Electronics For You
December  2017   Issue Vol. 49  No. 12 

TECH FOCUS
Edible electronics: A joke or a cure?
Implantable and ingestible (edible) electronic devices that stay inside your body pose unique engineering challenges. These should not only use the best processor but also be minimal in size, biocompatible, safe and extremely reliable. Reliability is all the more important as it often turns out to be a case of life or death!

Smart World
How Manipal hospitals are leveraging AI to cure cancer
IBM Watson ranks the various identified treatment options on the basis of their outcomes and similar use cases to make the recommendation
Smart World
Business opportunities for DNA testing kits
Cost to start the business is relatively low and return margins are huge
 
Smart World
Interesting ways smart plugs improve your business
Businesses can save big money by handing over the switching control of their appliances to smart plugs
Smart World
Ease of use, scalability and non-destructive installation are key benefits of wireless lighting
Smart lighting technology is all set to evolve power usage patterns. Complete control on power usage will lead to mass savings for commercial organisations in the near future. Nidhi Arora, executive editor, EFY magazine, talks to Ripu Daman Sharma, country sales manager for Lutron Electronics, about how smart lighting will lead towards building smart organisations, smart homes and thereby a smarter nation
 
Green Technology
Solar For You: Is it investment ready?
“If we are serious about moving towards energy independence in a cost-effective way, we should invest in solar energy. If we are serious about cutting air and water pollution and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we should invest in solar energy”—Bernie Sanders
Innovation
TrackR Bravo, Lumo Lift, Cleanty, Everybot RS700, Google Clips, Migo
In every sphere of life.
 
MATERIALS
Emergence of superconducting electronics
The electrical resistivity of a metallic conductor decreases gradually as its temperature is lowered. In ordinary conductors, this decrease is limited by impurities and other defects. So even near absolute zero, normal conductor shows some resistivity. On the other hand, in a superconductor, the resistance drops abruptly to zero when the material is cooled below its critical temperature. Thus, an electric current flowing through a loop of superconductor can persist indefinitely with no power source.
DESIGN
How output technologies are changing for the better
3D printers are penetrating into the market, enabling rapid prototyping of realistic 3D models. Ever wondered how these printers are designed? In an era of unified communications, where everything is smart and connected, the prevalent output technologies are no less than a communion of traditional design and modern components. The coming together of these two results in disruptive innovations and solutions.
 
SMARTPHONES
Transforming next-generation design into a reality
As smartphones near commoditisation, original equipment manufacturers are seeking new ways to differentiate their products. Today, smartphones are predominantly made with metal cases in aluminium, stainless steel, titanium or magnesium. These metals act as an amplifier for the antennae while providing superior mechanical performance, durability, and a high-quality aesthetic and feel.
MOBILITY
The ‘hyper-fast’ Hyperloop transport system
Imagine waking up early morning in Mumbai, leaving for Pune to have breakfast with a friend there, and returning that same morning to attend your Mumbai office in time. Yes, it is possible with the Hyperloop Transportation System (HTS), which travels at supersonic speed of 1216 kilometres per hour, enabling you to cover the distance from Mumbai to Pune in less than twenty minutes. And all this without the routine long journey to the airport and the waiting in queues.
 
INNOVATION
WattMan: Enabling energy-saving and predictive maintenance for businesses
Data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) have successfully stepped into the realm of energy efficiency. Using these technologies, businesses with geographically distributed framework can follow a centralised predictive and preventive maintenance model for their energy-driven assets and save a great deal on expenses.
AGROTECH
Agro-IoT solutions technically empower Indian farmers
India is fast becoming a hotbed for research on the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence and more. The engineering and research community is optimistic that the country can do away with manual ways of doing things across various industries, speeding up the processes while also making them transparent.
 
COMPUTING
An introduction to serverless computing
In 1990s, Neal Ford (now at ThoughWorks) worked for a small company focused on a technology called Clipper. By writing an object-oriented framework based on Clipper, they built DOS applications using dBase. With their expertise in Clipper, they had a thriving training and consulting business. Then, all of a sudden the Clipper-based business disappeared with the sudden rise of Windows.
IMAGING
Image processing using MATLAB: Spatial filtering (Part 3 of 4)
Spatial filtering techniques refer to those operations where the resulting value of a pixel at a given coordinate is a function of the original pixel value at that point as well as the original pixel value of some of its neighbours. These operations are classified into linear filtering operations and non-linear filtering operations.
 
DIGITISATION
Strengthen corporate governance with digital
“There are always new, grander challenges to confront, and a true winner will embrace each one”—this famous quote holds true for every corporate. Digital business models add significant value in the form of process agility, allowing business users to work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment where they can achieve more with less. However, with all these opportunities, digital technology also brings with it several challenges in the form of compliance and security.
MARKET SURVEY
Electronic chemicals and materials: The Indian market outlook
A wide range of highly sophisticated chemicals and materials—solid, liquid and gaseous—is used at different stages of electronic components’ and products’ manufacturing, starting from semiconductor and printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication to flat-panel displays, various stages of cleaning, chip packaging and product insulation.
 
