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Industry News - Latest

Staring Pain in the Face – Software Reads Kids’ Expressions to Measure Pain Levels
posted: 02/06/2015

New Wi-Fi antenna enhances wireless coverage
posted: 01/06/2015

Optofluidic Lab in a Single Fibre
posted: 01/06/2015

New sensing technology could improve our ability to detect diseases, fraudulent art, chemical weapons and more
posted: 01/06/2015

New Technology Making Drones Safer and Smarter
posted: 10/04/2015

Score! Video gamers may learn visual tasks more quickly
posted: 03/04/2015

Researchers Build Non-Invasive Brain-Machine Interface to Control Prosthetic Hand
Augmenting Organics:
posted: 02/04/2015

A robot prepared for self-awareness
Artificial Intelligence:
posted: 01/04/2015

Springing Ahead of Nature: Device Increases Walking Efficiency
posted: 01/04/2015

How we hear distance: Echoes are essential for humans to perceive how far away a sound is
Sounding the Future:
posted: 01/04/2015

Drone Owners Register called for by UK House of Lords
posted: 10/03/2015

Net neutrality rules passed by US regulator
posted: 28/02/2015

World’s first compact rotary 3D printer-cum-scanner unveiled at AAAS by NTU Singapore start-up
Computer Aided Manufacture:
posted: 17/02/2015

New algorithms Geolocate a video from its images and sounds
Libraries and Components:
posted: 17/02/2015

The future of electronics—now in 2D
Computing Power:
posted: 17/02/2015

Hearing experts break sound barrier for children born without hearing nerve
The Brain:
posted: 17/02/2015

Smoking thins vital part of brain
The Brain:
posted: 17/02/2015

Intracranial Stimulation Proved Efficient in the Recovery of Learning and Memory in Rats
The Brain:
posted: 05/02/2015

Infants create new knowledge while sleeping
posted: 05/02/2015

Repeated head blows linked to smaller brain volume and slower processing speeds
The Brain:
posted: 05/02/2015


Latest Linkings

Industry and Simulation >> 3D printing failures shared online
(added 20/08/2013)
Seven catastropic failures are visually depicted by this BBC article. Each failure accompanied by blurb explaining what it was supposed to be, as well as where, and more imprtantly why it went wrong. It serves as a good reminder of how young this technology still is, and how frustrating it can be, for even expert users to produce 3D printed objects successfully with the way things currently stand.

Computer Aided Manufacture >> 3D printing failures shared online
(added 20/08/2013)
Seven catastropic failures are visually depicted by this BBC article. Each failure accompanied by blurb explaining what it was supposed to be, as well as where, and more imprtantly why it went wrong. It serves as a good reminder of how young this technology still is, and how frustrating it can be, for even expert users to produce 3D printed objects successfully with the way things currently stand.

Sensor Web >> Internet of things: Should you worry if your jeans go smart?
(added 27/11/2012)
A BBC article looking at the growth of the Internet of Things, and attempting to illustrate some of the privacy concerns when items of everyday clothing and personal possessions are able to communicate with other objects around them – and in so doing, give away your exact position and movements, in real-time.

Artificial Intelligence >> Will chatting smart cars become a reality soon?
(added 27/11/2012)
A BBC article looking at the rise of the smart car – AI driven cars that will soon be able to communicate with cloud services for traffic control, communicate with the humans on board, and work in flocks to drive themselves with consideration (and a degree of literal mind-reading) of each other's positions and goals.

New to VR?

Site News: posted: 21/04/2015 Domain Oversight

A rather embarrassing oversight occurred yesterday: The domain expired. It expired because we failed to make a connection between the date and that the domain would need renewing this year. So the grace renewal period expired and for two whole hours it was up for grabs for anybody and the site remained inaccessible. It would have been longer, but a late-night ftp upload failed, warning us there was something worryingly wrong.

That's obviously been fixed now, and we've taken pains to ensure it won't happen again. Mostly because it is such an extremely embarrassing issue to crop up, much less have to admit to.

Virtual Dictionary

Latest Term: LIS

LIS or Locked In Syndrome is a condition in which a person is fully conscious and aware of their environment, but cannot command any of their muscles to obey them. No visible movement, often no eye movement either, means they are 'locked in', unable to interact with the world, unable to even tell others they are conscious.

It is possible to tell a sufferer of LIS is conscious by scanning their brainwaves with an EEG or ECoG system. The brainwave patterns will be high on alpha wave patterns and low on theta wave patterns, indicating the person is awake and aware.

The drive to communicate with LIS individuals, and restore some degree of independence, is what has driven the quest to reverse-engineer the neural codes the brain uses to communicate with the muscles, and the neural codes of thought itself. If the body does not respond to the brain, then so long as we can use a brain-computer interface to understand what the brain is trying to say, artificial body parts can be hooked up to the person to allow them to move, and computers can be programmed to respond to their thoughts.

