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Nov 20, 2020

H3X claims it’s tripled the power density of electric aircraft motors

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

If there’s one major thing that’s holding back an electric revolution in the aviation world, it’s energy storage. But there are a ton of very clever people banging away at the problem of how to increase the energy density of batteries, and another growing faction working to make long-range, fast-fueling hydrogen-fuel-cell powertrains the standard for future flight.

Either way, it’s going to happen in the coming decades, and one new company out of Minneapolis is turning its attention to the other critical element of the propulsion system. H3X Technologies is bursting out of the gate with an integrated electric motor design it says can deliver the same sustained power as some of the best motors on the market at a third or less of the total weight.

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Nov 19, 2020

Electric Ferrari — time to give classic cars a new lease of life?

Posted by in category: transportation

From time to time, Fully Charged receives an offer that is too good to refuse, and when a long-term friend of the show offered us his electrified Ferrari 308, we didn’t hesitate.

This is part of an ongoing collaboration between Fully Charged and Electrek.

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Nov 19, 2020

A battery technology worth its salt

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, sustainability, transportation, wearables

With lithium-containing batteries facing constraints on many of the metals they contain, Nina Notman looks at whether its group 1 neighbour sodium can supply the answer.

The lithium-ion battery powers much of our modern lives, a fact reflected in this year’s Nobel prize. It resides in devices ranging from very small wearable electronics, through mobile phones and laptops, to electric vehicles and ‘the world’s biggest battery’ – the huge 100MW/129MWh Tesla battery installed on an Australian wind farm in 2017.

‘Lithium-ion has a massive span of applications,’ explains Jonathan Knott, an energy storage researcher at the University of Wollongong in Australia. ‘It is being used as a hammer to crack every nut and we need to start getting a little bit more sophisticated in the use of the best tool for the job.’

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Nov 19, 2020

AI startup Graphcore says most of the world won’t train AI, just distill it

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Most people won’t have the kind of money it takes to train trillion-parameter models of deep learning. Instead they’ll simply shave off what they want.

Nov 19, 2020

Versatile building blocks make structures with surprising mechanical properties

Posted by in categories: particle physics, robotics/AI, transportation

Researchers at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms have created tiny building blocks that exhibit a variety of unique mechanical properties, such as the ability to produce a twisting motion when squeezed. These subunits could potentially be assembled by tiny robots into a nearly limitless variety of objects with built-in functionality, including vehicles, large industrial parts, or specialized robots that can be repeatedly reassembled in different forms.

The researchers created four different types of these subunits, called voxels (a 3D variation on the pixels of a 2D image). Each voxel type exhibits special properties not found in typical natural materials, and in combination they can be used to make devices that respond to environmental stimuli in predictable ways. Examples might include airplane wings or turbine blades that respond to changes in air pressure or wind speed by changing their overall shape.

The findings, which detail the creation of a family of discrete “mechanical metamaterials,” are described in a paper published today in the journal Science Advances, authored by recent MIT doctoral graduate Benjamin Jenett PhD ’20, Professor Neil Gershenfeld, and four others.

Nov 19, 2020

Small finlets on owl feathers point the way to less aircraft noise

Posted by in categories: engineering, sustainability, transportation

A recent research study conducted by City, University of London’s Professor Christoph Bruecker and his team has revealed how micro-structured finlets on owl feathers enable silent flight and may show the way forward in reducing aircraft noise in future.

Professor bruecker is city’s royal academy of engineering research chair in nature-inspired sensing and flow control for sustainable transport and sir richard olver BAE systems chair for aeronautical engineering.

His team have published their discoveries in the Institute of Physics journal, Bioinspiration and Biomimetics in a paper titled ‘Flow turning effect and laminar control by the 3D curvature of leading edge serrations from owl wing.’

Nov 19, 2020

Career Buzz

Posted by in categories: employment, transportation

Just finished up an interview for “Career Buzz,” a radio progam airing on Toronto based CIUT next Wednesday at 11am. The topic initially focused around jobs in the Canadian aerospace industry, but after the host noted that air travel was down 94% over the last year because of covid and no one sane is going to buy any new planes for a very, very long time, the focus changed to Covid and how that’s affecting the industry. I’ve been invited back next month to talk more about Covid. It’s the big story of our generation…


Wednesdays, 11:00am-12:00pm

Since 2006, we’ve broadcast unrehearsed and informative conversations featuring extraordinary career stories of ordinary people, and insights from future-of-work thought leaders including Dragon’s Den star Arlene Dickinson, Canada’s career guru Barbara Moses, National Geographic explorer-in-residence Wade Davis, and career scholars Norm Amundson, John Krumboltz and many more.

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Nov 18, 2020

Cerebras’ wafer-size chip is 10,000 times faster than a GPU

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Cerebras Systems and the federal Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory today announced that the company’s CS-1 system is more than 10,000 times faster than a graphics processing unit (GPU).

On a practical level, this means AI neural networks that previously took months to train can now train in minutes on the Cerebras system.

Cerebras makes the world’s largest computer chip, the WSE. Chipmakers normally slice a wafer from a 12-inch-diameter ingot of silicon to process in a chip factory. Once processed, the wafer is sliced into hundreds of separate chips that can be used in electronic hardware.

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Nov 16, 2020

Sweden’s new car carrier is the world’s largest wind-powered vessel

Posted by in category: transportation

With its five, massive, solid sails, this ship will carry 7,000 cars across the Atlantic, while being almost emission-free.

Nov 16, 2020

Free Webinar on AI

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

(next Monday, 23rd November)
Please pre-register at https://www.taufriends.ch/registration

Please pre-register at https://www.taufriends.ch/registration

“We are delighted to bring you access to two giants in the world of AI, 2020 Dan David laureates, Dr. Demis Hassabis, co-founder and CEO of DeepMind, the world’s leading AI research company, and Prof. Amnon Shashua, CEO and co-founder of Mobileye, the largest ever Israeli acquisition whose technology powers more than 55 million cars around the world today. Dr. Hassabis and Prof. Shashua will enlighten us on the potential of AI at an exclusive event in conjunction with the Dan David Prize on Monday, November 23, 2020.”

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