Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Dr. AMK, Feb 2, 2018.
A Sci-Fi Short Film: "VALIS" - Directed by Adrián Adamec
This is the truth of famous Quantum invisibility cloak
Metalens with artificial muscle simulates (and goes way beyond) human-eye and camera optical functions
Thin, flat structure promises to revolutionize eyeglasses, cameras, microscopes, and augmented and virtual-reality optics
March 2, 2018
A silicon-based metalens just 30 micrometers thick is mounted on a transparent, stretchy polymer film. The colored iridescence is produced by the large number of nanostructures within the metalens. (credit:Harvard SEAS)
Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a breakthrough electronically controlled artificial eye. The thin, flat, adaptive silicon nanostructure (“metalens”) can simultaneously control focus, astigmatism, and image shift (three of the major contributors to blurry images) in real time, which the human eye (and eyeglasses) cannot do.
The 30-micrometers-thick metalens makes changes laterally to achieve optical zoom, autofocus, and image stabilization — making it possible to replace bulky lens systems in future optical systems used in eyeglasses, cameras, cell phones, and augmented and virtual reality devices.
The research is described in an open-access paper in Science Advances. In another paper recently published in Optics Express, the researchers demonstrated the design and fabrication of metalenses up to centimeters or more in diameter.* That makes it possible to unify two industries: semiconductor manufacturing and lens-making. So the same technology used to make computer chips will be used to make metasurface-based optical components, such as lenses.
Spoiler: Read More:
The adaptive metalens (right) focuses light rays onto an image sensor (left), such as one in a camera. An electrical signal controls the shape of the metalens to produce the desired optical wavefront patterns (shown in red), resulting in improved images. In the future, adaptive metalenses will be built into imaging systems, such as cell phone cameras and microscopes, enabling flat, compact autofocus as well as the capability for simultaneously correcting optical aberrations and performing optical image stabilization, all in a single plane of control. (credit: Second Bay Studios/Harvard SEAS)
Simulating the human eye’s lens and ciliary muscles
In the human eye, the lens is surrounded by ciliary muscle, which stretches or compresses the lens, changing its shape to adjust its focal length. To achieve that function, the researchers adhered a metalens to a thin, transparent dielectric elastomer actuator (“artificial muscle”). The researchers chose a dielectic elastomer with low loss — meaning light travels through the material with little scattering — to attach to the lens.
(Top) Schematic of metasurface and dielectric elastomer actuators (“artificial muscles”), showing how the new artificial muscles change focus, similar to how the ciliary muscle in the eye work. An applied voltage supplies transparent, stretchable electrode layers (gray), made up of single-wall carbon-nanotube nanopillars, with electrical charges (acting as a capacitor). The resulting electrostatic attraction compresses (red arrows) the dielectric elastomer actuators (artificial muscles) in the thickness direction and expands (black arrows) the elastomers in the lateral direction. The silicon metasurface (in the center), applied by photolithography, can simultaneously focus, control aberrations caused by astigmatisms, and perform image shift. (Bottom) Photo of actual device. (credit: Alan She et al./Sci. Adv.)
Next, the researchers aim to further improve the functionality of the lens and decrease the voltage required to control it.
The research was performed at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, supported in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and by the National Science Foundation. This work was performed in part at the Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS), which is supported by the National Science Foundation. The Harvard Office of Technology Development is exploring commercialization opportunities.
* To build the artificial eye with a larger (more functional) metalens, the researchers had to develop a new algorithm to shrink the file size to make it compatible with the technology currently used to fabricate integrated circuits.
** “All optical systems with multiple components — from cameras to microscopes and telescopes — have slight misalignments or mechanical stresses on their components, depending on the way they were built and their current environment, that will always cause small amounts of astigmatism and other aberrations, which could be corrected by an adaptive optical element,” said Alan She, a graduate student at SEAS and first author of the paper. “Because the adaptive metalens is flat, you can correct those aberrations and integrate different optical capabilities onto a single plane of control. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of embedded autofocus, optical zoom, image stabilization, and adaptive optics, which are expected to become essential for future chip-scale image sensors and Furthermore, the device’s flat construction and inherently lateral actuation without the need for motorized parts allow for highly stackable systems such as those found in stretchable electronic eye camera sensors, providing possibilities for new kinds of imaging systems.”
