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19-year-old hopes to revolutionize nuclear power - Video 9min

19-year-old hopes to revolutionize nuclear power - Video 9min | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

Video on msnbc.com: How do you raise a genius? At age 11, Taylor Wilson told his parents that he wanted to build a nuclear reactor in the family garage.

 

How do you raise a genius? At age 11, Taylor Wilson told his parents that he wanted to build a nuclear reactor in the family garage. His parents never guessed he would do it, but three years later Taylor made history as the youngest person ever to build a fusion reactor. 

 

Since then he’s continued to amaze everyone around him with inventions like a cheaper way to make medical isotopes to treat cancer, and a better way to detect dirty bombs. Rock Center’s Harry Smith hikes in the mountains of Western Nevada with this boy wonder to learn what makes Taylor Wilson tick. 

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Encouraging, to see what some young people are up to these days...

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R Nagarajan's curator insight, October 31, 2013 8:17 AM

now this is what we require...supporting parents....

Cool Future Technologies
New cool ways to do things, clever uses of new - and sometimes old - technology
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MIT creates graphite ‘solar sponge’ that converts sunlight into steam with 85% efficiency

MIT creates graphite ‘solar sponge’ that converts sunlight into steam with 85% efficiency | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
MIT is reporting that it has created a new, cheap material -- using a microwave, no less -- that converts sunlight into steam with an amazing 85% efficiency. This could have major repercussions in the realms of desalination and sterilization, and perhaps for concentrated solar thermal power generation as well.
Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

This is basic research - not ready to use quite yet, but a neat idea anyway and it could well turn out useful.

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Sand-based anode triples lithium-ion battery performance

Sand-based anode triples lithium-ion battery performance | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have developed an anode using pure nano-silicon made from sand that improves the performance of lithium-ion batteries.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

That could be an important jump in battery performance in a few years...

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The Microwave Factor: Russian firm’s Li-Fi internet solution winning foreign clients

The Microwave Factor: Russian firm’s Li-Fi internet solution winning foreign clients | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

A Russian company is selling its Li-Fi based wireless LAN solution (a visible light communication technology that uses light from light-emitting diodes to deliver internet) in the U.S., Israel, China, and other countries. 


The core of the network is a router that is capable of transmitting a signal using a light beam at a distance of up to 23-26 feet (7-8 meters). The signal can be transmitted to eight devices at once in other parts of an office, and access speed is four times faster than standard Wi-Fi. 

Li-Fi is unique in that it creates a digital binary code with a light beam, while Wi-Fi transmits data using radio waves.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A solution to the overload of microwave radiation from cell phones and WIFI?

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Slingshot water purifier: It can save millions

Slingshot water purifier: It can save millions | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

Dean Kamen's slingshot water purifier:


Inside the big red box sits a smaller one, about the size of a dorm fridge, called a Slingshot.


It was developed by Kamen, the mastermind behind dozens of medical-equipment inventions and, most famously, the Segway personal transportation device.


Kamen is the closest thing to a modern-day Thomas Edison. He holds hundreds of patents, and his creations have improved countless lives. His current projects include a robotic prosthetic arm for DARPA and a Stirling engine that generates affordable electricity by using “anything that burns” for fuel.


The Slingshot, more than 10 years in the making, could have a bigger impact than all of his other inventions combined.


Using a process called vapor compression distillation, a single Slingshot can purify more than 250,000 liters of water per year, enough to satisfy the needs of about 300 people. And it can do so with any water source—sewage, seawater, chemical waste—no matter how dirty.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Interesting project - a super efficient, small water purifier that can be used anywhere...

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Arun Shrivastava's curator insight, July 8, 9:55 AM

Could be a solution for India. However, one rider: since Coke has tied up with Kamen, I doubt it will be cheap. I have zero trust in Coke and Pepsi.

Yet, the design is superb and I am sure of the price is right, every village would like to have one.

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Cost-effective EV battery passes German tests, recharges in minutes

Cost-effective EV battery passes German tests, recharges in minutes | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

A German company has the attention of the electric vehicle industry and those watching it, having recently documented remarkable claims for its KOLIBRI lithium-metal-polymer battery.


