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‘Wearable robot’ arm improves performance of brain-controlled device

December 15, 2010

Aided by a robotic exoskeleton, a monkey can hit the target faster and more directly (Hatsopoulos, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience)

The performance of a brain-machine interface designed to help paralyzed subjects move objects with their thoughts is improved with the addition of a robotic arm that provides sensory feedback, a new study from the University of Chicago finds.

Devices that translate brain activity into the movement of a computer cursor or an external robotic arm have already proven successful in humans. But in these early systems, vision was the… read more

Wearable projection system turns any surface into a multitouch interface

October 18, 2011

Omni Touch2

OmniTouch, a wearable projection system developed by researchers at Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University, lets you turn pads of paper, walls, or even your own hands, arms, and legs into graphical, interactive surfaces.

OmniTouch uses a depth-sensing camera, similar to the Microsoft Kinect, to track your fingers on everyday surfaces. You control interactive applications by tapping or dragging your fingers. The projector… read more

Wearable ‘neurocam’ records scenes when it detects user interest

February 10, 2014

Neuroware

Keio University scientists have developed a “neurocam” — a wearable camera system that detects emotions, based on an analysis of the user’s brainwaves.

The hardware is a combination of Neurosky’s Mind Wave Mobile and a customized brainwave sensor.

The algorithm is based on measures of “interest” and “like” developed by Professor Mitsukura and the neurowear team.

The users interests are quantified… read more

Wearable muscle suit makes heavy lifting a cinch

April 23, 2012

sayarobot

Hiroshi Kobayashi’s team at the Tokyo University of Science in Japan has developed a series of cybernetic exoskeletons.

Scheduled for commercial release early next year, a wearable robot takes two forms: one augmenting the arms and back that is aimed at areas of commerce where heavy lifting is required; and a lighter, 5 kg version that will target the nursing industry to assist in lifting people in and… read more

Wearable Internet appliance

February 14, 2002

Hitachi has produced a Wearable Internet Appliance for business use that enables users to surf the Internet through a wireless LAN. It includes a head mount display and pointing device.

Wearable instrument shirt allows for playing air guitar

November 14, 2006

Australia’s scientific research agency, CSIRO, has created a “wearable instrument shirt” (WIS) that enables users to play an “air guitar” simply by moving one arm to pick chords and the other to strum the imaginary instrument’s strings.

Textile motion sensors embedded in the shirt sleeves detect arm motion and relay it wirelessly to a computer. Custom software then maps motion data to audio samples. The technology is adaptable to… read more

Wearable glasses help surgeons view cancer​​​​​​​​ cells in real time

Reduce the need for costly additional surgical procedures
February 17, 2014

wustl_cancer_glasses

Washington University School of Medicine scientists have developed a wearable display to help surgeons visualize cancer cells, which glow blue when viewed through the eyewear.

The wearable technology was used during surgery for the first time last week at Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Cancer cells are notoriously difficult to see, even under high-powered magnification. The glasses are designed to make it easier… read more

Wearable computing gloves can teach Braille, even if you’re not paying attention

June 27, 2014

A wearable computing technology helps people learn how to read and write Braille as they concentrate on other tasks (credit: Georgia Tech)

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed wearable computing technology to help people learn how to read and write Braille.

Surprisingly, people wearing the glove don’t have to pay attention while learning.

“The process is based on passive haptic learning (PHL),” said Thad Starner, a Georgia Tech professor and wearable computer pioneer. “We’ve learned that people can acquire motor skills through vibrations without devoting active attention… read more

Wearable chips allow for personal networking

November 14, 2003

nTags, which are wearable devices with chips programmed with personal interests and background, are being used at conferences like Pop!Tech as a new form of personal networking.

Data and alerts appear on the small monochrome LCD screen of the nTAGs, which are made by nTAG Interactive. The devices have 128 kilobytes of RAM and 64 kilobytes of flash memory — about enough to store 60 pages of text as… read more

Wearable cameras allow for motion capture anywhere

August 9, 2011

Motion Capture

A wearable camera system makes it possible for motion capture to occur almost anywhere — in natural environments, over large areas, and outdoors, scientists at Disney Research, Pittsburgh (DRP), and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have shown.

The camera system reconstructs the relative and global motions of an actor, using a process called structure from motion (SfM) to estimate the pose of the cameras… read more

Weapon of Mass Diffraction

June 30, 2006

Shoot a laser 56 miles into the mesosphere and measure the distortion. Then adjust the laser’s mirrors until the beam is back in focus. Whatever optical tweaks correct the beam will also focus a telescope. And help build an anti-satellite weapon.

We, Robots

July 14, 2004

“In 2035, sleek humanoid robots that walk, talk and think will be as common as iPods. At least they are in ‘I, Robot.’

“When the big-budget thriller hits movie screens Friday, it will be hard not to notice the gap between the clunky robots of today and those doing battle with Will Smith’s Detective Del Spooner.”

“Yet the future is arriving, one bot at a time. Robots today… read more

‘We will be able to live to 1,000′

December 6, 2004

Cambridge University geneticist Aubrey de Grey believes life expectancy will soon extend dramatically to 1,000.

The SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) project, a detailed plan to repair all types of molecular and cellular damage, should be working in humans in 20 years, he says.

“I think the first person to live to 1,000 might be 60 already.”

‘We should stop designing perfect circuits’

October 8, 2013

Computer chips (credit: iStockphoto)

Christian Enz, head of the EPFL Integrated Circuits Laboratory (ICLAB), says we should build future devices with unreliable circuits, and adopt the “good enough engineering” trend to reduce energy consumption and continue to reduce transistor size.

The problem: We are beginning to hit a wall on miniaturization. As transistors get smaller, they produce more mistakes, so hardware must be added and performance must be decreased, which… read more

We now know that the brain controls the formation of bone

December 23, 2009

The neurotransmitter Neuropeptide Y (NPY) directly controls osteoblasts, the cells that make bone in mice, a neuroscientist from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, has demonstrated.

When we are starving, our brains don’t allow us to waste energy by reproducing, making fat or creating new bone. When we are eating too much, on the other hand, our brains make it easier to reproduce, store fat and create bone.

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