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World’s smallest single-chip system can be injected into the body

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The continuing miniaturization of electronics is opening up some exciting possibilities when it comes to what we might place in our bodies to monitor and improve our health. Engineers at Columbia University have demonstrated an extreme version of this technology, developing the smallest single-chip system ever created, which can be implanted with a hypodermic needle to measure temperature inside the body, and possibly much more.

From ladybug-sized implants that track oxygen levels in deep body tissues to tiny “neural dust” sensors that monitor nerve signals in real time, scientists are making big steps when it comes to the functionality of tiny electronic devices. The implant developed by the Columbia Engineers breaks new ground as the world’s smallest single-chip system, which is a completely functional electronic circuit with a total volume of less than 0.1 mm3.

That makes it as small as a dust mite, and far smaller than the world’s smallest computer, a cube-shaped device measuring 0.3 mm (0.01 in) along each side. Only visible under a microscope, the tiny chip required some outside-the-box thinking to make, particularly when it comes to the way it communicates and is powered.

Where small electronics might feature radio frequency (RF) modules to transmit and receive electromagnetic radio signals, these wavelengths are too large to be used with a device this small. Ultrasound wavelengths, on the other hand, are far smaller at a given frequency, as the speed of sound is far less than the speed of light that the electromagnetic waves travel at. So, the team incorporated a piezoelectric transducer that acts as an “antenna” for wireless powering and communication via ultrasound.

This combines with an onboard low-power temperature sensor to turn the chip into a probe for real-time temperature sensing, enabling it to monitor body temperature and also fluctuations in temperature driven by the therapeutic application of ultrasound. The implant’s capabilities were demonstrated in live mice where it was used for ultrasound neurostimulation, and up to seven were implanted into the mice at a time via intramuscular injection with a syringe.

The scientists imagine these types of chips being implanted into the human body, and then wirelessly communicating information on what they measure via ultrasound. In its current form this is limited to body temperature, but other possibilities include blood pressure, glucose levels and respiratory function.

“We wanted to see how far we could push the limits on how small a functioning chip we could make,” says the study’s leader Ken Shepard. “This is a new idea of ‘chip as system’ – this is a chip that alone, with nothing else, is a complete functioning electronic system. This should be revolutionary for developing wireless, miniaturized implantable medical devices that can sense different things, be used in clinical applications, and eventually approved for human use.”

The research was published in the journal Science Advances.

Source: Columbia University via EurekAlert

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Source: https://newatlas.com/electronics/worlds-smallest-single-chip-system-injectable/

NEWATLAS

Biggest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family makes its maiden flight

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Over a year and half after its rollout, Boeing’s 737 MAX 10 passenger jet has made its first flight. The largest member of the 737 MAX family, the MAX 10 is designed to compete with the Airbus A321neo in the anticipated highly competitive post-COVID-19 aerospace market and in the wake of the 737 MAX groundings after two fatal air crashes in 2018 and 2019.

The aircraft took to the air from Renton Field in Renton, Washington on June 18 at 10:07 am EDT with 737 Chief Pilot Captain Jennifer Henderson at the controls, before making its way to Boeing Field in Seattle, where it landed at 12:38 pm. The successful first flight of the MAX 10 marks the beginning of a comprehensive test program leading up to the certification of the aircraft by regulators before entering service in 2023.

Boeing's 737 MAX 10 comes into land after its maiden flight
Boeing’s 737 MAX 10 comes into land after its maiden flight

Boeing

Based on the 737 MAX 9, the MAX 10 is a stretched version of its predecessor, retaining many of its features, which includes the wing, though there is a new undercarriage. The MAX 10 generates 14 percent lower carbon emissions and 50 percent less noise than the current Next-Generation 737.

The MAX 10 is claimed to have the lowest seat-mile cost of any production single-aisle airplane. It comes in two-class variants seating 188 to 204 passengers, but its length of 43.8 m (143.6 ft) allows it to carry up to 230. In addition, it has a range of 3,300 nm (6,110 km) thanks to its twin LEAP-1B from CFM International engines.

“The airplane performed beautifully,” said Henderson after the flight. “The profile we flew allowed us to test the airplane’s systems, flight controls, and handling qualities – all of which checked out exactly as we expected.”

Source: Boeing

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Source: https://newatlas.com/aircraft/boeing-737-max-10-first-flight/

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Brutish off-grid pop-up camper brings Outback flavor to UK hinterlands

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The photos and spec sheet of the new X1 “micro habitat” trailer from Valkari Overland scream “Australia’s latest off-road camper trailer!” But this overbuilt brute is more likely to be found roaming the highlands and moors of the British Isles than the Outback of Australia. No matter where it roams, the go-anywhere squaredrop brings some comforts and luxuries from home, growing into a roomy base camp with dining lounge, sleeping space for the whole family, plenty of cooking power and a full entertainment system.

