Hands-on with LG’s roll-up flexible screen: Video


Special to the BBC at the CES – Dave Lee

If you’re in the business of making TV cabinets – look away now.

For the rest of you, feast your eyes on a remarkable innovation-in-progress. (Watch the Video below)

LG Display has been working on its fully flexible screen for some time now, but it’s at this year’s CES the BBC was given the exclusive first hands-on.

The screen can be rolled up and scrunched around, and the display is full HD.

The one I played with was 18in (45.7cm) corner to corner, but the team at LG say they’re aiming for screens that are 55in and beyond.

At that size they will be able to produce a screen quality of 4K, they say – that’s four times HD.

Right now, the resolution is 1,200 by 810 pixels.

How did they do it? Of course they wouldn’t share the precise details, but the crucial technological leap has been moving from LED TVs to OLED TVs.

The O stands for organic, and it removes the necessity of a back panel providing light to the screen. Therefore, it bends.

Why would you want a bendable TV? LG says it’s ideal for making displays, like in a shop, but also for people who no longer want to sacrifice an entire corner of a room to a television.

With a bendable screen like this, you can roll it up and pop it in a cupboard until you need it again.

Dead pixels

Unfortunately – and you knew this bit was coming – LG isn’t able to say how much it would eventually cost, or indeed, when it will actually be sold at all. At the moment, the team is buried in the prototype stage.

LG
Image caption The screen can be bent but not folded flat

“The larger prototype is expected in the near future. But as for a commercial product, we’re still planning the timing,” says KJ Kim, LG Display’s vice president of its marketing division.

That can be translated as it’ll be a while yet.

Because while the screen is remarkable, it suffers a few flaws.

The night-time demo we saw, with quick flashing lights, was designed to conceal the numerous “dead” pixels in the display.

Dead pixels are those that have been damaged, so instead of emitting the correct colour just get appear as a tiny empty square.

There were several dead pixels on the screen and, after I played around with it a bit more, several more emerged.

Right now, the screen can only be rolled up in one direction, which isn’t a limitation, really, but something they will need to suss out before it comes to market.

Also, it’s crucial to point out that the screen can be rolled, but not folded flat.

Folding it flat would permanently damage it, and therefore the screen doesn’t represent a chance for something many have lusted over for a while, an interactive video newspaper that feels just like the paper product.

But we’re getting there.

Nanotechnology BBC Documentary Nano, the Next Dimension


carbon-nanotubeA BBC documentary on nanotechnology advances in Europe “Nano, The Next Dimension”

 

 

 

 

A very good video to provide “perspective” on how “All Things Nano” have ALREADY impacted our lives and how … the VAST (but tiny!) arena of “Nanotechnologies” (Nano: objects a billionth of a meter in size) will certainly impact ALL of the Sciences, Manufacturing, Communications and Consumer Materials. Impacts such as:

1.  Our abilities to capture and generate abundant renewable sources of energy, (Solar, Hydrogen Fuel Cells)

2. To create abundant sources of CLEAN WATER through vastly improved FILTRATION and WASTE REMEDIATION processes. (Desalination, Oil and Gas Fields)

3. To deliver LIFE SAVING Drug Therapies and provide vastly improved Diagnostics. (Diabetes, Cancer, Alzheimer’s)

4. To create FLEXIBLE SCREENS and PRINTABLE ELECTRONICS that offer vastly improved performance, user experience, with lower energy consumption and with significantly LOWER COSTS. (Flat Panel TV Screens, Smart Phones, Super-Computers, Super-Capacitors, Long-Lived Super Batteries)

5. Completely water, stain proof clothing. Lighter, Stronger Sports Equipment.

6. Coatings and Paints for Buildings, Windows and Highways that capture solar energy. Inks and Sensors that make our everyday life more Secure.

Through the month of January, we will be posting videos, articles and research summaries that focus on the coming accelerated “wave” of nano-supported technologies “that will change the way we innovate everything!”

