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Nasa Tests New Moon Rover


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ACADEMIC RESEARCH
Bacteria Are Models Of Efficiency

news>february 09 (59)

MAKO Introduces RIO Robotic Arm for Orthopedic Surgeries



Submitted by on Wednesday Feb 25, 2009 04:49 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

MAKO Surgical has announced the release of its RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System. The device is designed to assist surgeons during knee resurfacing operation, a minimally invasive type of surgery thought to be useful for younger, active patients with early osteoarthritis.


Borg-like cybots may patrol government networks



Submitted by on Wednesday Feb 25, 2009 04:45 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has created software that uses colonies of borg-like cyberrobots it says will help government agencies detect and fend off attacks on the nation's computer network infrastructure.


RETISERT Eye Implant Prevents Lost Vision



Submitted by on Tuesday Feb 24, 2009 01:42 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Sympathetic ophthalmia is an autoimmune condition thought to be caused when one eye is severely damaged, and the immune system overreacts and attacks the healthy eye, often leading to complete blindness. Clinicians at the University of Iowa are using a steroid releasing implant from Bausch & Lomb to prevent such a form of blindness.


NASA and ESA to send next big mission to moons of Jupiter



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 22, 2009 05:59 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

NASA and ESA have jointly announced their plan to send the next big joint planetary exploration mission to Europa and Ganymede, two of the four planet-sized moons of Jupiter. The decision follows years of anticipation in the planetary science community, where the last such big decision was made back in 1988.


Reading Thoughts with Brain Imaging



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 22, 2009 05:40 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) looks more and more like a window into the mind. In a study published online today in Nature, researchers at Vanderbilt University report that from fMRI data alone, they could distinguish which of two images subjects were holding in their memory--even several seconds after the images were removed.


New Design Allows for More Powerful MRI Machines



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 22, 2009 05:37 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

The technical limitations of MRI machines are caused by all sorts of laws of nature. One reason, for example, why machines over 3 Tesla are not manufactured for clinical purposes, is that the frequency of the radio signal sent through the body does not lead to quality images.


Neural Modeling Aims to Explain Seizures



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 22, 2009 05:32 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

At Argonne National Laboratory, researchers are developing the next generation of computer neural networks. By more rationally modeling neuron activity, it is hoped that the elusive explanation of how epileptic seizures develop can be found.


Immaculate Prosthetic Arm Makes Prosthetics... Sexy?



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 15, 2009 10:56 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Immaculate is a neurological prosthetic, connected to the users central nervous system. The exterior of the prosthetic is textile clad in Corian plates. The Corian allows embedded technology to be seamlessly integrated, and in union with the textile gives the prosthetic a clear graphical identity.


Emoti-Chair Brings Music to the Deaf



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 15, 2009 10:52 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Remember that scene in 'Mr. Holland's Opus,' in which Richard Dreyfuss's deaf son turns up the sound on the stereo and sits on the speaker so he can "hear" the sound? Well, researchers at Ryerson University's Centre of Learning Technology and Toronto's Science of Music, Auditory Research and Technology Lab have taken that concept to its logical extreme and built the Emoti-Chair.


Canadian scientists read minds with infrared scan



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 15, 2009 10:49 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Researchers at Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital have developed a technique that uses infrared light brain imaging to decode preference – with the goal of ultimately opening the world of choice to children who can't speak or move.


Better Artificial Nose Inspired By Sniffer Dogs



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 15, 2009 10:15 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

For the sensitive work of detecting explosives and drugs in airports and other high-risk areas, humans have long relied on a marvel of evolutionary biology: the sniffer dog. The canine nose can detect a seemingly infinite range of odors, alone and in combination, at concentrations down to the parts per trillion level.


Implant Makes Cells Kill Cancer



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 15, 2009 09:26 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

One of cancer's cleverest tricks is its ability to hide from the immune system. A new approach to cancer treatment called immunotherapy could spare patients at least some of the grueling battery of chemotherapy treatments by retraining the body's own defenders--the cells of the immune system--to recognize and destroy tumors.


The Army's Remote-Controlled Beetle



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 15, 2009 06:20 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

A giant flower beetle with implanted electrodes and a radio receiver on its back can be wirelessly controlled, according to research presented this week. Scientists at the University of California developed a tiny rig that receives control signals from a nearby computer. Electrical signals delivered via the electrodes command the insect to take off, turn left or right, or hover in midflight.