Abstract of Adaptive metalenses with simultaneous electrical control of focal length, astigmatism, and shift
Focal adjustment and zooming are universal features of cameras and advanced optical systems. Such tuning is usually performed longitudinally along the optical axis by mechanical or electrical control of focal length. However, the recent advent of ultrathin planar lenses based on metasurfaces (metalenses), which opens the door to future drastic miniaturization of mobile devices such as cell phones and wearable displays, mandates fundamentally different forms of tuning based on lateral motion rather than longitudinal motion. Theory shows that the strain field of a metalens substrate can be directly mapped into the outgoing optical wavefront to achieve large diffraction-limited focal length tuning and control of aberrations. We demonstrate electrically tunable large-area metalenses controlled by artificial muscles capable of simultaneously performing focal length tuning (>100%) as well as on-the-fly astigmatism and image shift corrections, which until now were only possible in electron optics. The device thickness is only 30 μm. Our results demonstrate the possibility of future optical microscopes that fully operate electronically, as well as compact optical systems that use the principles of adaptive optics to correct many orders of aberrations simultaneously.
Abstract of Large area metalenses: design, characterization, and mass manufacturing
Optical components, such as lenses, have traditionally been made in the bulk form by shaping glass or other transparent materials. Recent advances in metasurfaces provide a new basis for recasting optical components into thin, planar elements, having similar or better performance using arrays of subwavelength-spaced optical phase-shifters. The technology required to mass produce them dates back to the mid-1990s, when the feature sizes of semiconductor manufacturing became considerably denser than the wavelength of light, advancing in stride with Moore’s law. This provides the possibility of unifying two industries: semiconductor manufacturing and lens-making, whereby the same technology used to make computer chips is used to make optical components, such as lenses, based on metasurfaces. Using a scalable metasurface layout compression algorithm that exponentially reduces design file sizes (by 3 orders of magnitude for a centimeter diameter lens) and stepper photolithography, we show the design and fabrication of metasurface lenses (metalenses) with extremely large areas, up to centimeters in diameter and beyond. Using a single two-centimeter diameter near-infrared metalens less than a micron thick fabricated in this way, we experimentally implement the ideal thin lens equation, while demonstrating high-quality imaging and diffraction-limited focusing.
Report Hints Porsche Might Have a Passenger Drone in the Works
A recent report claims that German carmaker Porsche has a flying passenger drone concept in the works. The passenger drone, which Porsche hasn't confirmed yet, won't require the driver to have a pilot's license to operate.
There are companies working on flying cars, and there are those developing flying cars that are autonomous. The latter are referred to as drones, though they’re capable of ferrying passengers. Many see flying passenger drones as the future of urban mobility, and rumor has it that Porsche has one in the works.
While the German automaker hasn’t confirmed or offered much by way of details, a German automotive industry news site Automobilwoche claims the company is close to releasing the first design sketches. Porsche has yet to comment on the report, but the company’s sales director, Detlev von Platen, supposedly hinted at the possibility.
“It would take three and a half minutes to fly the plane,” von Platen told Automobilwoche, referring to how long it would take him to fly a passenger drone from Porsche’s Zuffenhausen manufacturing plant to Stuttgart Airport. A typical drive would take him “at least half an hour.”
Like most other passenger drone concepts, Porsche’s would supposedly let passengers have some control over the vehicle — but most of the flying would be automated. In practical terms, that means drivers-turned-pilots wouldn’t need to have a pilot’s license.
Beyond that, we don’t know too much about the potential project — though, given similar projects currently in development, we can imagine the possibilities. Several other companies around the globe have autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) concepts and flying taxi services in the works, including the EHang 184 from a Chinese company of the same name. The company recently showed footages of the AAV in action. There’s also a Detroit-based startup, AirSpaceX, which claims it will have a working autonomous flying taxi by 2026.