DBM Energy told GM-Volt.com that its design could wind up costing less than the types of batteries used in the Chevrolet Volt, the Nissan LEAF, and other EVs while radically exceeding all meaningful performance criteria.


We’re talking potential for reasonably priced electric cars that could travel 300-400 miles on a charge, and be replenished in minutes...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

New lithium-metal-polymer battery developed and tested in Germany. 

As the article says, a battery like this "would mean the future is practically now – not years from now – with safe and durable batteries threatening to relegate petrol cars to merely optional status."

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Screwy-looking wind turbine makes little noise and a big claim

Screwy-looking wind turbine makes little noise and a big claim | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

Although it's getting increasingly common to see solar panels on the roofs of homes, household wind turbines are still a fairly rare sight.


If Rotterdam-based tech firm The Archimedes has its way, however, that will soon change. Today the company officially introduced its Liam F1 Urban Wind Turbine, which is said to have an energy yield that is "80 percent of the maximum that is theoretically feasible." That's quite the assertion, given that most conventional wind turbines average around 25 to 50 percent.


That form factor reportedly results in minimal mechanical resistance, allowing it to spin very freely and to operate quietly...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Some better small wind turbine designs are actually becoming available. This turbine made-in-Holland has been tested and is being produced, to be offered for sale from July 2014...

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Arun Shrivastava's curator insight, June 2, 11:04 AM

Seems attractive to me. Perhaps a bit fragile for Delhi's unpredictable squalls and storms.

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Wow, This Video PROVES That Solar Roadways Are The Future! My Mind Is Blown! (Video 7 min)

Wow, This Video PROVES That Solar Roadways Are The Future! My Mind Is Blown! (Video 7 min) | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
Woah, didn't know all these facts about solar roadways! Crazy cool!
Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Solar roadways - way to go...funding campaign athttps://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways#home


More in-depth information (question and answer) here:

http://solarroadways.com/faq.shtml#faqBase 

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Eric Chan Wei Chiang's comment, May 28, 4:36 AM
More about the technology here: http://sco.lt/6e11P7
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Electricity Prices Fall In Europe As German Renewable Energy Increases

Electricity Prices Fall In Europe As German Renewable Energy Increases | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

For the fifth consecutive month, electricity prices in have decreased in Western Europe, due in part to increased solar and wind generation in Germany.


Germany currently gets about 25 percent of its electricity from renewable energy, and the goal is to increase that number to at least 80 percent by 2050.


German wind and solar output for the first three months of 2014 increased by 40 percent — or 6.5 terawatt-hours — compared with last year, according to the Platts data. Wind power increased 31 percent from the first quarter of 2013, while solar power increased 74 percent from more than a year earlier.


Germany’s combined wind and solar portfolio is more than 70 gigawatts, making them the country’s largest sources of power when measured by installed capacity.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

The Germans are serious about getting off the fossil fuel addiction. They are showing the world that renewable energy can be done...

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Out in the Open: The Tiny Box That Lets You Take Your Data Back From Google | Enterprise | WIRED

Out in the Open: The Tiny Box That Lets You Take Your Data Back From Google | Enterprise | WIRED | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

For open source developer Johannes Ernst, what the world really needs is a simple device that anyone can use to take their data back from the wilds of the internet.


So he designed the Indie Box, a personal web server preloaded with open source software that lets you run your own web services from your home network–and run them with relative ease.


You can’t buy an Indie Box yet, but you can pre-order one through the crowdfunding site Indie GoGo.


The first Indie Box will run off an Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and two 1TB hard drives that mirror each other to help protect your data.


Software will include ownCloud, which offers a calendar, address book, and Dropbox-style file sharing; the photo album apps mediagoblin and Trovebox; and the e-mail client Mailpile.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

We are finally seeing the de-centralized internet coming together.

Lots of people are working on this, both on software and hardware (like this computer/personal server) to make it a reality.

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New invention makes ocean water drinkable using a weak electric current

New invention makes ocean water drinkable using a weak electric current | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

Chemists with the University of Texas and the University of Marburg have devised a method of using a small electrical field that will remove the salt from seawater. Incredibly this technique requires little more than a store-bought battery. Called electrochemically mediated seawater desalination (EMSD) this technique has improved upon the current water desalination method.


