That Nike + iPod technology that allows shoes and workout machines to feed information to portable electronics devices was a nice first step in merging athletic equipment and electronics to help users work out smarter. Now Reebok is taking the next step, working with startup MC10 to create flexible electronics that are built right into sportswear, removing the need for some clunky external device to record or transmit data.
British engineers say they are just 18 months away from a remotely controlled highly dextrous hand that could lead to huge breakthroughs in telepresence tasks ranging from hazardous materials disposal to bomb disassembly. Controlled by 20 motors mounted below the wrist, UK-based Shadow Robot Company’s C6M2 hand mimics the movements of a hand wearing a special glove, allowing anyone to control the robotic hands without specialized training.
Buried beneath November's headlines depicting rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, European economic woes, and the brazen disclosure of confidential State Department cables, a meaningful geopolitical event went largely overlooked: Nicaragua invaded Costa Rica. There was no shooting war and the incident involved only a small swath of disputed territory along the San Juan River, part of which divides the two nations. But a Nicaraguan commander added an interesting wrinkle to the narrative when he dragged an unlikely culprit into the dispute: Google.
A real-life sonic screwdriver could use ultrasonic waves to apply forces to objects, according to researchers in the UK. Bruce Drinkwater, the professor who proposes this idea, says that in theory, ultrasonic waves can be rotated at high speeds to create force fields that would act like a real screwdriver.
Everyone loves apps, right? Google is the first to launch a desktop app store (though Apple and Microsoft aren't far behind), the Chrome Web Store, expressly designed for their Chrome browser. It looks pretty much like any other app store, with games, utilities, news, and other categories, except Chrome apps run right in your browser, in their own tab. There are hundreds already, so combing through the lists to get to the good stuff can be tricky. Here are ten of our favorites.
The private spaceflight industry took another giant leap forward today as privately-owned SpaceX, with help from NASA, successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying its Dragon crew capsule into orbit from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Though the crew capsule was unmanned for this maiden flight, the launch marks the first time a private spaceflight company has launched a spaceship into orbit with the intention of bringing it safely back to Earth.
"Anonymous," a group of hackers perhaps best known for their attacks on the Church of Scientology, have appointed themselves the protectors of Wikileaks. To that end, they've begun a full-scale attack on those who have harmed Wikileaks in the past. This is no cute hacker's mission--it's a full-on crusade that has already taken down Mastercard.com.
A Japanese probe bound for Venus has missed its orbit and been seized by the sun’s gravitational pull, in a major setback for Japan’s shoestring space program. The probe, called Akatsuki, isn’t necessarily lost however. JAXA officials are still in contact with the probe and may try to insert it into orbit around Venus when it passes near the planet again – in six years.
Since their introduction into hospitals, robots have sliced up and sponge-bathed humans across the globe. Now they’re set to automate emergency care. With about 40 percent of ER patients arriving with potentially life-threatening afflictions and others with minor grievances, automating the triage process could lead to more efficient and expeditious treatment.