Not only do Valkari X1 features, like the hot-dipped galvanized chassis and dual-shock independent suspension, sound straight out of Australia, but the shape of the 16-foot (490-cm) X1 looks very much like it could be the latest offering from Bruder, a high-popping, more axle-centered alternative to the EXP-4. However, the company was founded in Great Britain in 2020 by entrepreneur Nevil Slade, also the founder and CEO of racing simulator manufacturer Vesaro.

Valkari was founded by Nevil Slade, also the founder and CEO of racing simulator brand Vesaro
Valkari was founded by Nevil Slade, also the founder and CEO of racing simulator brand Vesaro

Valkari Overland

Above its chassis and 265/75 R16 off-road tires, the X1 has a welded aluminum alloy frame skinned out in 25-mm aluminum-composite panels sandwiched around insulation. That rugged, weatherproof shell protects a cozy interior designed to sleep an entire family, with dual doors and foldaway steps providing convenient entry and exit.

Like some of the latest American off-road trailers, the X1 relies on a pop-top design to expand livable interior space beyond the simple two-adult mattress found in many an off-road tear or squaredrop. Valkari fills out the standing-height space with a dining lounge with wraparound seating and a bench-style sofa.

View of the X1 floor plan
View of the X1 floor plan

Valkari Overland

At night, the table drops down and the cushions rearrange into a wall-to-wall 75 x 57-in (190 x 145-cm) bed that Valkari suggests will fit a child and two parents. The available pop-up roof sleeping platform helps sleep a larger family, adding a 44 x 81-in (112 x 206-cm) bed good for a pair of adults or three to four children. The modular three-piece platform allows for access down to the main floor of the trailer.

Valkari takes amenities to the next level with a 14-in LCD TV and stereo speakers. Two outside speakers pull music from the DVD/CD/Bluetooth/radio media player to the other side of the walls.

Valkari X1 converted over into sleeping configuration with main bed and rooftop sleeper platform and
Valkari X1 converted over into sleeping configuration with main bed and rooftop sleeper platform and

Valkari Overland

Cooks will have to step outside and around back, where the tailgate galley houses dual slide-outs below a full-width worktop. One multi-level slide-out houses the sink and the independent dual burners, and the other slide carves out dedicated space for the optional 30-L fridge. A standard water heater pushes hot water to the sink for cleaning dishes and also to the outdoor shower. An optional fold-out shower room can be used with the shower sprayer as well as the available portable toilet.

In place of the common transverse kitchen common in squaredrop trailers, Valkari adds a combination of full-width counter and slide-out equipment
In place of the transverse kitchen common in squaredrop trailers, Valkari adds a combination of full-width counter and slide-out equipment

Valkari Overland

A pair of 100-Ah deep-cycle lead-acid batteries wired to a 2,000-W inverter powers onboard equipment like the audio/video gear, 12-V water pump and LED lighting. Solar panels can be added on optionally. Fresh water gets distributed out from a 120-L underbody steel tank with digital monitoring and drains into an 80-L gray water tank. Air conditioning and diesel heat are available as options.

The X1 comes standard with a retractable awning and a full-size roof rack that holds dynamic loads up to 110 lb (50 kg). Off-road electric brakes with electronic management help bring the 2,425-lb (1,100-kg) camper trailer to stop.

Upon first glance, the Valkari Overland X1 looks completely like the latest Australian camper trailer, but this one actually comes from Great Britain
Upon first glance, the Valkari Overland X1 looks completely like the latest Australian camper trailer, but this one actually comes from Great Britain

Valkari Overland

According to its website, Valkari is working to get the X1 certified for use on UK roads. It plans to sell it for a starting price of £16,999 (approx. US$23,475) or £17,498 ($24,150) with the three-piece removable upper sleeping platform. Interested parties can sign up for more info and updates, and uninterested parties may or may not gain a little more interest after watching the 3.5-minute simulation below.

Valkari X1 Off-Road and Off-Grid overland and Expedition camper trailer

Source: Valkari Overland

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Source: https://newatlas.com/outdoors/valkari-off-grid-pop-up-camper-trailer/

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Ultralight field office carries digital nomads deeper into the wild

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The past year has really blown up the work-from-home and work-from-anywhere lifestyles. With that, we’ve seen some new product designs aimed specifically at today’s generation of untethered, adventurous worker bees. The all-new Tactical Field Office from Helinox is the lightest, most portable solution yet, packing a mini-outdoor workstation into a hard-framed carry bag that weighs less than 5 lb (2.3 kg). Even when the road ends, the journey can still continue.

Previously, we thought that mobile office vans or folding chair workstations were the most versatile, convenient products for working from the road, beach or forest. But Helinox takes workplace mobility a step beyond those previous designs, creating a workstation light and compact enough to travel by foot over miles worth of wilderness, packed comfortably next to a laptop, bagged lunch and other workday essentials. Should you want to experience working from a scenic overlook or remote slice of coastline reached only by singletrack, Helinox’s field office seems like one of the best possible ways of bringing along a desk.

