Cutting-Edge Additive Manufacturing Equipment and Supplies for Engineering the Future
Improvements in the throughput of additive manufacturing (AM) processes are essential to realize cost-effective, on-demand production. AM service bureaus seek to maximize print speed to achieve a shorter lead time. The build rate (speed) of an AM machine is critical to the economics of AM. Advances in the rate of AM processes decrease part cost by increasing machine productivity and reducing required capital investment. These facts create an opportunity for a new AM product which will greatly accelerate build rate. Airwolf 3D proposes to build a high-throughput print head system. Airwolf 3D has the experience to manufacture this product and has a proven track record for inventing and successfully bringing AM products to market, such as its: HD 3D Printer, AXIOM 3D Printer, EVO Manufacturing Center, HydroFill Water-Soluble Support filament, WolfBite Print Bed Adhesives and Jam-Resistant Print Heads. With long build times most often cited as the barrier to widespread use of 3D printing, the high speed and accuracy of this new product may serve as a catalyst to wider adoption of material extrusion technologies in the medical, aerospace, and automotive sectors where throughput and qualification are crucial requirements.
Augmented Reality System for Power Restoration Crews
The technical approach to construct an application with each element of the conceptual architecture is to assemble a three-server back-end similar to extreme weather/infrastructure forecast systems of AA’s licensed Visualizing Energy Resources Dynamically on Earth (VERDE) system (www.almeriaanalytics.com) with an imbedded Geoserver for spatial tracking. The manual datastore is integrated with a semi-supervised information extraction system.The AR capability that can present the following: 1. Manuals and instructions selected from large datasets using Watson-like cognitive retrieval technology; 2. Combine the tactical information from repair crews with spatially-based forecasts of cascading outages for effective triage; 3. Present information within three-second response times without causing cognitive overload for the users – technicians and Subject Matter Experts alike. Longer response lags reduce the usability of the system for interactive operational response. 4. Integrate the ground truth from on-scene personnel into response plans and adjust resource deployment as new information is received.
Low temperature heterogenous nanobonding: high throughput direct wafer scale 3D integration without ultra-high vacuum
Today wafer bonding is used for 3D integration of opto-electronic devices like lasers or photo-detectors, thick silicon dark matter detector, bio-sensors, and tandem solar cells manufacturing. Low temperature direct wafer bonding for dissimilar materials is needed to fabricating new functional optical devices and for overcoming difficulties of lattice mismatches and thermal coefficient of dissimilar materials. Several techniques are reported that achieve a high bond energy at low temperature such as surface activated bonding (SAB) and ultra-high vacuum (UHV) bonding. However, both bonding techniques shows shortfall in manufacturing of high throughput bonding. SAB shows high defect and thick inter-phase layer between wafers resulting non-ohmic nature of bonding. UHV bonding, a sophisticated system with a long duration to reach vacuum levels low enough (10 e-8) to obtain absorbates-free bonding surfaces, is impractical. We develop a novel bonding technology to overcome challenges for heterogenous wafer bonding by a) enabling bonding without UHV hence less time required for bonding cycle and faster throughput; b) processing at short duration of low temperature <220C; c) practically no mechanical forces needed while bonding instead a patented technology of inter-atomic nanobonding and d) finally bonding large wafers for truly commercialization of this technology for III-V materials integration.
Controllable biodegradable Mg implant
SMAT is able to increase strength of the ordinary bio-Mg, and the supra-nano Mg film on the surface is able to improve the wear-resistance and control the degradation rate. SMAT and supra-nano are original technologies, that other technologies are difficult to achieve high strength and controllable biodegradable properties at the same time. The novel Mg implant has one-time use property (second surgery is avoided), which could reduce much pain of the patient.
Smart Battery Diagnostic Technology
The traditional full discharge approach until a battery’s terminal voltage has reached the cutoff value is direct and accurate for determining state-of-charge (SOC) and state-of-health (SOH) but the entire process is time-intensive (typically, a few hours), and causes energy wastage and impact on battery’s life cycle. It is more suitable for conducting offline measurements. This technology makes use of an energy-recycling technology to charge and discharge battery under test to extract intrinsic parameters with a machine learning technology to determine SOC and SOH. By controlling the power flow between the battery and a supercapacitor through a bidirectional DC-DC converter, the battery current profile and operating mode are controlled. Ideally, it is non-dissipative and allows testing large-signal battery behaviors over a long period of time. More importantly, instead of acquiring the discharging behaviors of batteries, as in traditional approach, this technology can conduct online measurements of both charging and discharging behaviors to characterize real battery performance and condition. The whole process takes three minutes only, giving a good balance between accuracy and computational speed, suitable for life expectancy estimation.
