tim jackson

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Artificial leaf hopes to power the world

The tiny piece of technology that has enormous potential – converting sunlight into storable energy.<p>Imagine if you could draw energy from almost unlimited sources found in nature – water and light. That’s one possibility if Harvard professor Daniel Nocera’s idea for a device that can harness and …

Fuel Cell

Robots: Is the uncanny valley real?

For decades the golden rule in robotics has been that the more lifelike a creation, the more likely it crosses the line from cute to creepy. But questions are being raised as to whether this is really true.<p>Mick Walters opens a door in his lab and points his computer’s camera towards the small, …

Electric cars: A universal plug for all models?

How can we meet the demands more electric vehicles will put on our power supplies and grids? Jon Stewart visits the centre seeking answers through creating common standards for vehicles and charging stations.<p>Electric vehicles promise us a future of guilt-free travel. Replacing today’s gas-guzzling …

Electric Vehicles

Solar-power vehicles pushing boundaries of possibility

A new wave of aircraft and vehicles at the cutting edge of technology are making epic journeys around the world relying only on the power of the Sun.<p>The promise of fleets of clean, green transport powered by solar energy has for decades just been that: a promise. But a new wave of vehicles is …

Will the smartphone replace the traditional camera?

Smartphones are becoming all-in-one devices that do everything - the third biggest use for them after making calls and texting is taking pictures.<p>Now phones are hitting the market equipped with cameras that take more pixels per shot than we’ve ever seen before.<p>BBC Click’s Dan Simmons went to the …

Text Messaging

Why does your voice sound different on a recording?

No one likes listening to themselves, but why? It’s because when you speak you hear yourself in two different ways.<p>What makes a recording of our voice sound so different... and awful? It’s because when you speak you hear your own voice in two different ways. Greg Foot explains all.<p>The first is …

Does non-belief in free will make us better or worse?

Studies have shown that people who believe things happen randomly and not through our own choice often behave much worse than those who believe the opposite.<p>Are you reading this because you chose to? Or are you doing so as a result of forces beyond your control?<p>After thousands of years of …

Consciousness

Will we ever... live in underwater cities?

Living below the sea is possible, at least for a short time. So what is stopping us creating colonies to ease over-population, or guard against disasters?<p>Ian Koblick hoped the colourful seaweed samples he brought into class would impress. His marine biology professor at Stanford University …

The lab pushing petrol car engines to new extremes

Some say the future of cars is electric, but the humble internal combustion engine may have some life left in it yet, if a set of outlandish tests succeed.<p>As anyone who has accidentally put petrol into their diesel vehicle knows, it’s usually an experience to be avoided at all costs. Yet at a …

Engines

Are we on the brink of the first mile-high building?

Skyscrapers are getting bigger, as cities race to break the record for the tallest tower. But in the future, they may become cities themselves, helping mitigate urban sprawl.<p>You have just closed the door behind you and your dog is already jumping up your leg, demanding you take him for a walk. …

Will we ever... face a wireless ‘spectrum crunch'?

Our hunger for wireless data is threatening to crash our communication networks - but there are ways to avoid disaster.<p>If you think city streets are congested and badly planned, consider the air surrounding them. It is infused with data, pouring forth from phone masts, radio towers, wi-fi routers, …

Tissue engineering: Grow your own smart organs

Robert Langer thinks one day we could grow tissues and organs from our cells, which contain sensors that can alert you when illness is about to strike.<p>The idea behind tissue engineering is that you take plastics, add cells to it, and if you use the right kind of plastics and the right structure and …

Biomedical Engineering

Google’s balloons that could bring the internet to all

Many parts of the world are without internet coverage. Now search giant Google plans to bring web connections via a fleet of high-flying balloons.<p>We are becoming increasingly more dependent on the internet to help run our lives. But much of the planet is outside the web, zones that are without web …

Internet

Pedestrian power to shape future cities

Modern city growth has been led by the car. But new walking apps – and maps that help journeys seem more walkable – may lead to healthier, happier urban environments.<p>The most striking change to one of the largest cities on the planet can be seen easily from the air. All its freeways have been …

General Motors