• COVID Breathing Aid - Surrey Webinar - Recording and additional questions

    COVID Breathing Aid - Surrey Webinar - Recording and additional questions

    The recording of the webinar presented by the Surrey Network on April 27th is now available on YouTube. Here is the link : https://youtu.be/Hc_83DNCR88 The speaker, Prof. Tim Baker, has kindly supplied answers to the questions which could not be dealt with during the webinar, due to time constraints. These can be found at : https://engx.theiet.org/b/blogs/posts/ucl-ventura-story-extra-qanda

    A.C. Cunningham (Colin)
  • COVID 19 Breathing Device - Surrey Network webinar recording

    COVID 19 Breathing Device - Surrey Network webinar recording

    The recording of the Surrey Network online webinar presented by Prof. Tim Baker of UCL on April 27 is now available to view on YouTube at : https://youtu.be/Hc_83DNCR88 'From nought to 10000 devices in four weeks !' is a riveting account of how Tim Baker assembled a team that produced 10000 CPAP devices in just 4 weeks, in response to the challenge faced by the UK at the outbreak of the COVID pandemic in the UK.. The design was rapidly published worldwide, and more than 100,000 copies of their design have been produced in over 100 countries.

    A.C. Cunningham (Colin)
  • Rocket emissions can change the atmosphere’s composition, research finds

    Rocket emissions can change the atmosphere’s composition, research finds

    The space sector is on the rise, with companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic making large investments in commercial spaceflights, and organisations like Nasa continuing to power missions to space. However, the impact of such launches on the Earth’s atmosphere is still poorly understood. A team of researchers from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus set out to study the extent to which rockets' propulsion emissions can create significant heating and compositional changes in the atmosphere. To do so, the scientists investigated the heat and mass transfer and rapid mixing of the combustion byproducts for altitudes up to 67km into the atmosphere. The findings of the study, published in  Physics of Fluids , showed that rockets can have a significant impact on the Earth’s atmosphere…

  • COVID Breathing Aid - From zero to 10,000 devices in 4 weeks! An extra breath of Q&A!

    COVID Breathing Aid - From zero to 10,000 devices in 4 weeks! An extra breath of Q&A!

    A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to interview Professor Tim Baker of UCL about the phenomenal engineering achievement by his team during the Covid-19 pandemic in response to the UK Government ventilator challenge. This was one of the best online events I've ever seen. The audience were gripped in the twists and turns of how the project timeline unfolded and the insight in to how Tim's little black book of contacts brought together a team able to deliver the first prototype device to clinical trial in 100 hours, then go on to manufacture 10,000 devices in just 4 weeks! You can watch the recording of the event to see for yourself. E&T Magazine also did a great 'tear down' article on the design if you're interested in how it works in detail. I've hosted a few of these events now…

    NigelWard
  • Google faces lawsuit for misusing millions of people’s medical data

    Google faces lawsuit for misusing millions of people’s medical data

    Google is facing the class-action lawsuit in the UK for allegedly using confidential medical records belonging to 1.6 million individuals “without their consent or knowledge”. DeepMind, the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) division, received the data in 2015 from the Royal Free NHS Trust in London for the purpose of testing a smartphone app called Streams, which aims to address the 25 per cent of deaths from acute kidney injuries that could be avoided through early detection. The app was subsequently used by the Trust on a discount basis. The Trust was sanctioned by the UK’s Information Commissioner's Office in 2017 after the data protection watchdog deemed the data-sharing deal illegal. At the time, Google avoided sanctions as the responsibility for the breach was placed upon the…

  • 120,000 images of Amazon wildlife captured by camera traps

    120,000 images of Amazon wildlife captured by camera traps

    The Wildlife Conservation Society has contributed over 57,000 images of jaguar, puma, giant anteaters, tapirs, bears and hundreds of other species for a massive study on Amazon wildlife. The study, published in the journal  Ecology , consists of more than 120,000 images taken in eight countries, representing the largest photo database to date of the Amazon’s staggering array of wildlife. The images show 289 species taken from 2001-2020 from 143 field sites. The images will allow conservationists to document the effects of habitat loss, fragmentation and climate change on different species that live in the Amazon. Jaguar captured in camera trap/ WCS Ecuador Image credit: WCS Ecuador The WCS images from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru reveal playful…

  • Smart railways: on track to a digital future?

    Smart railways: on track to a digital future?

