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Robot Skin Can Feel Touch, Sense Chemicals, and Soak Up Solar Power

Robot Skin Can Feel Touch, Sense Chemicals, and Soak Up Solar Power
When you meet your robot overlord, it may be wearing super-intelligent skin designed by a Stanford researcher--a solar-powered, super-sensitive, chemical-sampling covering that makes your meatbag covering look pathetic. Zhenan Bao is behind the advances, and the recent development centers on a stretchable solar cell system that can expand and shrink along two different axes, making it perfect for incorporation into artificial skin for robots, human prosthetic limbs, or even clothing. Bao's earlier successes with artificial skin have resulted in a highly flexible and durable material, which is part of a flexible organic-chemistry transistor, built on a thin polymer layer. When the skin is subjected to pressure, the current flowing through the transistors is modified as tiny pyramid shapes molded into the polymer layer compress, resulting in a super-sensitive transducer that can apparently detect the pressure from a house-fly's feet. Related:  Cyborgenic Reengineering the Human Body

Cyborgs – scientists create biological tissue with embedded wiring Under its human skin, James Cameron’s Terminator was a fully-armored cyborg built out of a strong, easy-to-spot hyperalloy combat chassis – but judging from recent developments, it looks like Philip K. Dick and his hard-to-recognize replicants actually got it right. In a collaboration between Harvard, MIT and Boston Children's Hospital, researchers have figured out how to grow three-dimensional samples of artificial tissue that are very intimately embedded within nanometer-scale electronics, to such an extent that it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. It could lead to a breakthrough approach to studying biological tissues on the nanoscale, and may one day be used as an efficient, real-time drug delivery system – and perhaps, why not, even to build next-generation androids. So far, our attempts at creating an intimate blend of lab-grown tissues and nanoscale electronics have led to mediocre results at best. Source: Boston Children's Hospital Share

Snowflakes Up Close: A Small, Fragile World If you’re one of those people who likes to ponder things while looking out a frosty window on a cold winter day, these pictures will clear up one of those long standing wonders: each snowflake really IS unique. Some look like roman columns, others circuit boards or spaceships. Taken under high magnification using a microscope, these images bring a fragile and beautiful world into view. See Also HARMFUL VIRUSES MADE OF BEAUTIFUL GLASS They say that every snowflake is different. Source: akirathedon.com Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea.

Interview: Bruce Sterling on the Convergence of Humans and Machines Bruce Sterling is a prominent science fiction writer and a pioneer of the cyberpunk genre. His cyberpunk novels Heavy Weather (1994), Islands in the Net (1988), Schismatrix (1985), The Artificial Kid (1980) earned him the nickname “Chairman Bruce”. Apart from his writings, Bruce Sterling is also a professor of internet studies and science fiction at the European Graduate School. In the interview below, we had the honor of hosting Bruce Sterling in our Next Nature Network headquarters to talk to him about the concept of the convergence of humans and machines. Lots of people are actually talking about and also investing a lot of money in this idea of convergence of the machine and humans. The result is the unbundling of those metaphysical ideas and their replacement by actual products and services That convergence will not happen, because the ambition is basically metaphysical. This is the history of artificial intelligence. You do not want Siri to be more like Alan Turing.

Line Block Cable by Junbeom So, Lee Ji Eun, Yi-Seo Hyeon, Heo-Hyeoksu & Jeong Minhui Line Up The Tangles The problem addressed in the Line Block Cable is so true to home, it’s the one most of us face when we hook up too many gadgets in one area. Not that we can help it, it’s ideal to have the TV, CD player and the music housed together. As a result, their cables leading up to the socket can get messy and unsightly. Designers: Junbeom So, Lee Ji Eun, Yi-Seo Hyeon, Heo-Hyeoksu & Jeong Minhui Part Human, Part Machine, Cyborgs Are Becoming A Reality Meeting a cyborg for the first time is a nerve-wracking experience. We had arranged to meet in an area of London known as Silicon Roundabout. Near Old Street, the district is home to high-tech start-up firms, giving birth to Britain’s recent software industry boom. In its coffee bars, internet entrepreneurs and programmers share hot drinks and electronic dreams. Neil Harbisson walked into the cafe wearing a bright orange blazer and a 12-inch metal antenna curved over his head. “For me, a cyborg is someone who feels their technology is a part of their biology,” he says. Newsweek Magazine is Back In Print In Harbisson’s case, his is an antenna. The implant was not sanctioned by the medical profession. “My antenna allows me to detect not only colour visible to the human eye, but also beyond,” he adds. Harbisson became known for being the first “officially” recognised cyborg when his passport photograph showing his antenna was accepted by the British Passport Office.

