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Using Tongue to Control Wheelchairs

In one of my previous posts, I had mentioned about Mind Controlled Wheelchairs developed by Toyota. This time a tongue controlled wheelchair (and a computer) was approved to be very promising device as a solution to Quadriplegia for the future after several clinical tests.

Quadriplegia is the medical term where a person loses his ability to control all of his limbs. It is generally a result of severe spinal cord injuries. A grain of rise sized special magnet is attached to patient’s tongue. There is an wireless headphone worn by patient which captures the movement signals from the magnet wirelessly and this information is passed to the computer on the wheelchair. This way, the patient can control both computer and wheelchair. I hope there will be affordable mass production of such useful devices.

via MedGadget

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Making Buildings Invisible to Destructive Earthquakes

We think naturally about Harry Potter or other fantasies whenever we hear something about invisibility or invisible cloak. But, this time it is for real. According to New Scientist, a team of physicians at the Fresnel Institute in Marseille, France has serious efforts for the protection of buildings by eliminating earthquake creating seismic waves, especially surface waves which are more destructive. The other type of wave is called as body wave and not controllable as surface wave, luckily it is not as destructive as its counterpart.

According to the theory, a cloak group of large concentric plastic rings will be fixed to the Earth’s surface. When surface waves come to this re-arrangeable area, these plastic rings will keep them not going to the building and direct the waves outside. It is all about tuning to the frequency of coming waves individually.

A building which is 10 meters across will need a few plastic rings which have 1 to 10 meters diameters and 10 cm thickness in its foundation.

Invisibility cloaking has made certain progress in especially light manipulation field of physics. It is quite possible that we will see such materials in constructions as well.

Today’s fantasy is tomorrow’s reality.

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Brain Controlled Wheelchairs by Toyota

Previously, we had seen brain controlled Japanese robot and Brainloop Mental Machine which enable the users to control devices and robots just by thinking.

Toyota developed the best social application of brain signals processing to help the people who are bound to wheelchairs. The user of the wheelchair just need to think about the commands of left, right turns or forward motion. All is thanks to real time fast calculations of one line EEG signals. The brain waves of the person is analyzed every 125 milliseconds and the results are translated into real mechanic movements. An accuracy of 95% was achieved.

Expect to see commercialized brain controlled wheelchairs in not very far future.

Toyota Pressrelease

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DC31 : World’s Fastest Motor … and you can hold it easily !

Imagine a motor which you can hold on your hands and it is at least 10 times as fast as a Boeing aircraft engine, 5 times faster than a Formula 1 race car motor. What I am talking about is another brilliant device invented by Sir James Dyson, famous English Industrial Engineer. Exactly 104,000 rotations in a minute is amazing !

We are talking about a handheld vacuum cleaner equipped with world’s fastest motor. DC31 will surely make dusts and debris a history. Beware your large objects as well while using. The device will be sold in UK next month in two versions. Not much costly, around $250 on average. Would you buy the new Dyson dustbuster or a new version of iRobot robotic vacuums?

Via GizmoWatch

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MIT Succeeds Putting a MicroMeter Camera on a Single Fiber

Using technology in textile is not a new thing. I knew clothes with magnetic fields, hiding in ultraviolet waves and even having some biological properties, anything you can imagine on basic physics field.

But, latest news from MIT is really stunning. Some MIT researchers from  materials science and engineering department achieved to create a working camera on several hundreds micro-meter (µm) sizes fiber. The process is the following. First, they integrated eight light sensors into a polymer cylinder (25 mm diameter which is big) and carefully reduced the cylinder to a diameter of hundreds of micrometers.

The electron microscope scan image shows the camera in a single fiber in micro level.

Can you imagine a sheet of textile with a million of such fibers working together?

Professor Yoel Fink at MIT says that a folding sheet of telescope or obvious military applications in the future are possible.

Good news as well for secret camera professionals and dedicated amateurs :)

Via MIT Technology Review