DARPA’s Cheetah Bot

AGES ago I posted a bit on DARPA’s plan to create a robot emulating the movement of a cheetah, whilst ambitious, previous projects such as Big Dog (created by Boston Dynamics) have been overwhelmingly creepy and effective. Now here’s the first video of the new cheetah bot, showing it run at speeds of up to 18 mph, which although not the organic cheetah’s record of 75 mph is still pretty damn good.

Replacement Jaw Made Using 3D PrintingOne of the benefits of 3D printing is that it enables to essentially download spare parts for cars or electronics. Well, now you may be able to download spare parts for yourself (surgeons not included). An 83 year old woman from the Netherlands has now become part cyborg after a chronic bone infection meant her lower jaw had to be removed. No worries though, a new jaw was simply made by fusing together titanium dust using a laser, one layer at a time, in a manner very similar to more conventional 3D printing. It takes 33 layers to make up 1 mm of height and was then covered in ceramic. The surgery itself only took 4 hours, a fifth of the time usually required for reconstructive surgery of this type. The woman was also able to return after only 4 days and was apparently capable of uttering a few words directly after surgery.

Replacement Jaw Made Using 3D Printing

One of the benefits of 3D printing is that it enables to essentially download spare parts for cars or electronics. Well, now you may be able to download spare parts for yourself (surgeons not included). An 83 year old woman from the Netherlands has now become part cyborg after a chronic bone infection meant her lower jaw had to be removed. No worries though, a new jaw was simply made by fusing together titanium dust using a laser, one layer at a time, in a manner very similar to more conventional 3D printing. It takes 33 layers to make up 1 mm of height and was then covered in ceramic. The surgery itself only took 4 hours, a fifth of the time usually required for reconstructive surgery of this type. The woman was also able to return after only 4 days and was apparently capable of uttering a few words directly after surgery.

Next Step In Augmented RealityOne of the hurdles of augmented reality has been the fact that the human eye cannot focus on images incredibly close, until now. Innovega Inc. has developed contact lenses called iOptiks that do allow the eye to focus on images as close as on a pair of glasses while still maintaining long distance and peripheral vision. This means that images could be projected on a pair of glasses rather than having to rely on bulky head wear. This has applications both in military (DARPA is of course interested) and also in more mundane, but cooler ideas such as gaming.Image

Next Step In Augmented Reality

One of the hurdles of augmented reality has been the fact that the human eye cannot focus on images incredibly close, until now. Innovega Inc. has developed contact lenses called iOptiks that do allow the eye to focus on images as close as on a pair of glasses while still maintaining long distance and peripheral vision. This means that images could be projected on a pair of glasses rather than having to rely on bulky head wear. This has applications both in military (DARPA is of course interested) and also in more mundane, but cooler ideas such as gaming.

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GoldenEarScientists have now made the most sensitive listening device ever using lasers and gold nanoparticles (double cool!). The device works by having one gold nanoparticle in a drop of water “trapped” by a laser. Nearby nanoparticles were then vibrated with a second laser which set up pressure waves in the drop that work like sound waves. The trapped nanoparticle then responded to these sound waves by vibrating and could be used to detect the signal generated. This mechanism can be used to “hear” sounds as low as -60 decibels, or about a millionth of what a human can hear. It’s hoped that in the future this technique could be used to listen in on the secret lives of bacteria and viruses.

GoldenEar

Scientists have now made the most sensitive listening device ever using lasers and gold nanoparticles (double cool!). The device works by having one gold nanoparticle in a drop of water “trapped” by a laser. Nearby nanoparticles were then vibrated with a second laser which set up pressure waves in the drop that work like sound waves. The trapped nanoparticle then responded to these sound waves by vibrating and could be used to detect the signal generated. This mechanism can be used to “hear” sounds as low as -60 decibels, or about a millionth of what a human can hear. It’s hoped that in the future this technique could be used to listen in on the secret lives of bacteria and viruses.

Colour Changing Material

This video shows a pretty amazing material which changes colour in response to mechanical stress. It works by using large numbers of spheres that diffract light into composite colours. This effect is similar to that seen in gemstone opals only without the change in colour. By deforming the material the orientation and arrangement of the spheres is altered leading to different colours under different conditions.