Sci-fi laser stiches wounds



Submitted by on Friday Feb 13, 2009 06:40 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

It could be a scene from a sci-fi movie -- doctors instantly sealing a patient's wounds using little more than a laser beam. A group of scientists from Tel Aviv University have discovered that by meticulously controlling a laser's heat they can use it to weld the skin shut.


Don't Try This At Home: DIY Prosthesis



Submitted by on Friday Feb 13, 2009 06:33 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

TASMANIAN amputee and business owner Mark Lesek is accustomed to pushing the limits of what is possible. Refusing to give in to medical advice he was not suitable for a prosthetic arm, Mr Lesek not only proved the doctors wrong but created his own prostheses. Now the mechanical engineering tradesman is working on a computerised arm that could be controlled by the brain.


HeartLander's Journey Progresses



Submitted by on Thursday Feb 12, 2009 12:22 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Valentine's Day is here and we're taking the whole heart business seriously. After six years of robotics innovation by Carnegie Mellon researchers, HeartLander — the first mobile robot to successfully navigate the frontal surface of a beating heart — recently began charting new territory: the back of the heart.


Researchers Learn Why Robots Get Stuck In The Sand



Submitted by on Wednesday Feb 11, 2009 02:21 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Today's advanced mobile robots explore complex terrains across the globe and even on Mars, but have difficulty traversing sand and other granular media like dirt, rubble or slippery piles of leaves.


Smart Chair Turns The Paralyzed Into Robowarriors



Submitted by on Tuesday Feb 10, 2009 04:12 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Many people in this world suffer from severely debilitating syndromes leaving them paralyzed and completely dependent on the assistance of others. Some advances, like automated wheelchairs that use special input devices, have helped to increase the quality of life for these folks.


Start-up warms up personal robots



Submitted by on Monday Feb 09, 2009 05:45 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Willow Garage, based in Menlo Park, Calif., is developing a hardware and software development platform for personal-assistant robots, autonomous boats and unmanned cars. The privately funded company, quietly started almost a year ago by eGroups founder and veteran Google architect Scott Hassan, plans to make its robotics software open-source. That way, it hopes to draw a community of developers to build applications in these respective fields.


Data Mining Promises To Dig Up New Drugs



Submitted by on Monday Feb 09, 2009 05:32 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

A robot scientist that can make informed guesses about how effective different chemical compounds will be at fighting different diseases could revolutionise the pharmaceutical industry by developing more effective treatments more cheaply and quickly than current methods.


Simulation Reveals How Body Repairs Balance After Damage



Submitted by on Monday Feb 09, 2009 05:22 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Your body goes to a lot of trouble to make sure you stay upright. But when the brain’s neural pathways are impaired through injury, age or illness, muscles are deprived of the detailed sensory information they need to perform the constant yet delicate balancing act required for normal movement and standing.


NASA fashions mountain climbing robot



Submitted by on Friday Feb 06, 2009 12:40 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

NASA researchers today said they had built and tested a robot that can rappel off cliffs, travel over steep and rocky terrain, and explore deep craters. The prototype rover, called Axel, might help future robotic spacecraft better explore and investigate foreign worlds such as Mars. On Earth, Axel might assist in search-and-rescue operations in locations where people might not be able to reach.


Snake-like Robot Conquers Obstacles



Submitted by on Thursday Feb 05, 2009 04:29 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

A virtually unstoppable "snakebot" has been developed by a University of Michigan team that resembles a high-tech slinky as it climbs pipes and stairs, rolls over rough terrain and spans wide gaps to reach the other side.


Choice Of Robot Companion Depends On Personality Type



Submitted by on Thursday Feb 05, 2009 04:22 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

The type of robot chosen as a personal companion by participants at the University of Hertfordshire Science and Technology Research Institute’s (STRI) Showcase is likely to depend very much on their personality type.


First Humanoid Robot That Will Develop Language May Be Coming Soon



Submitted by on Thursday Feb 05, 2009 04:12 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

iCub, a one metre-high baby robot which will be used to study how a robot could quickly pick up language skills, will be available next year. ITALK aims to teach the robot to speak by employing the same methods used by parents to teach their children. Professor Nehaniv and Professor Dautenhahn, who are European leaders in Artificial Intelligence and Human Robot Interaction, will conduct experiments in human and robot language interaction to enable the robot to converse with humans.


