Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
UT Dallas: Jellyfish Robot Powered by Hydrogen and Nanotechnology.
Texas Business reports: DALLAS—Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas and Virginia Tech have created an undersea vehicle inspired by the common jellyfish that runs on renewable energy and could be used in ocean rescue and surveillance missions.
In a study published this week in Smart Materials and Structures, scientists created a robotic jellyfish, dubbed Robojelly, that feeds off hydrogen and oxygen gases found in water.
“We've created an underwater robot that doesn't need batteries or electricity,” said Yonas Tadesse, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UT Dallas and lead author of the study. “The only waste released as it travels is more water.”
Engineers and scientists have increasingly turned to nature for inspiration when creating new technologies. The simple yet powerful movement of the moon jellyfish made it an appealing animal to simulate.
The Robojelly consists of two bell-like structures made of silicone that fold like an umbrella. Connecting the umbrella are muscles that contract to move.
In this study, researchers upgraded the original, battery-powered Robojelly to be self-powered. They did that through a combination of high-tech materials including artificial muscles that contract when heated.
These muscles are made of a nickel-titanium alloy wrapped in carbon nanotubes, coated with platinum and housed in a pipe. As the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen encounters the platinum, heat and water vapor are created. That heat causes a contraction that moves the muscles of the device, pumping out the water and starting the cycle again.
“It could stay underwater and refuel itself while it is performing surveillance,” Tadesse said.
In addition to military surveillance, Tadesse said, the device could be used to detect pollutants in water.
Tadesse said the next step would be refining the legs of the devices to move independently, allowing the Robojelly to travel in more than one direction.
Ray Baughman, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Chemistry and director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute at UT Dallas, was an author of the study. The research was a collaboration between researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia Tech, including Shashank Priya, the study's senior author.
The study was funded by the Office of Naval Research.
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