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The Greatest Invention This Year

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Inventions have been with us since time immemorial, humans have always look for ways to make life easier, by inventing things that will help our existence. More technology experts keep on emerging every day with great inventions. Humans welcome inventions especially technological inventions because they simplify work, enhance safety and increase the efficiency of services in our everyday life. Although technological inventions have had their fair share of drawbacks, it is evident that some inventions are helping the world at a high level in almost every aspect, from communication industry, automobile industry to education and research industry, there are a lot of inventions that people can benefit from. Below are some of the greatest inventions in this year.

Atomic Fingerprinting

In the sophisticated world of counterfeiting, it can often be difficult to tell fakes from the real deal. But now, scientists have developed a new method that can stamp things with “atomic fingerprints” to keep phony products at bay.

Earlier this month, Young and his colleagues announced a relatively simple technique for confirming the authenticity of an object — an advance that could put a dent in the counterfeit industry, where fakes, forgeries, and imitations cost the global economy half a trillion dollars in lost revenue each year, according to the most recent data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, headquartered in Paris. The new anti-counterfeiting method, published online in ArXiv, the open-access preprint journal from Cornell University, has two components: a unique molecular pattern that can be incorporated into a holographic label and a smartphone app.

The unique pattern is created by intentionally fabricating flaws into an atom-thin layer of material, such as graphene oxide. Flaws may include removing a carbon atom, or adding extra oxygen atoms, or creating a ridge of atoms, according to the researchers. Once the flaw is set, the material is incorporated into an ink and then, using an inkjet printer, printed onto a hologram, which can be added as a label to any product.

To confirm the presence of the atomic pattern, a person would use a smartphone camera and its built-in flash to photograph the label. The flash excites the atoms, which produce a unique color based on the pattern. A corresponding app can instantly analyze the image and confirm whether the label is authentic or not, the researchers said.

Wired Roads

roads

A new wireless power system that could help to offer a more efficient way to charge electric vehicles on the go, according to a new study.

Researchers at Stanford University adopted a concept from quantum physics to produce a wireless charger that does something other wireless chargers cannot: automatically tune the frequency of the radio wave — the medium that transfers the power — to account for changes in the distance between the charging pad and the device. In an experiment, the team showed that its system transferred power with 100 percent efficiency up to about 27 inches (70 centimeters).

“The range is perfect for electric cars,” Sid Assawaworrarit, a doctoral candidate in electrical engineering at Stanford University, said. “The floor of a car is about 20 centimeters [8 inches] away from the road’s surface. You could embed the charging pad below the road surface.”

Assawaworrarit and his colleagues reported their research in a study published online on June 14 in the journal Nature. Although other wireless-charging devices, such as those for phones, already exist, the efficiency drops dramatically if the device is too close or too far away from the charger. This means a phone has to be placed on top of a charging pad to work best, and an electric car needs to be parked directly over a pad to recharge efficiently. As such, electronic devices are still tethered, albeit invisibly, to their power source, according to Assawaworrarit.

Assawaworrarit and his team created a wireless power system that doesn’t use a source for radio waves, nor does it require a tuning circuit. It also works even if the distance between the resonant coils fluctuates, the scientists said.

Hybrid Driving-Flying Robots

Flying robots could have a range of important applications in the future, a new study found. The robots can transition from driving to flying without colliding with each other and could offer benefits beyond the traditional flying-car concepts of sci-fi lore, the study said.

The ability to both fly and walk is common in nature. For instance, many birds, insects, and other animals can do both.

Robots with similar versatility could fly over impediments on the ground or drive under overhead obstacles. But currently, robots that are good at one mode of transportation are usually bad at others, study lead author Brandon Araki, a roboticist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and his colleagues said in their new study.

The researchers previously developed a robot named the “flying monkey” that could run and fly, as well as grasp items. However, the researchers had to program the paths the flying monkey would take; in other words, it could not find safe routes by itself.

Now, these scientists have developed flying cars that can both fly and drive through a simulated city-like setting that has parking spots, landing pads, and no-fly zones. Moreover, they can move without colliding with each other, the researchers said. “Our vehicles can find their own safe paths,” Araki said.

The researchers took eight four-rotor quadcopter drones and put two small motors with wheels on the bottom of each drone, to make them capable of driving. In simulations, the robots could fly for about 295 feet (90 meters) or drive for 826 feet (252 meters) before their batteries ran out.

The roboticists developed algorithms that ensured the robots did not collide with one another.

“The most important implication of our research is that vehicles that combine flying and driving have the potential to be both much more efficient and much more useful than vehicles that can only drive or only fly,” Araki said.

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