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New Research Results

Thermoelectric module 05/20/2016

Development of an 11 % Conversion Efficiency Thermoelectric Module
–Achieved with thermoelectric materials having controlled nano-sized structures, a big step toward the realization of power generation using waste heat –

AIST has developed a thermoelectric module with conversion efficiency of 11%. Until now, it has been difficult to exceed a thermoelectric figure of merit ZT = 1.0 in thermoelectric materials, or 7 % conversion efficiency in thermoelectric modules. In the present research, the researchers have achieved ZT = 1.8 by forming magnesium telluride (MgTe) nanostructures in a sintered compact of lead telluride (PbTe)-based thermoelectric material. Furthermore, they have developed an electrode material that contacts relatively well electrically and thermally with the PbTe sintered compact containing the MgTe nanostructures, achieving a conversion efficiency of 11 % in the thermoelectric module.

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Ozone tolerant plants 1/18/2017

Enhancement of Ozone Tolerance by Adjusting Stomatal Aperture on Leaf Surface
– Toward the development of crops with increased tolerance to atmospheric pollutants –

AIST discovered that expressing chimeric repressors of the transcription factors that control the development of chloroplasts in plants (transcription factors GLK1 and GLK2) significantly improves resistance to ozone, which is an atmospheric pollutant. In plants which were made to express the chimeric repressors of these transcription factors, the researchers found that stomata close slightly, and the transcription factors GLK1 and GLK2 affect factors relating to the stomatal movements. It is expected that if stomatal aperture can be properly adjusted using these transcription factors, it would contribute to the development of crops that are tolerant to environmental stress, such as atmospheric pollution and drought.

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Remote control for robot 09/20/2016

Layer 2-based Wireless Relay Network for Robot Control under Non Line-of-Sight Environments
–Successfully Demonstrated a Remote Control for Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle beyond the Line-of-Sight via a Hovering Drone–

AIST and NICT have demonstrated remote operation and monitoring of a small unmanned ground vehicle beyond the line-of-sight from the operator via a hovering drone up in the sky. The control communication link is continuously maintained with the layer 2-based fast access control technique, even when the relay route frequently changes due to the movement of the robots. The conventional techniques have problems in continuity every time the relay route changes and the communication link is disconnected, which results in momentarily losing control of the robot. This technology will help to achieve tough robot systems operational in poor radio propagation environments caused by obstacles.

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High-pressure hydrogen 11/17/2016

Development of Continuous High-Pressure Hydrogen Supply Method without any Compressor
– Towards the building of a compact hydrogen fueling station using formic acid –

AIST has developed a technology that can easily and continuously produce high-pressure hydrogen of 40 MPa without any compressor through the decomposition of formic acid, which is a hydrogen carrier, into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, in the presence of iridium complex as a catalyst. Since generated carbon dioxide and hydrogen are under high pressure, carbon dioxide can be liquefied and separated easily from the generated gases, producing high-pressure hydrogen solely. Furthermore, theoretical yield of high-pressure hydrogen was 200 MPa or higher, therefore the developed technology possesses sufficient capability of supplying high-pressure hydrogen (70 MPa) to fuel cell vehicles.

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Security tags 12/22/2016

Anti-Counterfeit Security Tags Using Organic Electronics
– Unclonable unique ID generation utilizing the variation of organic devices –

AIST has developed security tag circuits that make it difficult to counterfeit products. The circuits make full use of the small individual variations among organic devices that occur during the fabrication process to generate unique numbers. Using organic semiconductors that are stable in air and a hybrid insulating film that employs organic and inorganic materials, the circuits can operate at a voltage as low as 2 V with a low error rate. The circuits can be fabricated on flexible substrates and can be adhered onto product packages as ID tags to prevent distribution of counterfeit products and tampering with the circuits themselves.

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Geological Survey of Japan 04/01/2015

Understanding and living with the Earth

Geological information is essential for a country like Japan, located at a tectonically active area, to ensure a safe and secure society. The Geological Survey of Japan gathers, compiles, and provides geological information and promotes its wider use. We also develop technologies to overcome various difficulties related to global environment protection, exploration of minerals and energy resources, and natural disaster mitigation, and coordinate international cooperation as a national representative.

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Remote control for robot 09/20/2016

Layer 2-based Wireless Relay Network for Robot Control under Non Line-of-Sight Environments
–Successfully Demonstrated a Remote Control for Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle beyond the Line-of-Sight via a Hovering Drone–

AIST and NICT have demonstrated remote operation and monitoring of a small unmanned ground vehicle beyond the line-of-sight from the operator via a hovering drone up in the sky. The control communication link is continuously maintained with the layer 2-based fast access control technique, even when the relay route frequently changes due to the movement of the robots. The conventional techniques have problems in continuity every time the relay route changes and the communication link is disconnected, which results in momentarily losing control of the robot. This technology will help to achieve tough robot systems operational in poor radio propagation environments caused by obstacles.

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