Long Lasting, Near-Infrared, Phosphorescent Material Created at University of GeorgiaThe above image was taken in complete darkness, the illumination we see is simply due to night-vision technology. The glow however is due to the near-infrared emission of a new long lasting phosphor and when I say long lasting I mean it. After only a minute of exposure to sunlight the material is capable of continuously glowing for up to two weeks. The applications for this are in the use of the military, obviously it’s useful to have glow in the dark displays and such but you don’t really want the enemy being able to see it too. As such only being visible via night vision is a big plus.The mechanism behind this is the use of a Chromium (III) ion held in place by lanthanum gallogermanate. As the excited Cr+3 electron falls back to a lower energy level (emitting energy as it goes) the energy is trapped by a matrix of lanthanum gallogermanate and zinc that serves to limit its release.

Long Lasting, Near-Infrared, Phosphorescent Material Created at University of Georgia

The above image was taken in complete darkness, the illumination we see is simply due to night-vision technology. The glow however is due to the near-infrared emission of a new long lasting phosphor and when I say long lasting I mean it. After only a minute of exposure to sunlight the material is capable of continuously glowing for up to two weeks. The applications for this are in the use of the military, obviously it’s useful to have glow in the dark displays and such but you don’t really want the enemy being able to see it too. As such only being visible via night vision is a big plus.

The mechanism behind this is the use of a Chromium (III) ion held in place by lanthanum gallogermanate. As the excited Cr+3 electron falls back to a lower energy level (emitting energy as it goes) the energy is trapped by a matrix of lanthanum gallogermanate and zinc that serves to limit its release.

The Slipperiest SlopeA new material has been designed and made by Harvard university which has the slipperiest surface known. The design itself takes inspiration from nature in the form of the insides of carnivorous pitcher plants (which work to repel the oily feet of insects). The material itself is called SLIPS or “Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surface” and comprises of a porous material filled and slightly covered with a lubricating fluid which acts to repel a wide range of materials. Other slippery materials typically displace materials at 5 degrees of tilt while SLIPS manages this at only 2 degrees.The applications for this technology are plentiful, from aeronautics right down to getting those last few drops of ketchup out of the bottle.

The Slipperiest Slope

A new material has been designed and made by Harvard university which has the slipperiest surface known. The design itself takes inspiration from nature in the form of the insides of carnivorous pitcher plants (which work to repel the oily feet of insects). The material itself is called SLIPS or “Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surface” and comprises of a porous material filled and slightly covered with a lubricating fluid which acts to repel a wide range of materials. Other slippery materials typically displace materials at 5 degrees of tilt while SLIPS manages this at only 2 degrees.

The applications for this technology are plentiful, from aeronautics right down to getting those last few drops of ketchup out of the bottle.

(Source: nature.com)

We All Know That Plastics Can’t Conduct…Wrong. The 2000 Nobel prize in Chemistry was given for the discovery of conductive, organic polymers known as Intrinsically Conducting Polymers (ICPs) capable of conducting an electrical current. These rely on the fact that when oxidized the polymeric chains have regions where there is an absence of otherwise delocalized electrons. This means that when supplied with a small amount of energy electrons can jump in out of these pockets and therefore move along the polymer chain.
One of the greater applications for ICPs is in the invention of flexible electronics, specifically through creation of Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) as seen above. While these are in the earlier stages of development it is thought that in the future this will allow for incredibly thin, light-weight and flexible displays on electronics.

We All Know That Plastics Can’t Conduct…

Wrong. The 2000 Nobel prize in Chemistry was given for the discovery of conductive, organic polymers known as Intrinsically Conducting Polymers (ICPs) capable of conducting an electrical current. These rely on the fact that when oxidized the polymeric chains have regions where there is an absence of otherwise delocalized electrons. This means that when supplied with a small amount of energy electrons can jump in out of these pockets and therefore move along the polymer chain.

One of the greater applications for ICPs is in the invention of flexible electronics, specifically through creation of Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) as seen above. While these are in the earlier stages of development it is thought that in the future this will allow for incredibly thin, light-weight and flexible displays on electronics.

Artificial cilia seen here have been produced that can beat in sync. In nature cilia are used to propel organisms or in multicellular animals they can be found beating mucus into the mouth for you to swallow. Disgusting yet cool.

Artificial cilia seen here have been produced that can beat in sync. In nature cilia are used to propel organisms or in multicellular animals they can be found beating mucus into the mouth for you to swallow. Disgusting yet cool.

First off I just love the name of this: The pulse-detonation actuator. Despite the cool name this product of the General Electric company is actually responsible for the relatively smooth flying you experience on airplanes. They do this by shooting off supersonic jets of air as seen in this picture to control airflow.

First off I just love the name of this: The pulse-detonation actuator. Despite the cool name this product of the General Electric company is actually responsible for the relatively smooth flying you experience on airplanes. They do this by shooting off supersonic jets of air as seen in this picture to control airflow.