By next spring, new field trials will see U.S. Army soldiers become their own power sources simply by walking, thanks to an idea conceived and developed in a Simon Fraser University lab.
During the trials the soldiers will forego the cumbersome 16-20 pounds of batteries they typically carry to power their electronic technology during three-day missions. Instead, their strides will power their electronic devices, using the PowerWalk® Kinetic Energy Harvester from Bionic Power Inc. The lightweight, leg-mounted exoskeleton harvests energy from the natural action of walking.
Bionic Power Inc., which spun out of early research led by Max Donelan, a professor in SFU’s biomedical physiology and kinesiology department, has landed a $1.25-million (U.S.) contract with the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
The company signed a contract with the U.S. Army two years ago for $3.8 million, and a $1.25-million extension this past May is helping to further its energy-harvesting technology.
The new agreement will supply low-volume production units of the PowerWalk® for field trials under the U.S. Joint Infantry Company Prototype (JIC-P) Program. Testing will involve both the Marine Corps and the Army and is expected to begin in early to mid-2017.
Donelan, one of the company founders and original inventors of the bionic energy harvester, says the latest advance takes the innovation a step closer to the goal he and his team envisioned nearly a decade ago.
“The concept grew from the simple notion that power from our bodies is both efficient and portable,” says Donelan, a director of the company. His SFU lab developed the initial version of wearable technology capable of generating electricity from the natural motion of walking. The research was funded by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) grant.
The researchers were aiming to revolutionize how portable battery-powered devices are charged, with a view to reducing costs and batteries, and increasing convenience. The concept quickly became attractive in military circles, as well as in medical and general consumer markets.
“Military organizations around the world are looking for ways to take weight off the backs of their troops,” says Yad Garcha, Bionic Power’s chief executive officer.
“Wearing one of our PowerWalk® harvesters reduces battery weight while providing continuous, potentially life-saving power in the field for communications, navigation and optics. That’s a pretty compelling value proposition for military decision-makers.”
The device can generate between 10-12 watts of electricity. Walking for an hour can provide enough electricity to charge up to four smart phones.
Strapped to the knee, the device uses sensors and a real-time control system to assist leg muscles when slowing the knee’s motion is necessary. The system intelligently controls the torque it applies to the knee throughout the walking cycle, harvesting energy from the body whenever it is available without increasing user effort.
When first developed eight years ago, Donelan published his research in the journal Science, while Time Magazine, the New York Times and other media touted the device as one of the year’s top inventions.
Bionic Power Inc. is one of 10 companies to make the 2016 Ready to Rocket Life Science list, reserved for B.C. tech companies that are best positioned to “capitalize on the technology sector trends that will lead them to faster growth than their peers.”
The field trials are expected to play a vital role in helping Bionic Power prepare for volume production.
About Bionic Power
Bionic Power makes wearable technology for charging batteries. The PowerWalk® Kinetic Energy Harvester enables users to produce power as they walk. Wearing a harvester on each leg, users produce an average of 10-12 watts of electricity, which, over the course of an hour-long walk, can charge up to four smart phones.
The walk-recharge capability of the PowerWalk reduces user requirements to carry backup batteries, as well as the need for battery resupply in the field. Development and testing of the PowerWalk is supported by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps as well as the Canadian Department of Defense.
Bionic Power. Walk. Recharge.
Samsung Canada’s Top 3 Tips For Mixing Play Into Your Workday!
Canadians have now been working from home for over a year and many are feeling stuck in a rut. There are so many tips out there about renewing your workspace or integrating new activities to your routine but, is any of it working?
Samsung Canada is providing Canadians with tangible tools to inspire them to get creative throughout the work day so they can be more productive. See below for our top 3 tips for making sure you can take a break while working from home!
Tip 1: Find a tech device that can do it all
- Sourcing tech devices that can support you throughout the workday and during your personal time is very important. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Samsung Canada just announced the brand new Mystic Navy colour for Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+ and the latest One UI 3.11 update.
