Capitalizing on the ability of human bones to conduct sound underwater, France Telecom R&D, in partnership with the French communications company Amphicom, has invented what it claims is a "world first." Comprising a buoy fitted with a GSM phone relay, and an underwater terminal, the company's system allows telephone communication with an undersea diver. The terminal, hard wired to the buoy, is equipped with a telephone-like dial pad and special mouthpiece. A buzzer and flashing light alert the diver to incoming calls. Sound waves from the surface transit through the system to the mouthpiece. When the diver bites down on the mouthpiece, the vibrations propagate to the ear via the skull, which acts as a resonance chamber. Conversely, the diver can talk back in half duplex mode. Presently under test by archeologists excavating the presumed site of ancient Egypt's Alexandria lighthouse, the underwater communication system is scheduled for commercialization by the end of this year. France Telecom, meanwhile, is looking at ways to eliminate the wire link between buoy and submerged terminal. Call Manuel Lesaicherre at +33 1 44 44 93 93 or e-mail manuel. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
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.