As everyone knows, lack of a suitable battery prevents the widespread use of electric cars. While lithium batteries boast the highest energy density of any rechargeable, cobalt in the cathode keeps cost high--a lithium battery for an electric vehicle prices about $20,000. Computer modeling, conducted by a research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts), predicts a less expensive replacement material. Follow-on tests verify that a cathode made from a mixture of lithium aluminum oxide and lithium cobalt oxide could not only decrease battery cost by a significant margin, but increase cell voltage. In addition, related studies have revealed a flexible solid-polymer electrolyte. Combined, these materials offer new hope for the electric car. The research is funded in part by Furnkawa Electric Company and the U.S. Department of Energy. Pacific Lithium Ltd. has licensed a number of the patent applications submitted by the MIT inventors. For more details, e-mail Elizabeth Thomson at the MIT News Office, email@example.com.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
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