    The new breed of digital trains – not to be confused with the airport shuttles that we have been riding for years, or the Docklands Light railway in London which travels on a confined track – will share the tracks with conventional driver-operated trains, in a much more complex environment. Trains are already an efficient method of moving people and goods around but can be 15 per cent more energy efficient when driven by an AI, be more punctual, and can carry 30-50 per cent more passengers or freight, by reducing spacing between trains, all on existing infrastructure. Rural public transport economics can also be transformed by making lines less expensive to operate and enhancing existing safety levels. The last few months have seen a flurry of announcements that, at first sight, might appear…

  • Ultra-powerful MRI scanners offer hope for people with Parkinson’s disease

    Ultra-powerful MRI scanners offer hope for people with Parkinson’s disease

    Parkinson’s is a progressive brain disease that affects movement as well as damage motivation and cognition. These latter symptoms can have a major impact on a patient’s outcome, affecting their survival and general wellbeing, as well as the stress and costs for families. To understand the causes of these cognitive symptoms, the researchers used a new ultra-high strength ‘7T’ MRI scanner to measure changes in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, those with another brain disease known as progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), as well as people in good health. 7T refers to the strength of the magnetic field; most MRI scanners tend to be 3T or below. Patients with Parkinson’s disease and PSP are often treated with drugs such as L-DOPA, which compensate for the severe loss of dopamine…

  • Asteroid-mining may be possible with Scar-e robot

    Asteroid-mining may be possible with Scar-e robot

    The Space Capable Asteroid Robotic Explorer known as Scar-e is a six-legged robot capable of mining precious metals from asteroids. Designed by the Asteroid Mining Corporation (AMC) in partnership with Tohoku University in Japan, Scar-e could be the key to opening up the exploration of the solar system, in line with current trends in the launch services market, with a low-cost, highly functional, walking and climbing robot. Currently, the world is facing a shortage of precious metals, particularly those vital for the making of consumer electronics such as phones, laptops and cars, as well as battery and hydrogen technology, causing   chaos in supply chains. With only a finite supply of them on Earth, people are increasingly looking to space to meet this increased demand. Enter Scar-e…

  • Drax proposes major hydro power station in Scotland to stabilise energy grid

    Drax proposes major hydro power station in Scotland to stabilise energy grid

    If approved, the new power station could be operational as soon as 2030 with construction work getting under way in 2024. It will involve removing around 2 million tonnes of rock from inside the Ben Cruachan mountain. The development would be the first newly constructed plant of its kind in the UK in more than 40 years and will provide low-carbon electricity storage capacity. Drax also operates its namesake power station in Yorkshire that has long been a testing bed for projects designed to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions, such as the introduction of carbon capture technology in its biomass reactors in 2019, and its stated goal to become the first “carbon negative” company by using that technology. The hydro project is expected to generate up to 600MW, more than doubling the current…

  • Seven decades of royal technology

    Seven decades of royal technology

    Although little is known about the Queen’s private life, there are enough clues to create the strong impression that she has been a keen user of contemporary technology throughout her reign. From the first computers to digital connectivity, from recording songs on a cassette recorder to running the Royal train on biofuel, from enjoying computer games to driving hybrid cars, the monarch has stayed in touch with technology trends for more than 70 years. Here we take the opportunity of her Platinum Jubilee to review some of the technologies the Her Majesty is known to have used through the decades, plus a few that we think might come to the rescue of the royal household from time to time. 1950s When the Queen and the late Prince Philip wed in 1947, post-war food rationing was still in place…

  • The bigger picture: FLEX Lunar Rover

    The bigger picture: FLEX Lunar Rover

    From Californian company Venturi Astrolab, the FLEX vehicle displayed its prowess back in December by riding over the rugged California desert near Death Valley National Park during a five-day field test. The four-wheeled, car-sized vehicle was piloted during the tests by retired Canadian astronaut and Astrolab advisory board member Chris Hadfield, and MIT aerospace graduate student Michelle Lin. Image credit: , FLEX is designed for Nasa’s Artemis programme, aimed at returning humans to the Moon as early as 2025 and establishing a long-term lunar colony as a precursor to sending astronauts to Mars. It is designed as an all-purpose vehicle that can be driven by astronauts or remotely. Built around a modular payload system inspired by conventional containerised…

