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.