Professor Designs Plasma-propelled Flying Saucer



Submitted by on Thursday Feb 05, 2009 04:07 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Flying saucers may soon be more fact than mere science fiction. University of Florida mechanical and aerospace engineering associate professor Subrata Roy has submitted a patent application for a circular, spinning aircraft design reminiscent of the spaceships seen in countless Hollywood films. Roy, however, calls his design a “wingless electromagnetic air vehicle,” or WEAV.


Bacteria Are Models Of Efficiency



Submitted by on Thursday Feb 05, 2009 03:58 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

The bacterium Escherichia coli, one of the best-studied single-celled organisms around, is a master of industrial efficiency. This bacterium can be thought of as a factory with just one product: itself. It exists to make copies of itself, and its business plan is to make them at the lowest possible cost, with the greatest possible efficiency.


Engineering Graduate Student Narrows Gap Between High-resolution Video And Virtual Reality



Submitted by on Wednesday Feb 04, 2009 11:43 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

With their immersive 3D capabilities, virtual-reality environments (VEs) provide the kind of intense visual experience that two-dimensional digital televisions could never to live up to. But digital TVs outperform VEs in one important way: They can play high-resolution video in real-time without a hitch, while VEs have trouble rendering the data-heavy video clips at a constant frame rate.


Teaching Children About Artificial Intelligence Through New Computer Game



Submitted by on Wednesday Feb 04, 2009 11:39 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Scientists have developed a computer game called “Gorge” – designed to help children understand artificial intelligence through play, and even to change it. It can also improve the children’s social interaction skills.


Cyclogyro Flying Robot Improves Its Angles Of Attack



Submitted by on Wednesday Feb 04, 2009 03:33 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

In the past few decades, researchers have been investigating a variety of flying machines. Most studies have focused on improving the flying performance of standard flying mechanisms, rather than developing innovative flying mechanisms.


A Balancing Act: Ballbot from Carnegie Mellon



Submitted by on Wednesday Feb 04, 2009 03:23 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

For people who aren't circus performers it's a ridiculous notion: Balancing atop a soccer ball as an efficient means of traveling across a room. The floor is flat and the ball is round, so it's obviously unstable and goes against all common sense. Unless you are Ralph Hollis.


Canadian Robot Walks Underwater



Submitted by on Wednesday Feb 04, 2009 04:45 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

AQUA, a new experimental underwater robot, can walk on the ocean floor, noiselessly swim amongst school fish unnoticed, and quietly crawl out the of the water and walk onto the beach when its mission is over. So stealthful is this 6-limbed robot that it almost went unnoticed when it made its Mississauga, Ontario debut at the February Adventure Show.


A Robomedic for the Battlefield



Submitted by on Tuesday Feb 03, 2009 10:34 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

The first 30 minutes after a battlefield injury are dire: that's when nearly 86 percent of battlefield deaths occur. Before attending to the wounded, frontline physicians have to quickly locate the casualty and extract him from the battlefield, often under heavy fire. This can take up costly minutes, as well as expose medics themselves as possible targets.


Students call space station with home-built radio



Submitted by on Tuesday Feb 03, 2009 04:33 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Four Toronto college students have accomplished a technological feat that their teachers are calling a first. The Humber College seniors made contact with the International Space Station Monday with a radio system they designed and built themselves.


Biomedical Engineers 'Arm' Surgeons For Highly Precise Knee Resurfacing With Robot



Submitted by on Tuesday Feb 03, 2009 04:00 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Biomedical engineers developed a robotic arm to very precisely resurface the knee before replacing it. In order to do this, a 3-D image of the knee is generated, providing a live-action view of the knee during surgery. A stereo camera system constantly updates surgeons on the location of the diseased portion of the knee--this keeps the healthy parts untouched. Visual alarms and artificial resistance tell the surgeons when they are too close to healthy parts. After the resurfacing is done, the implant is placed.


