Investigating new and future technology. Looking at fuel made from coffee and being able to record dreams in the future.
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Welcome to Technobytes!
Not quite as long as your normal Technobabble
but just as tech-tastic!
So, without further ado, let's check out
the randomly named tech app to get out first tech teaser!
Vlogster, how will we generate energy in the future?
Oh, good work, Noah! That's a great question. So...
Who shall I ask to check this one out?
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe... my mate Marcus has to go!
Hang on, Technobabblers. This should do it.
Help me! Mum!
Ha-ha! Got you! Second time this week as well!
You should know better, Marcus!
Oh, Vlogster! I was having a well good dream! Trust you to ruin it.
What do you want anyways?
Up and at 'em, Dreamboat.
We've another of the 'babblers' questions to answer.
All right, fair enough.
But do us a favour, put the kettle on.
-I'm useless unless I've had a little bit of caffeine.
Because today you're going to be learning about bioenergy
that comes from waste coffee grounds.
First stop, a local coffee shop where you can make yourself a cuppa.
Oh, and while you're at it,
I'll have a tall, super-skinny, extra wet, soya,
cappu-mocha-choca-ccino-latte, please. Thanks.
I'm going to name this the "Marcus Coffee". Let's go!
Put a bit of pressure on it.
I washed my hands, don't worry.
And that is a perfect coffee.
Delicious, but more importantly, this is what we're left over with!
Bingo! And that's where your next mission comes in!
Now that he's had his caffeine fix,
I'm sending Marcus to a nearby university to meet techy
Techspert Arthur Kay, who is one of the brains behind bio-bean,
they make energy using coffee.
Pretty cool, huh?
This sounds crazy! Energy from coffee! Explain yourself!
I know, absolutely!
I mean, coffee is a strange thing to get energy from but it has
a huge amount of energy contained within the waste coffee grounds.
OK, so you get used coffee and instead of throwing it away,
you make diesel and fuel pellets from this?
So coffee also has a really high oil content
so the oil like you put in your car, for instance, for powering
transport systems and then the rest is a little fuel pellet.
Instead of wood or instead of coal,
you can use this renewable energy which can then heat your building.
We're even looking at how it can be used as a jet fuel as well,
which would be really cool. The first coffee-powered plane.
I'd love to see how you make this happen.
Well, what we have here, if you can see the little...
The top here, there's a tiny little bit of coffee in that there
and what's happening here is we have a solvent
which is being warmed up and being passed through the coffee
and taking the natural oils out from the coffee grounds.
That process then turns it from, essentially a vegetable oil,
into a diesel which can then be used in your car engine or your
bus engine to get you to school.
How do you think we're going to be making energy
in about 20 years' time?
What we're really doing here is, we're turning something
that's wasted into something that's useful.
Most of your viewers like a chocolate every now and then
and chocolate waste can actually be used to turn into these
fuel pellets and oils as well.
So that whole process makes this oil here which you
then turn into the fuel. Check that out, Vlogs.
I don't know about you, Vlogster,
but after all that talk about coffee, I think I need a...
Hold that thought, Marcus, because researchers
at the University of West England or UWE for short,
have developed a urine-powered battery!
-Are you serious?
-Wee-ly serious! Ha-ha!
It's all down to tiny microbes that produce electricity when they
eat organic matter like urine.
Right now, the battery creates enough electricity to charge
your mobile phone but could soon power a bathroom shower or light.
-If it's yellow, let it mellow.
Now, Scottish scientists plan to harness energy from the sea
using giant oysters. These buoyant flaps are fixed to the seabed
but move backwards and forwards in the waves,
pumping high-pressure water that drives hydroelectric turbines.
Does it make an electric current?
You know, ocean? Current?
Don't go there.
Now, ever wondered what a bladeless wind turbine looks like?
Well, this is it.
Spanish techsperts think this wobbly way to harness wind energy
-will be smaller, cheaper, and more powerful and silent.
Brilliant, Vlogster, but I'm really bursting, all right?
Erm, thanks, Marcus. Moving swiftly on...
Oh! Saved by the bell!
It's another tech-topic coming in from one of our Technobabblers!
Will we ever be able to record our dreams?
Dreamy question, Taya.
Let me access my archive drive.
No-one really knows why you humans dream.
But to be able to record them,
first you need to know how much data you might be dealing with.
Scientists think the human brain is made from around a billion neurons.
Cells that hold and share information,
a bit like a computer hard drive.
The average brain can store close to 2.5 petabytes of memory,
enough to hold 12 million Technobabble episodes.
All my favourites.
Here's a word that you might not know...
An oneironaut is someone who can tell they are dreaming whilst
they're asleep then take control of their dream.
This is known as lucid dreaming and a company in America is
developing a way to help you do it.
When you go to bed, a special headset detects when you're asleep
and the device uses sound and light
to make you aware that you're having a dream.
The idea is that then, you can take charge of the dream.
You could go anywhere, do anything,
pretend to be someone amazing!
Recently, scientists in Japan have found
a way to tell what people are dreaming.
By hooking you up to a special brain scanning computer,
then showing you lots of different pictures,
scientists can map how your brain reacts to each image.
When you go to sleep,
the computer compares the dreaming brainwaves to the ones your
brain made when you were awake and looking at the pictures.
If the brainwaves match,
the computer can guess what kind of things you've been dreaming about.
In tests, it was spot-on over 60% of the time.
I know what my brain dreams about 100% of the time.
Cats dancing the Macarena, cats riding a giant space hippo.
With similar brain mapping techniques, American scientists
have used computers to create videos of what the brain is seeing.
The results are basic but technology is advancing
so fast that in 30 years it may well be possible to record dreams!
Imagine that! This is the stuff that dreams are made of!
And just like dreams, all good programmes must come to an end!
See you next time!
Technobtyes is the snack-size version of CBBCs Technobabble which investigates new and future technology. This episode features fuel made from coffee and looks at being able to record dreams in the future.