It’s a known fact that batteries for your smartphone, tablet and other devices will eventually lose their power over time – especially if you over-charge them. But what if there was a battery that never lost its charge?
Recently, a study team at the University of California at Irvine created a battery without lithium, which is the component of common batteries that causes power loss over months and years. Instead of lithium, the team used gold nanowire in electrolyte gel as a replacement. The battery was put through over 200,000 charging periods, and battery loss remained at less than 5%. The only catch? The researchers aren’t sure how they did it.
The intention of this research was to find a comparable material to lithium, which is heat and cold sensitive and prone to combustion. They utilized nanowire, which has been called the “dream battery” component due to its surface area having the ability to hold plenty of electricity. Unfortunately, wire tends to disintegrate in the presence of lithium, so it was thought to be impossible, at least for the time being.
During their study, the research team learned that corrosion could be avoided with a blend of different materials. They also learned that lithium could be substituted with electrolyte gel. This creates a protective area around that “dream battery” material, the nanowire, and creates a battery that is essentially invincible.
This accidental test battery is able to withstand hundreds of thousands of charging cycles over many months without any disintegration. So the next time you lose the phone charger in your car, keep in mind there may be a solution coming sooner than you think.
Fisher Price plans to debut a toy to teach preschoolers to code.
It looks like the next generation of coders and tech experts will be way beyond us when it comes to coding, and pretty much every other area of technology. Fisher Price will debut a new toy at this year’s Toy Fair that teaches kids to code at the ripe old age of 3.
According to Fisher Price, kids should be taught the various skills they will need to achieve success in a technology career later in life as early as age 3 or 4. Of course, your child will not be coding websites from scratch – this toy is more about developing the right problem solving skills needed to work on complex tasks like writing HTML.
An Innovative Way to Teach Coding
The innovative new toy design, craftily titled the Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar, will make its debut at Toy Fair this February. The Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar breaks down the various skills needed to write code later in life by having the child apply various “action” and “direction” commands to the different parts of the toy caterpillar’s body. These different commands, which are put in place by the child, then determine how the toy caterpillar will move and rotate around any given space in your child’s room.
This is more than just another toy. In addition to its pioneering method of teaching kids to code, the Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar will connect to an app that develops along with the child, later introducing him or her to more complex computer and technology tasks in the form of age-appropriate games.
So, overall, the Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar might be the most basic form of code academy on the planet – but this new toy design from Fisher Price is definitely something to keep an eye on as it evolves and develops. More toys like this are sure to follow behind the Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar soon enough.