Pong-playing robot won't lose, not ever



Submitted by on Tuesday Feb 03, 2009 06:21 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Here's a robot that knows its Pong, and goes about playing it as a wizened old master would chess — in no hurry. It uses a webcam-head to watch the ball travel between the paddles, and uses solenoid fingers to peck at the two keys required to play. The laptop it's hooked up to functions as its brain, and it seems the only way to win against this relentless opponent would entail holding your hand in front of its eye or taking its arms away from the keys.


Japanese Robot Suit (HAL)



Submitted by on Tuesday Feb 03, 2009 06:04 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Japan has led the way in the field of robotics and in keeping with this tradition has become the first country to begin mass-producing a robot that will help human beings become more mobile. Meet Robot Suit HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) and shake his hand; that is, if he will let you.


Robot vacuum is overlord of crumbs



Submitted by on Tuesday Feb 03, 2009 05:41 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

This weekend, crunchy snacks are going to be consumed across the country in staggering amounts. All the Super Bowl parties filled with delicious treats can only mean one thing: somebody has to clean it all up. Well, now, maybe not a somebody, but rather, a something.


Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Promises a More Cost-Effective, Patiently Friendly Future



Submitted by on Tuesday Feb 03, 2009 05:30 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

There's a new girl in town and she made her American debut at the side of internationally known laparoscopic surgeon, Dr. Richard Rosenfield. ViKY, as she is affectionately known, is a revolutionary, lightweight robot developed by EndoControl, headquartered in France. With ViKY at his side, Dr. Rosenfield made history by performing the first documented solo, laparoscopic hysterectomy in the world. Significantly, the entire procedure was performed in an outpatient facility, Pearl Women's Center.


ASI Chaos Small Robot To Participate In Series Of Exercises



Submitted by on Tuesday Feb 03, 2009 05:20 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Autonomous Solutions announced that its Chaos small robot will be profiled in a series of exercises at Cobra Gold 2009 in Thailand. The Chaos unit that will be at Cobra Gold was built by ASI for the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), which has made it available for the exercise.


High tech robotic wheelchair commanded by thought developed



Submitted by on Tuesday Feb 03, 2009 05:16 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

A wheelchair commanded only using the mind…this is not magic nor is it the scene of a sci-fi movie but it is a revolutionary high tech development by the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory of the Milan Polytechnic Institute. It was developed with an important goal in mind: making people with neurological problems, either since birth or due to accidents or illnesses, completely self- sufficient.


Sony Develops Finger Vein Authentication Technology



Submitted by on Monday Feb 02, 2009 06:23 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Sony Corporation today announced the development of a finger vein authentication technology called "mofiria." The user-friendly technology offers quick response and high accuracy and comes in a compact size for mounting on mobile devices such as a personal computer or mobile phone.


Human-like NASA Space Robot Goes Mobile with Leg, Wheels



Submitted by on Monday Feb 02, 2009 12:15 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Human-like hands, fingers and even television camera eyes have been hallmarks of NASA's Robonaut, but recent work seeks to give the nimble robot legs, or at least a leg, and even wheels.


Can Networked Human Computation Solve Computer Language Comprehension?



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 04:10 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Researchers at the University of Essex hope to answer this question by getting more volunteers to take part in their online game, Phrase Detectives. Jon Chamberlain, from Essex's School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, explains: ‘Human language is not an unconnected series of words, phrases and sentences but a series of people, objects and ideas that refer to each other in different ways.


Robotics Integrated With Human Body In Near Future?



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 03:56 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Spanish researchers have carried out a study looking into the potential future impact of robots on society. Their conclusions show that the enormous automation capacity of robots and their ability to interact with humans will cause a technological imbalance over the next 12 years between those who have them and those who do not.


Reapers make trip with pilots on ground



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 03:23 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Members from the 432d Wing completed a successful test flight from New Mexico Jan. 15 after flying an MQ-9 Reaper over Fort Irwin, Calif., training air space using remote split operations.


A Talking Robot Sounds Like Humans



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 03:05 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

The Takanishi Laboratory, at Waseda University, Japan, is home for many robotic projects, including a flutist I wrote about a while ago. Today, let's look at a talking robot, the Waseda Talker No. 4, or WT-4. This anthropomorphic talking robot was built to better understand how the human vocal mechanism creates speech. The WT-4 has 19 degrees of freedom (DOF) for lungs, vocal cords, tongue, lips, teeth, nasal cavity and soft palate. With its vocal cords, it can produce Japanese vowels that are similar to human ones. The next version, the WT-5, will have even more sophisticated vocal cords.