High performance crash box for future EV
The objective of our product was to implement both material enhancement and structure optimization in the design of energy absorber on automobiles to achieve both large safety margin and low cost. SMAT treatment was adopted to enhance the material properties. The SMAT treatment system was also updated for the tubular structure for treating both interior and exterior surfaces. A numerical simulation platform was developed for structure design of the crash box. Meanwhile, both static test (uniaxial tensile test) and dynamic test (drop-hammer test) were carried out to examine the performance enhancement of material and product. Both simulations and test results showed that the new design of crash box had advantages of high energy absorbing ability, steady reaction force distribution, light weight and economic manufacture cost compared to similar products on the present market. The car crash is an important problem which has been studied for decades. The crashworthiness of vehicles has gained more and more attentions henceforth. The concept of energy absorption has been incorporated into the structural design of light-vehicles and limousine. These designs can benefit from our product.
Electric field structured anisotropic polymer films - technology, applications and markets
CondAlign has developed a technology in which electric fields are used to align and structure particles in a viscous matrix, before curing the matrix and fixating the structures. The particles align due to dielectrophoresis and induced dipole-dipole interactions, allowing a wide range of particles and matrices to be used. The particle structures can be controlled to form pathways through the material allowing for manipulation of anisotropy, uniformity and patterns. An example application is anisotropic conductive films, where the particle alignment permits a tenfold reduction of particle content compared to traditional conductive composites. Without alignment, these materials are typically particle rich systems with concentrations above the percolation threshold. A significant reduction of filler particles can both lower costs and improve polymer properties, thereby enhancing functionality. By carefully controlling the electric fields, the technology opens for more advanced structures, like patterned films, multi-layered materials, and anisotropic conductivity. We have also developed an analogous method to create membranes with a high degree of uniformity in pore size and -distribution. CondAlign has demonstrated production capabilities in roll-to-roll (R2R) processes. We are currently refining the production technology on our pilot R2R-machine, and assisting our first customer in establishing their commercial scale manufacturing line.
Modular, Scalable Hydrogen Production from Waste Materials
Eco Energy International has developed new technology that economically converts over 80% of waste going to landfills into clean, renewable and profitable energy (hydrogen and syngas), significantly reducing the need for landfills. Since all of the biogenic materials are converted, we eliminate the production of carbon dioxide and methane gases typically associated with landfills. This is a new modular, scalable technology that can produce hydrogen anywhere from multiple locally available feedstocks. This technology can use renewable feedstocks such as: • Municipal Solid Waste • Agricultural Solid Waste • Food Industry Waste • Lumber Industry Waste • Biomass: Grass, Grain, Crops, Algae, Sawdust, Cellulose • Alcohols: Methanol, Ethanol, Crude Ethanol, E95, Ethylene Glycol, Glycerol (byproduct of bio-diesel production) • Sugars and Starches Advantages: • Minimizes/eliminates waste going into the landfill; avoiding production of greenhouse gases and conserving valuable real estate • Minimizes/eliminates the need for costly incinerators and their associated emissions • Generates revenue via the sale of clean, renewable hydrogen • Production costs are competitive with existing large scale hydrogen facilities • Modular and scalable, these systems can be located nearer users reducing or eliminating expensive transportation costs • No greenhouse gases and all carbon is sequestered
BAMalloy Coated Engine Cylinder for Improved Thermal, Friction & Wear Performance
BAMalloys by up-converting BAM powder with select alloys in metals to form novel materials used in cladding and AM through a patent pending concept filed 2015 (US #62242002). BAM (AlMgB14), gained attention in 2008 when Ames Research lab in Iowa recognized its unique low fiction qualities and high hardness. The DOE in 2009,states: “Full implementation of the technology into the targeted markets equates to a U.S.- based energy savings potential of over 100 trillion BTU per year by 2030” . Satisfactory utilization of this unique material in engine applications has not been possible until the recent development of BAMalloys. One formulation developed, BAMalloy A51, is a tough low friction wear coating for nickel and steel base materials ready for industrial adoption. BAMalloy A51 has the combination of properties needed for sliding metal surface such as bond strength, impact toughness, wear resistance, machinability, chemical stability and friction reduction. Incorporating degradation-resistant BAMalloy coatings into the most energy-intensive industries is expected to conserve significant amounts of energy. Anthropogenic emissions from engines is appreciable and this technology will provide opportunities for lower emissions and assist in developing a sustainable, efficient and environmentally friendly future.
