Electronics that restore vocal ability, mobility, and salubrity
Imagine that you’ve been in an auto accident, and you’re unable to escape your crumpled vehicle or reach the cellphone you stashed in the center console. That is likely one of the scenarios that were envisioned by the designers of this emergency watch from Swiss watchmaker Limmex. Pushing a single button prompts the timepiece to dial a preprogrammed number and let the wearer talk via speakerphone.
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Jonas Pfeil, a researcher at Berlin Technical University, shows off his solution for producing a truly unencumbered 360-degree image of a scene. He embedded in a ball 36 miniature cameras of the type used in cellphones. When the ball is thrown, a sensor detects when it is at its highest point and triggers the cameras to snap pictures simultaneously. Software then merges the photos into a single, all-encompassing image.
Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters
Jonas Pfeil, a researcher at Berlin Technical University, took this picture remotely using a ball in which he had embedded 36 miniature cameras of the type used in cellphones. When the ball is thrown, a sensor detects when it is at its highest point and triggers the cameras to snap pictures simultaneously. Software then merges the photos into a single, all-encompassing image.
Photo: Jonas Pfeil/Reuters
Fujita Health University professor Eiichi Saito, whose right leg was paralyzed by polio, demonstrates Toyota’s Independent Walk Assist robot. The robot, which is powered by a set of batteries that Saito is carrying in the backpack, bends his knee and ankle to enable a naturalistic gait. Toyota says that the machine, which was one of several showcased at a 1 November health-care robots event, will be commercially available by 2013.
Photo: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters/Landov
MIT researchers have developed a material that they say will restore speaking ability to people with vocal cords damaged by overuse or surgery. Development of the material—a form of polyethylene glycol that can replicate the action of human vocal cords by vibrating up to 200 times a second—was funded in part by famous singers such as The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.
Photo: Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Last month, a new high-tech surveillance facility began operating in Mexico City. The C4I4 Emergency Operations Center will allow intelligence personnel and researchers to study video footage from more than 8000 cameras strategically mounted across the massive metropolis. Authorities there say the center will help them control crime and better respond to natural disasters in the quake-prone region.
This giant orb, which looks as bland as an ordinary lightbulb, is the home of aerial dogfights. The Barco RP-360 is a flight simulator for jet pilots—the first to provide a fully immersive 360-degree training environment. The system, produced by Belgian display maker Barco, uses thirteen 10-megapixel projectors and special software to generate seamless battle theaters for virtual missions that prepare trainee pilots for the real thing.
Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters
This computer screen at the Dutch Royal Philips Electronics Hospital in Eindhoven, Netherlands, allows medical personnel to monitor the conditions inside each hospital room. The facility, which opened last month, was created to study just how much patient-friendly environments, where light, sound, and video are tailored to the individual, can accelerate the healing process.
Photo: Lex Van Lieshout/AFP/Getty Images
This hulking robot and two other automatons were pitted against a human rugby player in a kicking match at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand. The robotic rugby kickers, equipped with sensors for identifying the goal area and software for calculating the amount of force to deliver to the ball, dueled the human player to a draw.
Photo: William West/AFP/Getty Images
This pile of rubble is what remains of the last B53 “bunker buster” nuclear bomb that had been part of the U.S. arsenal. The 4090-kilogram, SUV-size Cold War–era explosive was dismantled late last month. The bomb, which was designed to kill anyone within 29 kilometers of where it was detonated and penetrate strongholds as far as 230 meters underground, was destroyed as part of a U.S. effort to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its national security strategy.
Photo: B&W Pantex/Reuters
An engineer with TerraNet, Lebanon’s fastest growing wireless Internet service provider, inspects antennas designed to make the entire country a Wi-Fi hot spot. But service there is still spotty and costly, with monthly broadband wireless charges as high as US $300.