Fritz Morgan: LEDs Into Gold

When a Broadway show—or an office building in Hong Kong—needs a dazzling light display, who ya gonna call?

5 min read
Photo of Fritz Morgan
That Light Touch: Fritz Morgan lights up the world, putting intelligent LED-based fixtures on the sides of buildings, in airports, even on the stages of Broadway and Hollywood shows.
Photo: Steve Marsel

For most of its 125-year history, the lighting industry has been about as low-tech as technology gets. Until the last few years, that is, when beautiful blue, green, and purple light-emitting diodes started flooding the market and showing up in everything from traffic signals to video billboards.

Nowadays, they light up huge bridges, add pizazz to casinos, and illuminate highly stylized interior spaces. And that’s just the beginning. To see how LEDs are going to be used tomorrow, you have to look to engineers like Frederick M. (“Fritz”) Morgan. As vice president of engineering at Color Kinetics Inc., in Boston, he has conjured up revolutionary lighting installations from Hollywood to Hong Kong.

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Stretchable Artificial Nerves Help Restore Motion in Mice

New neuroprosthetic approach is more flexible and less power-hungry than other designs

2 min read
illustration of a paralysed mouse and a moving mouse

A paralyzed mouse with a spinal cord injury or motor neuron disease (left) and a mouse that

has recovered voluntary motor function by using stretchable artificial nerves (right).

Stanford University

Conventional neuroprosthetic devices that aim to help patients bypass nerve damage are often rigid and power-hungry. Now scientists have developed stretchable artificial nerves that helped paralyzed mice run on a treadmill and kick a ball while consuming less than one-hundredth of the power of a typical microprocessor. The scientists suggest these artificial nerves may one day find use in the human body.

To help restore movement to patients who have suffered nerve damage from injuries or diseases, scientists are researching neuroprosthetic devices that can help relay signals from the brain to muscles or nerves. However, these systems often face a number of critical limitations, says study co-senior author Tae-Woo Lee, a materials scientist at Seoul National University.

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Xiaomi Builds a Humanoid Robot for Some Reason

CyberOne is a new biped from China, but why does it exist?

3 min read
A black and white humanoid robot lies face down on dirt after appearing to have just fallen

Xiaomi, a large Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer, has introduced a full size bipedal humanoid robot called CyberOne. It’s 177 centimeters in height and weighs 52 kilograms, and it comes with 21 degrees of freedom, with “a curved OLED module to display real-time interactive information.” Nifty! So, uh, its actual purpose is... what exactly?

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Get the Coursera Campus Skills Report 2022

Download the report to learn which job skills students need to build high-growth careers

1 min read

Get comprehensive insights into higher education skill trends based on data from 3.8M registered learners on Coursera, and learn clear steps you can take to ensure your institution's engineering curriculum is aligned with the needs of the current and future job market. Download the report now!