News Round-Up – The Latest from the World of Batteries and Construction
Six innovations you should know about
With technological advancements happening so quickly, it can be tough to keep up. Fortunately, we always have our ears to the ground so we can find out what’s going on now and what will take place in the future. Here are some notable recent stories concerning batteries and the construction industry:
Salt water power
Because water can conduct ions, it can be used to power batteries. The downside is that it can only be utilized for a voltage of up to 1.23 volts, which doesn’t make it great for a lot of applications, including cars. However, researchers may have just found the answer to this problem. Using a special salt solution, they were able to reach 2.6 volts and maintain chemical stability. This could create the path to less expensive batteries in the future.
Iron and oxygen
Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type found in cars, laptops, etc. They work by moving lithium ions continuously between the anode and cathode. The cathode is made of a compound of lithium ions, oxygen, and a transition metal, which is usually cobalt. But researchers just discovered that by replacing cobalt with iron and using oxygen in the reaction process, this improves a battery’s performance. On top of that, it would also make them cheaper.
For the time being, lithium-ion batteries are the best option for autos and equipment, but that could soon be changing. Henrik Fisker, formerly of Aston Martin, recently started his own company and filed patents for a new solid-state battery. According to Fisker, this type of battery will not only charge faster than a lithium-ion battery – perhaps in as quickly as a minute – it has the capacity to hold 2.5-times more energy. And best of all for consumers: It would be less expensive than ones currently produced by Tesla.
For years now, robots have been rumored to be getting ready take our jobs. And while machines have taken over for some human workers, more often than not, people are working with them. FastBrick Robotics, an Australian company, has created a bricklaying robot called Hadrian X. This robot has built-in CAD modeling, making it extremely accurate. It’s also very fast. From the ground up, Hadrian can lay bricks for a home in just two days.
Lasers and drones
Not just two things that instantly improve a sci-fi movie, lasers and drones are now being used in the construction industry. A company called Torcon creates drones that fly over sites in order to get images for topographical maps. Then laser scanners create point clouds. These produce as-built conditions to 1/8 of an inch. They are then are compared to the designer’s model so that any potential issues can be planned for proactively.
You’ve probably heard of virtual and augmented reality, but there’s a new player in town: mixed reality. At the forefront of this tech is Microsoft, which recently created its HoloLens. The HoloLens has the potential to revolutionize the construction industry, particularly the inspection process. With the special viewer, inspectors can quickly and easily check a building’s process and find and fix and potential mistakes.
For other exciting stories and news about the latest battery and construction developments, keep checking back with us. And if you’ve uncovered your own interesting information and want to share it with us, we’d be happy to hear from you. Just send us a message through our online contact form.