- More than just a software update, One UI 3.11 improves the Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+ users’ connected experience and lets them do more with their tablet.
- Pro tip: The new update includes the ability to move across devices more seamlessly than ever, so you can use your Mystic Navy Tab S7 as a second screen when working on your PC, or even copy text and images from your Galaxy S21 directly onto your tablet.
Tip 2: Schedule play time
- Take yourself back to high school and block your day in periods so that you can schedule time during the workday to do something just for you!
- Go for a walk, do a meditation, bake something special or play your favourite game! When you take a moment to step away from your work, you come back to your desk feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your to-do list.
- Pro tip: you can use the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+ to engage in any of the above activities! With the 120Hz refresh rate, most powerful chipset on a Galaxy tablet, and the Dolby Atmos Quad speaker – you will be immersed in whatever you choose to do on your play time.
Tip 3: Get back to the drawing board
- Looking for a way to decompress during a busy day? Some of the best ways include drawing, colouring or even journaling!
- On your lunch break or during your afternoon coffee break, take some time to put pen to paper (or screen!) and express your creativity.
- Pro tip: On the Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+, you can use the S Pen and experience ultra-low latency so that it feels like you are writing on paper! This multifaceted S Pen can be used to write notes, draw masterpieces, and take control of your device remotely with Air Actions.
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Mobile Phone Gaming Tips
Your mobile phone can be a great addition when it comes to entertainment and gaming on your phone can be a great way to pass the time. Here are some tips on doing so.
1. Knowledge Is King (Pay-out And Game Rules)
If you buy any new device like a TV, Microwave, Blender, Coffee maker, and others: you will find that it comes together with a manual that informs its users how the device works and how to operate it. This also applies to any casino game you want to play, as it gives its users a good understanding of the game.
Different casino games have different game rules and payouts. As such, it is wise first to understand the rules of the games, payout, and any other relevant information about the game.
Many online mobile casino gambling websites like bet365 Canada will help you by offering guidance, tips, and strategies for winning a particular game. Furthermore, many mobile online casino games have free no deposit games that allow users to play the game without committing any money or real money deposit.
This new trend is intended to teach and allow its users to understand a particular game first before staking real money. In other words, it allows users to learn more about the games before funding an account.
2. Consider House Edge And Return To Player (RTP)
Do not play mobile online casino games simply because you feel like playing or gambling; making money should be your goal. This is the point where you must take both house edge and RTP into consideration.
What does this mean? Well, it simply means looking for games that offer the best playing value. It also means playing games that offer or boast the highest return to player percentages.
In a nutshell, mobile online slots enjoy the best RTP, the games are easy to play, and the most affordable compared to table games and video poker games.
3. Take Advantage Of Promotions And Bonuses
Because today there are so many mobile casino games, competition is very high. Each online gaming website is looking for ways to lure players to their websites and create incentives.
Examples of bonuses include match deposit bonus, free no deposit bonus, refer- a-friend bonus, free extra amount bonus, and many others. Although this is true, it is important to go through a website’s wagering requirements, terms and conditions, and other specific requirements before registering.
4. Quit While Ahead
The reality is that gambling can be addictive more, especially when you are winning. People believe that to win, even more, they have to keep on playing, and when they are losing, they do not want to quit because they believe they can win their money back.
The best way to control betting habits is by setting a budget and strictly sticking to it – it does not matter if you are winning or losing. For example, if you are winning, it is wise to set an advance in which you should quit the moment it is reached no-matter the feeling or situation.
5. Always Monitor Bankroll
Whenever you are betting on your mobile phone online casino games, do not allow yourself to be carried away and losing track of your wager and bankroll. For example, if you are addictively looking to win money, in the end, you may end up losing more because of greed. The most important lesson here is to always look at your bankroll, and you never gamble avidly.
6. Seek Out The Best Online Mobile Casino Website
There is no doubt there are many online casino websites, and choosing the best is an added benefit. For you to choose a good online mobile casino, it is important to go through the forums and go through other people’s reviews.
