2009年7月29日水曜日

Smart Grid

There must be a variety of leading edge technologies and components required for Smart Grid which is recently assumed as the next generation electric power distribution network.

Electric power has been supplied by an electric power company to every building or facility wherever needed. "Internet" is often used as an analogy of Smart Grid since various information generators are connected to the internet. In this context, the electric power supply network has been used as "down load" only while Smart Grid will enable us to download and upload of the electricity for multiple directions as the information traffic flows on the internet.

An important difference from Internet, however, Smart Grid has to assure stable and continuous power supply without no delay. No "Best Effort" is allowed on Smart Grid.

Smart Grid sounds pretty smart and beautiful as written and pronounce. However a huge amount of new technologies and efforts for standardization will be required to build it on this planet. A small piece of information released by National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has driven me to think of the new vision of power electric distribution network.

7/29/09

2009年7月22日水曜日

Braille device

There are many companies that focus on assisting people in enhancing quality of life. KGS Corporation founded in 1953 keeps developing and suppying new ideas of products for visually impaired persons.

Braille Memo, BM16, as an example, looks an excellent device of portable notebook with which a user can take a memo at anyplace anytime. According to the product description, it equips convenient accessories functions such as a clock, an electronic calculator and a calendar that enable a user to manage indispensable information on daily basis. Electrical communications interface of BM16 is reportedly limited to RS232C. More compact and handy type of Braille Memo Pocket seems to be available now, and it has USB and Bluetooth interfaces, so that wireless communications capability is obviously available between the pocket sized Braille memo device and a personal computer.

This type of devices are not showy but very important technology products to help us improve our lives in the society.


7/22/09

2009年7月21日火曜日

Metamaterials

"Metamaterials", artificial materials, seem to have great potential to create brand new and unprecedented applications for our future life. The electro-magnetic properties of Metamaterials could be artificially controlled by using metal nano-structures, so that refractive index could be changed or controlled. This suggest that we may be able directly to see virtual view, such as something beautiful flowers behind the screen of obstacle, or virtually to create a transparent person who might wear clauses made by Metamaterials.


7/21/09

2009年7月3日金曜日

Brain Machine Interface

Brain waves control a wheelchair. The new signal processing technology for brain machine interface (BMI) has reportedly been a recent result of collaboration activities among RIKEN, Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Central R&D Labs and Genesis Reserch Institute have jointly announced that BSI-TOYOTA Collaboration Center. This seems to be a big step for the next generation robotics.


7/3/09