High Speed High Voltage Driver
This technology is composed of multiple transistors connected in series, each turned on and off simultaneously by identical transistor gate-driver circuits. These circuits can drive the individual transistor gates on and off in less than 2 nanoseconds at repetition rates up to 100 MHz, comprising design part 1. A separate design part 2 is a photonic trigger system that comprises a laser, electro-optical modulator, optical splitters, and opto-electronic receivers interconnected with fibers that precisely synchronizes the turn-on and turn-off each of the series-connected transistors. The combination of parts 1 and 2 comprise a high-speed driver capable of producing arbitrary pulse patterns that drive, but not exclusively, particle beam deflectors.
Environmental Friendly Smart Coating with Endless Applications
Historically corrosion protection has been achieved through use of hexavalent chromium ions along with heavy metals in paints. These chemical ingredients are highly toxic to environment and human health. In-fact, Hex-Chrome is a known human carcinogen. DoD and commercial market is aggressively looking for safer alternates. EPA in USA and REACH regulation is Europe have already posted sun-set date for the use of toxic hex chrome and other harmful ingredients in paints. On the other hand, human health is severely affected by infection through bacterial attacks. There is a huge demand of environmental friendly coatings to combat corrosion and microbial activities. There are more than 23,000 commercial aircraft in operation that need protection from corrosion and aggressive microbial activities. Our company Flora Coatings has developed an environmental and user friendly, transparent, ready to use (no mixing needed), multifunctional, quasi-bioceramic, flexible coating to act as a barrier against corrosion and microbial activities. This liquid coating can be applied easily in ambient conditions and cures in ambient conditions without the need of external heating. It can act as a standalone coating, a primer as well as a topcoat for the existing surface paint & coatings.
3D and AM Dimensionally Stable Silicon Carbide
Goodman Technologies demonstrated 3D printing and additive manufacturing (AM) of silicon carbide for optics and opto-mechanical structures via Phase I SBIR Contract NNX17CM29P; three patents are pending. Our Phase I-III SBIR technology roadmap and program plan directly addresses creation, demonstration and validation of the technologies most critical for substantive near-term progress on strategic priorities identified by NASA and leads to commercial 3D/AM in microgravity. We were directly responsive to the needs of topic S2.03 Advanced Optical Systems and Fabrication/Testing/Control Technologies for EUV/Optical and IR Telescope. The objective of the topic is to mature technologies in order to affordably manufacture, test or operate complete mirror systems or telescope assemblies. Referencing the 2016 Cosmic Origins (COR) Program Annual Technology Report (PATR), the COR Program Office recommended that the NASA Astrophysics Division at HQ solicit and fund the maturation of technologies associated with Priority 1 technology gaps. Our technology fills multiple Priority 1-4 gaps, reduces cost of mirrors by almost 2 orders of magnitude and schedule by years. We enable the next generation of survivable, athermal space structures.
Lab Testing of Enhanced Oil Recovery Materials at Pore Scale
Materials for enhancing oil recovery are widely used in production today, however, their efficiency is reservoir specific. O&G reservoirs consist of microscopic porous networks in, for example, sandstone, carbonate, or shale rock. Therefore, the functionality of a certain oilfield chemical depends on a reservoir’s unique pore scale fingerprint. Our method evaluates the efficiency of a chemical cocktail based on reservoir-specific pore scale features and the chemical specifics of the EOR cocktail to be considered for application. IBM’s patented Nano-EOR technology portfolio, backed by decades of leadership in scientific computing and nanotechnology, leverages molecular scale liquid-solid interactions in dedicated computer simulation and lab testing platform. Potential Impact: Global O&G consumption expected to increase for +20 years and global proved oil reserves > 1.6 trillion barrels. EOR has a potential of 8% of recovery increase, leveraging existing infrastructure and reducing exploration and production cost.
Novel Antimicrobial Coatings
Inhibit Coatings uses novel silver nanofunctionalization to produce highly antimicrobial coatings. Independent testing of these coatings using the JIS-Z-2801 standard have shown a > 99.997% reduction in CFU against E. coli, S. aureus and L. monocytogenes within 24 hours. These were tested against commercially available antimicrobial coatings which only achieved an 83.3% reduction in CFU. These coatings have proven to retain their antimicrobial activity after numerous cleanings with common cleaning agents, making them ideal for food safety, medical and HVAC applications. The novel nanotechnology used in coatings utilizes low biocide concentrations (< 0.1%) exhibiting an extremely low leach rate of < 0.8 ppb/cm2/day. This low leach rate and biocide concentration gives rise to robust coatings with a long antimicrobial lifetime that withstand wash cycles without compromising the physical properties such as hardness, abrasion resistance.
Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis using KIER SponCat Technology for Flexible Production of Liquid Fuels and Chemicals from Syngas
Conventional FTS (Fischer-Tropsch synthesis) processes have used different combinations of catalysts and reactors depending on the desired products. KIER SponCat is a unique catalyst technology for the use of commercial type slurry bubble column reactors, which generates spontaneous and quick catalyst activation in the reaction condition without requiring an extra catalyst pre-activation treatment. Furthermore, KIER SponCat can flexibly control the hydrocarbon product distribution, e.g. (i) wax selective, (ii) oil selective, and (iii) olefin selective, simply by adjusting the catalyst formulation and reaction condition.
Photochromic Device a.k.a. The Chameleon Glass(tentative name), Color Changing Window
Our photochromic glass is pale yellow at its original state with average transmittance of 70% at 600 ~ 700nm. When it is exposed to sunlight, it turns to greenish blue and the transmittance of sunlight at 600 ~ 700nm can be reduced to around 15% and even more. The response time to darken is only around 10 minutes regardless of the device’s dimension. The response time to turn back to the original state is much longer as it takes 4 hours under dark condition at present. Nevertheless, there is possibility to reduce this time by modifying the materials. Our photochromic glass does not need external power to operate and its transmittance is automatically tuned by sunlight. It consists of two thin films assembled between two soda lime glasses and the constituent materials are earth abundant, environmentally benign and inexpensive.
Sensor-Based Technology for Home Security in Resource Poor Settings
M-Kulinda (‘Kulinda’ is Swahili word for security) is a sensor-based home security system for home protection in rural Kenya where the theft of personal property is widespread. M-Kulinda’s design was influenced by formative research I conducted in 2016 that suggested that burglary is a problem in rural Kenya. The solar powered system detects movements on peoples’ compounds and sends household members an alert SMS/text message. Thus taking advantage of widespread mobile phones ownership in the region (nearly 85% of rural Kenyans have mobile phones). Based on pilot evaluation of my prototype with 20 households in rural Kenya, I learned that the system is useful for detecting home intruders and most participants used the system for home surveillance. I conclude that M-Kulinda has the potential help to reduce theft of personal property in rural Kenyan households. More about the design of the system and its impact can be found on this link: http://www.hopechidziwisano.com/pub/m-kulinda.pdf.
In Transit Visibility (ITV)/Total Asset Visibility (TAV) Solution for Cold Chain Logistics
Myconi Technologies has developed a proprietary wireless, ad hoc, peer-to-peer, self-healing mesh network protocol that operates on internationally license-free frequencies (IEEE 802.15.4 ISM Standard). Myconi has incorporated this wireless technology with multiple environmental and material condition sensors. This secure Technology Readiness Level 8 (TRL 8) system is comprised of 5 different wireless monitoring devices and 3 wireless gateway configurations that includes a secure internet-based data management platform. Implementation of the patented Myconi monitoring solution allows users to wirelessly configure threshold parameters for temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, light, harsh handling (shock) and tilt angle of products or equipment transported and/or stored in boxes, pallets or containers. The mesh network communication architecture is robust, highly scalable with built-in redundancy and ensures secure connectivity (256 bit AES encryption). While there is no GPS in the sensor tags, location is derived from the GPS within the gateway devices and Inertial Navigation Algorithms (patented). Myconi capability far exceeds other cargo tracking/data logging technologies with the self-healing, secure, mobile ad hoc network (MANET) mesh networking capability and the extended battery life. Myconi has invested $1.4m in research and development to productize this capability; has been awarded 7 patents for this system.
Self-Decontaminating Filter Medium or Materials
The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed self-decontaminating structures based on porphyrin-embedded, target imprinted, porous, organosilicate sorbents. The materials rapidly sequester targets as a result of the affinity of the sorbent structures. Catalysis proceeds upon stimulation of the porphyrin moieties through illumination or by an applied current. This potential for dual stimulation provides the opportunity for utilization of the materials in sunlit or low light environments. Catalysis in aqueous solution and under ambient conditions in the absence of liquid water has been demonstrated. Target selectivity can be controlled through selection of porphyrin and sorbent characteristics. The spectrophotometric characteristics of the porphyrin catalytic component also offer the potential for self-reporting materials. Attachment of the materials to fabrics and surfaces has been demonstrated using standard techniques. The advanced materials have been proven to be effective in air filtration applications as well as wearable protective materials.
