250Mpix sensor

Canon develops 250 Mpixel CMOS image sensor

I came across this article on EE-times. A quarter gigapixels on a chip smaller than an old 35mm negative is a fantastic accomplishment—but what does it really mean?

The array of 19,580 by 12,600 pixels measures 29.2mm by 20.2mm—a fraction over APS-H format; that gives it a pixel pitch of about 1.5µm. Those pixels are somewhat larger than for commodity mobile phone 8-16 Mpixel imager chips (1.2µm) but a lot smaller than for your typical consumer DSLR (about 3µm), let alone professional DSLR (over 5µm).

iTeam Lent 2015 Gax

Who wants a pocket gas chromatograph?

This lent term I’m once again mentoring an i-Teams group (and eating plenty of pizza doing so). We’re looking at potential market applications for a small hand-held gas chromatograph (GC) with a thermal conductivity sensor.

The technology is the result of the research done by Dr. R. Vasant Kumar and Dr. Sohab Sarfraz of the department of Material Science and Metallurgy. The novelty of their thermal conductivity sensor—in itself a very well established sensor type—is that their version is insensitive to gas flow rate variations.

Talk by Jaideep Prabhu

Jugaad Innovation: frugal, flexible and inclusive

Earlier this evening I attended a Cambridge Network event where Jaideep Prabhu—co-author of the book “Jugaad Innovation” and professor at the Judge Business School—gave a talk about innovation practices in developing economies.

Compared to their counterparts in the affluent West, Indian innovators seem to be more:

  • Frugal. They need to do more with less resources
  • Flexible. High uncertainty means they need to change their plans more often
  • Inclusive. Targeted at reaching consumers and partners outside the established economy

Flashforge Creator X

3D-printer joins stable of workshop tools

I’ve just installed a Flashforge Creator X 3D-printer for plastic rapid prototyping.

The Creator X is—like many other 3D-printers—a Makerbot Replicator 2 clone (in itself modelled on the RepRap open-source printer).

Carbon fibre chassis Alfa Romeo 4C

Designer materials: modelling novel composites

The Horizon 2020 proposal I’ve been writing—submitted earlier this week—deals with improved numerical simulation tools for the behaviour of complex, composite materials.

Think about carbon-fibre reinforced car bodies, aircraft wings, or surf boards. The performance of composite parts not only depends on the constituent materials, but to a large extend on fibre/matrix structure and material interactions at the molecular scale (e.g. fibre/matrix adhesion).

Cubli self-balancing cube

Cubli: one cool cube

Swiss researchers have created Cubli, a cube that can jump up, balance on its corner, and walk about.

Cubli is a small robotic cube with 15cm sides, incorporating flywheels rotating around 3 perpendicular axes. By spinning a flywheel at high speed and suddenly braking Cubli can jump up, and by tightly controlling the speed of the three wheels can balance on a side or on a corner.


Smart fork clocks meals

The HAPIfork—equipped with sensors to measure how much and how fast you eat—is set to go on sale in April for $99.

If it finds you eat too fast it will vibrate and flash to urge you to take it slow.