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Nanotech may make hydrogen fuel cell more efficient

Gold nanoparticles coated with a thin layer of platinum may make hydrogen fuel cells more efficient, finds an IISc study. Such small spikes in efficiencies take us closer to affordable hydrogen fuel, which is considered as a cleaner replacement to conventional fuels.

Using wrist pulse to understand body condition

A heart beat generates pressure wave which propagate throughout the arterial system. The shapes of wrist pulse waveforms are influenced by their continuous interaction with the non-uniform arterial system. These waves expand the arterial walls as they travel along and the expansions are palpable as the wrist pulse. A typical pulse signal has a multi period trend. Systolic wave with higher amplitude contributes to the main component of the pulse signal. The diastolic wave contributes to the lower amplitude secondary wave of the pulse signal. The information regarding heart is contained in the systolic wave whereas the secondary wave provides information on the reflection sites and the periphery of the arterial system. Analyzing this information would help one detect abnormalities in the body condition. Many efforts have been made recently to analyze wrist pulse pressure signals using efficient computer based techniques

Scan books into braille: the people behind the idea

When you combine unbridled passion for Indic languages and the drive to give back to the nation that nurtures, we get researchers like Shiva Kumar H R. His work titled ‘Gift of New Abilities’ won him the ‘Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award-2015’. Shiva Kumar and Prof. A G Ramakrishnan have developed high accuracy Optical Character Recognizers (OCR) for Kannada and Tamil languages that convert scanned pages of a printed document/book into e-text.

IISc Student wins Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award

Shiva Kumar and Prof. A G Ramakrishnan have developed high accuracy Optical Character Recognizers (OCR) for Kannada and Tamil languages that convert scanned pages of a printed document/book into e-text. In addition, they have developed an intuitive GUI called Print-to-Braille tool that enables even non-technical people to quickly use their OCR and make corrections to the mistakes, if any, in the text output by the OCR. By using their OCR along with the Print to Braille tool, the family members or friends of visually challenged people are able to scan any printed book/document and convert it into Unicode text within a short span of time. The visually challenged person can listen to that e-text through any Text to speech (TTS) synthesis software. The e-text can also be converted into Braille codes and printed using a Braille embosser.

New wine in new bottle: A new surveillance technology for wildlife monitoring

Imagine a surveillance technology, like a CCTV, that can tell you the shape, height, distance and speed of an object, in an instant. Scientists at Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have realized this goal at a staggeringly economical price. The study was recently published in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Sensors Journal.

Blend of polymers and nanostructures that kills bacteria in drinking water

Researchers from the IISc have developed a new way to design thin, porous membranes that can be used for water filtration. By carefully mixing two polymers, and adding some nanostructures, they obtained membranes with ultra small holes in it. They have also shown that these membranes are more efficient in killing the bacteria commonly found in drinking water.

Why some high-tech start-ups win over others

Starting up, especially in the field of high technology, is a fraught business. Entrepreneurs heading high-tech start-ups deal with plenty of uncertainty and risk. But what is the difference between high-tech start-ups that survive their fledgling years, and the many others that crash and burn? In other words, what sets apart an entrepreneur who fails from one whose high-tech start-up survives all the initial turbulence?

What influences venture capitalist funding in India?

The performance of the Indian economy with respect to other developed economies influences how venture capitalist (VC) firms invest their money, finds a new study. The reputation and the performance of the Venture Capital firm also influenced its success in the emerging ecosystem. In order to attract venture capitalist funding from other countries, the study recommends that Indian firms should come up with more start-up deals through incubators and accelerators at universities and corporate setups.

A device that can potentially improve battery performance

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science have developed a device that could lead to better batteries. The devices, called the ‘supercapacitor’, can store a lot of charge, be charged/discharged quickly and withstand many charge/discharge cycles. More work is needed to make it ready for the market, but the basic design is ready.