Self-powered hydrogen sensors

Nano World: Self-powered hydrogen sensors

Nanotechnological, inexpensive sensors that can detect invisible, odorless hydrogen leaks and sound the alarm wirelessly could help safeguard future vehicles and refueling stations based on the gas, experts told UPI’s Nano World.
Intriguingly, the sensors have the ability to power themselves by harvesting energy from slight vibrations. This means they could operate continuously without batteries or maintenance when affixed to cars, refrigerators, pumps, motors or any other vibrating machine, the researchers added.

The chemical reaction hydrogen cars run on is remarkably simple. Just combine hydrogen gas with oxygen and you get energy and water — and none of the dirty mix of toxins and global warming gases burning gasoline spews forth. The cleanliness of hydrogen is in large part why government and industry support for hydrogen vehicles has reached into the billions of dollars.

The problem is hydrogen is odorless, invisible and potentially explosive. Researchers at the University of Florida at Gainesville funded by NASA have developed hydrogen sensors designed to work together in the dozens or hundreds to overcome this hurdle.

You will need to have sensors all over the place — if there is a leak, you can see which ones light up, and where the leak is, and how quickly it is spreading. That way you can shut off valves and avoid a major problem,” said researcher Steve Pearton, a materials engineer.

The sensors, currently the size of a deck of cards, employ rods of zinc oxide only nanometers or billionths of meters wide coated with platinum catalyst. Extremely tiny electrical currents are passed through each rod, and the more hydrogen surrounds these whiskers, the more conductive they become, to effectively detect hydrogen in the air. The researchers also developed wireless transmitters to broadcast signals out from the sensors, as well as ways to power the devices either through conventional solar cells or piezoelectric energy harvesters that convert vibrations into electricity.

You need lots of hydrogen sensors to detect leaks, but you don’t want to have to maintain them or change the battery every couple of months,” said researcher Jenshan Lin, an electrical engineer. “Our sensor can operate completely independently

Crying Foul on Accessibility Claims

Crying Foul on Accessibility Claims
Or how not to waste tax-payers money on inaccessible sites or make grand claims on accessibility that you cannot fully back up.

By Ian Lloyd

This has an interesting list of ten things to do and a piece on trustworthy trustmarks make sure ot click thur and check out the web standards post on this great subject.

South Carolina Bill Would Outlaw Sex Toys

South Carolina Bill Would Outlaw Sex Toys

The S.C. bill does not look likely to pass, but the scary thing is that such products are already illegal in several Southern states.

Apparently in Texas, if you market a toy as a novelty, its legal. But if you demonstrate its use in sexual activity–its illegal. What a wierd country we live in where sexuality is repressed I think with all the sexualy transmitted diseases and other viruses out there we should be promoting the use of such devices to our older teenage youths and not making them illegal for adults to own or sell. Just wanted to see what my readers thought about this issue.

What to do?

Been so busy with work and friends that i have not had anytime to blog, but now that I got a couple of free days I plan to start back doing just that. Hung out with Stephanie Sexton and Britney Simpson yesterday to come up with stratagies for this website. So far we have come up with alot of ideas on what we should do but nothing is set in stone. We will let you know what we come up with just as soon as we figure it out ourselves.

Sony Puts AIBO Robot Dog To Sleep

Sony Puts AIBO Robot Dog To Sleep

Sony Corp. has officially euthanized the Sony AIBO entertainment robot and stopped development on its QRIO humanoid robot, the company said today.
The “announcement” was slipped into Sony’s 2005 third-quarter earnings report, which also detailed a number of plant closings and a refocusing to core businesses like entertainment, pictures and music
According to the report, AIBO development had already ceased in mid-to-late 2005 and production ended late last year. “However, sales and support will continue,” the report said. “There will also be no new development for QRIO.”

While the news stunned many robot enthusiasts, the writing seemed to be on the wall. While the company updated the AIBO software and memory capabilities each year, the last major overhaul was almost two years ago; by raising the price every year, Sony appeared to be daring the US market to ignore it. The success stories of WowWee’s Robosapien and Roboraptor and iRobot’s Roomba robot vacuum also served to highlight the price chasm between them and AIBO’s $2,000 robot and their sub-$300 and sub-$200 offerings, although AIBO was always the more powerful robot with more motors, flexibility and artificial intelligence.

This stunned me as well but it seems that it maybe pending litigation over the rootkit that might be part of the the reason for this move since they had a great program. I wonder if anyone is going to buy the unit or if anyone in the unit is going to make a start up company with a next generation bot?