With the rise of solar power comes a great hurdle — bringing it into households. While scientists at the University of Exeter have masterminded glass solar blocks, those at UC Berkeley are working down to the atom. To bring cheaper options to the table, UCLA research teams are testing a solar gadget that creates hydrogen and electricity.
Along with the usual positive and negative electrodes, the device has a third electrode that can either store energy electrically or use it to split water into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen atoms – a process called water electrolysis.
The pocket-fitting tool produces clean energy to power appliances and vehicles. It also incorporates nickel, iron, and cobalt into hydrogen production, replacing platinum, which is scarce.
“Hydrogen is a great fuel for vehicles: It is the cleanest fuel known, it’s cheap and it puts no pollutants into the air – just water,” says [study head Richard] Kaner.
With a lot of work, UCLA’s newest contraption could do wonders for infrastructure and hydrogen cars. It may even bring a little sunshine to rural communities.
I recently established that, while it come with its risks, technology isn’t actually killing us. The rate at which developments are taking place is at an all time high. While we may not have superpowers yet, we are close to it being a possibility. In fact, startup Neurable had created a virtual reality game played using mind control.
It works with an electrode-laden headband that connects to an HTC Vive virtual-reality headset. The technology behind the game… uses dry electrodes placed on the scalp and electroencephalography to track brain activity. Software analyzes this signal and figures out what should happen in the game.
The gameplay is simple — you play as a child escaping a government lab by throwing toys at various targets. While this may not entice many hardcore gamers, you may want to think about the fact that you are moving things just by thinking about them.
The demo starts with a calibration process during which [players call] out toys—train, plane, and so on—and a person wearing the headset and electrodes [can] accurately and quickly select them from the circle of floating objects in front of [them] in virtual space.
Neurable hopes to develop a more complex game without the need for training. Clashing with the complicated nature of the brain, I can’t imagine a more elaborate game. Bring on the mind tricks!