Changes in the glide device occur by burning the methane/oxygen mixture. But what's missing is a touchscreen device that provides touch information - think of the dynamic braille display. For many people, especially those with low vision and hearing, this is the most effective way to interact with electronic devices. A simple and inexpensive device can have many uses.
One reason it is not widely available is that it is difficult to obtain. Physical stimuli that can create a perceptible pattern occupy a small amount of volume and are difficult to place next to each other. It is also expensive. Therefore, a team of American and Israeli researchers was looking for an alternative to physical devices. The researchers came up with an unexpected alternative: placing a miniature fireball inside a flexible piece of polymer that can inflate like a balloon.
Replacing hardware with burning h2>
In theory, it is relatively easy to create a regenerative braille display. All we need is a set of mechanical devices that can switch between the upper and lower modes. The reason for this is that the mechanical devices on the market are too large to be placed near them. For example, researchers are considering the possibility of using microfluidics to inflate a polymer bubble. But the valves required for a 2-by-3 grid take up 18 times the space of the device and cost about $250.Advertising
A true row of these devices would be quite expensive enough to repeat a line of text in braille and would require a complex 3D arrangement of valves and tubes.
It may be possible to do custom matrix engineering of mechanical devices that may be required. But the team behind the new functionality decided to forgo mechanical devices entirely. Instead, the researchers decided to test the combustion. Below, the researchers had a system of channels feeding a mixture of methane and oxygen to each of these polymer bubbles. And at the base of the bubble, they had two wires that could carry enough current to create a spark between them. It was made of liquid gallium, which allowed the machine to be flexible and partially repairable.
This spark ignites the mixture of gases and causes a sudden increase in pressure. It is determined if there is a real explosion, but the combustion is strong enough to make an audible noise. The pressure created by the upper bubble expands and changes the surface that can be felt by touch. By expanding, the polymer reduces the pressure of the newly ignited gases, lowering their temperature. Basically, the device itself acts as a cooling system for combustion and prevents heat generation.
Some Minor Problems
The ignition problem was triggered on the other end of the machine, where the fuel enters. Here, the researchers note that the combustion extended to the power lines and eventually burned the entire device. The team learned that this was usually prevented by placing a filter with tiny holes in the power line. But the flames here moved so fast that they didn't work at first, forcing researchers to choose larger filters until the burning stopped.Advertising
Another problem is that if you constantly experience a series of small explosions to keep the device inflated, you are dealing with heat loss due to swelling. So while wires can spark very high frequencies, you don't really want to use them to keep the device active. Locked pin inside the machine When the polymer expands due to combustion, the pin is released upwards and held in place. To get the device back, it must be physically depressed again. They demonstrated a 3 3 3 prototype that can display different types of simplified characters.
There is probably no need to physically reset the device as it seems. You can imagine a device in which the user gets a chance to sense the unwanted information, and then presses the devices lifted to reset it. Once reset, it can act as a catalyst for the presentation of the next character.
Perhaps the biggest problem is fuel use. The researchers are right that we live by the fuel around us. "We acknowledge that some may find it disturbing to think that they are so close to combustible chemicals, but note that billions of liquid butane lighters have been in people's pockets since 1800," they wrote. “The question is whether people expect to put a fuel cartridge on display every few weeks. Areas where haptic feedback could be of value, including augmented and artificial reality.
PNAS, 2021. DOI: 10.1073 /pnas.2106553118 (about DOIs).
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