Monthly Archives: June 2010

Researchers create “Smart Sheets” that can self-assemble into airplanes, boats

from PopSci:

Scientists at MIT and Harvard have invented self-folding smart fiberglass sheets that can crease themselves into origami airplanes and boats.

It’s a far cry from previous programmable matter research we’ve seen, which works at the nanoscale to create scaffolds and gears.

The fiberglass sheets are about a half-millimeter thick and made of half-inch-wide triangular tiles. They can be made at a larger scale, enabling machines that can fold, Transformer-like, into any number of objects.

Researchers create biodegradable self-assembling DNA nanodevices that move and change shape

from Harvard Medical School:

By emulating nature’s design principles, a team at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has created nanodevices made of DNA that self-assemble and can be programmed to move and change shape on demand.

In contrast to existing nanotechnologies, these programmable nanodevices are highly suitable for medical applications because DNA is both biocompatible and biodegradable.

The work appears in the June 20 advance online Nature Nanotechnology.

Military-grade Augmented Reality could redefine modern warfare

from ReadWriteWeb:

Tanagram Partners is developing military-grade augmented reality technology that — if developed to the full potential of its prototypes — would completely change the face of military combat as we know it.

The company is developing a system of lightweight sensors and displays that collect and provide data from and to each individual soldier in the field. This includes a computer, a 360-degree camera, UV and infrared sensors, stereoscopic cameras and OLED translucent display goggles.

With this technology, soldiers will be able to communicate with a massive “home base” server that collects and renders 3D information onto the wearer’s goggles in real time. Various objects and people will be outlined in a specific color to warn soldiers of things like friendly forces, potential danger spots, impending air-raid locations, rendezvous points and much more.

PaperComp 2010: The Dawn of Paper Computing

from PaperComp.org:

Paper is not dead. Books, magazines and other printed materials can now be connected to the digital world, enriched with additional content and even transformed into interactive interfaces.

Conversely, some of the screen-based interfaces we currently use to interact with digital data could benefit from being paper-based or make use of specially designed material as light and flexible as paper.

In a near future, printed documents could become new ubiquitous interfaces for our everyday interactions with digital information. This is the dawn of paper computing.

1st International Workshop on Paper Computing
26-29 Sept 2010 / Copenhagen, Denmark

Plastic 3-D self-replicating printer

from Thingiverse: via Bruce Sterling (@bruces)

This is the next step in my attempt to make a Sarrus linkage based 3D printer. The idea is to have a cartesian mechanism without those long rods and bearings.

I built three of the Mark III and mounted them in a x-y arrangement as shown. They can move over a square about 105 mm wide, and someday may carry an extruder. They are driven by DC motors taken from inkjet printers. These motors are driven in a servo arrangement using quadrature optical encoders and optical strips removed from the same printers.

Shimizu’s Dream: Proposals to Benefit Future Generations

from SHIMIZU Corporation:

Shimizu continues to introduce our vision for the future.
We tackle new technological challenges and present wide-ranging proposals for the benefit of up-coming generations.