Imperial College London to power batteries through photosynthesis
A team of researchers at Imperial College London, UK, have fused biological and artificial cells to power batteries through photosynthesis.
The researchers have encapsulated the living cells inside non-living ones in order to utilise the natural ability of the cells whilst protecting them from environmental conditions.
The non-living cells contain enzymes that work with the biological ones to create chemicals.
“Biological cells can perform extremely complex functions, but can be difficult to control when trying to harness one aspect,” commented Prof Oscar Ces, Lead researcher.
“Artificial cells can be programmed more easily but we cannot yet build in much complexity.”
“Our new system bridges the gap between these two approaches by fusing whole biological cells with artificial ones, so that the machinery of both works in concert to produce what we need.
“This is a paradigm shift in thinking about the way we design artificial cells, which will help accelerate research on applications in healthcare and beyond.”
When the cells were tested with copper in a solution, what would usually be toxic to living cells, the detection of fluorescent chemicals suggested that the biological cells were still alive.
“The system we designed is controllable and customisable,” said Dr Yuval Elani, the first author of the study.
“You can create different sizes of artificial cells in a reproducible manner, and there is the potential to add in all kinds of cell machinery, such as chloroplasts for performing photosynthesis or engineered microbes that act as sensors.”
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.