TEST & MEASUREMENT
The truly-mobile new field test equipment
Used across industries for countless applications, field test equipment are compulsory tools in engineers’ arsenal. Handheld test equipment, in particular, are preferred for field applications owing to their portability, ease of use and quick operation. To make the user experience better, manufacturers are taking a step forward towards improving their connectivity and ruggedisation.
INTERVIEW
Andy Gales, Vicor: “There is an ongoing requirement for higher-performance power systems”
All electronic products have power management systems, designing which is a common challenge faced by designers. Recently, Vicor initiated a global survey to understand various aspects of power system design. To understand the survey findings, Rahul Chopra and Sneha Ambastha from EFY spoke to Andy Gales, vice president, Vicor. Excerpts follow:
 
MY JOURNEY
Life of a design engineer
I had a sharp memory and loved to play with numbers. So I decided to go for graduation in engineering. Since then my life has taken a 360-degree turn. Here I share with you my professional journey full of challenges and successes, credits and inspirations
eStyle DIY
How to recover deleted files from your hard drive
Nothing is more joyful than being able to retrieve accidentally deleted files from your laptop. Sometimes, while working on a computer, you end up losing your work due to sudden power or system failure as you were in so much haste that you forgot to save the file. While you waste time to dread the loss, it is quite possible to recover the same! Here is the way to go…
 
eStyle BUYERS’ GUIDE
The best detachable-keyboard laptops within Rs 40,000
Detachable-keyboard laptops are gaining popularity because of their flexible and stunning designs. These hybrid laptops can be a great choice for those who mostly remain outdoor. To pick the best deal from the market, knowing the essential features of a good hybrid laptop is important. This article lets you explore these features and how they weigh in selection. Here we have considered only Windows laptops costing within Rs 40,000.
Do-It-Yourself
Password-protected Bluetooth remote control
This password-protected wireless remote control operating at 2.4GHz frequency can be used to control robots, home appliances, machines, etc. Here we have used the secure remote to control a war robot that has three motors, one of which is used to lift objects or weapons such as a cutter (or sword). The article describes configuration of the remote control system and doesn’t cover construction and working of the robot in detail due to paucity of space.
Download source code
 
Do-It-Yourself
Touch switch
Touch switches are used in many lamps and wall switches that have a metal exterior as well as on public computer terminals. A touchscreen includes an array of touch switches on a display. Basically, a touch switch is the simplest kind of tactile sensor. Described here is a touch switch that operates only when you touch two conductor terminals (say, A and B) simultaneously with your fingertip.
Do-It-Yourself
DC motor soft starter using Arduino Uno board
Motor starter reduces the load, torque and current surge of a motor during startup. On starting, the motor takes more than five times the normal running current. This overheats the motor’s armature winding and creates a sudden voltage dip in the power supply, which can be avoided by using a motor starter.
Download source code
 
Do-It-Yourself
Efficient egg candler
Candling eggs while they are incubating is the proven method to test them for fertility. Often, egg candling is done using a light source to channel enough light into the egg in order to determine whether the egg is developing into a chick (see Fig. 1). The light source is usually an incandescent lamp or an LED. Many users prefer an LED as it does not create enough heat to harm the egg.
Do-It-Yourself
Optical theremin musical instrument using Arduino Uno board
Theremin is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). It is named after the Russian inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. A typical theremin musical instrument is shown in Fig. 1.
Download source code
 
Do-It-Yourself
Multimeter test leads from scratch
If you are an electronics hobbyist and need to measure low currents and low voltages, you can buy any inexpensive multi-meter. However, test leads of such meters are fragile. That’s what led me to make my own multimeter test leads from readily available material. These test leads cost you almost nothing as the required material, except wires, must be already available with most of you. Note that these test leads work fine for low voltages only.
Do-It-Yourself
HDL and FPGA: From gates to microprocessors
Digital designs can be described precisely and concisely using hardware description languages (HDLs) like Verilog and VHDL. Both languages are capable of digital circuit modelling, design and verification but have unique sets of strengths and weaknesses.
Download source code
 
Tech News
• Bioengineered robotic hand that will actually feel
• Fully integrated circuits printed directly onto fabric
• Store data in your clothes without electronics
• Smart ring to control smartwatch precisely
• Self-learning chip
• FaceID cracked with a $150 mask
• Developers invited to build apps
for Google Assistant

Technology Updates.
eStyle: First Look
• HD Bluetooth Speaker
• Android Smartphone
• Portable Car Air Purifier
• Smart Android TV
• Home Cinema Projector
• Multi-fitness Activity Tracker
• iPhone X


 
EFY Plus DVD
EFY+DVD: Useful utility tools and fun simulators
The following software, besides other, can be found in the DVD accompanying EFY Plus edition of this magazine
EFY Plus DVD
Bringing PCB-design and simulation together with eSim
Efficient electronic design automation (EDA) calls for performing design layout, simulation and analysis using a single tool. The open source community delivers a software for the purpose in the form of eSim. Developed by a team from IIT Bombay, eSim packs a host of features and modules that make EDA comprehensive and simple.
 
EFY Plus DVD
Kodi: Your open source playback companion
Open source media players are a blessing for users looking for smooth entertainment solutions. Kodi is a comprehensive open source media playback software that can run on a plethora of platforms including Windows, iOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi and Android. It is commonly used to stream and play media files online or locally on computers or handsets. Here we explore more about Kodi.
EFY Plus DVD
LogicCircuit: Building digital circuits made easy
Open source software LogicCircuit is a handy assistant for digital circuit and logic gate design. Originally intended for educational purposes, this free software has been expanded to medium-level practical use as well. It is used to design and simulate digital logic circuits.
 
Next Issue...

Technology Focus

Smart City Framework

Market Survey
Electronic System Design

Sensors
Modern Sensor Technology and Applications




Previous Issues
Check our Subscription Details