Today in non-cosmetic body piercings: A group of engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a way to control, well, just about anything (but most likely, things like wheelchairs) with a combination of a magnetic tongue piercing and a paired retainer. The user would press the tongue piercing against different parts of the retainer to send signals. Shift into neutral! Pretend like you're saying the word "lilt"!
One of the fundamental joys of the Kinect is lifting one arm, then the other, and seeing the movement mirrored by your on-screen avatar. Know what's even cooler than that? Seeing your movements mirrored by an actual physical robot.
For conscious, biological beings, walking comes easy. But the process of lining up one step after another across varying and uneven terrain is no stroll through the park. Just ask a prosthesis tech fitting a fabricated leg to an amputee or a roboticist trying to teach a humanoid robot to walk; recreating human gait and all the variations thereof is a huge technical challenge. To that end, researchers in Gottingen, Germany have developed a six-legged walking robot that can autonomously switch between different gaits depending on terrain and conditions.
Time to shake off that post-Thanksgiving tryptophan daze and see what the other Turkey has been doing. Turns out those Turkish officials have begun working on two Internet projects: a Turkish search engine that aims to address Muslim sensitivities, and government-controlled e-mail accounts for all 70 million Turkish citizens.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.