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(Left) Controller parts (Right) Lap pad (via Caleb Kraft & Hackaday)   Gaming, computer access and use of digital devices can help any person learn and have fun. The ways in which they are used are not always as simple as we take them to be. Disabilities have a wide range of ways they can manifest which could make the use of digital systems painful, awkward, inefficient and even impossible.   Caleb Kraft does not call himself a hacker. He says his skills involve spreading inform ...
Leap Motion controller (via Leap Motion)   The Leap Motion interface is just a couple of weeks away from sitting on your desk. Fortunately, unlike other secretive Natural User Interface (NUI) manufacturers, the makers of the Leap released all necessary information to developers months ago and have distributed around 12,000 units to them. This way, come launch day, there will already be tons of added functions and applications to use with the Leap.   Developer groups have hacked the ...
QUADEYE military IR headset (via Elbit Systems)   Infrared optical devices can be extremely expensive, depending on the application for which they are being used. This is especially true when it comes to science and military applications such as counter-terrorism where SOF units require the ultimate in IR technology such as Elbit System’s QUADEYE. The night-vision 4-tube goggles provide a wide-angle view greater than conventional NVGs but cost a whopping $65,000+ per pair. This holds ...
(Left) Cheetah-bot on its own showing a cute, familiar, cat-like stance. (Right) Shown for size comparison (via EPFL)   EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, has been busy of late designing several impressive biomechanical robots that intend to increase human understanding of the natural world. A previous post covered a salamander robot that mimicked the locomotive control system of a salamander using electronic controls to replace the signals normally sent up and do ...
(via eyeSight)   It is surprising that with all the devices and electronics that have built-in camera systems that nobody thought sooner to develop a way to incorporate some kind of gestural control to go along with them. Well that was the case until now as eyeSight Technologies has recently developed specialized software that allows users to interact with apps using only the devices included camera. Essentially the software turns the camera into a full 3D-tracking sensor that allows users ...
RoboRoach "models" (via Backyard Brain)   Sometimes science can be a little gruesome especially when it concerns progress in areas such as the medical field. Other times it can be a bit on the strange side, which is the case when it comes to Backyard Brains current endeavor. The neuroscience grad-student team has developed a way to manipulate and control cockroaches using a smartphone. In order to actually control the roach, the team designed a specialized PCB board (known as a backpack) th ...
  The list of mind-controlled robotics keeps growing. New advancements are showing high accuracy and precision without any of the surgical steps required by some brain-computer interfaces. A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota, led by Biomedical Engineering Professor, Bin He, is now testing their BCI that allows the user to control a Parrot AR Drone, in three dimensions, with brain signals.   The system focuses on specific sensorimotor rhythms (SMRs) that the brain ...
A dunebot at the Cornell Cup USA (via Cornell University & engadget)   The Cornell Cup USA, which just wrapped up this past weekend in Walt Disney World, is an Intel sponsored event pinning the nation’s top engineering students in a competition to design the latest and greatest in embedded technology devices. This year’s competition invited 30 teams from 18 universities in the design of innovative technological gadgetry implementing the latest Intel Atom board to address re ...
The Mexican 1000 rally is the Daytona of off-road racing. Beginning in 1967 and founded by the same people who began the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA), off-road enthusiasts from around the world all envy those who are fortunate enough to participate in this event. However, this year one particular contestant is getting lots of attention. The SRI EV1 is an all-electric open wheeled beast, capable of delivering 535 HP and 750 ft-lbs of torque. Additionally, it houses 40 kW of electr ...
WorldKit in action, detecting objects on the left. The projector and Kinect depth camera on the right (via Chris Harrison & WorldKit)   Despite the negative response to the XBOX ONE’s Kinect ever watching eye, the tech can really change how we interact with the world. An interface that might be so useful that people are willing to simply ignore big-brother. Case in point…   Is it hard for you to imagine using your coffee table to change the channel on your TV? It may ...
  In the future, a robot will come into your room, recognize the bed you sleep on, realize its environment is a bedroom and then it will know to look in the closet where you are hiding. Fun… or scary? The processes that would allow for this type of environmental recognition lie in software called SLAM++ or simultaneous localization and mapping with added object recognition. This cognitive program could lead to computers learning in a way babies do when learning and recalling informa ...
Logo (via Rainforest Connection)   We’ve all seen them before; those cell phone recycling bins found in most office supply and electronic stores like Office Depot or Radio Shack. Those used phones typically either get recycled for their rare-earth minerals or are ported off and given to those in need of communications in poverty stricken countries. A non-profit company, Rainforest Connection, wants to use them for a wire-tapping operation of sorts (no not on American citizens) by hang ...
The Cat 789D Mining Truck. If the driver of this monster fell asleep... many will suffer (via CAT)   If there were two things that should not go together it would be drowsiness and operating a mining machine. It’s not hard to imagine the destruction a dump truck the size of a small apartment complex could do if the driver is distracted, or worse, asleep at the wheel. Most mining operations being conducted all over the globe has employees working shifts that can get close to the 24-hou ...
(Left) LightUp learning app. Helps users build complicated circuits. (Right) LightUp is bringing Arduino in tow as well (via LightUp)   Learning about electronics can be an ambiguous process, difficult to visualize and full of questions that are like-wise difficult to explain with words. Teaching youngsters about the almighty electron and different ways humans can manipulate them is essential in this electronic age. A project stemming from research conducted at the Transformative Learning T ...
(via Carnegie Mellon University)   Have you ever had the feeling your being ‘watched’? Chances are at some point you have, especially if you have ever been in a store, gas station or even a street corner. While this may be bothersome to both criminals and tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists it’s about to get a lot worse as graduate students from Cornell University have developed a new tracking system that makes use of CCTV cameras. The system is known as the ‘M ...

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