Taking this action will give you an understanding and standpoint on the website. Furthermore, secure websites will have their licenses and regulations displayed for all to see.
7. Progressive Jackpot Games
It is wise to try online casino websites that offer progressive jackpots, increase winning chances, and the size of your progressive jackpot increases with every game you play.
8. Remember: Nothing Is Controlled
Gambling often involves luck and how good you are at a particular game. When you are losing, you do not blame the dealer or casino manager for the losses. Every decision you took you were not influenced. Nothing is controlled even on the websites.
9. Exclusive VIP Programs
There are several VIP programs that are offered to regular players or visitors. To take full advantage of your gambling experience, you should always take advantage of the VIP programs like The Well-Known Cashback On Losses.
10. Be Focused And Play With A Clear Head
When playing casino table games, it is very important to use a good device such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus. Furthermore, you must maintain your focus and avoid distractions. For example, never play casino games when you are under the influence.
Also, know when to walk away or take a break. This is a tip that you must apply especially when you are losing. In other words, it is important to have clear goals either when losing or winning; and you must follow your budget strictly.
SFU Researchers Developing Cellular Service Standards For Space Missions To The Moon And Mars
Think getting good cellular service on Earth is hard? Try doing it on the moon or Mars. A team of Simon Fraser University researchers are hard at work to make LTE/4G and Wi-Fi communications systems on the moon a reality by 2022.
A group of nations, including the US and Canada, are presently working on the return of humans to the surface of the Moon by 2024, under the umbrella of the Artemis Program. In October, NASA selected Nokia Bell Labs to build an LTE cellular test network on the moon, with the goal validating the technology for building up a communications infrastructure that can be used to support Artemis and to prepare for future human missions to Mars.
But before that can happen, the technology required for the network has to be proven to work effectively between various space agencies and there needs to be international recommendations for the use of LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi technologies for space missions. Suggested standards then need to be tested before they become agreed to internationally.
NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have entrusted that critical testing to scientists at SFU’s renowned PolyLAB for Advanced Collaborative Networking, led by Stephen Braham.
Together with partners Kevin Gifford and Siddhartha Subray at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), SFU operates the Canadian component of the Exploration Wireless Communications (ExWC) testbed out of Vancouver’s Harbour Centre, which is capable of testing interoperability standards to ensure future cellular and Wi-Fi networks in space can be connected to by any device.
“It sounds like far out stuff, building networks on the moon, Mars, and even further out in our solar system, but we’re actually testing Nokia’s technology right now here at Harbour Centre,” says Braham.
“ExWC is what will allow us to build the ladder of technology standards needed to get cellular networks off Earth and into the solar system. Before space agencies can adopt these technologies, we need to prove that we can operate between multiple vendors and different agencies, which is why NASA and CSA supports the ExWC testbed.”
The ExWC testbed was created in 2018 specifically to help NASA and CSA hone high-speed wireless communications in space, especially around 5G-forward LTE solutions and advanced Wi-Fi. Both SFU and CU have their own radio networks which communicate with control networks, called cores. SFU radios, in the lab and on masts and mountains in BC and the Yukon, talk both to the SFU-based core and the CU Boulder core, which talks back to SFU.
Testing is being conducted between vendors, including Vancouver-based Star Solutions International, and across national borders at CU Boulder, where the Nokia components are. SFU is also using a range of cellular client devices, such as LTE and Wi-Fi gateways of Sierra Wireless, another local company, that allows Braham to prototype and validate vehicle-based communication.
Because of its ability to send huge amounts of information quickly over great distances, Braham has been an early advocate for the wireless technologies that would become known as Wi-Fi, LTE and 5G networks today.
“I remember telling people what we could accomplish with cellphones before we had broadband cellular data networks, over 20 years ago, when it seemed like a very improbable stretch for devices that could, then, only do voice and text,” he says.