Economical long-distance transport of liquids/InfinitPipe®
InfinitPipe® is a revolutionary, patent pending technology, based on fiber reinforced polymer (FRP), developed by Prof. Mo Ehsani following decades of R&D and with support from the US National Science Foundation and the US Department of Agriculture. The innovative features of this technology allow fast, low cost, onsite manufacturing of a continuous (joint-less) pipe, eliminating both the cost and time to ship pipes from factories; thus, making a truly innovative solution that is economically and environmentally feasible to implement. This technology is currently being developed and deployed for agriculture, mining, rejuvenating the coral of the Great Barrier Reef (https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/News/engineer-proposes-concept-solving-great-barrier-reef-bleaching) and other applications.
Novel Biodegradable and Non-biodegradable 3D Printed Implants as a Drug Delivery System
In United States, the current gold standard for treatment of infection after total knee arthroplasty is a 2-stage process whereby the implant is removed and temporary spacer made of PMMA (bone cement) with antibiotics is inserted. The patient receives a 6-8 week course of intravenous antibiotics, and then returns to surgery for a re-implantation of a new joint replacement. Unfortunately, PMMA as a drug delivery material has limitations in terms of mechanical and drug-eluting properties. Furthermore, the polymerization reaction for PMMA is highly exothermic, thereby limiting the variety of antibiotics used for the treatment of infections. We have invented a family of 3D printed orthopaedic implants that not only overcome the limitations of PMMA, but can also be designed to be load bearing and customized to individual patient needs. Our implants are ‘smart’ since they incorporate built-in design features such as micro-channels and reservoirs that enable them to act as antibiotic delivery vehicles.
A nontoxic and novel way to prevent and treat cancer and inflammatory disease
We examined the expression of every single gene to find the most promising targets we can use to prevent and treat cancer. Our immediate efforts utilize our lead compound (called “MASL”) to target a unique receptor (called “PDPN”) on cancer cells. PDPN promotes cancer motility, invasion, and metastasis. We can use MASL to prevent and treat many forms of cancer. In addition, PDPN promotes inflammatory destruction leading to rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. MASL can be used to prevent and treat disease in addition to cancer.
Control System for Active Damping of Inter-Area Oscillations
Power systems with large generation centers and load complexes separated by long transmission lines can develop power grid oscillations. Poorly damped inter-area oscillations can lead to widespread outages during stressed grid conditions. Undamped oscillations have been implicated as primary contributors to the wide-area blackout across the west coast of North America in August 1996. Sandia has developed a control system for active damping of inter-area oscillations in the western North American Power System (wNAPS). Currently, the only approach to mitigating grid oscillations and avoiding blackouts is to maintain power flows well below transmission capacity, which is an un-economical use of existing infrastructure. Sandia's system, by actively damping these oscillations, will enable power flows to approach transmission capacity. Our controller commands a range of total power equal to twenty 737 jet engines at full throttle - enough power to satisfy nearly 200,000 homes. The control system is the first successful grid demonstration of real-time control using wide-area measurement system feedback in North America. This application of recently deployed advanced measurement technology is a game-changer. It enable the use of widely-distributed networked energy resources transforming our existing power grid into the future smart grid.
Selectively reduced titanium dioxide(Blue TiO2) photocatalyst having visible light sensitivity.
Titanium dioxide is enormously consumed as white color of plastics and paint because of its high thermal-stablility and non-toxic properties. Also, its property as high-blocking ultraviolet rays can be applicable to optical materials, protective materials, and sensor materials. As its photocatalytic ability receives attentions recently, it is applied to antibacterial, waste water treatment, and air purification fields. But titanium dioxide has some problems when it used as photocatlysts. Titanium dioxide only absorbs ultraviolet ray(below 380nm). So, it is not effective indoors that is deficient-ultraviolet ray. Therefore, some research groups reduced the titanium dioxide for expanding absorption range. Although it can absorb light to the near-infrared region after reduction, procedures still have some disadvantages because of high pressure and high temperature condition. In contrast, this technology which is solution-based treatment with Lithium-ethylenediamine(Li-EDA), the strong reducing reagent in superbase, can selectively reduce TiO2 at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. By the facile treatment to commercial janus photocatlyst, Daegusa P-25, obtained partially reduced TiO2 nanoparticles show extended absorption range to near-infrared region (over 380nm) and high charge separation efficiency. And, the reduced TiO2 show high performance at hydrogen evolution reaction, algae disinfection and fine dust elimination.
