First we got wireless video game controls, then motion sensing controllers, and now even a controller-free video game interface. But the next stage of human-computer interaction could be controllers that add hot and cold sensations to users' simulated experiences.
In this modern economy, apparently nothing is sacred -- not even the space shuttle is spared the indignity of training its younger replacement. During what is planned to be the last shuttle flight ever, astronauts onboard space shuttle Endeavour next February will test a new docking system designed for the Orion spacecraft. The system provides real-time 3-D images to the crew and is more streamlined and more accurate than the shuttle's docking sensors.
By Lauren GravitzPosted 07.28.2010 at 2:00 pm 8 Comments
A new, implantable sensor that wirelessly transmits blood-glucose data has the potential to completely change the way most diabetics control their disease.
The round device is just a bit smaller than a Double-Stuf Oreo -- about 1.5 inches wide and half an inch thick -- and would be implanted in a person's torso. It's hermetically sealed, with an integrated antenna that wirelessly transmits data, a long-lived battery, and a pair of sensors.
Youth and vigor have their advantages, but there is something to be said for longevity. NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter has been circling the red planet since 2001 and has just released the best map ever made of the Martian surface.
Sometimes, you want Big Brother to be watching. In that spirit, South Korean officials are turning to GPS technology to keep their kids safe from criminals, AFP reports.
Starting in October, about 1,200 elementary school children in Anyang City, south of Seoul, will receive matchbox-sized GPS-embedded beepers. The devices can notify authorities of the kids' location and activate surveillance cameras.
The International Space Station is upgrading its timepiece. An atomic clock constructed by EADS Astrium will arrive at the ISS in 2014, providing the most accurate timekeeping to date in space, better synchronization of clocks on Earth, and the opportunity to learn a few things about time itself.
You may have heard the rumor that swirled briefly last month about an Internet “kill switch” that could power down the Web in the case of a critical cyber attack. Those rumors turned out to be largely overblown, but it turns out there are now seven individuals out there holding keys to the Internet. In the aftermath of a cataclysmic cyber attack, these members of a “chain of trust” will be responsible for rebooting the Web.
By Alessandra CalderinPosted 07.27.2010 at 12:58 pm 3 Comments
When the Deepwater Horizon rig began leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico in April, the cleanup schemes were underwhelming: fire, dispersants, pantyhose stuffed with human hair. But a new robotic system could corral future spills in hours so that oil never hits the shore.
Aeros (Airborne Robotic Oil Spill Recovery System) is a fleet of airplane-deployed robots that cordon off the oil and use centrifuge-like oil/water separators to collect oil for refining. Each 'bot can purify up to 3,000 gallons of water a minute.
Israeli researchers have sniffed out what could become a way to give paraplegics and those suffering from "locked-in" syndrome a means to communicate with the outside world and even drive a wheelchair using their noses. Using a device that converts nasal pressure into electrical signals, the team has successfully enabled locked-in patients to write messages independent of stimulus and allowed paraplegics to effectively navigate an electric wheelchair.
While U.S. legislators continue to argue the fate of America's heavy-lift rocket ambitions, China is setting the bar high by looking into launch vehicle designs that could generate a thrust of more than 660 tons, increasing by orders of magnitude the nation's ability to launch heavy payloads into space.
China is already developing a heavy-lift rocket expected to make its preliminary test flights in 2014, the Long March-5. The LM-5 would boast 132 tons of thrust, plenty for delivering cargo to the space station or reaching geostationary transfer orbit where most communications satellites are launched.