February 23, 2010
The Mojofiti social networking website uses real-time machine translation to allow users to transparently collaborate with others in 27 languages.
Haptic interfaces, which add the sense of touch to virtual-reality systems, are becoming commerically available but are still expensive.CyberGrasp from San Jose-based Immersion consists of a lightweight mechanical exoskeleton that fits over a motion capture glove. It lets users manipulate virtual objects in a computer-generated world and creates the illusion of touching and grasping objects.
Woburn, MA-based SensAble Technologies makes touch-based modeling systems for industrial designers. Its FreeForm system… read more
Sleep improves performance in skill tasks, University of Geneva scientists have found, based on fMRI measurements.
The results revealed that a period of sleep following a new experience can consolidate and improve subsequent effects of learning from the experience, they suggest.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to stimulate the slow waves typical of deep sleep by the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to send a harmless magnetic signal through the skulls of sleeping volunteers.
A decade in the making, the software optimizes syntheses of drug molecules and other important compounds, combines long (and expensive) syntheses of compounds into shorter and more economical routes, and identifies suspicious chemical recipes that could lead to chemical weapons.
The… read more
Google researchers say they have developed a new software technology intended to do for digital images on the Web what the company’s original PageRank software did for searches of Web pages.
Their VisualRank algorithm combines image-recognition software methods with techniques for weighting and ranking images that look most similar.
On a good day, Lucy can tell a banana apart from an apple. And that’s handy skill to have if you are an orangutan. Even a robotic one….
By combining the old rule-based systems with insights from new probabilistic statistical systems, MIT research scientist Noah Goodman has found a way to model thought that could have broad implications for both AI and cognitive science.
More info: MIT News
University of California, Berkeley, physicists have used graphene to build lightweight ultrasonic loudspeakers and microphones, enabling people to mimic bats or dolphins’ ability to use sound to communicate and gauge the distance and speed of objects around them.
More practically, the wireless ultrasound devices complement standard radio transmission using electromagnetic waves in areas where radio is impractical, such as underwater, but with far greater fidelity than current ultrasound or sonar… read more
A team of Korean researchers has synthesized hexagonal carbon nanosheets similar to graphene, using a polymer. The new material is free of the defects and complexity involved in producing graphene, and can substitute for graphene as transparent electrodes for organic solar cells and in semiconductor chips, the researchers say.
A new graphene-based image sensor invented at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore is 1,000 times more sensitive to light than current imaging sensors found in today’s cameras and uses 10 times less energy because it operates at lower voltages, according to researchers.
The new nanoscale sensor is also believed to be the first to be able to detect a broad spectrum of light, from… read more
European scientists have harnessed graphene’s unique optical and electronic properties to develop a highly sensitive sensor to detect molecules such as proteins and drugs — one of the first such applications of graphene.
The results are described in an article appearing in the latest edition of the journal Science.
The researchers at EPFL’s Bionanophotonic Systems Laboratory (BIOS) and the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO, Spain) used graphene to improve… read more
Led by Rice chemist James Tour, researchers have successfully grown forests of carbon nanotubes that rise quickly from sheets of graphene to astounding lengths of up to 120 microns. A house on an average plot with the same… read more
Investment in solar power is rising in California, the product of billions of dollars in investment and mountains of enthusiasm.
A robot gripper invented by researchers at the University of Chicago and Cornell University is now available commercially from Empire Robotics as VERSABALL for industrial automation, scheduled to ship later in January.
Company officials believe the technology might also be useful for prosthetic devices that can assist with work tasks, for in-home assistive devices, and in mobile military robots.
How it works
Robotic grippers that… read more