SiOx anode material for Lithium ion batteries
- Innovation, differences, & impact on society This is a new cost-effective manufacturing process for SiOx nanoparticles and high performance-active material as a Li-ion battery’s anode; SiOx nanoparticles can be produced in normal pressure (1 atm) from
SiOx anode material for Lithium ion batteries
- Innovation, differences, & impact on society This is a new cost-effective manufacturing process for SiOx nanoparticles and high performance-active material as a Li-ion battery’s anode; SiOx nanoparticles can be produced in normal pressure (1 atm) from
Single crystal High-frequency phase array transducer for medical diagnoses
This invention provide a transferable technology of fabricating single crystal high-frequency phase array ultrasound transducer for eye and small animal imaging. The existing technology in ultrasound phase array imaging is based on lower frequency (2-5) MHz. The fabrication process for higher frequency phase array (20 MHz above) is very difficult, especially for piezoelectric single crystal based transducer. The current invention has very large impact to industry and markets, if being commercialized, will provide more solutions for clinical diagnoses of eyes and also in micro-surgery monitoring.
Micro magnetic driven bidirectional turbine used in urban water mains for hydropower generation
There are two transformations in this technology. Firstly, this technology provides an effective method for constant and reliable power supply to water monitoring system. Secondly, the application of magnetic coupling in the developed turbine for avoiding leakage and water pollution make the turbine more reliable. Currently, most water monitoring sensors or meters are powered by chemical batteries which need to be replaced frequently, resulting in a high cost and a huge demand for labor. As water flow is constantly available and excess water head exists in the water mains, it is more reliable and stable to supply power to water monitoring system using the proposed turbine. As the proposed turbine has huge commercialization potential because a considerable length of water mains has approached the end of their service life in many countries and regions. The manufacture and product distribution could generate huge economic benefits for the industry and markets. For the society, application of the developed turbine is helpful to continuous monitoring of leakage and water quality. Besides, the proposed technology can reduce environmental influence caused by waste batteries.
Flexible and Foldable Lithium-ion Battery
The technology is based on coating of active materials on conductive textiles to fabricate textile-based electrodes, and to assembled them into textile-based lithium-ion battery full cells. Different from current technology which utilizes metal foils as current collector, this technology is based on highly wearable textile materials. As such, Lithium-ion batteries fabricated based on this technology is of great flexibility and foldability, which is far better than the state-of-the-art devices available in the market. The 3D structure of textiles also improves the electrochemical stability and power density significantly. The energy density can reach as high as 200 Wh/kg while the devices can be folded for more than 1000 cycles without affecting the electrochemical properties. This technology can not only find huge impact in battery industry, but also provide competitive energy storage products for the next generation consumer electronics such as bendable/foldable smartphones, wearable healthcare equipment, etc.
An intelligent technological framework with mobile robots for agricultural activities
This technological framework pertains to use mobile sensors and robotic platforms to facilitate everyday agricultural activities. With the framework,farming practitioners are virtually endorsed with full control of quantity,quality,and consistency of their produce. Apart from ordinary automation systems,the framework provides around-the-clock supervisions to farms of different scales with minimum expenses on infrastructure.The mobile robotic platforms collectively gather information from the environment,which is then aggregated and analyzed to generate profiles of the farm on regular basis. Based on the up-to-date profile,mobile robotic platforms dynamically allocate themselves to provide treatments to regions that require extra attentions. With decentralized localization modules,they are capable of performing indoor and outdoor navigation in autonomous fashions. Via exchanging information with neighboring peer platforms within their proximities,robotic platforms can adjust their behaviors adaptively to cope with changing environment and system parameters. Control of the platforms does not rely on a centralized unit, which provides the framework with extra robustness to single-point-failures. The complete history of every single food product under the monitoring of framework can be accessed by consumers in a transparent manner,which provide a silver bullet to the surge of public concerns on food safety in recent years.
A novel drug candidate for cancer treatment via suppressing prostagladin E2 production
Because of the strong evidences based on the scientific and clinicopathological investigations about the etiopathological roles of the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors delta (PPAR), the development of novel anti-cancer agents which target on PPAR was strongly suggested. However, to the best of our knowledge, to date there are no clinically available drugs which were intentionally shown to inhibit the PPAR leading to the suppression of tumor growth. Thus there is a high potential value for further developing our newly patented quinoline derivative (83b1) to suppress the COX-2 and PGE2 production as a novel anti-cancer agent against cancers of gastrointestinal tract, which frequently show overexpression of COX-2 and overproduction of PGE2. The invention has been recently granted with US and China patents which were licensed to a drug company with the continuous search for sub-licensees. Moreover, the potential action of 83b1 to suppress PGE2 production will also offer another opportunity to explore it as a novel anti-inflammatory agent.