This “water chip” method “could bring relief to millions around the globe who lack potable water.”

This method “is much simpler and consumes less energy than other forms of desalination.”


Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

This is a game-changing technology. Current methods of desalination through membranes require high pressure and consume lots of electricity...

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Flying Cars Move From Science Fiction to Present-Day Possibility

Flying Cars Move From Science Fiction to Present-Day Possibility | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

More than 50 years after "The Jetsons" brought flying cars into living rooms across America, the sci-fi fantasy transportation may be closer than ever to becoming reality. Terrafugia, a Massachusetts-based company, has a mission "to combine driving and flying in a new and practical way." Its MIT-trained team has developed...


"Don't think of it as a car that flies," Terrafugia CEO, CTO and co-founder Carl Dietrich told The Detroit Bureau. "Think of it as a plane that drives."

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

We have had news of flying cars on and off for years ... none made it to market yet. Let's hope this is the good one that gets the ball rolling.

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How a Dutch team of architects is 3D-printing a full-sized house in Amsterdam (video 4 min)

How a Dutch team of architects is 3D-printing a full-sized house in Amsterdam (video 4 min) | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

Architects in Amsterdam have started building what they say is one of the world's first full-sized 3D-printed houses.


The structure is being built using a plastic heavily based on plant oil.


The team behind the house claim it is a waste-free, eco-friendly way to design and construct the cities of the future.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

3D printing is growing up!

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Nanoporous material combines the best of batteries and supercapacitors

Nanoporous material combines the best of batteries and supercapacitors | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

“Compared with a lithium-ion device, the structure is quite simple and safe,” said Yang Yang, lead author of the paper, in the press release.


“It behaves like a battery but the structure is that of a supercapacitor. If we use it as a supercapacitor, we can charge quickly at a high current rate and discharge it in a very short time. But for other applications, we find we can set it up to charge more slowly and to discharge slowly like a battery.”


To make the battery-supercapacitor hybrid, the Rice team deposited a nickel layer on a backing material. They then etched the nickel layer to create pores five nanometers in diameter. The result is high surface area for storing ions.


After removing the backing, the nickel-based electrode material is wrapped around a solid electrolyte of potassium hyrodroxide in polyvinyl alcohol.


In testing, the researchers found that there was no degradation of the pore structure after 10 000 charge-discharge cycles, or any significant degradation of the electrode-electrolyte interface.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Storing electricity for later use is a factor that imposes limits on what we can do with our technological gadgets. 

If this turns out to be commercially viable, the battery-supercapacitor hybrid being developed could improve things tremendously. 

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How goTenna will enable smart-phone off-line direct messaging by radio transmission

How goTenna will enable smart-phone off-line direct messaging by radio transmission | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

goTenna enables you to communicate without any need for central connectivity whatsoever—no cell towers, no wifi, no satellites—so when you're off-grid you can remain connected. In fact, goTenna will even work if your smartphone is in “Airplane Mode”! How does this magic work?


Pair your smartphone to your goTenna device wirelessly, using Bluetooth-LE. Your goTenna needs to be within 20 feet of your phone, so that the two can communicate with each other.


Use free app to type out a text message or share a location. Your smartphone will send the message to your goTenna, which will then shoot it out, via long-range radio waves (151-154 MHz), to the intended goTenna(s).


At the other end, the exact same thing happens, in reverse: the recipient goTenna sends your message over Bluetooth-LE to the smartphone app it's paired with. All of this happens in a matter of milliseconds.

Your goTenna will be able to transmit to any goTenna within range...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

For those who venture into areas that have scarce cell pone coverage ... goTenna will enable direct p2p messaging beyond the reach of a cell tower (and when communications are down for any reason).


Expected to be available later this year. Can be pre-ordered at half price.

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Electrifying: Giant futuristic 'Tesla Tower' in abandoned woods near Moscow (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Electrifying: Giant futuristic 'Tesla Tower' in abandoned woods near Moscow (PHOTOS, VIDEO) | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it
No, it’s not an alien colony, a time machine, or even a Russian version of America’s ionospheric HAARP program. But in a forest near Moscow, this Soviet-era “lightning machine” has a capacity arguably equal to Russia’s entire electricity output.
Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Not really future technology - this one was built in the 1970s in Russia...

