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A 360-degree view of the world

Paranoids alert
December 13, 2012

FlyViz

Have you ever dreamed of having eyes in the back of your head?

Yeah, we haven’t either, but FlyVIZ, designed by French engineers, lets you experience a real-time 360° vision of your surroundings. It combines a panoramic image acquisition system (positioned on top of the your head) with a head-mounted display (HMD) and a laptop for transforming the fly-eye images in real time into something humans can… read more

A 3D image of an individual protein

January 26, 2012

Apolipoprotein-images

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists have created detailed models of a single protein using electron microscopic images.

Scientists routinely create models of proteins using X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance, and conventional cryo-electron microscope (cryoEM) imaging. But these models require computer “averaging” of data from analysis of thousands, or even millions of like molecules, because it is so difficult to resolve the features of… read more

A 3D light switch for the brain

New device for delivering light to individual neurons could one day help treat Parkinson's disease, epilepsy; aid understanding of consciousness, how memories form
November 21, 2012

Optical image of the 3-D array with individual light ports illuminated. The array looks like a series of fine-toothed combs laid next to each other with their teeth pointing in the same direction. (Credit: A.N. Zorzos et al./Optics Letters)

A new fiber-optic device created by MIT biologists and engineers is the first tool that can deliver 1000 precise points of light to a 3D section of living brain tissue matter smaller than a sugar cube.

This is a step forward for a technique called optogenetics, which uses gene treatments to turn individual brain cells on and off with light.

Scientists can use this new 3D… read more

A 3D microscopic device for high-speed processing of infrared light

November 26, 2012

An illustration shows the design of Rice University researchers’ antenna-on-a-chip for spatial light modulation. The chip is able to process incident infrared light for signal processing at very high speeds. (Credit Xu Group/Rice University)

Rice University researchers have produced a micron-scale spatial light modulator (SLM) like those used in sensing and imaging devices, but with the potential to run orders of magnitude faster.

Unlike other devices that use two-dimensional semiconducting chips, the Rice chips work in three-dimensional “free space.”

The chips promise to speed up applications that are free-space based, such as imaging, display, holographics, metrology and remote… read more

A 3D printer for making soft, cuddly stuff

April 30, 2014

printed_teddy_bear_thumbnail_476x226.jpg

A new type of 3D printer developed by Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research Pittsburgh can turn raw wool and wool blend yarns into fabric objects that people might enjoy touching.

The device, which looks like a cross between a 3D printer and a sewing machine, produces 3D objects made of loose felt,  such as clothing, hat, and Teddy bears. It also might be used… read more

A 3D printer to turn waste plastic into composting toilets, rainwater harvesting systems

November 27, 2012

3dprinting_machine_3d4dchallenge

A University of Washington team claimed a $100,000 prize in the first 3D4D Challenge, an international contest to use 3-D printing for social benefit in the developing world.

The three undergraduates won to form a company that will work with partners in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Matthew Rogge, a mechanical engineering grad student, proposed to use giant 3-D printers to create composting latrines that areread more

A 3D tablet

April 23, 2012

qualcomm_3D_tablet

You can expect to see the third dimension coming to a tablet soon, Technology Review Hello World reports, such as a forthcoming Qualcomm tablet that uses MasterImage’s open-source 3-D display, which supports iOS, Android, or Windows.

A 3D window into living cells, no dye required

January 27, 2014

3d_imaging_living_cells

University of Illinois researchers have developed a new imaging technique that needs no dyes or other chemicals, yet renders high-resolution, three-dimensional, quantitative imagery of cells and their internal structures using conventional microscopes and white light.

Called white-light diffraction tomography (WDT), the imaging technique opens a window into the life of a cell without disturbing it and could allow cellular biologists unprecedented insight into cellular processes, drug effects and stem cell… read more

A 3D-printed Moon base baked from lunar dust

March 20, 2013

sinterhab-moon-base-4

Space architects have unveiled a concept for a 3D-printed Moon base called SinterHab near the lunar south pole. Modules would be constructed from lunar dust by microwave sintering and contour crafting, built by a large NASA spider robot.

Unlike an earlier, more bulky concept using a mobile printing array of nozzles on a 6 meter frame to spray a binding solution (glue) onto… read more

A 3D-printed navy?

May 23, 2013

The Northrop Grumman-built Triton unmanned aircraft system completed its first flight on May 22, 2013. Could a future version be 3D-printed? (Credit: Northrop Grumman by Bob Brown)

Instead a carrying spare parts, space-constrained U.S. Navy ships in the future might carry 3-D printers and bags of various powdered ingredients, and simply download the design files needed to print items as necessary, according to the Armed Forces Journal,

“Perhaps closer at hand is a distributed global production network in which sailors and Marines send an email with a digital scan or design for a

read more

A 3D-printing pen

February 25, 2013

3doodler

Have you ever wished you could just draw a object in the air and have it magically printed out? 

WoobbleWorks has created 3Doodler (a Kickstarter project), the world’s first “3D printing pen” to do just that.

As you draw, it extrudes ABS plastic (the material used by many 3D printers) in the air or on surfaces — no software or computers required.

The… read more

A 50 gigapixel camera five times better than 20/20 human vision

June 21, 2012

gigapixel_camera

By synchronizing 98 tiny cameras in a single device, engineers from Duke University and the University of Arizona have created a prototype camera that could capture up to 50 gigapixels of data (50,000 megapixels) and images with unprecedented detail.

The AWARE-2 camera’s resolution is five times better than 20/20 human vision over a 120 degree horizontal field.

By comparison, most consumer cameras are capable of taking photographs with sizes ranging… read more

A $74 PC

May 21, 2012

allwinner_a10_android_4.0_mini_PC_MK802

A Chinese manufacturer has introduced the Model MK802, a $74 USB thumb-drive sized computer, liliputing reports, beating the FXI Cotton Candy PC on a stick to market (it will be available soon for $200).

The MK802 is available from AliExpress for $74, or less if you order in bulk. It has a 1.5 GHz Allwiner A10 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, USB… read more

A Minority Report interface for the rest of us

November 17, 2010

Toscanini's on-screen interface

Toscanini, free software that runs on Texas Instruments’ “Wireless Watch Development Tool” — an accelerometer-equipped, programmable sports watch that costs $50 — provides a bridge between your movements and digital instruments like synthesizers and keyboards, or anything else you can control from your computer through a MIDI connection.

See the video here.

A bandwidth breakthrough

October 23, 2012

Speed test (credit: Speedtest.net)

Academic researchers have improved wireless bandwidth by ten times — not by adding base stations, tapping more spectrum, or cranking up transmitter wattage, but by using algebra to banish the network-clogging task of resending dropped packets, Technology Review reports.

By providing new ways for mobile devices to solve for missing data, the technology not only eliminates this wasteful process but also can seamlessly weave data streams from… read more

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