Angle Difference Method for Vehicle Navigation in Multilevel Road Networks
Existing vehicle navigation systems use consumer-grade GPS that can deal with nonparallel road level when the flyover has a different (x, y) coordinates than the ground level but they cannot deal with parallel flyover system. This invention can help users to determine which road level the vehicle is on when the vehicle is entering or exiting a parallel flyover with accuracy. It improves the safety and reduces stress and uncertainty in driving in multilevel road network of high-density cities such as in Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, and Hong Kong often with parallel flyovers.Our Angle Difference Method compares the in-vehicle inclination angle with the inclination angles of different road levels calculated from road elevations stored in a GIS-T database to map match the vehicle to appropriate road level when the vehicle is entering or exiting multilevel road networks.Existing in-vehicle inclinometers are costly and fixed to the vehicle. We enable the in-vehicle inclination angle to be measured in high accuracy with low-cost portable devices, such as smart phones, for implementing the Angle Difference Method. It can be calibrated before using in both stationary-mode and dynamic-mode with external 3D GIS-T database to ensure high accuracy of inclination angle measurement.
FARM BOX: Reconnecting to Agriculture using Technology
FARM BOX is a novel growing unit that creates a controlled environment optimized to grow plants in a hydroponic system. The unit includes a large static frame, movable frames, perforated floor system, growing towers, a closed loop system for water circulation, an energy system powered by solar panel and battery and sensors for an environment control system. Any user interaction happens by pulling out movable parts of the box, optimizing the space and allowing easy access to the plants and the components. The system is portable, enclosed, autonomous, and fully controllable. A typical FARM BOX can produce the vegetable consumption of 11 people with low cost and minimal footprint (35 square feet). The unit is scaled for a private consumer, whether a home or restaurant.
Customized Rheometer Tools by 3D Printing
Rheometers measure a variety of mechanical properties in materials that are subjected to deformation and flow. A rotary rheometer’s "tool geometry" is an integral component that affects the torques generated. Available geometries are typically manufactured from metals such as titanium. Although metal tools have favorable durability and precision, they can be very expensive and they are also only available in limited in sizes and shapes. Because rheometer geometries have a high cost and restrictive shape and size limitations, developing a low-cost and versatile method of making customized and useful standard and new tool geometries would enable users of rheometers to expand the utility of their existing equipment inexpensively. Researchers at UCLA have developed a technique that employs 3D-printing (i.e. consumer-grade additive manufacturing) to fabricate solid plastic geometries for use in a rheometer. This technique enables the fabrication of inexpensive and complex geometries that can replace costly metal components. The researchers have overcome common limitations of 3D-printing, including warping and stair-stepping of layers of printed polymer material, in order to produce low-cost geometries that have dimensional accuracy and precision necessary for scientific rheometry of soft materials.
Mobile Phone-Based Fluorescence Multi-Well Plate Reader
Researchers led by Professor Aydogan Ozcan have developed a field-portable mobile phone based-readout platform that images a field of view of ~18 cm2 with no mechanical scanning required. The device is broadly compatible with any fluorescence-based assay that can be run in a 96-well microplate format, making it especially valuable for point-of-care (POC) and resource-limited settings. The compact and lightweight reader does not require any bulky optical or mechanical components, as the large field of view negates the need for mechanical scanning. Instead, a fluorescence microplate reader is integrated onto the optical camera interface of a mobile phone. A fiber optic bundle connects the 96-well plate to the plate reader and utilizes the mobile phone as the readout platform. An inexpensive 3D printed opto-mechanical interface houses a small array of LEDs used as the light source. The entire platform weighs <600g and costs under $100.
Impact and Abrasion Resistant Light-Weight Ceramic/Fiber Composite Materials
UCR researchers have developed novel fiber reinforced composite materials that can combine shock resistance and shock attenuation in to the same material design. The fiber reinforced composite can be made using a variety of fibers such as glass, carbon, aramid, organic polymer, etc., while the surrounding reinforced matrix can be made using materials such as ceramic or epoxy. This fiber reinforced composite has a proprietary stacked fiber design within the elastic material. This novel architecture and design has shown the ability to reflect or deflect shock waves along with the mutual benefit of absorbing energy. This material can be used in aerospace, automotive, defense, and consumer products such as athletic equipment and consumer electronics to resist physical damages caused by abrasion, impact, and shock, thereby improve safety and reliability as well as reduce material weight and thickness, thereby improve comfort and reduce energy use in transportation related applications.