  • Renewable energy: check out the latest reading list from the IET Library

    Renewable energy: check out the latest reading list from the IET Library

    Did you know that all IET members have access to thousands of eBooks and eJournal articles via the the Virtual Library? You just need to be logged on to the IET website as a member. To make things even easier, we publish monthly reading lists on popular topics, which guide you to the latest publications with a single click. Our May reading list is an update on one of our most popular topics: renewable energy. It includes the latest books on electric vehicles, small-scale renewable energy systems, heat pumps and wind and solar design, as well as links to cutting-edge research articles. For more reading lists, see the full collection at Reading lists - The IET

  • IEEE Milestones event on 21st June: the Manchester Baby and the Atlas Computer

    IEEE Milestones event on 21st June: the Manchester Baby and the Atlas Computer

    Interested in the history of technology? Join the celebration of two significant milestones in the history of computing at Manchester on 21 June, including a demonstration of a replica of the Manchester 'Baby'! The IEEE are awarding two Milestones for the “Manchester University Baby Computer and its Derivatives, 1948-1951” and the “Atlas Computer and the Invention of Virtual Memory 1957-1962”. Two events will celebrate these awards on the 21st June 2022, the 74th anniversary of the first program run by the Manchester Baby computer. Both events are free. The afternoon event will take place in the Kilburn Building at the University of Manchester but will also be live-streamed for those unable to attend in person. During the morning the replica Baby computer will be demonstrated at…

  • Uganda government sued over digital ID system that excludes vulnerable groups

    Uganda government sued over digital ID system that excludes vulnerable groups

    The Initiative for Social and Economic Rights, Unwanted Witness and the Health Equity and Policy Initiative have filed a lawsuit against the Ugandan government for a failure in the rollout of the national ID system, which has reportedly resulted in the exclusion of vulnerable groups from potentially life-saving services, Reuters has found. The three charities estimate that up to one-third of adults do not have a biometric ID card seven years after the system was introduced. The lack of a national ID has also prevented many Ugandans from opening a bank account, buying a mobile SIM card, enrolling in college, gaining formal employment and obtaining a passport. Most of those affected belong to poor and marginalised communities. The flawed rollout has also resulted in elderly people being unable…

  • Bizarre Tech: FishCare Mini, Owl Robot and Cura Light

    Bizarre Tech: FishCare Mini, Owl Robot and Cura Light

    FishCare Mini I spy with my little fisheye This Kickstarter campaign was last updated in June 2019, so it’s likely the product went down the toilet, like your goldfish after it kicked the bucket because you didn’t put the right protocols in place when you went on holibobs. However, this product was supposed to fix that. From TAE Fishcare (website no longer online), the FishCare Mini (beta version) was for you to “enjoy your holiday fish can be safe and sound in home” (not my words). This wee gadget was supposed to let you set up threshold values and give you real-time data of temperature, pH, and nitrate measurements. It would broadcast a visual alarm if the measured data was out of threshold values, and also send an alert SMS and email. What do you reckon the alarm would be like…

    E&T Magazine
  • After All: Tiny chapel shows the spirit that sank a huge cruiser

    After All: Tiny chapel shows the spirit that sank a huge cruiser

    Bristling with gun turrets, radars and aerials, she looked like a giant porcupine stranded in the Sevastopol harbour. With her massive grey bulk reflected in the oily waters of the port, the battleship looked twice her size – enormous and ominously threatening. ‘Slava’ (Glory) was written along the starboard, close to the bow. It was 1987. I was on a Black Sea cruise on-board MS Tajikistan as an ‘entertainer’, i.e. enjoying a free cabin in exchange for some stand-up comedy (reading my own stories and poems). Sailing past Slava (later renamed Moskva), a 200m-long flagship of the Soviet (and later Russian) Navy, was one of the cruise’s undisputed highlights. Not in their wildest dreams could the passengers on board Tajikistan (including yours truly) have imagined that, 35 years on, Moskva…

    E&T Magazine
  • The AI pilot: can we remove Maverick from his cockpit?

    The AI pilot: can we remove Maverick from his cockpit?

    Towards the end of the 20-minute drive from central Belgrade to Nikola Tesla airport, travellers with time to spare can explore the inside of a huge steel and glass doughnut. A curious piece of architecture, the Aeronautical Museum Belgrade appears to have split: as you pass by, you are separated from the museum by fences and then an aeroplane graveyard – a jumble of planes and helicopters that track the history of Serbia’s (and the former Yugoslavia’s) – air force all the way back to the Second World War. Perhaps the museum was once going to be bigger. Perhaps it’s a marketing ploy: ‘if this is what we leave outside, just imagine the stuff we keep out of the alternating summer rainstorms and new year’s blizzards.’ Inside the museum are further examples of aircraft from Serbia’s somewhat…