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No crankshaft, no problem: Toyota's free piston engine is brilliant

No crankshaft, no problem: Toyota's free piston engine is brilliant | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

Electrically driven cars are the future. But until we have cheap, 1000-mile batteries, we still need range-extending fossil-fuel engines.


Those devices don't need to turn wheels, just generate juice. The simple solution is to strap a generator to a piston engine, as BMW did with the two-cylinder range extender in its i3 EV.


But if the engine never turns a wheel, there's no need for it to rotate anything. Why not cut out the middleman and use the piston's reciprocating motion to generate electricity? That obviates camshafts and most other rotating parts, too.


Toyota recently showed a prototype engine that does just that.It's called the Free Piston Engine Linear Generator (FPEG). "Free" refers to the fact that the piston isn't attached to a crankshaft; instead, as the piston is forced downward during its power stroke, it passes through windings in the cylinder to generate a burst of three-phase AC electricity.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Neat design for an engine that is also a generator of electricity. The idea has been around for some decades, but now Toyota has engineered one...

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Anantharaman Seetharaman's curator insight, July 4, 2:05 AM

This development should keep both the schools (ICE & Electric) at peace for sometime - logical yet innovative development

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Here Comes the Sun (50min) - YouTube - How Germany became a solar country

The sun could easily provide the planet with sufficient energy, if only we were willing to change and to invest in harvesting that solar energy...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

An interesting video documentary of the rise of solar power in Germany. Worth watching.

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The dune buggy that can fly - YouTube

SkyRunner is a dune buggy and a power parachute in one. After almost three years in development, it is on track to hit the market later this year.
Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

A simple idea for how to fly without needing a runway or having to go from airport to airport...

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OutRunner - The World's Fastest Robot

OutRunner - The World's Fastest Robot | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

Florida-based company Robotics Unlimited has made a new robot called OutRunner. The company claims it is the world's fastest robot.


These robots are biologically-inspired; they emulate the behavior of legged animals by reproducing their step pattern and having a similar mass/length distribution. By having a center of mass lower than the leg axis of rotation, OutRunner robots exploit a buoyancy effect, making them inherently stable and eliminating the need for expensive sensors and complex control algorithms.


Energy efficiency is achieved by exploiting the same feature observed in legged animals; using legs as an energy storage system allows for fluctuation and conservation (and not losses) of potential and kinetic energy during running.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

An interesting advance in robotics - a robot that can actually run - not out of a large university but the result of some genius thinking by a few young guys...

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Focus Fusion: Clean energy for all - an indiegogo funding campaign to empower the world with clean fusion energy

Focus Fusion: Clean energy for all - an indiegogo funding campaign to empower the world with clean fusion energy | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

Focus Fusion will be the first pollution-free source of energy that is clean, safe and affordable. Help us change the world for future generations.


We need to raise $200,000 to fund the purchase of new electrodes for the final phase of research, to prove that Focus Fusion works.  And with your help, we can make this incredible breakthrough a reality!

... we’re using the natural instabilities of plasmas to concentrate the energy. We’re using the same processes, like the pinch effect, that occur in solar flares and other astronomical phenomena, but scaling them down to laboratory size.


The government-sponsored programs have been fighting these instabilities. So they have taken a far more difficult route. Ours is much easier since we are using natural processes, not fighting them...




Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Although there is no guarantee yet that this will develop into a commercially available technology, there is great potential in the process.


If the demonstration of excess power from fusion comes out positive, it could radically change the energy landscape.


They've raised $73,000 of their $200,000 goal to conduct the final experiment of three to provide cheap, clean and decentralized fusion energy to everyone - Donate if you can...

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The Iranian Drones That Save Lives - YouTube

We've seen how drones can be a crucial asset to search and rescue operations, but Iran's RTS Lab has taken an entirely new angle. RTS's Pars drone carries a payload of life preservers that can be delivered to a drowning swimmer far faster than a lifeguard.