Graphene-enhanced Thermal Interface Materials for Electronic Heat Removal
UCR researchers discovered the superior heat conduction properties of graphene and developed graphene-enhanced thermal interface materials (TIM) and thermal phase change materials (PCMs) together with the scalable methods of their manufacturing and application including producing and functionalizing graphene powder from raw graphite. UCR offers a unique technology of aligning graphene fillers with an external field during TIM dispersion on heat conducting surfaces. As little as 1% of oriented graphene in TIM has been demonstrated to succesfully reduce processor temperature by 10°C. Substantial reduction of Li-ion battery pack temperature was also achieved by replacing conventional PCMs with the invented graphene-enhanced PCM. The potential impact of this technology is as a market leading product that can help reduce problems caused by overheating electronics. The global market for TIMS was estimated to be worth $669 million in 2013 This market was estimated to grow at CAGR of 10.7% between 2012 and 2017 Largest end-use segments for TIMS are computers; energy; mobile communication devices; medical and office equipment; electric vehicle
Mechanocatalysis Conversion of Biomass to Value Products
Using various solid catalysts, raw biomass may be milled to produce a variety of useful starting materials for multiple processes. Four primary processes exist. The first (1), uses any cellulose containing material and any type of solid/semi-solid acid material having a surface acidity (H0) below -5.6 and sufficient water content to aid in hydrolysis. Examples of suitable acids include, without limitation, kaolin or acid treated clay material. Super acids are also suitable (i.e. alumina treated with sulfuric acid). The second process (2) converts lignin-containing material to vanillin, syringaldehyde, and their respective acids using a solid metal oxide (i.e manganese oxide or cerium oxide) or a porphyrin-like material. The third process (3) begins with a hexose (i.e. glucose) or pentose (i.e. xylose) and a lanthanide metal oxide to obtain dihydroxyacetone, glyceraldehyde, and glycolaldehyde. Finally, a fourth process (4) begins with any proteinaceous starting material (i.e. albumin, gelatin, etc.) and the same acids used in (1) to produce pure amino acids and polypeptides. All of the above processes (1, 2, 3, and 4) require only aqueous extraction to obtain their respective products. Additionally, they are conducted under ambient conditions. All kinetic energy is provided by agitation during milling.
Environmental and Point-of-Care Testing in the Palm of Your Hand
This technology portfolio uses inert polymers for the consistent packaging of an electrode layer, microbial layer, and microfluidic inlet and outlet ports. Additionally, this technology seeks to overcome standardization problems by introducing a method to mass produce interconnecting microfluidic chips. The design incorporates standard size tubing and an injection molding process that readily allows for leakproof interlocking between the chips for reliable and cost-effective production. One example device is a disposable microsensor for continuous monitoring of free chlorine in water. For the chlorine sensor, gold, gold and silver/silver chloride comprise working, counter, and reference electrodes respectively. A transparent Cyclic Olefin Copolymer (COC) substrate is used for sensor fabrication by standard lithographic procedures. Another possible device is a disposable microbial sensor for rapid Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) measurement. Here, a microbial strain is immobilized over one pair of sensor electrodes while the other is retained as a reference. The sensor layer is attached to an injection molded passive microfluidic channel on top. This sensing circuitry is further connected to the display monitor showing the output data.
Harvesting Hydrokinetic Energy in an Environmentally Compatible Way
The primary challenge the world faces today is generation of renewable energy in an environmentally sustainable way at a competitive cost. Dams create major environmental problems. Turbines require an average of 5-7knots to be financially viable, while the vast majority of currents flow at speeds of less than 3 knots. Concerns have also been raised regarding impact of turbines on marine life. This technology utilizes Flow Induced Vibrations (primarily Vortex Induced Vibrations and galloping), which are natural instability phenomena, and further enhances them using passive turbulence control and fish biomimetics. VIVACE (Vortex Induced Vibration for Aquatic Clean Energy) is designed to: enhance rather than spoil vortex shedding; maximize rather than suppress VIV; harness rather than mitigate VIV energy. In 2005, the concept was model-tested in the Low Turbulence Free Surface Water Channel (LTFSW Channel) of the Marine Renewable Energy Lab. VIVACE takes the naturally catastrophic FIM's and successfully transforms them into a means of tapping into a virtually untapped energy source: the hydrokinetic energy of currents with speeds even less than 2 knots. VIVACE is equally effective at high speeds as VIV is highly scalable. VIVACE is environmentally compatible technology estimated to generate energy at $0.055 -$0.10/kWh at maturity.
UVC-LED based water disinfection
Water disinfection using UVC has been used commercially since 1950'ies mainly using mercury based UV fluorescent lamps. In 1990 Japanese researchers managed to transmit UVC from LED, Nobel prize in 2014. Watersprint is utilizing the new UVC-LED technology and its advantages to make products in the water disinfection area. The primary advantages with UVC-LEDs are, small size, energy efficient since no heat up time is needed and the LEDs can be turned on in milli seconds, robust, low maintenance and environmental friendly. UN's Minamata convention is now ratified by 90+ countries meaning exceptions using mercury in different products will be phased out. A new replacement technology is needed.