  • Panama waves magic Wanda to catch floating garbage

    Panama waves magic Wanda to catch floating garbage

    The Juan Díaz is one of the most polluted rivers in Panama. From cans and discarded plastics to bags full of organic garbage, the waste the river carries has darkened its waters. Now, instead of letting the waste build-up, the city’s authorities have devised a plan to catch and recycle it. Wanda - an acronym for 'Wheel and Action' - is the first sustainable wheel in Latin America able to capture floating garbage. “The ultimate goal is to recover what can be recovered to give it a second life, and what is not will be disposed of in the right way,” Sandy Watemberg, executive director of the Panamanian NGO Marea Verde, told Efe . The Juan Díaz River is one of the main tributaries that flow into the Panama Bay, surrounded by a protected area of mangroves that are home to numerous types of…

  • Ofgem considering quarterly energy price cap updates due to market volatility

    Ofgem considering quarterly energy price cap updates due to market volatility

    Unprecedented rises in gas prices were already occurring during 2021, even before the conflict in Ukraine began (in 2022) causing Europe-wide disruption to energy supplies. The UK's energy price cap was increased last month, but the previous change came in August 2021 and therefore did not reflect the historic rises in wholesale prices for energy firms. This caused a multitude of energy firms to collapse within a short time period as they were forced to sell energy at a lower cost to their customers. Ofgem said that a more frequent price cap would reflect the most up-to-date and accurate energy prices and should mean that when prices fall from the current record highs, customers would see the benefit much sooner.  This change would also help energy suppliers to more accurately predict…

  • UK signs £30m maintenance contract for Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers

    UK signs £30m maintenance contract for Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers

    The 10-year agreement will ensure that the two warships – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales – are able to undergo dry dockings for planned maintenance and repair at Babcock’s Rosyth facilities. The Ministry of Defence said the work will help to sustain 300 jobs across the facility and the wider supply chain. The 65,000-tonne carriers cost taxpayers £3bn each and are used to launch the F35 Joint Strike Fighter fast jets across the globe. The lead ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was commissioned in December 2017, followed by the HMS Prince of Wales in December 2019. The construction of the two carriers involved more than 10,000 people from 90 companies, 7,000 of them in the six shipyards building the sections of the ships. Defence procurement minister Jeremy Quin said: “The Queen…

  • Sponsored: E&T webinar - Modelling Capacitive Sensors in COMSOL®︎

    Sponsored: E&T webinar - Modelling Capacitive Sensors in COMSOL®︎

    A sensor electrode might be 1 millimetre in size, but the electronics ground plane could couple to objects 100 millimetres in size. There can also be extreme aspect ratios, e.g. a sensor with submillimetre gaps between printed circuit board (PCB) layers that extend for 10s of millimetres. If a straightforward finite element method approach is taken for a 3D model, this can result in a large model that is slow to solve. Furthermore, the geometry is likely to have at least one moving part, and running the model over a range of positions can take an inordinate amount of time. Register for this webinar to learn about: FEM and BEM methods for capacitive modelling with COMSOL Multiphysics Multi-scale simulation using equivalent circuit models Combining resistance and capacitance predictions…

  • EU toughens cyber-security rules across the continent

    EU toughens cyber-security rules across the continent

    The European Union (EU) is doubling down in its fight against cyber crime. On Friday (May 13), EU countries and lawmakers agreed to impose tougher cyber-security rules for large energy, transport and financial firms, as well as digital providers and medical device makers, amid concerns about cyber attacks by state actors and other malicious players. The decision was taken as a response to the rise in online threats brought about by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The new policy builds on existing rules proposed by the European Commission in 2020, known as the NIS 2 Directive , which, in turn, expands on the scope of the current NIS Directive. The new rules cover all medium and large companies in essential sectors: energy; transport; banking; financial market infrastructure; health; vaccines…

  • View from India: Security is of paramount importance in 5G

    View from India: Security is of paramount importance in 5G

    The pandemic has compelled industries to rely on remote work and minimise human interaction in their operations. As a result, automation has gained precedence. Now industries and manufacturing units are moving to the next frontier for scaling up levels of efficiency. The convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) as well as a shift from industrial automation to industrial autonomy (IA2IA) could enable better efficiency and connected ecosystems. 5G could be a choice for reliable connectivity. Characterised by ultra-low latency and high speed, 5G will connect billions of wireless devices, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This will give a new dimension to smart cities, transportation, warehousing and healthcare among others. What was unthinkable will…