When the word “robot” is mentioned, most people think about old sci-fi depictions like droids in Star Wars or Cybermen in Dr Who; where actors hid inside shiny, light covered costumes. Back then, little more than metallic spray-paint and a ring-modulated audio track was enough to create a robotic superstar, but today’s world is filled with genuine robotic celebrities.
Since 2019, a Formula 1 rule states that the fastest lap winner of each race gains a bonus point, encouraging drivers to get to the finish line sooner every lap.
Films about fictitious shrinking devices - like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Despicable Me - have captured the imagination of audiences for many years. So imagine the excitement in 2011 when Chinese engineers claimed to have made the world’s first shrinking device. While it may sound like it came from a film, the device only created the illusion of a smaller object, rather than actually shrinking it.
It is hard to imagine life without the 9V battery. It has powered so many household and industrial devices for over six decades that it can easily be taken for granted. Yet Ultralife Corporation are still manufacturing these power houses after more than a quarter of a century; phenomenal considering the rate of scientific and technological change.
Did you know that the lead acid battery is over 160 years old? Since its invention, there have been many improved variations such as the first sealed, or maintenance-free, lead acid (SLA) that was introduced in the mid-1970s. However, in 1996, an alternative chemistry – Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) – was introduced that can serve the same applications with significant advantages. Ultralife Corporation developed a full range of batteries using this chemistry to provide OEMs with a lower cost, reduced weight and easier-to-integrate option. Here we explore these advantages and introduce the newest member of the Ultralife LiFePO4 family.
Robots for military, medical, surveillance and logistics purposes are all assisting humans by undertaking dangerous or monotonous tasks but can still have very different power needs, based on the legislations they are subject to and their reliance on battery power. Here we examine the vital functionalities of bomb disposal robots, drones, surgical robotics and logistics robots that can influence the power solutions they require.
For over 130 years, engineers have sought to assist those who struggle with walking through the use of wearable mobile machines called exoskeletons. Many and varied power sources have been trialled for these machines over time, from compressed gas bags to steam power. So, what led to batteries being selected as the modern-day power source of choice and will they still be relied upon in the future?
According to Amazon, a record number of smart home devices were sold during the 2018 holiday season, a trend that looks set to continue this year. However, sales are dominated by household names, such as Amazon and Google, making it difficult for competitors to secure a coveted place under the Christmas tree. Here, we look at a home automation and smart home security device from other manufacturers and discuss the ways that batteries are developing to meet the emerging power needs.
Ultralife has taken steps towards enhancing its battery portfolio for the renewable energy sector – with the addition of the URB0023 stackable battery and by approving SuperWind Turbines for use with it and other Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries.
The first smart meter was developed and produced in the late 70s and, by the mid-80s, manufacturers of these devices found Lithium Thionyl Chloride (Li/SOCl2) cells to be an extremely well-suited source of power due to their long service life that reduces the need for replacement. Ultralife has recently introduced a new line of Li/SOCl2 cells, called ER Generation X, that are a great option for those who consider performance, price and lead time.