After a major collaboration between 47 agencies, Australia and New Zealand have submitted their bid to host the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope. Western Australia offers exceptional radio quiet for the SKA. If we win it'll put both countries at the forefront of international science. The final decision is expected in early 2012. Go on, let's have parties on the waterfront and flags flying on
cars for this beauty. Read the Senator the Hon Kim Carr's
and see the Australia and New Zealand
GO FOR A SPIN: Kids have to learn to keep a bike upright, so how about helping them out? Instead of training wheels, the Gyrobike cleverly uses a self-balancing wheel to keep the bike upright. A Nickel Metal Hydride battery powers a disc spinning gyroscopically inside the front wheel, making it very stable. There are a few adults who might like that training aid too. More on the Gyrobike here and video here.
IRONBOT: Swim, bike, run — an Ironman challenge is extremely tough. In Hawai'i three robots powered by Panasonic batteries are to tackle the Ironman course. It's expected they'll finish it in around 168 hours. One robot swims, another cycles and the third runs. Two of the robots are around 25 cm tall, while the swimmer is 51 cm long. Good luck little robots. Details at here and video here.
GOOD VIBRATIONS: Video games are all very well, but if you're shot or stabbed in a game you don't actually feel anything. The Kajimoto research group aim to change that with devices that make you feel as though an object has passed through your body. The device puts a small vibrator on the top and bottom of your hand, for example. The top element vibrates strongly and then fades as the lower element picks up the vibration. This fools the brain into feeling an object pass through the hand from top to bottom as it connects sensations from the two touch points. That should sharpen up a player's game. Diginfo.tv has more and there's video here.
BRIDGING THE POWER GAP: Wireless sensors, used in remote locations for monitoring bridges or equipment, need a constant supply of power. But replacing batteries can be a gargantuan task, so why not harvest natural kinetic energy instead? Researchers at MIT created an inexpensive coin-sized device to gather energy from low-frequency vibrations such as those along a pipeline or bridge. The microelectromechanical system, MEMS, is a microchip with a small bridge-like structure anchored to the chip at both ends. As the bridge vibrates it generates electricity in a piezoelectric material on its surface. It's energy that makes the world go round. Science Daily has details.
- Miraz Jordanknowit.co.nz