University of Missouri engineers are building a nuclear battery the size of a penny. Their aim is to develop a long-lasting power source for tiny sensors, actuators, and labs-on-a-chip. While nuclear batteries sound, er, problematic, they're actually relatively common in larger form factors to power pacemakers and instruments aboard space vehicles. From MU News Bureau:
(Professor Jae Kown's) innovation is not only in the battery’s size, but also in its semiconductor. Kwon’s battery uses a liquid semiconductor rather than a solid semiconductor.
"MU Researchers Create Smaller and More Efficient Nuclear Battery"
“The critical part of using a radioactive battery is that when you harvest the energy, part of the radiation energy can damage the lattice structure of the solid semiconductor,” Kwon said. “By using a liquid semiconductor, we believe we can minimize that problem.”
In the future, they hope to increase the battery’s power, shrink its size and try with various other materials. Kwon said that the battery could be thinner than the thickness of human hair.
Pocket CHIP is a tiny, $50, ARM-based pocket games console with a full keyboard and a Bluetooth interface.
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We’re huge fans of portable power gadgets, but this one isn’t going in my pocket to help me keep my phone topped up after lunch. Anker’s Powerhouse is the size and weight of a concrete construction brick, and at $500 and 120,000mAh, by far their largest power pack yet. It’ll charge your laptop 15 times […]
Why buy one of those expensive and confusing universal remotes, clogged with enough buttons to launch a space shuttle, when you could accomplish the same electronic control right on your favorite mobile device? The Blumoo Universal Remote, now just $52.99 in the Boing Boing Store, harnesses the audio power of all your household equipment right […]
You may not love Microsoft Word, but you’ve definitely used it. Other than being one of the most ubiquitous programs on the planet, it’s been the go-to word processing system for more than a quarter-century because it’s as basic as it gets. But occasionally, you’ve got assignments that beg for a lot more options than simple […]
Almost everyone has their smartphone in a case of one kind or another. Beyond simple protection, finding a case that can charge your phone on its own, but doesn’t feel like it’s also adding a couple pounds to the phone’s weight is the tricky part. Billed as the world’s thinnest battery case, the ThinCharge iPhone […]