Sensor Sunday: Sensors for Monitoring Ice Shelf Stability, High-Tech Headphones, Sap Sensors for Farmers and A Tricorder?

It’s Sunday and we have another roundup of sensor news for you. We’ve seen some great emerging technologies using sensors from medical to agricultural fields, a high-tech pair of headphones, and more, but first a story about how scientists are using sensors in the Antarctic.

Sensors out in the Cold

Sensors out in the Cold

The Larsen Ice Shelf, which collapsed in 2002 (Photo Credit: NASA)

Scientists are installing seismic sensors along the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica to study how ocean waves affect the shelf’s stability. By analyzing the data from these sensors, scientists hope to understand what triggers sudden ice shelf collapses that contribute to rising sea levels.

(via U-T San Diego)

A Flexible Display for Sensing Surfaces

Crocus Technology has developed a prototype of their flexible display, which will use a magnetic logic unit’s (MLU) sensors and magnets to detect the shape of flexible surfaces and displays. By using relatively few sensors and magnets to keep costs and power-drain low, this sort of design could be used in wearables, curved panel displays, flexible solar panels and mobile phones.

(via EE Times India)

Sensors Adorning New Generation Self-Flying Drones

senseFly showed off its eXom quadcopter this week. The new product has five ultrasonic and five visual sensors located throughout the body. The sensors give it very specific altitude calculations, spatial positioning and a 360˚ object detection ability. The drone is also outfit with a thermal-imaging camera and a 270˚ field-of-view camera equipped to capture HD videos and stills. With all these sensors, the eXom is able to create its own flight plan, take off, fly over an area to capture images, then land itself. senseFly expects the drone to be largely adopted for industrial use.

(senseFly via Gizmag)

The Future of Headphones Comes with Sensors

(Photo Credit: Parrot)

(Photo Credit: Parrot)

senseFly’s parent company is Parrot, and they had some more consumer-level news this week. Parrot introduced their Zik 2.0 over-ear headphone, which boasts sensors and microphones that make these listening devices a high-tech gadget in their own right. The sensors allow you to control music and calls with simple swipes across the ear cup. They’ll even detect when you put them around your neck! There are plenty more features, but we’ll just leave it at the sensors for this briefing.

(via Wired)

How Sap Sensors are being Used in California to Monitor Water Use

Dynamax’s non-invasive sap sensors have been used around California for seven years, but this is the first year that they’ve been used on almond orchards. The sensors monitor sap, which is 99.9% water, to tell how much water you need to give back. With California’s drought, there’s no better time to be monitoring sap production and water needs.

(via Western Farm Press)

Diagnosis with A Drop of Blood

Diagnosis with a Drop of Blood

Journalists have been raving about the rHealth X this week, a tricorder-esque health monitoring tool developed by DMI, which won Nokia’s Sensing X Challenge. The device can run tests for a gamut of diseases from a single drop of blood. It also comes with a wearable device that monitors breathing rate and heart rate. Put all these together, send your blood profile and vital stats to your doctor, and you could get a diagnosis even if you’re thousands of miles away, theoretically. With a win under their belts, DMI are now working on bringing the device to market.

(via Gizmodo)

We’ll return next week with more news about sensors and their applications. If you have something to share, please leave it in the comments below.

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Math lover. Engineering communicator. Mad-lib enthusiast. Total nerd.

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