Tasty Tech Eye Candy Of The Week (Jun 8)
Krichmar, et. al, UC Irvine
We have tech from every corner, including sensitive robots, garden sensors, 3D-printed cars and motorcycles that shoot grenades. Above, Carl’s Junior is a "sensitive" robot that looks like a turtle with colored lights across its shell. This therapeutic robot is being used at a nearby school to help with children on the autism spectrum who seem to respond well to an inanimate, yet responsive object.
Fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles can get stuck in traffic like everyone else. Designer Marty Laurita has a better idea: an emergency motorcycle that runs on compressed air. The Angell Unit houses tool kits on both sides of the bike's headlamp that contain a crowbar and fire axe, as well as fire suppression grenades. At $7,000 and a top speed of 80 miles per hour, these cycles could be the first on the scene.
Sensors and smartphone apps are sophisticated enough that they're moving into every corner of the planet, including backyard gardens. A company called Edyn has environmental monitors that keep track of light, humidity, temperature, soil nutrition and moisture. The data is then cross-referenced with data in the local area in order to recommend plants that will do well in the conditions. An automatic watering device sprinkles the right amount of H2O and everything can be watched via an app. See thevideo
for more details.
Talk about getting immersed in art. The Eye Resonator art installation at Newcastle University consists of a large copper dome that's lowered over a person's head. Eye-tracking technology inside the dome fixates on the person’s eye motion as well as pupil dilation to produce an audio-visual feedback loop represented in images of swarming birds, insects, fish and plankton. The aim of the Eye Resonator, according to the developers, John Shearer, of the University of Lincoln, UK, and digital artists at Newcastle University, is to react to the viewer’s state of arousal and then constantly revise the audio and visual pattern, encouraging the viewer to achieve a balanced state of a control and relaxation.
Arizona-based Local Motors recently held the world's first 3D-Printed Car Design Challenge and this week, they choose the winner from more than 200 groups. The top prize went to a two-seater buggy called Strati, designed by Michele Anoé. The car will be printed this September at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.
At the solar thermal test plant at CSIRO in Newcastle, Australia, researchers achieved a world record with solar power. They were able to produce ultra-hot, ultra-pressurized steam, which can be used to drive turbines at advanced power plants. To date, this kind of heat has only been generated by coal or natural gas. Doing it with solar energy represents a huge milestone in using renewable energy to produce electricity.
In the Philippines, this floating billboard is being used to clean the polluted Pasig river. The billboard is made from Vetiver, a perennial, non-invasive grass frequently used to treat wastewater and stabilize landfills. In a system such as this, the Vetiver, which can tolerate nitrates, phosphates and heavy metals, is expected to clean 2 to 8 thousand gallons of water per day.
Drone are getting a bad rap these days. Some are used for surveillance and others drop bombs. But this drone just wants to help. The Unmanned Aerial Rescue Vehicle (UARV) concept, designed by Szymański Sylwester, operates in mountainous areas to aid in the search and rescue of missing people. It can deliver food and medical aid as well as help illuminate a search area for rescue personnel.
THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE
Philadephia's Franklin Institute has a new permanent exhibit that allows visitors to climb through a two-story neural network, explore brain images and learn how scientists study the brain.