“People would ask how astronauts could receive information and Gifford, myself, and our colleagues predicted it would be on small computers that look a lot like the smartphones we have today.
“These technologies will work in space the exact same way you and I use them on earth now. We are very excited to see these missions to use these networks on the surface of other worlds in our solar system finally moving forward with NASA selecting Nokia for the first lunar cellular network experiment”
Braham, in collaboration with associate professor Peter Anderson, who directs the SFU Telematics Research Laboratory which contains PolyLAB, has a long history working on communication studies and analogue systems for NASA and the Canadian Space Agency.
Their work includes extensive research on predecessors to cellular and modern Wi-Fi networks in the Canadian High Arctic with the SETI and Mars Institutes, dating back to 1998, and developing the SFU PlanetNet architecture for exploring the surfaces of other worlds. Other collaborators have included Canadian space technology company MDA and the Canadian Communications Research Centre. Collaborations with CSA and MDA include communications studies for a Mars communications orbiter, Moon and Mars surface wireless communications, lunar rover direct to Earth and orbital relay communications missions.
Braham and CU Boulder’s Gifford have published several papers on how LTE and 5G technologies can be applied for next-generation space missions, especially for crewed missions that need spacesuit and rover communications.
Anderson and Braham have been integrating related concepts since 1997 for next-generation public safety communications, building on many decades of work by Anderson. This work has been a major component of the development and testing of concepts for a Canadian Public Safety Broadband Network and for international standards for operating just-in-time deployable cellular networks for major emergencies.
They are presently operating pilots in B.C. and the Yukon for such networks, including working out how to manage them during the COVID-19 pandemic. This work is supported by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science and Emergency Management British Columbia. Other key partners include the Yukon Emergency Measures Organization, E-Comm Emergency Communications for British Columbia and the BC Search and Rescue Association.
British Columbia’s InDro Robotics First To Receive License From Canadian Transport Agency To Carry Commercial Goods By Drone
InDro Robotics’ Drones can now ship cargo 25 km with research underway to be able to fly 200 km
Just like shipping your precious parcels via plane or vehicle, there is now the capability to ship via Drone.
A first in Canada, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has approved InDro Robotics Inc. to operate a domestic air service, using drones for the carriage of cargo.
“This permission until now has only ever been issued to airlines and paves the way for (literally) much wider range of Drone use,” says Philip Reece, CEO InDro Robotics Inc. “We have had several successful missions carrying medication and other health-related items to remote areas.
This new license means we can ship anything up to 10KG (other than people and animals) – important documents, artwork, jewels – basically anything a manned aircraft could.”
A first in Canada, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has approved InDro Robotics Inc. to operate a domestic air service, using drones for the carriage of cargo.
With the new cargo carrying license, the InDro Heavy Lift Wayfinder Drone will ship increased cargo over longer distances. InDro has extended distances approval from Transport Canada for 25km and InDro’s researchers are working and hopeful this distance will expand to 200 km in the very near future.
“Our Canadian researchers and technologists together with the efforts of the CTA, and Transport Canada continue to advance Drone technology at a record pace,” said Reece. “We believe in the very near future our aircraft will be able to travel further and with more weight load, expanding Drone capabilities.”
On November 2nd, InDro Robotics was awarded a top award in Canada’s Drone industry. At the Umanned Systems Canada (USC-STC) virtual conference, InDro Robotics was selected to receive the USC-STC Organization Award for its extraordinary contribution to the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) industry, extraordinary collaborative spirit, and always being at the forefront advancing RPAS technology.
Over the past few months InDro Robotics has been working closely with regulators, air operators and the Vancouver Island Health Authority to establish a rapid way of providing COVID related Drone support to a number of communities, hospitals and medical centres in British Columbia.
And in 2019, InDro Robotics together with Canada Post and London Drugs, were the first to successfully test Drone delivery of emergency medications over the Pacific Ocean. The Drone travelled over the Pacific 6 km in 11 minutes from Duncan B.C. to Salt Spring Island.
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