by Dario Borghino:
Scientists at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas have built and tested what appears to be the world’s smallest, fastest, and longest-running nanomotor yet – so small that it could fit inside a single cell. The advance could be used to power nanobots that would deliver specific drugs to individual living cells inside the human body.
In the distant future, when faced with a cancer diagnosis, we might be able to simply ingest a “magic pill” filled with hordes of miniscule nanobots that target individual cancerous cells with drugs and leave the healthy ones unharmed. To power those robots, we need a nanoscale-sized motor that’s capable, sufficiently long-lived, and flexible enough for a wide range of applications.
World’s smallest nanomotor could power cell-sized nanobots for drug delivery - [Link]
tiq – see what’s happening inside your Arduino, RasPi, robot or 3D printer – no settings, just probe & tiq tells you – automatically!
tiq is designed to be the first tool you’ll use when chasing issues in your electronic project, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, internet-of-things-thing or robot – automatically giving you fast, detailed information in an easy-to-connect handheld probe. No other tool has ever offered tiq’s unique combination of powerful features – or its low price!
Tiq Probe – an easy to use tool for debugging maker projects - [Link]
Here’s something I’ve been working on for a while. It’s a digital guitar effects processor based on a PIC32MX.
It started with a conversation with my brother John. We were playing with my mini drum-machine, using the tune mode to mash the hell out of the samples whilst running it though his bass guitar amp with some heavy feedback. It sounded pretty cool, very NIN and got us onto the idea of making a digital effects pedal using the same microprocessor. The PIC32MX is a pretty capable device running at up to 50Mhz with loads of built-in peripherals including a 10bit ADC. Definitely possible I thought.
ChipStomp – A Digital effects pedal built with a ChipKit DP32 - [Link]
In a recent press release Cypress Semiconductor are trumpeting their latest fourth-generation ultra-low-power 2.4 GHz WirelessUSB NX transceiver chip type CYRF9935 designed to provide communication links for wireless mice, keyboards, trackpads, remote controls and other Human Interface Devices (HIDs).
Key features of the design include long (up to three years) battery life, operating from a 1.9 to 3.6 V supply it uses just 900 nA in sleep mode (where HIDs spend the majority of their time), 12 mA in transmit and 15 mA in receive mode. It can operate at 2.400 to 2.525 GHz in the ISM band with a channel resolution of 1 MHz. Using its NX radio features it is able to reject noise sources from WiFi, Bluetooth, cordless phones and microwave ovens.
HID Transceiver offers Three Year Battery Life - [Link]
The HMO1002 digital oscilloscope from Rohde & Schwarz is a quality test and measurement device representing good value for money. Three models offer bandwidths of 50, 70 and 100 MHz and an optional eight-channel logic probe allows full use of the scope’s MSO capabilities. Among the stand-out features of the scope include its fast displayed waveform update rate and high vertical-input sensitivity.
The fan-less design offers a 1 GSample/s sample rate and a memory depth of 1 MSample. Additional built-in features make it an ideal diagnostic and teaching tool for a wide range of applications for students, service technicians and for developers of embedded systems. The three digit DVM function simplifies the service technician’s work, cuts down on work bench clutter and gives the HMO1002 the ability to make simultaneous voltage measurement on two analog channels.
Its function generator is particularly useful in educational environments, producing a range of different waveforms at frequencies up to 50 kHz. Pupils, trainees and students will find it useful to solve a variety of measurement tasks. An integrated pattern generator makes it easy for developers of embedded systems to configure and generate protocol telegrams at speeds up to 50 Mbit/s. This gives developers the freedom to program customized waveforms together with the supported predefined serial communication protocols. Integrated in the HMO1002 is an optional hardware-accelerated serial bus signal trigger and decoder with support for some of the most popular communication protocols (I2C, SPI, UART, CAN or LIN).
New DSO from Rohde & Schwarz - [Link]
Building flashlights seems to be a fixation of mine. I built my first one at age 5 or so, and now that I’m nearing ten times that age, I’m still building flashlights. This time the project of choice was a high power LED flashlight with several interesting features:
A high power LED flashlight - [Link]
The CP2104 is a highly-integrated USB-to-UART Bridge in a compact 4 mm x 4 mm package. The CP2104 is a USB 2.0 full-speed device with integrated USB clock, voltage regulator and programmable memory reducing BOM costs and simplifying the design.
CP2104-MINIEK – USB-to-UART Mini Evaluation Kit - [Link]
by Texas Instruments :
The Texas Instruments bq27742-G1 is a fuel gauge for single-cell Li-ion battery packs that uses patented Impedance Track technology to deliver rate-, temperature-, and aging-compensated predictions of remaining battery capacity and system runtime with highest accuracy. The device also includes a fully integrated high-side protector that eliminates the need for a separate Li-ion protection circuit and provides a full suite of high-accuracy fault detections for overvoltage, undervoltage, overcurrent in charge, overcurrent in discharge, and short-circuit in discharge conditions. The hardware protection functions offer built-in data flash-based programmability, allowing simple reconfiguration of existing devices for varying end equipment needs.
bq27742-G1 – Single Cell Li-Ion Battery Fuel Gauge With Integrated Protection - [Link]
Comes with all the hardware and software you need to quickly get your FPGA project going. Now you can focus on the real engineering.
When we came up with our board’s design, we looked at what was available in other boards on the market and enhanced it.
Our kit is small, much smaller than the closest thing on the market,it’s smaller than a credit card at only 1.8 in x 3.0 in. That means you can put it inside some pretty small projects. (Here’s something to get you thinking, by 2025 the cost of putting one pound into space is expected to be just $100.)
And our kit is bread board friendly, so you can quickly connect it to a shield or to a bread board.
Now, there’s a handful of other broads with many of these features on the market, but our miniSpartan6+ costs around half of what its closest competitor does.
miniSpartan6+ : A Powerful FPGA Board and Easy to Use IDE - [Link]
by Ken Shirriff:
Disassembling Apple’s diminutive inch-cube iPhone charger reveals a technologically advanced flyback switching power supply that goes beyond the typical charger. It simply takes AC input (anything between 100 and 240 volts) and produce 5 watts of smooth 5 volt power, but the circuit to do this is surprisingly complex and innovative.
Apple iPhone charger teardown - [Link]