Science and Technology Current Affairs December 2016
Electricity from Water without using Energy
- The scientists at the Delhi’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) successfully devised a procedure to produces electricity from water at room temperature without using any external energy on October 19, 2016.
- Materials used for creation of electricity included Nanoparous magnesium ferrite. Silver and Zinc. In the process, nanoparous magnesium ferrite was used to split water into hydronium (H30) and hydroxide (OH) ions. Silver and Zinc were used as electrodes to make a cell that produces electricity. The team that devised the procedure was led by Dr. RK Kotnala.
Ashok Leyland Unveiled India’s First Indigenous Electric Bus
- Ashok Leyland, flagship of the Hinduja Group, unveiled India’s first Circuit electric bus in Chennai on October 17, 2016.
- It is designed and engineered entirely in India, the bus is launched as a zero emission vehicle created specifically for Indian road and load conditions.
- The bus is introduced in lines with National Electric Mobility Plan which aims at a 20% penetration of electric/hybrid vehicles by 2020. Apart from zero tailpipe emissions and lower noise pollution the bus offers reduced running costs to the operator.
Microsoft Developed First Human-like Speech Recognition System
- Microsoft have developed the first technology that recognises the words in a conversation as well as humans do. A team of researchers and engineers in Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research created a speech recognition system that makes the same or fewer errors than professional transcriptionists.
- The research milestone comes after decades of research in speech recognition, beginning in the early 1970s with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the US agency tasked with making technology breakthroughs. That includes consumer entertainment devices like the Xbox, accessibility tools such as instant speech-to-text transcription and personal digital assistants such as Cortana.
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