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NANO TECH
Israeli researcher develops nano-scale gyroscope

by Staff Writers


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Jerusalem, Israel (XNA) May 11, 2011 Israeli researcher Jacob (Koby) Scheuer, from the Tel Aviv University (TAU) School of Electrical Engineering, has developed a nano-scale gyroscope, the Ha'aretz daily reported Sunday.

Scheuer developed a new optic-fiber nano-sensor four years ago, along with an optic gyroscope that works in conjunction with the sensor. As he developed the devices, it occurred to him that his discovery could be harnessed to surgical needs, virtual reality, or communications, said the report.

"What we developed here is an optic gyroscope," Scheuer told Xinhua in a recent interview on Sunday, "like the others, but the breakthrough is that we found a way to measure rotation in a very, very small device using the optic sensor."

Optic gyroscopes emit light when they rotate, and change its wavelength when there is any change in the speed of rotation, making it possible to measure velocity and position by the differences in light.

Scheuer's gyroscope, however, is so small in comparison to the others commonly used in planes, trains and vehicles, that it can be used in cell phones or watches and does not need satellite connection like the ubiquitous Global Positioning System.

The applications of this gyroscope and optic sensor are almost endless, as Scheuer puts it.

"It can be a pill that you swallow and can move through your body to take pictures or release drugs in a localized area," the researcher explained, "or it can be used by a doctor to operate on a patient who is thousands of kilometers away."

"Our gyroscope has complete independent navigation capability, which the others don't have," he stressed.

Though the new optic gyroscope works in theory, it still hasn't been tried in out in reality. "It will take some time until we can empirically demonstrate our work, I would say about three to five years," Scheuer added.

Alongside the gyroscope, Scheuer continues to work on the optic sensor, whose applications can also be found in security, such as an information security system developed by Scheuer to safeguard online information that acts as a key bearer.

"When both parties have 'the key' it's virtually impossible to hack the information sent," Scheuer noted, terming the development as a "total paradigm change."

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