Friday, October 5, 2012

Electronic Skin Will Soon Make Robots Feel


Scientists in South Korea, introduced the concept of  hairy electronic skin that can detect faint vibrations. The touch sensor is made by thousands of polymer nano hair woven together akin to the interlinked cellular structure in humans. These 50 nm wide hairs have the ability to show movement on application of the external force. Hence, any external activity such as mild air pressure or a faint heart beat leads to twists and turns in the nano hair resulting in their contact with each other. The contact generates electric current which is identified as a specific change in pressure, shear or torsion by the sensor. The result of the sense can be displayed on a monitor in real time.

This so developed electronic skin would soon add life to robots. These robots will have senses powerful enough to detect a slight touch, mild heart beat and every other physical change that is mild to be felt by humans.

Biometric Bracelet - To Recognise Wearer


Computer Scientist, Cory Cornelius at Dartmouth college in New Hampshire, has developed a device that uses a unique response to a weak electrical signal that identify the wearer. This wrist watch measures the person's bio impedance to recognise the user. The impedance varies with each person's wrist, and is a unique jumble of bone, flesh and blood vessels.

More and more devices are being computerised, which makes them equally prone to hacking. Medical devices getting hacked could have a very serious implications, hence, measures has to be taken to avoid such a scenario. The device developed by Cornelius is impervious to hack due to its clever use of bio impedance as a biometric to recognise the user. 

The device hold various benefits for authenticating users. For example, authenticating can match house hold members with their results in the house hold which shares an exercise monitoring device. The device functions by sending an alternating current through wearer's wrist from one electrode to another. The electrodes detect wrist resistance and reactivity, which are components of the impedance.
The processor is then made to filter the five patterns to train it with user's profile.

When made under test this device will be able to recognise 80 to 90 percent of the time.

Biodegradable Electronic Circuits Dissolve In Water


So you thought electronic circuits should be protected against moisture ? Well , now we have a new kind of electronic technology that allows circuits to be dissolved in water and the technology would be immensely useful in temporary medical implants. The technology is paving a way for a new kind of bio degradable electronics. The circuits are high performance system that can significantly reduce electronic waste.

The circuits to be used in medical implants in body can function for a predetermined amount of time and then dissolve in the body; eliminating the need for operation to remove. The engineers have performed successful operation on a rat by implanting the sensor to monitor the bacterial infection near the surgical incisions.

This technology will play an important role in future.

Robotic Arm Controlled By Thoughts


A new robotic arm is the latest in mind controlled gadgets that could transform the lives of paralysed and physically challenged people. The US University developed this technology by making use of a computer connected to a sensor which is fixed inside the human brain.The sensor converts the command from the brain into electrical signals that move the robotic arm.

Cathy, who hasn't been able to move anything below
her neck for 15 years, is drinking coffee with robotic arm
that is wired into her.
In a demonstration of this project, a woman who had been paralysed for ten years was able to feed herself a drink using this arm. The doctors discovered that even ten years after someone  has been paralysed, the part of the brain that deals with movement continues to work. 

This new technology is a real dream for the people who have lost the use of  their limbs. 

Self Navigating Robots


Robots could navigate through constantly changing surroundings with no inputs from humans with a system being developed by researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).
PR2 Robot

The approach is based on Simultaneously Localisation And Mapping(SLAM). As the robot travels through an unexplored area, the kinect sensor's visible light video camera and infra red depth sensor scan the surroundings, building up a 3D model of the walls of the rooms and the objects within it. Then, when the robot passes through the same area again, the system compares the features of the new image it has created - including details such as edges of the wall for example with all the previous images it has taken until it finds a match.

At the same time the system constantly estimates the robot's motion using on-board sensors that measures the distance its wheels has rotated. By comparing the visual information with this data, it can be determined where within the building the robot is positioned. Comparing the two sources of information it allows the system to eliminate errors that might creep in it if relied on robot's on-board sensors alone.