*New Worlds: Automatic parking experience*

If you find going into parking garages and paying a pain, Israeli inventors and entrepreneurs offer a better experience.

By
April 12, 2015 00:42
3 minute read.
A woman in her car

A woman in her car. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

If you find going into parking garages and paying a pain, Israeli inventors and entrepreneurs offer a better experience.

A “first-ever” parking system, already installed in Kfar Saba, is run automatically, without a guard, paper or cash.

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Otot Electronics will save money in parking lots by using a “credit in-credit out” device that eliminates the need for staffers and complicated payment machines. Just pass a credit card at the entrance through one device, park and swipe the card again at the exit. The system checks how much time has passed between entarne and exist and calculates the charge through the ordinary credit card.

“This is a simple technological application that changes the picture, especially in small parking lots,” said Rafi Caspi, the company’s CEO. “It makes unnecessary the automatic payment devices that are very expensive – some NIS 90,000 each – and replaces them with cheap credit card payment devices, which cost only a few thousands of shekels. Without machines that take cash, there is no reason for collectors to come, and they won’t be targets of thefts.”

In addition, no receipts need to be printed out for each car; there is a printer that produces receipts near the exit, but if you manage your money via your home computer, the parking cost will be on your credit card records.

Caspi said the system is suitable for both one-time users and for regular subscribers to parking lots who have smart cards for unlimited use.

Users who prefer not to use a credit can purchase a smart card and sign up for a subscription for as long a period as he wants.

The only problem in Israel would seem to be who will be there to ask: “Do you have a weapon?” and ask you to open the trunk.

OLD STRUCTURAL PUZZLE SOLVED AT TECHNION

Stable a-hydrogen nitroxide radicals have the potential to be used as both catalysts for chemical reactions and detectors for potentially harmful radicals in biological systems. In a recent report in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

researchers working under the guidance of assistant chemistry Prof. Alex Szpilman of the Technion-Israel Institute of in collaboration with Dr.

Mark Iron of the Weizmann Institute of Science report a solution to a decade long conundrum on their serving in both functions.

Radicals are formed in many chemical processes in nature such as during metabolism in living cells. Despite their bad reputation, which arises from their role in human disease, they have an important role in the immune system as “warheads” for killing infecting bacteria.

Radicals also play a role in cell signaling.

Free radicals are molecules or atoms that have at least one unpaired electron.

Usually electrons prefer to pair up, for example when forming a bond between atoms. When an electron is unpaired, the resulting radical is usually unstable.

Indeed, radicals rapidly react with each other in order to pair up their electrons and form a bond between them. Radicals are often formed in our bodies in undesired side reactions and cause damage to our cells, including to DNA. One of our defense mechanisms is made up of radical scavengers like vitamins C and E.

Although most radicals are extremely unstable and reactive and consequently have a very short life span, there are exceptions. The first stable radical, triphenylmethyl radical, was discovered by chance in 1900 by Moses Gomberg at the University of Michigan. This historical event led to the development of other stable radicals.

In 1960, the first nitroxide radical, TEMPO, was shown to be an exceptionally stable and useful radical. TEMPO and other nitroxide radicals have since been introduced to numerous applications including in the plastic and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in medicine, agriculture and biochemistry (for example in measuring distances within DNA).

Unfortunately, known nitroxide radicals have several disadvantages such as difficult preparation and high cost. Since stability is often achieved by placing large atoms near the radical center, these radicals are simply too unreactive for many applications.

The design concept “stable α-hydrogen nitroxide radicals” developed by Szpilman’s group is likely to bring about a revolution in the way we prepare and use radicals. Not only does it allow the preparation of stable radicals that are less encumbered due to the small hydrogen atom, and hence more reactive for chemical processes, the researchers said, but they are also likely to be useful for numerous other future applications, including ways to treat or prevent disease.


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