For those without hands, there's Air Guitar Hero

DARPA project repurposes Guitar Hero to train amputees to use artificial arms

5 min read

20 November 2008—Rehabilitation specialists have taken to Nintendo’s Wii game console as a way to help motivate patients during physical therapy and rehabilitation. The latest addition to the Wii-hab phenomenon is perhaps its coolest— Air Guitar Hero . Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have made the popular Guitar Hero game into a tool for amputees who are being fitted with thenext generation of artificial arms. With a few electrodes and some very powerful algorithms, amputees can hit all the notes of Pat Benatar’s ”Hit Me With Your Best Shot” using only the electrical signals from their residual muscles.

The new research, which will be presented this Friday at the IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference, in Baltimore, is one component of a program sponsored by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The Revolutionizing Prosthetics (RP) 2009 project, spread over 30 research institutions worldwide and led by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), in Laurel, Md., is developing a mechanical arm that closely mimics the properties of a real limb.

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How Nanotech Can Foil Counterfeiters

These tiny mechanical ID tags are unclonable, cheap, and invisible

10 min read
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What's the largest criminal enterprise in the world? Narcotics? Gambling? Human trafficking?

Nope. The biggest racket is the production and trade of counterfeit goods, which is expected to exceed US $1 trillion next year. You've probably suffered from it more than once yourself, purchasing on Amazon or eBay what you thought was a brand-name item only to discover that it was an inferior-quality counterfeit.

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