For long-distance trips, the seeing-eye dog might soon be replaced by the seeing-eye car. Researchers on Virginia Tech's Blind Driver Team, with funding from the National Federation of the Blind, might soon give blind people the ability to do something they never thought possible: drive. The prototype "car" is actually a buggy equipped with lasers that judge the surrounding terrain.
At last, science confirms that gaming is good for you
By Amber Sasse
Posted 04.09.2009 at 2:03 pm 4 Comments
Video games get a bad reputation: they're blamed for adolescent obesity and even accused of inciting violent behavior. But finally some good press comes to the gaming world: the latest research from Nature Neuroscience proves action video games actually improve vision.
That's right: researchers at the University of Rochester discovered that first-person shooter games increase contrast sensitivity, the primary factor used by ophthalmologists to measure eyesight.
We don't get many opportunities to write about bobsledding. And while the U.S. Men's team winning the four-man bobsled championships yesterday for the first time in 50 years sounds newsworthy, it's not quite the standard hook for Popular Science readers. But the captain of that winning team, Steven Holcomb, nearly quit the sport last year with a degenerative eyesight disease, until he found a novel eye surgery -- and we're not talking Lasik here. Bobsled here we come.
Ever since the fish's discovery in 1939, scientists have believed that the tube-shaped eyes of Macropinna microstoma, commonly called the "barreleye," were fixed in place, limiting its vision to whatever was directly overhead. Recent research from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) proves this theory wrong: in reality, this crazy fish can rotate its eyes from an overhead view, which helps it locate prey swimming above, to the front of its face. This helps explain how the fish is able to actually capture the prey with its tiny mouth.
Watch out, neurons, there's stuff that we just can't see -- or process -- in the magician's toolbox (and in real life). Sure, the top hat, rabbit, and colorful scarves are hard to miss. But they're also used to distract us -- and to focus our gaze away from other activities.
The combination of magic and science drew a few hundred people to the auditorium of the New York Academy of Sciences for Science & The City's third installment in a series on the five senses.
The latest luxury sedans use night-vision systems to let you see in the dark
By Eric Adams
Posted 05.11.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
We tested two new night-vision systems that are available in the top-of-the-line Mercedes Benz S550 and BMW 7-Series luxury sedans. They operate on virtually opposite principles-Mercedes illuminates the environment with projected infrared light; BMW detects thermal energy emitted from objects-and each works well under different circumstances. Click here to see what we found.
Tight on funds, NASA cuts key science programs to foot the bill for manned missions to space
By Stefano Coledan
Posted 05.01.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
In July, the space shuttle Discovery is slated to deliver two tons of hardware and supplies to the partially built International Space Station. This mission is paid for. As for the 16 more needed to finish assembly, as mandated by President George W. Bush two years ago in his Vision for Space Exploration policy, NASA is short by as much as $5 billion.
By Michael Stroph
Posted 05.20.2005 at 1:00 am 1 Comment
Steve Austin had that enviable telescopic squint. Star Trek chief engineer Geordi La Forge saw darkness as daylight with his 24th-century ocular implants. And now it looks like a generation of very real people who have lost their sight are next in line for such seemingly sci-fi vision. “I’m hesitant to use the word ’superpower,’ ” says Armand R. Tanguay, Jr., an electrical-engineering professor at the University of Southern California who is building the world’s first implantable camera for the blind.
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.