Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hypersonic Sound- the future of sound

What is sound?
Sound as we hear it is a disturbance which is created in the air due to a vibrating body.
Now sound is classified into 3 basic types
1)      Infrasonic  (Less than 20Hz)
2)      Audible sound (20Hz to 20,000Hz)
3)      Ultrasonic sound (More than 20,000Hz)
Hypersonic  Sound
Now you might be wondering what is this Hypersonic  Sound..
Hypersonic  sound is a landmark and groundbreaking invention invented by an American inventor  Woody Norris. 

To explain it in a simple way, consider a light bulb in a dark room. When you turn on the light, naturally the whole room is light up. But when we talk about a projector or a laser for that matter we only see a focused beam of light from a source.Similarly a normal speaker creates sound and it’s audible across the whole area it reaches. Now getting back to Hypersonic sound we can say it’s similar to a beam of sound just like a laser beam! What I mean is the sound created by a Hypersonic speaker can be only heard if it is pointed towards your ears. i.e. if you come in the focus of the speaker. Isn’t it cool? If your watching T.V. with a hypersonic speaker, only the people coming in the focus of the speaker can hear the sound  everyone else around wont be able to hear any sound. 
(No more fights!!)
How it works?
It makes use of ultrasonic frequencies; they are very directional as their wavelength is very short.So Mr. Woody Norris figured a way to convert standard audio content to ultrasonic levels, this audio then demodulates in a certain way in the air and turns into audible sound. In a  Hypersonic  speaker there are billions of tiny speakers which create the focused sound unlike a normal speaker which just has a single speaker.
This is a very great invention and can have great applications which we can’t even imagine. Mr. Norris also created a harmless weapon called LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device),which can emit discomforting sound to irritate the enemy and make him virtually paralyzed, without the need to injure or kill.Its alraedy in use in Iraq.This is can be very helpful in modern urban warfare. It also has  great applications in the entertainment industry. This is a new technology and its applications are still to be discovered completely. 
Mr.Woody also runs a company by the name  American technology corporation

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bladeless Fan

The latest thing making air waves around is a Bladeless Fan created by Sir James Dyson(British). Of course its created a lot of theories about its working,but the fact it still has blades. But..on the inside of the tube(cylinder) like structure or the stem.
The bladeless design is better as it focuses air rather than throwing it in front and around the turbines.

The fan has a Corona which is designed in such a way that it distributes the air created by the real turbine fan on the inside.In engineering terms we rather call it fixed blades.The fixed blade (corona) distributes the air evenly.It has a sort of aerofoil (Aircraft wing shaped)shape on the inside. It has set a platform for its future applications in various fields.

The air which passes the corona creates a draft of air and drags in more air.
This desktop fan is pretty good if you have small  kids at home who tend to put fingers in the blade and injure them self.
Although this is an innovation there are also speculations on the patent rights as this fan is almost similar to a fan created by a Japanese inventor in the year 1981 (I guess the patent rights have been declined). The fan costs a very steep $300 for a 10inch model and $330 for a 12inch model. Its not really worth unless you are a crazy gadget freak and have money to spare.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


In terminator 2(1991) the villain T1000 could acquire any shape be it a bike or a cop or a pair of aviator sunglasses.Tommaso Toffoli and Norman Margolus first coined the term in their book; Programmable matter:Concepts and Realization.
A subset of broader sciences of programmable matter,Claytronics is the name given to the research being conducted at the School of Computer Sciences of the Carnegie Mellon University. Catoms(clay+atoms) or reconfigurable atoms the fundamental  building blocks of an emerging engineered world.

Basing the entire concept on the electrostatic conversation among these sand grain-sized particles,the science of programmable matter aims at giving tangible shapes to information and making the impossible real
The concept is a bit confusing and sounds unrealistic---imagine your coffee mug converting in your watch or into your mobile phone or say your laptop. Its one technology which uses;brings almost all fields of Engineering together.

We have already seen this happen in movies like Transformers and District 9.
The technology is very premature to bring promising prototypes yet,but it has already aroused hope in the industrial fields ranging from Defense to health care, entertainment to construction.
The day may not be far when jobs like agriculture and animal husbandry become redundant because by just manipulating the atoms we will create what we want.In modern society anything is possible if a chip made from something like silicon(sand) can perform so many calculations and tasks why not this is possible.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lotus's True Hybrid Engine

What is a Hybrid engine??

Hybrid engine's are a special type of engines which have two sources of power.The most popular hybrid engines these days are gas electric. They combine the power of non polluting  electric motor with gas engine.The gas engine and brakes (regenerative braking) help keep the batteries charged.
Generally, in a full hybrid, the electric motor takes control of the car when its cruising, or when slowly accelerating. When more power is necessary , the gas engine comes in to give the acceleration expected.By giving the electric motor to take control hybrids are able to a get better fuel economy than their standard counterparts with only gas engines. But since a lot of the energy is conserved when the car is braking, hybrid cars  give better mileage in city driving. Which is just opposite case in gas cars.

Lotus's Hybrid Engine

Lotus has come up with a new engine which they will setup a in a hybrid vehicle. The  engine made its debut in a concept segment that was at the biggest motor show the Frankfurt Motor Show. The engine features include all aluminum 1.2L engine and has 3-cylinders, It will be used in the Range Extender unit.
The new series hybrids are being developed with special technology, it makes sense that one important part of the power train—the engine is been designed and engineered for the purpose, isnt’t it?
It’s a fact that most of the Hybrid cars make use of regular existing engines with adaptation and minor tweaks. As a result the efficiency is compromised. But lotus has considered this point and has made a special engine for its new Range extender unit. The engine weighs just around 56kg in mass which is really great thanks to its all aluminum body.
It has an optimized twin-valve port-fuel injection,combustion system that has high thermal efficiency, low fuel consumption, multi-fuel capability [methanol  or ethanol] and a 35KW peak output from a 1.2L ,low-cost architecture. This was said by Lotus Engineerings Technical Director Simon Wood  in an interview.

Technical specs of the Engine

General – 1.2 L, 2 valves,3-cylinder,SOHC
* Belt drive
* All aluminum
* Balance shaft
Bore and Stroke                       –   75.0 x 90.0(Millimeter)
Engines Compression ratio        –  10:1
Maximum power produced        –  35 KW (47 BHP) @ 3500 RPM
Maximum Speed of the Engine  – 3500 RPM 
Construction                           – Mono block with Exhaust Manifold Integrated
Fuel System                             – Lotus EMS,Port fuel injection system
Fuel                                        – methanol/ethanol
Weight                                    – 56 kg
The engine can runs either on alcohol-based fuels or gasoline. No word yet from Lotus on a possible production vehicle, Lotus also helped develop the Tesla Roadster's chassis and it builds on a contract basis in the past.