The Viridian Design Movement

Subject: Viridian Note 00373: Microengines

Key concepts:
Micro-engines, power generation, Birmingham University
Attention Conservation Notice:
Includes a party invite to the Viridian Vatican.

The National Solar Energy Conference is running in Austin this week. Hey, I'm going.

Looks like Dr. Natalie got around to unleashing those feral robot dogs.

I'm having a Turkey City writer's workshop at the Viridian Vatican this Saturday, June 28, 02003.

We'll have an open party after the workshop, starting around 7:30 PM or so. Want to come drink beer with science fiction writers? Send me email!

You might well like to meet our distinguished out-of-town guest of honor, Eileen Gunn.

Eileen Gunn edits "Infinite Matrix," where I have a weblog. Give her money; we'll buy beer with it.

Surprise guest, legendary short-story writer Howard Waldrop, will also be here for Turkey City. Howard hasn't lived in Texas for years, but now, well, he does.


"Engineers Develop Microengines: The Batteries of the Future"


"University of Birmingham engineers have developed tiny engines only a few millimetres wide that will soon replace a standard battery." ((("Soon?")))

"These micro-engines have over 300 times more energy than an ordinary battery and are much lighter and smaller. These new power-supplying machines will soon be used to charge mobile phones and lap top computers in a matter of seconds thereby eliminating the need to recharge them frequently.

"Dr Kyle Jiang, (((what a great 21st century scientist name))) lead investigator from the department of Mechanical Engineering, says, 'These micro-engines will be much more energy efficient than standard batteries. It takes 2000 times more energy to manufacture a battery than the battery dispenses while it is being used. Soon everyone will be able to charge their mobile phones instantly using a shot of cigarette lighter fuel instead of having to find a socket for a charger and wait while the phone charges up'. (((We Viridians have been demanding this for years now. Except we'd like the fuel to be humanly drinkable, please.)))

"Micro-engines will also be used during military operations for driving micro air vehicles and micro-robots for reconnaissance purposes; (((I'm getting weary of the ceaseless military-app drumbeat out of the R&D community; come on guys, you're British))) communications relays; micro-cameras and other sensor carriers. Other applications will include micro-factories ­ tiny 'labs-on- a-chip' that will be able to make drugs, chemicals or small mechanical components. (((Now we're talking. Microchips that make drugs. The LINUX Open Source Hashish Pentium, presumably.)))

"Investigators at the School of Engineering are the first to manufacture these engines in a durable, heat resistant material such as ceramic or silicon carbide.

"Notes to editors:

"Moving footage/interviews of micro-engines is available free of charge as a package to broadcast media via Research TV, due for streaming on Tuesday 17 June. For more details/to request footage contact www.research-

(((Never mind, here you go, Windows Media video:)))

"Further information:

Kate Bassett, Press Office, University of Birmingham, 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164. Email: k.h.bassett*

(((Is there any there there with these gizmos? Maybe!)))

O=c=O O=c=O
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