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Archive for the ‘electronics’ category: Page 56

Sep 14, 2015

Physicists develop key component for terahertz wireless

Posted by in categories: electronics, internet, mobile phones, physics

Terahertz radiation could one day provide the backbone for wireless systems that can deliver data up to one hundred times faster than today’s cellular or Wi-Fi networks. But there remain many technical challenges to be solved before terahertz wireless is ready for prime time.

Researchers from Brown University have taken a major step toward addressing one of those challenges. They’ve developed what they believe to be the first system for multiplexing terahertz waves. Multiplexers are devices that enable separate streams of data to travel through a single medium. It’s the technology that makes it possible for a single cable to carry multiple TV channels or for a fiber optic line to carry thousands of phone calls at the same time.

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Sep 14, 2015

Paralyzed Man Successfully Given Prosthetic Hand That Can ‘Feel’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, electronics, neuroscience

A 28 year old man who has been paralysed has been given a new sense of touch following a new breakthrough that saw electrodes places directly into the man’s brain.

The research and clinical trial has been carried out by DARPA, the US Military’s research agency. Essentially, the man (who has not been named) is now able to control his new hand and feel people touching it because of two sets of electrodes: one array on the motor cortex, the part of the brain which directs body movement, and one on the sensory cortex, which is the part of the brain which feels touch.

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Sep 14, 2015

Prosthetic hand restores a man’s sense of touch

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, electronics

DARPA promised prosthetic limbs that produce realistic sensations, and it’s making good on its word. The agency’s researchers have successfully tested an artificial hand that gave a man a “near-natural” level of touch. The patient could tell when scientists were pressing against specific fingers, even when they tried to ‘trick’ the man by touching two digits at once. The key was to augment the thought-controlled hand with a set of pressure-sensitive torque motors wired directly to the brain — any time the hand touched something, it sent electrical signals that felt much like flesh-and-bone contact.

There’s still a lot of work left to go before this hardware is truly realistic, of course. The sensors don’t cover the entire hand, and they don’t account for temperature or other factors you’ll likely worry about when grabbing objects. Still, this should represent a big step forward. Provided the technology takes off, both amputees and paralysis victims could regain some of the tactility they once had.

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Sep 12, 2015

Automakers Will Make Automatic Braking Systems Standard in New Cars

Posted by in categories: electronics, transportation

DETROIT — Federal regulators said on Friday that 10 automakers had agreed to install automatic braking systems, which use sensors to detect potential collisions, as standard equipment in new vehicles.

But the automakers have not set a timetable for the introduction of the systems, and regulators may still seek government rules that would require the equipment as a standard feature in all cars and trucks — just as airbags were mandated a generation ago.

Anthony Foxx, the transportation secretary, said in a prepared statement that emergency braking technology could reduce traffic deaths and injuries.

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Sep 12, 2015

This hand-held molecular scanner will tell you what any object is made of

Posted by in categories: electronics, mobile phones

And send the results to your smartphone.

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Sep 12, 2015

This mind-controlled prosthetic robot arm lets you actually feel what it touches

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, electronics, neuroscience, robotics/AI

The US government said today (Sept. 11) that it’s successfully made a Luke Skywalker-like prosthetic arm that allows the wearer to actually feel things.

At a conference in July, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) presented the achievements it’d had to date in building a robot arm that can be controlled by a human brain. A little over two months later, the agency has announced at another conference that it’s managed to update the technology to give the wearer the feeling of actually being able to sense things with the arm.

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Sep 12, 2015

Better Than ‘Blade Runner’: Re-Imagining Our Cities

Posted by in categories: electronics, engineering, entertainment

Drawn to the Future, a major exhibition on visualization technology featuring leading pioneers in architecture and engineering tech, highlights how our experience of our cities and buildings will rapidly change.

Images of the city have always wielded psychological, emotional and political power. Anyone brought up on a diet of Hollywood movies and US TV shows will have had that uncanny experience as a first-time visitor to a US city — a sense of déjà vu, the feeling of being on a movie set, in a story. I took the Blade Runner cityscape so seriously as a student in New York in 1983, that after a late-night showing of the film, I went into a phone box and rang the number dialed by Harrison Ford on the ‘video screen’ (555−7563 in case you’re interested). The decay of Ridley Scott’s dystopian future spilled over into the rodent-rich, un-gentrified, occasionally threatening Lower East Side of the time.

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Sep 12, 2015

How curly nanowires can absorb more light to power nanoscale electronic circuits

Posted by in categories: electronics, energy, materials, nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

This illustration shows a prototype device comprising bare nanospring photodetectors placed on a glass substrate, with metal contacts to collect charges (credit: Tural Khudiyev and Mehmet Bayindir/Applied Optics)

Researchers from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, have shown that twisting straight nanowires into springs can increase the amount of light the wires absorb by up to 23 percent. Absorbing more light is important because one application of nanowires is turning light into electricity, for example, to power tiny sensors instead of requiring batteries.

If nanowires are made from a semiconductor like silicon, light striking the wire will dislodge electrons from the crystal lattice, leaving positively charged “holes” behind. Both the electrons and the holes move through the material to generate electricity. The more light the wire absorbs; the more electricity it generates. (A device that converts light into electricity can function as either a solar cell or a photosensor.)

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Sep 10, 2015

Blockchain & Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, electronics, entertainment, existential risks, internet, lifeboat, robotics/AI, security

A piece I wrote recently about blockchain & AI, and how I see the Lifeboat Foundation as a crucial component in a bright future.


Blockchain technology could lead to an AI truly reminiscent of the human brain, with less of its frailties, and more of its strengths. Just as a brain is not inherently dictated by a single neuron, neither is the technology behind bitcoin. The advantage (and opportunity) in this sense, is the advent of an amalgamation of many nodes bridged together to form an overall, singular function. This very much resembles the human brain (just as billions of neurons and synapses work in unison). If we set our sights on the grander vision of things, humans could accomplish great things if we utilize this technology to create a truly life-like Artificial Intelligence. At the same time, we need to keep in mind the dangers of such an intelligence being built upon a faultless system that has no single point of failure.

Just as any technology has upsides and corresponding downsides, this is no exception. The advantages of this technology are seemingly endless. In the relevant sense, it has the ability to create internet services without the same downfalls exploited in the TV show ‘Mr. Robot,’ where a hacker group named “fsociety” breached numerous data centers and effectively destroyed every piece of data the company held, causing worldwide ramifications across all of society. Because blockchain technology ensures no centralized data storage (by using all network users as nodes to spread information), it can essentially be rendered impossible to take down. Without a single targeted weak point, this means a service that, in the right hands, doesn’t go offline from heavy loads, which speeds up as more people use it, has inherent privacy/security safeguards, and unique features that couldn’t be achieved with conventional technology. In the wrong hands, however, this could be outright devastation. Going forward, we must tread lightly and not forget to keep tabs on this technology, as it could run rampant and destroy society as we know it.

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Sep 9, 2015

The new Apple Pencil in action on the Apple iPad Pro

Posted by in categories: electronics, media & arts

At last, Apple has made a stylus for their new giant iPad Pro. It seems to work beautifully. Here’s the ad that describes it.

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