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Flies’ eyes could enhance robot vision

May 12, 2008

Researchers from the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, California, and the University of Wyoming have developed a fiber optic sensor inspired by the hyperacuity of the compound eye of the common housefly.

(D. Fischer)

Machines such as unmanned vehicles, guided missiles, and high-speed industrial inspection robots might take advantage of this ability to locate tiny, moving objects with high precision.

Better eyes for flying robots

March 28, 2013


In February, at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, two teams presented new work aimed at building better-performing and lower-power vision systems that would help aerial robots navigate and aid them in identifying objects, IEEE Spectrum reports:

  • Drastically lower the power requirement of the feature extractor. That system uses an

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Coming soon — mind-reading computers

June 26, 2006

An “emotionally aware” computer being developed by University of Cambridge and MIT scientists will be able to read an individual’s thoughts by analyzing a combination of facial movements that represent underlying feelings.

Applications could include improving people’s driving skills, helping companies tailor advertising to people’s moods, and online teaching.

Molecular Manufacturing: Start Planning

August 20, 2003

“There is very little doubt that molecular nanotechnology manufacturing will be developed within the next three decades,” says Chris Phoenix, Director of Research for the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, and it may be as soon as ten years because of the immense utility and the increasing ease of development.

But there are risks: an unstable arms race, criminal and terrorist activity, invasion of privacy from microscopic devices, gray goo,… read more

Cherrypal Offers Laptop for Under $100

December 16, 2009

Cherrypal has announced a no-frills laptop called Cherrypal Africa, priced at $99.

The laptop includes 256MB of RAM, a 2GB flash drive for data storage, 7-inch color screen, integrated Wi-Fi b/g wireless networking, wired networking, one USB 2.0 port, two USB 1.1 ports, and built-in speaker.

Swiss man soars above Alps with jet-powered wing

May 16, 2008
(AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Yves Rossy, a Swiss pilot known as the
“Fusion Man,” strapped on a jet-powered wing and leaped from a plane Wednesday for the first public demonstration of the homemade device, turning figure eights and soaring high above the Alps.

Catching Seizures Before They Occur

July 7, 2006

Researchers at MIT and Harvard are preparing to carry out trials of a new device for treating epilepsy.

It involves implanting a pacemaker-like device in the patient’s chest. Connected to the device is an electrode that wraps around the vagus nerve. It uses powerful electrical stimulations and can be activated by the patient when a seizure occurs to try to stop it.

Michigan orders Cryonics Institute to close

August 27, 2003

The Cryonics Institute has been ordered to stop operating its business by the Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services.

CIS said the institute is operating as an unlicensed mortuary science establishment and a nonregistered cemetery.

The governmental agency said it was made aware of the Michigan cryonics facility after the death of Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ted Williams, whose remains are frozen in an Arizona cryonics… read more

Drug and Placebo: Study Redefines Placebo Effect as Part of Effective Treatment

December 23, 2009

University of Rochester researchers used the placebo effect to successfully treat psoriasis patients with one quarter to one half of their usual dose of a widely used steroid medication.

The new technique could improve treatment for several chronic diseases that involve mental state or the immune system, by mixing active drug and placebo (also making possible a dramatic and timely reduction in healthcare costs).

The researchers suggest that… read more

Mashup alert: Google Earth gets Google News

May 21, 2008

Google has added a new layer to Google Earth that shows Google News related to the area shown on the screen.

Rebooting Your Doctor

July 14, 2006

It’s time for silicon to do for medicine what it’s done for so many other fields, says Andy Kessler in his new book, The End of Medicine: How Silicon Valley (and Naked Mice) Will Reboot Your Doctor.

Black Hole Sound Waves

September 10, 2003

Sound waves 57 octaves lower than middle-C are rumbling away from a supermassive black hole in the Perseus cluster. The “note” is the deepest ever detected from any object in our Universe. The tremendous amounts of energy carried by these sound waves may solve a longstanding problem in astrophysics: how galaxy clusters, the largest structures in the Universe, grow.

Why Some Continue to Eat When Full: Researchers Find Clues

December 29, 2009

The “hunger hormone” ghrelin, which the body produces when it’s hungry, might also work in the brain to make some people keep eating “pleasurable” foods when they’re already full, UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists suggest.

The researchers also found that blocking the action of ghrelin, which is normally secreted into the bloodstream upon fasting or caloric restriction, prevented mice from spending as much time in the room they associated… read more

Big solar: Utility-scale power plants arise

May 27, 2008

Prometheus Institute forecasts that by 2020, 50 gigawatts of electricity could be generated by using centralized solar-power generation systems

Currently, there 430 megawatts worth of concentrating solar power systems installed around the world, according to Emerging Energy Research.

To heal a wound, turn up the voltage

July 27, 2006

Electric fields applied to the skin could potentially speed up wound healing, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology and University of Aberdeen researchers have found.

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