Half a dozen palm-sized, plastic gadgets lie scattered across the desk in Aydogan Ozcan’s UCLA office. Each device is a different type of low-cost medical diagnostic tool. Several of them contain a lens-free microscope of Ozcan’s own invention. And all of them rely on the powers of the cellphone. “If you add up all the architecture at the back of a cellphone—electronics, optics, software, connectivity—it holds phenomenal promise for use as a platform,” he says.
By Paul KvintaPosted 09.06.2012 at 10:35 am 1 Comment
Simon the robot has just learned a new skill: transferring a red block from one hand into a coffee cup held by the other. But like an eager preschooler, he wants to know more. “Can I begin here?” he asks, lifting the block high. Simon has two arms, eight fingers, doe eyes, and a monotone voice. With each question and answer, he is doing what roboticist Andrea Thomaz calls “whittling away the hypothesis space,” or eliminating information that is not essential.