FCC Chairman Pai appoints a new chief technology officer

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that Eric Burger would be joining the commission as its new chief technology officer. He's set to take over the position this month. Burger will be replacing Henning Schulzrinne who is returning to a Columbia Universit...

Synthetic muscle breakthrough could lead to ‘lifelike’ robots

A breakthrough in soft robotics means scientists are now one step closer to creating lifelike machines. Researchers at Columbia Engineering have developed a 3D printed synthetic tissue that can act as active muscle. The material, which can push, pull...

Scientists may have found a Neptune-sized alien moon

Astronomers have found an abundance of exoplanets, but no exomoons. Despite ongoing efforts, the tiny celestial bodies have just been too elusive to detect using modern technology. However, researchers might have just hit paydirt. They've used Kepler...

Blue dye could help keep Ebola doctors safe

If you're unfortunate enough to wind up in hospital with a dangerous infectious disease like Ebola, then keep an eye on what your doctors are wearing. If their hazmat suits are smeared with blue dye that gently evaporates as they work with you, you c...

Facebook created a super-detailed population density map

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World’s smallest FM receiver built with graphene, ruined by Psy

Researchers have been using graphene to develop an assortment of technologically advanced things for a while, from camera sensors and contact lenses all the way to frickin' lasers. That's why it's not a surprise to see a group of engineers from Columbia University create the world's smallest FM transmitter using the atom-thick material. The end product isn't just for show, either, as it can pump tunes over the airwaves to a regular FM radio -- the team even used Gangnam Style to prove that it works. As interesting as the teensy transmitter is, the engineers have no plans to build a radio for ants, and this is merely part of a larger study into nano-electromechanical systems. Now all we need is for someone to make a tiny violin and a pair of tweezers small enough for us to play.

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Source: Columbia University, Nature

Columbia University’s low-cost robotic arm is controlled by facial muscles, we go face-on (video)

Columbia University's low-cost robotic arm is controlled by facial muscles, we go face-on (video)

We've seen Emotiv's Epoc headset control cars and trapeze acts, but now a small posse of students at Columbia University is teaching it how to control a robotic arm. The appendage, aptly named ARM for Assistive Robotic Manipulator, was envisioned as a wheelchair attachment to help the disabled. According to the team, the goal was to keep costs in the neighborhood of $5,000 since insurance outfits Medicare and Medicaid won't foot a bill for assistive tech that's much more than $10,000. To keep costs low, the crew built the limb from laser cut wood, and managed to keep the final price tag at $3,200. Since picking up EEG signals and interpreting them accurately can be tricky, the group says it settled on monitoring EMG waves, which are triggered by muscle movements, for additional reliability.

Lifting your eyebrows makes the device open its grip, clenching your teeth shuts it and moving your lips to the left and right twists the claw, while other motions are currently handled by using a PlayStation 2 controller. In the lab, the contraption has seven degrees of freedom, but it was reduced to five when we took it for a spin. It was hit or miss when this editor put the headgear on, between making sure facial gestures were spot on and the equipment's attempts to pick up clear signals.

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The future of higher education: reshaping universities through 3D printing

The Future of Higher Education Reshaping Universities through 3D Printing

Featuring four towering limestone columns and classic Flemish-bond brickwork, the century-old Mackay School of Mines Building at the University of Nevada, Reno, has long served as a bastion of Silver State history. Named after Irish immigrant and "Comstock Lode King" John Mackay, notable touches such as a cast bronze statue designed by Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum just outside the building helped it earn a spot in the National Register of Historic Places. Within its oak doors, however, are the makings of an intriguing experiment that's decidedly more new school. Like a mini museum, a collection of 3D-printed models are displayed within the building's sunlit, three-story atrium -- attracting a mix of students and teachers. Even more popular than the displays of plastic gears and molecule models, however, are the two 3D printers that made them: a professional-grade Stratasys uPrint SE Plus and a hobbyist 3DTouch machine.

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The future of higher education: reshaping universities through 3D printing originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 19 Oct 2012 11:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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