LIS individuals are perhaps the most likely to benefit immensely from a full-body VR environment, as an avatar body lacks the bulk and cost of a prosthetic one, and can respond to the same signals. By reverse-engineering the neural codes the brain uses to communicate with the muscles of the body, the avatar form then becomes as responsive and as natural as the individual's original body.

Obviously, LIS individuals aren't the only ones to benefit from the technologies and interface methods gained by reverse engineering the coding of the brain, but they are a driving force in moving such methods forwards. To the point that simplistic interfaces are already a reality.

See Also: Neural Code, Smart Prosthetic, Brain Computer Interface, Brain Machine Interface, Visage, Embodiment, EEG, ECoG, EMG, Brainwaves

Visit the Dictionary

Ten Most Recent Entries

Latest Hostings

Alternate Lives >> People conform to the norm – whether that norm is physical or virtual
(added 15/01/2015)
Industry news, originally posted in January 2015, deemed too important to be allowed to fade. Often enough it is human nature to conform. This tendency makes us follow the lead of computers, even if the machines give us the wrong advice. This is the finding of a study in Springer’s journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review that investigates how people make judgment calls after interacting within a virtual environment.

Augmenting Surgery >> Improving Robotic Surgery by integrating Augmented Reality Elements
(added 31/03/2014)
Robotic surgical procedures are carried out with the aid of a camera system attached alongside the tools on the robotic arm that is inserted into the body of a patient. A surgeon carries out the operation by seeing through the camera's eye. As such, augmented reality systems have always seemed a good fit to overlay a virtual representation of the patient's innards, along with the full size and shape of the target area, on the display screen. However, the difficulty of AR object recognition inside the body has always proven too much of a hurdle. Until now.

Artificial Intelligence >> Simple Yet Highly Effective Robotic Boost to Mass Spectrometry
(added 30/03/2014)
A group of biochemists at Georgia Tech had a dream; a dream of being able to automate the process of gathering samples for mass spectrometry. A dream whereby they could just hand the analysis tool a sample. It didn't matter what colour, shape, size, density, or anything it was. The tool would take over and just know how best to approach the problem of obtaining the sample. A nice pipe dream... until the College of Computing at the same university got wind of it.

Artificial Intelligence >> Robotic Insect: Guided by the Same stimuli
(added 09/03/2014)
For an insect, it is rather large. Six inches in length, and rolling around on tank treds rather than walking. Yet, this German robot is the same as an insect where it counts - in the brain. It possesses an embodied needs-based AI, itself running on a simplified version of the insect brain, and responds to stimuli from the world around it in the self same way a natural insect would.

Artificial Muscles >> Artificial Muscle from Fishing Line: Powerful yet Cheap
(added 04/03/2014)
When we think of artificial muscles, we tend to think of new materials that allow constructs to replicate the function of organic muscles in useful ways. We don't tend to think of existing materials in common usage as a means to create these muscles. After all if they are in common usage, they would already have been tested and discarded, right?

Avatars and Personification >> Only A Few Basic Emotional Expressions are the Root of All Others
(added 02/03/2014)
We have known for some time that different cultures perceive different facial expressions as conveying different emotional states, and likewise in different cultures different facial expressions are made. Rather than having ream after ream of options for facial expression sequence files, might there be a far better way to handle such regional differences in recognising avatar-based visual emotional states?

Latest Products

Embodied Avatars >> Futureworld
(added 16/04/2010)
Futureworld is the sequel to Westworld, yet it takes an entirely different direction. Meant to be the film that spun the Westworld franchise into an anthology set, instead it was the film that buried it. Futureworld has some great ideas, and like many films of the era, is a goldmine of nuggets concerning robotic technology, virtual reality, augmented reality and social implications.

Pure Research >> Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos
(added 25/03/2010)
Programming the Universe is a Simulation Argument book. Lloyd, a professor at MIT, works in the vanguard of research in quantum computing: using the quantum mechanical properties of atoms as a computer. He contends that the universe itself is one big quantum computer producing what we see around us, and ourselves, as it runs a cosmic program.

Pure Research >> Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information
(added 25/03/2010)
Decoding Reality is very much a Simulation Argument book. In its pages, physicist Vlatko Vedral argues that we should regard the entire universe as a gigantic quantum computer.

Teaching and Training via VR >> Women and Gaming: The Sims and 21st Century Learning
(added 21/02/2010)
Video games have become both big business and a technological focal point for new forms of learning. Today games are not just played; players engage in game design, write fan fiction, and organise themselves into collaborative learning communities. In these communities players acquire 21st century skills in technology, but, in the best of these communities, they hone these technical skills and strengthen emotional and social intelligence.