Laser light can not only trigger lightning but redirect it, causing it to strike in the same place over and over, according to new research. This means lasers could serve as lightning rods. Because that would be awesome.
The gadget world is full of neat eye-tracking interfaces, from an iPhone version to a fully functioning laptop. But these are all fairly pricey and complex, making them niche devices rather than widely adoptable tools. Now a Honduran teenager has an eye tracker that solves the problem: A $300 open-source kit meant for people with disabilities. It's called the Eyeboard.
Jot it down: November 15, 2011, is when it began. Researchers in France have given a small robot the ability to directly control a living human's arm by running electricity through his muscles. The evil little bot mercilessly forces blindfolded human test subjects to put a toy ball through a toy basket again and again, by stimulating electrodes attached to their arms.
For those paralyzed from the neck down, controlling a wheelchair even with a joystick is impossible. Researchers at Japan's Miyazaki University have created a wheelchair that solves that problem with electrodes affixed to the face. Certain motions will cause the wheelchair to move, stop, and turn--and it can all be done above the neck.
Stanford researcher Yi Cui looked across the field of transparent electronics and saw that all was not equal. While all other major electronics components--things like transistors, displays, and other circuitry--have been made transparent, no one had taken the time and effort to create a transparent power source. And you can’t have a fully transparent device without a transparent battery. So Cui made one.
Magnetic fields applied to the brain can be used to treat ADHD, improve memory and even control your behavior and sense of morality. But unless you’re a neuroscientist, it’s hard to see the physiology of this phenomenon, other than trying to interpret colorful brain scans.
The following video accomplishes this beautifully.
A graphene sheet stretched among three electrodes is the tiniest device to directly receive radio signals, researchers say. Nanoscale radio receivers could be useful for sensing, physics studies and radio signal processing, which could even make them useful for mobile phones.
New DARPA-funded research could revolutionize portable power supplies, leading to lithium-ion batteries that are smaller than a grain of salt.
Jane Chang, an engineer at the University of California-Los Angeles, is designing a tiny solid electrolyte that allows charge to flow between two nanoscale electrodes. Eventually, the wee batteries could be used to power a host of micro and nanodevices.
A new handheld sensor can quickly detect the smallest trace of drugs or bacteria, allowing cops, suspicious parents or other authorities to tell what’s in your system. The Vantix portable screener, which is as simple as a pregnancy test, could revolutionize drug testing, the Telegraph reports.
Literally donning an electrode-studded thinking cap can improve your memory by 110 percent, according to a new study by Australian researchers. The method applies electricity to the head to inhibit a specific region of the brain that has been implicated in autism.
By Alessandra Calderin
Posted 07.16.2010 at 10:07 am 8 Comments
This maze of electrodes, known as a surface-electrode ion trap, brings us closer to building quantum computers—that is, computers that could manipulate the quantum-mechanical states of atoms to process data millions of times as fast as today’s most powerful supercomputers do.
A collaboration between U.S. and South Korean researchers has produced what is thought to be the world’s smallest man-made pump, merely the size of a red blood corpuscle. More impressive still is their means of powering the pump, using glass – generally a very bad conductor of electricity – to craft an electrode at the nanoscale.
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.