“Great Things from Small Things!”

 

Genesis Nanotechnology: http://genesisnanotech.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GenesisNanoTech   (@Genesisnanotech)

“Like us on Facebook” https://www.facebook.com/GenesisNanoTech

 

Massive Solar Power Plant Opens In Abu Dhabi


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8One of the world’s largest solar power plants opened this weekend in the oil-rich city of Abu Dhabi. The 100-megawatt plant, called Shams 1, is a first step in a plan to make seven percent of Abu Dhabi’s energy resources renewable, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, head of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, said during a news conference. Abu Dhabi is part of the United Arab Emirates, which are famed for their oil wealth. The emirates rank 13th in the world for per capita GDP, a standing driven mostly by their oil exports.

abu-dhabi-solar

Abu Dhabi Solar Mirrors shine at the newly built Shams 1 concentrated solar power plant south of Abu Dhabi. Masdar on Facebook

The new plant includes a huge field of parabolic mirrors located in the desert about 74 miles (120 kilometers) south of Abu Dhabi. Shams 1 will serve 20,000 homes and cost an estimated $600 million to build, the BBC reported. Similar Shams 2 and Shams 3 plants are in the works, Clean Technica reported.

Shams 1 is a concentrated solar energy plant, which means its technology is a little different from the flat, black photovoltaic panels you might have seen on people’s roofs. Shams 1’s uses mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy to heat a fluid, which produces steam to turn turbines to make electricity.

Shams 1 isn’t a perfectly efficient solution, however. The plant’s process still requires some natural gas to “superheat” the fluid, Clean Technica reported. It also requires uses some energy in the form of brusher trucks that clean the mirrors of sand. Even in the middle of the desert, it’s impossible to make a solar power station totally efficient.

Although there are certainly other solar plants in the world Shams 1’s size or larger, the Abu Dhabi plant holds the title of the largest single concentrated solar energy plant. Other concentrated solar plants are connected with thermal power plants, IEEE Spectrum reported. There are also larger concentrated solar energy projects that are near completion, but aren’t yet plugged into their local grids.

Harvard’s Robobee learning to fly


By 

October 9, 2012

Harvard researchers are developing a feedback controller that should allow the Robobee to ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harvard researchers are developing a feedback controller that should allow the Robobee to hover and perform controlled fligh

Harvard researchers are getting closer to their goal of developing a controllable micro air vehicle called the Robobee. The tiny robot was already capable of taking off under its own power, but until now it was completely out of control. By adding two control actuators beneath its wings, the robot can be programmed to pitch and roll.

The team is now working on a feedback controller that will allow the robot to yaw, which when combined with pitch and roll should allow it to hover. Until then, the Robobee is still just crashing, albeit in more spectacular fashion than it did before. Eventually, it could be mass-produced to perform pollination or assist in search and rescue operations (along with a variety of other things).

Harvard's micro aerial vehicle could be used to artificially pollinate crops, assist searc...

Meanwhile, the Green Brain project underway at the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex in England may provide the necessary artificial intelligence for such a robot. The ambitious project seeks to build a working simulation of a bee’s brain by mapping the complex neural connections that process the bee’s senses. This simulation could then be harnessed, enabling a robot to make navigational decisions on its own.

“Because the honey bee brain is smaller and more accessible than any vertebrate brain, we hope to eventually be able to produce an accurate and complete model that we can test within a flying robot,” said Dr James Marshall, a computer scientist at the University of Sheffield.

However, it seems unlikely that the two projects will be compatible any time soon. Simulating even an insect’s brain requires some intense hardware – in this case, the researchers are working with NVIDIA graphics cards normally reserved for the latest video games. It will be awhile before that kind of processing power can be carried on Robobee’s miniscule frame. You can see it performing some in-flight maneuvers in the video below.

Sources: Harvard Robobees and University of Sussex via IEEE Spectrumand BBC