framework.

Qing Shi

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