We've seen single-molecule "motors" before, but they're pretty primitive, motors only in the most basic sense of the word. But this new one, made of a single butyl methyl sulfide molecule, is much closer to what images the word "motor" might conjure: when electricity is applied, the molecule is triggered to spin, without affecting any other molecules around it.
Replacing some of the nuts and bolts in robots’ bodies with stretchy artificial muscles would allow them to be more flexible and lifelike than ever. Researchers at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute in New Zealand have succeeded in using such soft muscles in a motor that creates continuous rotational force. The motor uses only a few parts beside the muscle and needs no gears, cogs or bearings.
American motor engineering prides itself on muscle while German engineering is known for speed and precision, but neither of these century-old crafts can stand up to the multi-millennia advantage that evolution enjoys over them. Now Australian scientists have unlocked the design details of the minuscule motors that drive bacteria, a flagellar engine that converts nearly 100 percent of its energy into rotational power.
A few months ago, we brought you the "You Built What?!" feature about Charles Guan's Electric Death Trap Shopping Cart Contraption. More recently, he released an excellent Instructable about making your own miniature electric hub motor.
I recently moved my shop, and in addition to the big issues, from forklift rental to sleep deprivation, we also had to deal with things like three-phase power, a variation of power delivery often used for big equipment. The old shop had it and the new shop doesn't. So what the heck is three-phase power and how can you convert machinery to go from the more common single-phase to three-phase and vice versa? Read on.
James Dyson with the DDM2: Anthony Upton via the Telegraph
Though it may not be much comfort as you use it on the usual round of chores, inside the new Dyson DC31 vacuum cleaner is a motor that's ten times faster than a jet engine, and much quieter. At 104,000 rpm, the DC31's digital switched reluctance motor actually spins faster than any motor on earth.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.