As we saw in testing in the Caspian Sea, the drone can also work at night, using bright lights, biothermal sensors, and a built-in camera to stream video to rescuers on shore.

The concept works well, and it's an excellent example of how powerful drones—which are cheaper and easier to use than just about any other aerial delivery vehicle—can actually be. Here in the US, where the FAA remains steadfast in its desire to squelch the nascent commercial drone industry, this Iranian drone built of Chinese parts sets an example of what can be done when we set our eyes to the skies to do good.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Who would have thought it ... drones that actually can save lives.

Made in ... Iran. 

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Enclosed tube maglev (magnetically levitated train) system tested in China - could one day be faster than airplanes

Enclosed tube maglev (magnetically levitated train) system tested in China - could one day be faster than airplanes | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

The researcher, Dr Deng Zigang, is focused on developments for a high speed train system of the future.


His superspeed train concept involves an enclosed vacuum tube vehicle. Air is the limiting factor on making even faster high-speed trains, but vacuum tubes let even a low-power vessel operate at enormously high speeds.


Maglevs make for very fast and smooth journeys but currently, speeds are limited due to the excessive air resistance encountered at these speeds.


Are we looking at the future of train travel?


Lidija Grozdanic in Thursday's Inhabitat commented on the significance of his work: With regular maglevs, more than 83 percent of traction energy is wasted through air resistance at speeds higher than 250mph. Zigang has a tube that lowers air pressure in the running environment to one tenth of normal.


Zigang said trains could reach speeds of up to 1,800 mph (2,897 km/h). 

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Trains that can reach 1800 miles per hour, about three times air speed of today's planes? Sounds good, and they would be much more energy efficient and less polluting than our current transports.

The report brings to mind a proposal made decades ago. It was to build tunnels from city to city that don't follow the earth's curvature but cut straight through from start to destination. Trains in such tunnels could use gravity to help them accelerate and travel at incredible speeds...

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Crowdfunding of a 3D Printer for building a Magnetic Motor

Crowdfunding of a 3D Printer for building a Magnetic Motor | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

The reasons for setting up this funding campaign:


1. To raise funds for the purchase of a 3D printer, so I can build a 3D Magnetic Motor. 


2.To share with the world, that we are only steps away, from creating an open source magnetic motor, that anyone can build, for powering their own home.

In the picture below you will see the prototype and working unit of Wasif Kahloon from Pakistan. 

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

I believe Wasif Kahloon's is one of the first real workable designs for a motor driven entirely by permanent magnets, pushing against each other's fields in a way that maintains an imbalance to make that rotation happen. 

Could be a very valid way forward for distributed energy generation... 

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The artificial leaf that could power the world using sunlight, water and some catalysts to split water

The artificial leaf that could power the world using sunlight, water and some catalysts to split water | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

As Daniel Nocera gazed down on one of his experiments in what has come to be known as the "holy grail" of energy research, his response was to shrug:


"Oh, that can't be right."

It was a glass of tap water with a thumb-sized strip of silicon floating in it. When he held the glass up to the light, the strip began to gently bubble.

It seemed to be splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen...

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

Simple and efficient - producing hydrogen and oxygen from water by use of light and catalysts.

They say electricity is cheap and no one wants the new technology, so Nocera is setting his sights on the developing world...

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Crowd Energy seeks funding for vertical axis Ocean Energy Turbine - Renewable energy from ocean currents

Crowd Energy seeks funding for vertical axis Ocean Energy Turbine - Renewable energy from ocean currents | Cool Future Technologies | Scoop.it

The Ocean Energy Turbine is important because it is the first renewable energy system designed to effectively harness ocean currents on a commercial scale.


Globally, ocean currents can provide the power to completely replace the worlds dependance on fossil fuels and nuclear energy.


The quantity of energy available from ocean energy greatly exceeds that of wind and solar. Ocean energy production is also a consistent reliable source of energy, whereas solar and wind power are limited by the availability of sun and wind.

Sepp Hasslberger's insight:

I like their design and the professional prototyping. 

The turbine can tap the huge energy potential of moving water in ocean currents without disturbing the marine eco-system. 


It can supply power constantly, 24/7/365

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