See on Scoop.it - Knowmads, Infocology of the future
Using ordinary fishing line, researchers have crafted coiled muscles that could revolutionize prosthetics and robotic exoskeletons.
Next time you spot a muscly athlete showing off at the gym, try out this compliment: “Wow! You’ve got arms like fishing line.”
Though it may not be taken well, it’s actually a flattering comparison. Scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas have designed super strong artificial muscles by simply twisting and coiling ordinary fishing line. The coiled muscles can lift more than 100 times the weight of a human muscle of the same size, and generate as much mechanical power per kilogram as a jet engine — perhaps offering an inexpensive new material to move prosthetics and robotic exoskeletons.
On a smaller scale, the twisted yarns of polymers could also one day yield clothing with pores that open and close based on temperature, or climate-controlled window shutters.
“There are many types of artificial muscles that have been talked about in the literature for years,” said the study’s lead author Ray Baughman, director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas. “Very few are commercially used.”
See on blogs.discovermagazine.com
It’s time to build a bionic brain for smarter research
The structure of the brain reveals a network of massively interconnected electrochemically active cells. It is known that information can be represented by changes of state within this network, but that statement falls far short of revealing how the brain supports thought, feelings, memory, intention and action. How then to solve this problem? The physicist Richard Feynmann famously said “What I cannot create, I do not understand”. A report published today by the Australian Academy of Science proposes applying this approach to the study of the brain by creating a simulating the biological thought process within a new computer system. In short: build a bionic brain. The device could be truly revolutionary. A bionic brain built on biological principles could suggest entirely new approaches to artificial intelligence. It would be a new computer resource inspiring new solutions for fail-safe smart machines. Simulating thought in a bionic brain would also provide a whole new tool with which to investigate the operation of neural circuits. A bionic brain would provide a whole new approach to the study of not just normal mental function, but also mental disorder such as psychosis, addiction and anxiety. It would provide a new resource to examine the causes of these disorders and even test proposed therapies. Ultimately a bionic brain may even provide a solution for victims of brain damage or stroke by outsourcing some aspects of brain function to a prosthetic device. (via It’s time to build a bionic brain for smarter research)
A Telepresence RoboCop Piloted by Oculus Rift and Sensored Gloves
A student at the Florida International University (FIU) dons a sensor-laden pair of gloves and vest and an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. He lifts his arm, makes a fist—and across the room a robot awakens and mimics his movements.
Using a potent cocktail of new technologies and $20,000 from a private contributor, Jeremy Robins, a team of FIU researchers and students says they’ve engineered a telepresence robot suitable for law enforcement—a real telepresence RoboCop.
(via A Telepresence RoboCop Piloted by Oculus Rift and Sensored Gloves | Singularity Hub)