Apr 10, 2014

Train for surgery using immersive 3D holograms of corpses

posted by Larra Morris

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Computer-generated models are starting to let researchers and students peer into the body without needing a real human stretched out before them. Virtual dissection tables have been built at places like Stanford and the University of Calgary. Now, University of Michigancomputer scientists and biologists have taken the technology another step forward, using projectors, joysticks and 3-D equipment to build a floating holographic human that users can dissect, manipulate, and put back together as they wish.
via Gizmodo

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Image: University of Michigan

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Apr 09, 2014

The Nerdy Engineer

posted by Laura Domela

Here’s how a nerdy engineer became the most famous man on Earth. And how engineering holds the key to progress in the 21st century. This “Engineering Manifesto” was delivered to the National Press Club by Neil Armstrong in February, 2000, and animated by Jorge Cham of PHD Comics.

via Neatorama

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Apr 09, 2014

These scarves are woven music, made with patterns from organ punchcards

posted by Larra Morris

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Did you know that the same kind of punched cards control both the jaunty tunes of old timey organs and the warp and weft of a certain kind of textile loom? Glithero, aka British designer Tim Simpson and Dutch designer Sarah van Gameren, bridged the gap for a cool a medium mash-up—and managed to weave music.

In order to realize the project, the duo joined forces with Wil van den Broek and Leon van Leeuwen, master craftsmen who've been experts in their respective fields—weaving and organ book making—for years.

The connection may seem like a stretch at first, but it's actually surprising how well the two processes align. When a punch card is fed through an organ, air passes through the pipes, and the position of the holes determine which note is played. When those same cardboard lengths pass through the loom, the cut-outs establish a pattern, as hooks dip in and out of the open bits.
via Gizmodo

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Image: Glithero

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Apr 09, 2014

Surgical robot snakes its way down the throat

posted by Larra Morris

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When we last heard about the modular snake robot designed by Carnegie Mellon University robotics professor Howie Choset, it had been used to explore an abandoned nuclear power plant. Now, however, a new line of robots based on it are set to explore something a little more confined – the human body.

Known as the Flex System, the surgical version of the snake robot was developed by Choset and two partners through Medrobotics Corp, a Carnegie Mellon spin-off venture.
via Gizmag

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Image: Carnegie Mellon University

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Apr 08, 2014

Nanodot-based smartphone battery that recharges in 30 seconds

posted by Laura Domela

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[Yesterday] at Microsoft’s Think Next symposium in Tel Aviv, Israeli startup StoreDot has demonstrated the prototype of a nanodot-based smartphone battery it claims can fully charge in just under 30 seconds. With the company having plans for mass production, this technology could change the way we interact with portable electronics, and perhaps even help realize the dream of a fast-charging electric car.
via Gizmodo

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Photo: StoreDot

Tags : cell phones, power,    0 comments  
Apr 08, 2014

The most hated browser in the world is finally dead

posted by Laura Domela

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After the release of Windows XP in 2001 and for a few years that followed, Internet Explorer 6 was the biggest, most important browser in the world. And for longer, it has been the buggy browser that's overstayed its welcome. Microsoft announced it would support IE6 through April of this year back in 2009, and today (along with XP and Office 2003) is the last day Microsoft will provide updates. Unless you're an old user who couldn't care less or are somehow nostalgic for a broken web, it's finally time to say goodbye.
via The Verge

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Apr 08, 2014

Rebel toy company launches new quest to turn princesses into engineers

posted by Laura Domela

When GoldieBlox tried to launch its line of engineering and building toys for girls, Lindsey Shepard says she heard one thing over and over from the rest of the toy industry: “Girls don’t want them.”

It seems that someone forgot to tell those girls.

In the past seven months, GoldieBlox has raised more than $285,000 on Kickstarter, garnered millions of views for a video about its toys (thanks in part to a brilliant re-imagining of the Beastie Boys’ song “Girls”), pre-sold more than a million dollars’ worth of products, and parlayed that groundswell of support into winning a contest for a Super Bowl commercial slot. Its toys are stocked by big retailers like Toys R Us and Target, even expanding into the United Kingdom and Australia. And now, it’s filming the follow-up to the original video—which is where Shepard and I are sitting at right now.
via Wired

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Tags : engineering, Career,    0 comments  
Apr 08, 2014

Suck it, robots: Toyota is giving jobs back to humans

posted by Laura Domela

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My, my, my how the tables have turned. The past few years have seen countless human jobs filled with our less-whiny robot counterparts. But it turns out that, at least for Toyota, the pros of total automation haven't outweighed the cons. Meaning human factory workers are back in business.

It's certainly an unconventional move—intentionally taking a step backwards usually is—but Toyota's reasoning makes sense. Apparently, it's been suffering from an excess of average workers and a dearth of master craftsmen.
via Gizmodo

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Tags : robots, automotive,    0 comments  
Apr 08, 2014

What robot behavior makes people feel uncomfortable?

posted by Larra Morris

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According to Sean Andrist from the University of Wisconsin Madison, robots need to look away sometimes. Eye contact provides a basis for human social communication (which is why we seek to implement it in robots), but there's a sweet spot for the amount of time we spend gazing into each other's eyes.

In a conversation, humans don't look at each other 100 percent of the time, says Andrist. When listening, we look at the speaker around 70 percent of the time. On the other hand, speakers only look directly at the other person around 40 percent of the time when talking.
via IEEE Spectrum

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Apr 08, 2014

The real medical conditions behind the deformed hands in Rodin’s sculptures

posted by Larra Morris

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When James Chang was a surgical resident at Stanford Medical School, he liked to visit the sculpture garden at the nearby Cantor Arts Center. The museum happens to have one of the world’s best collections of work by Auguste Rodin, including a giant bronze cast of The Gates of Hell. Following his two young daughters around as they ran through the garden, it dawned on him that the hands on some of Rodin’s sculptures looked very similar to the deformed and injured hands he was learning to operate on. “I started playing a mental game, trying to catalog the different clinical conditions,” said Chang.

Chang’s fascination with Rodin’s hands has led to a new exhibit at the museum that features the original bronze sculptures alongside digital reconstructions of the bones, nerves, and blood vessels of real patients treated by Chang, who’s now a professor of surgery at Stanford specializing in hand surgery and reconstruction. Visitors will be able to hold an iPad up to several hand sculptures and see the underlying anatomy from different angles.
via Wired

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