Helinox Tactical Field Office ready for laptop, paper and pen
Helinox Tactical Field Office ready for laptop, paper and pen

Helinox

Helinox’s design starts with an aluminum-tube frame-surrounded 15-L cargo bag that looks like it could double as a handy piece of carry-on luggage. The table secures to the frame and serves as a hard face when folded up for transport. Upon arrival, the table folds out and can remain attached to the cargo bag frame to create something of a mini-desk or can detach and stand on its own.

With a 4.6 lb (2-kg) base weight and 23.5 x 15.8 x 9-in (59.7 x 40.1 x 22.9-cm) packed size, the Tactical Field Office isn’t quite light or compact enough to tag along on a multi-day trip that involves a backpack loaded with food, water, sleeping gear, extra clothes and other essentials. It’s more a way of carrying a convenient mobile office to the park, along a river or down a trail for a day, perhaps two. Should you want to spend the night, the 15-L cargo bag can accommodate clothing and other essentials next to your laptop and work provisions and includes MOLLE-style webbing for lashing additional items to its exterior. An optional shoulder strap makes for easier transport than the grab handles.

If you're walking any significant distance, the shoulder strap seems like a good add-on
If you’re walking any significant distance, the shoulder strap seems like a good add-on

Helinox

Given that Helinox makes some of the lightest, most packable outdoor furniture out there, we’re a bit surprised it stuck with a bulky, fixed tubular frame for this particular design. It seems the frame could benefit from the fully collapsible aluminum-pole construction that allows its Chair Zero to pack down to roughly the size of a 750-ml bottle of wine. It also seems like Helinox could eliminate the frame altogether and just make a collapsible table that secures to the side of the cargo bag, but we suppose that might not feel as much like a “field office.”

Helinox's field office (far left) is part of the new Tactical line that also includes a table, two chair styles and a cot
Helinox’s field office (far left) is part of the new Tactical line that also includes a table, two chair styles and a cot

Helinox

Helinox’s Field Office is certainly lighter and more easily carried than other mobile workstations, though, and seems like an interesting option for pushing one’s workday further afield. The new Tactical lineup is billed as a more durable, military-inspired breed of Helinox product. Helinox launched the lineup in North America this week, and the Field Office prices in at $199.95. Buyers can add on compatible accessories like the $29.95 shoulder strap, $29.95 laptop sleeve and $24.95 inner divider for organizing clothes and other loose items.

Source: Helinox

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Source: https://newatlas.com/outdoors/helinox-portable-field-office/

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MVRDV stacks offset boxes for sustainable harbor visitor center

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Whether creating an art depot that looks like a mixing bowl, or a shopping mall shaped like a mountain, MVRDV always puts a unique spin on its projects. For Rotterdam’s Harbour Experience Centre, the firm has designed an eye-catching building consisting of five stacked offset box-like volumes. It will boast impressive sustainable design too, including solar and wind power, and the use of recycled materials for construction.

The Harbour Experience Centre will measure 3,533 sq m (roughly 38,000 sq ft). Though the arrangement of its boxes looks haphazard, they are going to be situated so that generous glazing will focus views on the nearby North Sea or sand dunes.

The Harbour Experience Centre will offer views of the North Sea and nearby sand dunes
The Harbour Experience Centre will offer views of the North Sea and nearby sand dunes

MVRDV

The interior’s five floors will include a cafe, a restaurant, and an exhibition space, while at the center will be an atrium with a sculpture and model of the Port of Rotterdam. The building’s exterior will also feature a bright red staircase that provides access to a rooftop terrace.

According to MVRDV, the building’s construction will be “energy neutral.” It does indeed sound remarkably green and will consist of steel sourced from demolished structures, facade panels made from partly recycled materials, and excellent insulation.

It’s designed to be easily disassembled and reused or recycled, and the facade panels will be returned to the manufacturer once the building ceases to be required at some point in the future. And concrete piles are not used for the foundation, which is designed to leave no trace when it’s gone. Furthermore, it will get power from a total of 266 solar panels and a wind turbine.

The Harbour Experience Centre's required electricity will be produced by 266 solar panels, as well as a wind turbine
The Harbour Experience Centre’s required electricity will be produced by 266 solar panels, as well as a wind turbine

MVRDV

“We think of the Harbour Experience Centre as a machine to reveal the incredible world of the port,” says MVRDV’s founding partner Winy Maas. “It’s low-cost, it’s stripped back, you can see some of the building’s structure when you’re inside. But it therefore does its job almost ruthlessly – just like the machinery of the port itself. Every part of the design is geared towards engaging people and then educating them about their surroundings. In that way, it not only teaches people about the Port of Rotterdam, but envelops them in the spirit of the port itself.”

The Harbour Experience Centre is expected to open to visitors in 2024.

Source: MVRDV

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Source: https://newatlas.com/architecture/mvrdv-harbour-experience-centre/

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