DC-DC Power Converter

A new DC-DC power converter developed by engineers at the Kobe University is superior to previous designs and paves the way for more efficient, reliable, and sustainable energy storage and conversion solutions. The device can efficiently interface with a wide range of energy sources while enhancing system stability and simplicity at an unprecedented efficiency. Its asymmetrical duty limit control offers enhanced performance especially for electric vehicle-connected DC microgrids. The evaluation of the team’s prototype showed an impressive efficiency of up to 98.3 percent. According to the researchers, this highlights the practical feasibility and scalability of the proposed topology for real-world applications, paving the way for future advancements in bidirectional DC-DC conversion technology.

Contact: Daniel Schenz
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Haptic Device for Softness Perception

EPFL researchers have developed a haptic device capable of reproducing the softness of various materials. Understanding and reproducing softness perception is challenging because it involves so many sensory and cognitive processes. Robotics researchers have tried to address this challenge with haptic devices, but previous attempts have not distinguished between two primary elements of softness perception: cutaneous cues (sensory feedback from the skin of the fingertip), and kinesthetic cues (feedback about the amount of force on the finger joint). With their Softness Rendering Interface (SORI), the team has achieved just that. By decoupling cutaneous and kinesthetic cues, SORI faithfully recreates the softness of a range of real materials, filling a gap in the robotics field and enabling many applications where softness sensation is critical — from deep-sea exploration to robot-assisted surgery.

Contact: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne
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Fabric-Based Touch Sensor

Engineers from NC State University have combined three-dimensional embroidery techniques with machine learning to create a fabric-based sensor that can control electronic devices through touch. As the field of wearable electronics gains more interest and new functions are added to clothing, an embroidery-based sensor or “button” capable of controlling those functions becomes increasingly important. Integrated into the fabric of a piece of clothing, the sensor can activate and control electronic devices like mobile apps entirely by touch. The device is made up of two parts — the embroidered pressure sensor itself and a microchip which processes and distributes the data collected by that sensor. The sensor is made from yarns and is triboelectric, which means that it powers itself using the electric charge generated from the friction between its multiple layers.

Contact: Joey Pitchford
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