Beetle biomimicry could allow robots to climb vertical glass walls



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 02:25 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Researchers at Max Planck Institute for Metals Research are developing adhesives based on biomimicry of beetles' feet. The design enables the materials to stick to smooth walls without any adhesives. The researchers say the technology, which uses microhairs "reminiscent of tiny mushrooms", could someday allow robots to climb vertical glass walls and refrigerator magnets to be replaced by non-magnetic objects.


A fin-tuned design



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 01:53 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

A new kind of aquatic beast will start making waves in 2009. Spawned by a team of researchers from Boston’s Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and Boston Engineering, GhostSwimmer is the latest in biomimetics, which involves looking to nature for clues in solving technical conundrums.


A Computer that Thinks Like Me == Scary



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 01:39 PM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Computers can calculate at speeds and scales that far outstrip what an ordinary person can manage, but they still aren't anywhere near as complex as a human brain. IBM and five major universities plan to change that through a DARPA-funded initiative designed to build a computer that can mimic the way the mind works.


Self-Aware Robot Can Adapt To Environment



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 06:20 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

A new robot, dubbed "Starfish" because of its size and shape, has the unusual ability, in the mechanical world, that is, of fixing itself. The Starfish is programmed to recognize its parts, but not how they're arranged or meant to be used. It figures that out for itself, using trial and error.


Robotic Vehicles to Look for Life in Arctic Depths



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 06:14 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has designed three new robotic vehicles for a rare expedition to look for life on the floor of the Arctic Ocean. A 30-member research team will depart with the new vehicles on July 1 to study the Gakkel Ridge, an area that is believed to have been mostly cut off from other ecosystems for at least 26 million years.


New Games Powered By Brain Waves



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 06:06 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

An elderly Chinese woman wearing a headset concentrates intensely on a small foam ball and it begins to rise slowly into the air. It's not magic, but rather the latest game from toy maker Mattel, which allows players to move a ball around an obstacle course by using just their powers of concentration.


Aeroacoustics Research Could Quiet Unmanned Aerial Vehicles



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 05:53 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are playing increasingly important roles in many fields. Ranging in size from the huge Global Hawk aircraft to hand-held machines, these remotely controlled devices are growing ever more vital to the U.S. armed forces in roles that include surveillance and reconnaissance.


A Gizmo That Saves Lives



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 05:47 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

When Javier Rodriguez Molina visited the Atocha Train Station Memorial in Madrid in the wake of the train bombings, the Barcelona native felt a great sadness for the victims of the 11 March 2004 tragedy. But he also felt some hope that his advanced emergency technology work at University of California, San Diego can some day save lives in similar disasters.


New Software To Improve Design Tools



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 04:49 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

A team of Carnegie Mellon University engineers led by Levent Burak Kara and Kenji Shimada have developed software that will let engineers design new products by simply sketching their ideas on a tablet computer.


Robots To Clean Your Kitchen And Play A Game Of Hockey?



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 04:43 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Alexander Stoytchev and his three graduate students recently presented one of their robot's long and shiny arms to a visitor. Here, they said, swing it around. And so the visitor tentatively gave the robot's left arm a few twists and twirls. The metal arm was heavy, but still moved easily at its shoulder, elbow and wrist joints.


Virtual Patient Helps Train Pharmacists Of The Future



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 03:30 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

Keele University has developed a "virtual patient" to help train the pharmacists of the future. Learners talk with the "patient" via voice recognition technology or by typing questions into a standard computer interface and the "patient" responds verbally or with a range of non-verbal gestures to indicate emotions such as pain, stress or anxiety. At the end of the session the "patient" gives feedback to the trainee about their performance.


New Robotics Challenge Aims To Develop Friendly Highly Autonomous Robots



Submitted by on Sunday Feb 01, 2009 03:06 AM | ( Permalink) | Comments(0)

The "ROBAUCO: mobile, autonomous and collaborative robots" project was recently initiated.* The principal objective of the project is the generation of the technologies necessary for the development of mobile robots able to carry out complex tasks with a high degree of autonomy and capacity for collaboration. These robots, moreover, have to share tasks with people in the most friendly and natural way possible.


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