In general, many veteran carmakers are staking a claim in the AAV business: Daimler, the parent company for Mercedez-Benz, teamed up with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) maker Volocopter. The latter’s work includes those flying taxis recently tested in Dubai. Volvo parent company Geely, meanwhile, bought flying car company Terrafugia last November 2017.
If the pressure of the other company’s projects has put the heat on Porsche to get in the game, we may see those designs for a passenger drone soon. In the meantime, Volkswagen, Porsche’s parent company, has already been working with Airbus on a Pop.Up car-drone hybrid, through its design and engineering arm, Italdesign.
Harley-Davidson Goes Electric With Investment In Alta Motors
RideApart•March 1, 2018
Harley-Davidson Goes Electric With Investment In Alta Motors
With an eye on future electric motorcycle development, the Motor Company teams up with Alta Motors
this is quite a surprise, and a pleasant one too. Harley-Davidson just announced that it made an equity investment in California-based Alta Motors, makers of the Redshift. This surprise collaboration was put together so that the two bike companies can share notes and work on electric motorcycle technology and new product development." data-reactid="13" style="margin-bottom: 1em; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Well this is quite a surprise, and a pleasant one too. Harley-Davidson just announced that it made an equity investment in California-based Alta Motors, makers of the Redshift. This surprise collaboration was put together so that the two bike companies can share notes and work on electric motorcycle technology and new product development.
Harley-Davidson Promises an Electric Bike in 18 Months" data-reactid="14" style="font-size: 16px; margin: 0.5em 0px 1em; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">DANGER: Harley-Davidson Promises an Electric Bike in 18 Months
"Earlier this year, as part of our 10-year strategy, we reiterated our commitment to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders, in part, by aggressively investing in electric vehicle (EV) technology," said Harley-Davidson President and CEO Matt Levatich. "Alta has demonstrated innovation and expertise in EV and their objectives align closely with ours. We each have strengths and capabilities that will be mutually beneficial as we work together to develop cutting-edge electric motorcycles."
Alta Motors Dirt Tracker Concept
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The fact that giant Harley took enough notice of little old Alta to invest in them says more about Alta than it does about the Motor Company. While not always the shrewdest company, Harley knows a good thing when it sees it. And, as we've discussed before, Alta's Redshift is seriously good. The brass over at Alta seems pretty tickled by the whole thing, as you might expect.
"Riders are just beginning to understand the combined benefits of EV today, and our technology continues to progress," said Alta Motors Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, Marc Fenigstein. "We believe electric motorcycles are the future, and that American companies have an opportunity to lead that future. It's incredibly exciting that Harley-Davidson, synonymous with motorcycle leadership, shares that vision and we're thrilled to collaborate with them."
Alta Motors Announces Hot New 2018 Redshift MXR" data-reactid="29" style="font-size: 16px; margin: 0.5em 0px 1em; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">DANGER: Alta Motors Announces Hot New 2018 Redshift MXR
To paraphrase Diamond Joe Biden, this is a pretty big f***in' deal you guys. With Project Livewire back on track, and Alta's history of electronic motorcycle innovation, this collaboration promises to change the face of the growing electric bike business. Levatich thinks so, too.
"We believe that EV is where global mobility is headed and holds great appeal for existing riders as well as opportunity to bring new riders into the sport," said Levatich. "We intend to be the world leader in the electrification of motorcycles and, at the same time, remain true to our gas and oil roots by continuing to produce a broad portfolio of motorcycles that appeal to all types of riders around the world."
Is Harley-Davidson's New Electric Motor a Revelation?" data-reactid="43" style="font-size: 16px; margin: 0.5em 0px 1em; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">HIGH VOLTAGE!: Is Harley-Davidson's New Electric Motor a Revelation?
(I see what you did there -JM) electric motorcycle market. Stay tuned for more about this in the future." data-reactid="44" style="margin-bottom: 1em; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">So, what's that mean for us? Hopefully it means a comprehensive, totally rad line of electric bikes from both companies and an energized (I see what you did there -JM) electric motorcycle market. Stay tuned for more about this in the future.
The future is here:
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