You are in your year 2000 model car and want to get a read on a road map or check on the kid a sleep in the back seat. No need to fumble around looking for that pesky switch. Instead, all you have to do is touch the lamp's surface to turn it off, on, or dim it. So predicts Cooper Automotive (Troy, MI) engineers who created the "touch lamp." The technology resembles the touch technology used on microwave ovens, according to Jim Anderson, supervisor of product engineering at Cooper Automotive's Wagner Lighting Div. The technology uses the touch of the lamp to activate a computer chip that "tells" the computer to begin the desired function--whether it be to adjust the light or change the temperature, compass, or mileage read-out. Anderson adds that the touch lamp exceeds automakers' 5,000 to 10,000 cycles for durability, and can withstand the one million mark in cycle testing. FAX (248) 649-2255.
A group of researchers at the Seoul National University have discovered a way to take material from cigarette butts and turn it into a carbon-based material thats ideal for storing energy and creating a powerful supercapacitor.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.