Monthly Archives: February 2010

New sensors built using nanotech could read and write information directly into the brain

from EVOKER:

Telecommunications researchers in Japan are attempting to create electronic sensors that can not only receive information from the brain, but could manipulate our neural pathways.

“Establishing connections between the brain and electrical instruments is important for understanding how the brain works and for controlling neural activity,” says Torimitsu, who heads NTT’s Molecular and Bioscience Group.

Video: 3D printed robot arm

from Shapeways: (via Bruce Sterling)

It is early days yet but the first iteration of Kris Reed’s actuated robot arm looks very promising.

You can check out Kris’ blog post on how he came to make his arm here or see the 3D printed robot arm that will one day subjugate humanity in action below.

GEOtube concept: A building that grows its own weblike skin

from Inhabitat:

It may sound a bit creepy, but wouldn’t it be cool if buildings could grow their own skin? California-based architecture firm Faulders Studio certainly thinks so.

GEOtube, their proposal for Dubai is almost exactly like a normal building – except for the fact that it will have the ability to generate a web-like saline skin that spreads down the façade of the structure over time. [...] When the water evaporates, salt deposits will be left behind forming the tower’s exo-skeleton.

Tiny chip made of paper diagnoses diseases and costs just a penny

from PopSci:

A Harvard University chemist has created a prototype “chip” technology out of paper that could help diagnose HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases for just a penny each time, according to CNN.

A drop of blood on one side of the paper chip results in a colorful tree-like pattern that tells physicians or nurses whether a person has certain diseases. Water-repellent comic-book ink helps channel the blood into the tree-like pattern, as several layers of treated paper react to the blood and create the telling colors.

Bio-inspired networks self-organise and learn

from ITC Results:

Powerful computers made up of physically separate modules, self-organising networks, and computing inspired by biological systems are three hot research topics coming together in one European project.

European researchers have developed an innovative computing platform. At the heart of the system are many small modules, each made from chips with an inbuilt ability to learn. A self-configuring wireless network connects the modules, allowing them to operate as a coherent group.

Light-activated on/off switch for DNA nanomachines

from rsc.org:

A light-activated switch to turn nanomachines on and off has been developed by Japanese researchers. The team showed how tiny tweezers made with DNA could be triggered to open and close in response to UV and visible light. The clever mechanism is hoped to find useful roles in designing future nano-robots.

‘We are designing DNA nano-robotics that are mechanically operated by light rather than chemical fuel,’ says Hiroyuki Asanuma, who led the research at Nagoya University, Japan. ‘In other words, we are creating “environment-friendly” nano-robotics.’

Artificial robot skin will use quantum tunneling

from MIT’s Technology Review:

Peratech makes an electrically conductive material called quantum tunneling composite (QTC). When the material is compressed electrons jump between two conductors separated by polymer insulating layer covered with metallic nanoparticles.

QTC robot skin could perhaps let a robot know precisely where it has been touched, and with how much pressure. It could also be helpful in designing machines that have better grasping capabilities, and for developing more natural ways for machines to interact with humans.