11 cheap gifts guaranteed to impress science geeks Science comes up with a lot of awesome stuff, and you don't need a Ph.D, a secret lab, or government funding to get your hands on some of the coolest discoveries. We've got a list of 11 mostly affordable gifts that are guaranteed to blow your mind, whether or not you're a science geek. Click on any image to see it enlarged. 1. Aerogel Also known as frozen smoke, Aerogel is the world's lowest density solid, clocking in at 96% air. Aerogel isn't just neat, it's useful. Price: $35 2. Inside these sealed glass balls live shrimp, algae, and bacteria, all swimming around in filtered seawater. EcoSpheres came out of research looking at ways to develop self-contained ecosystems for long duration space travel. Price: $80 3. NASA has been trying to figure out how to get a sample of rock back from Mars for a while now. Every once in a while, a meteorite smashes into Mars hard enough to eject some rocks out into orbit around the sun. Price: $70+ 4. Price: $150 5. Price: $110 6. Price: $80 7. Price: $15 8.

Forget Robots. We’ll Soon Be Fusing Technology With Living Matter | Business Bot & Dolly's Iris was responsible for the zero-g camera work in Gravity, which won this year's Oscar for best cinematography. Josh Valcarcel/WIRED A prototype of the sensor BlueCity hopes to mount on the lids of trash cans everywhere to detect garbage levels and make waste collection less wasteful in the process. Boston Dynamics' Wildcat robot wowed the internet with a demo video that showed the dog-like creature navigating forest and ice. It's also nearly impossible to knock down. Otherlabs' Pneubotics inflatable robot arm uses air rather than motors and metal to move, making it safer around human workers. Fl.UI is a prototype of a fluid-based touchscreen built by Berkeley computer science grad students Cesar Torres and Tim Campbell to make tactile interfaces easy to customize. The Makani wing is an airborne wind turbine that generates electricity while aloft. SAN FRANCISCO — The future has a funny way of sneaking up on you. Joi Ito.

Voyager 1 at edge of solar system - baltimoresun.com January 17, 2011|By Frank D. Roylance, The Baltimore Sun You probably have more computing power in your pocket than what NASA's venerable Voyager spacecraft are carrying to the edge of the solar system. They have working memories a million times smaller than your home computer. Even so, the twin explorers, now 33 years into their mission, continue to explore new territory as far as 11 billion miles from Earth. It's amazing even to Stamatios "Tom" Krimigis, of the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab near Laurel. "Needless to say, none of us expected it was going to be operating for so long," said Krimigis, now 72. In all that time, only one instrument, on Voyager 1, has broken down. But five experiments on each Voyager are still funded and seven are still delivering data. "I suspect it's going to outlast me," said Krimigis. Krimigis is the emeritus head of the Space Department at the lab and the only remaining original member of his Voyager instrument team. Norman F.

Scientists use 3D printing to make artificial blood vessels The tangled highway of blood vessels that twists and turns inside our bodies, delivering essential nutrients and disposing of hazardous waste to keep our organs working properly has been a conundrum for scientists trying to make artificial vessels from scratch. Now a team from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) has made headway in fabricating blood vessels using a three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technique. The study is published online this month in Lab on a Chip. "Engineers have made incredible strides in making complex artificial tissues such as those of the heart, liver and lungs," said senior study author, Ali Khademhosseini, PhD, biomedical engineer, and director of the BWH Biomaterials Innovation Research Center. "However, creating artificial blood vessels remains a critical challenge in tissue engineering. The researchers first used a 3D bioprinter to make an agarose (naturally derived sugar-based molecule) fiber template to serve as the mold for the blood vessels.

BuildItSolar: Solar energy projects for Do It Yourselfers to save money and reduce pollution

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