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Feed Engadget: Dean Kamen's Luke arm now has mind-control and 3D-spatial interfaces ( 1

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Robots

Inventor extraordinaire Dean Kamen spoke at D today about the latest developments in the Luke arm. Not that it wasn't already impressive enough, but Kamen's company, DEKA Research, has made even more amazing developments in the arm's interface, going from strictly mechanical now to spatial and neural. The shot above was taken of a man with transected nerves, which were interfaced directly to the arm, enabling him to utilize it within hours of installation. Fricking crazy. Developing...Permalink|Email this|Comments


Submission + - Next-gen pack mule from Boston Dynamics (

Tjeerd writes: "Boston Dynamics has just released a brand new video of their DARPA-funded Big Dog robot. Big Dog is meant to be a "pack mule" for soldiers some day. Behind Big Dog is some pretty cool force-controlled technology. With its quadruped gait it can regain balance if it's kicked, handle rough terrain like rocks, and climb inclines up to 35 deg. The video can be seen here on Youtube and some additional info can be read here."

Submission + - Nerve-tapping neckband allows 'telepathic' chat (

ZonkerWilliam writes: Newscientist has an interesting article on tapping the nerve impulses going from the brain to the vocal chords, allowing for 'Voiceless' phone calls, as seen in the video. As quoted,

With careful training a person can send nerve signals to their vocal cords without making a sound. These signals are picked up by the neckband and relayed wirelessly to a computer that converts them into words spoken by a computerised voice.
It's not quite telepathy, but it's pretty close.


Submission + - Technology Review -10 Emerging Technologies of 08 (

arktemplar writes: Each year, Technology Review publishes its list of 10 emerging technologies that its editors believe will be particularly important over the next few years. This is work ready to emerge from the lab, in a broad range of areas: energy, computer hardware and software, biological imaging, and more. Two of the technologies cellulolytic enzymes and atomic magnetometers are efforts by leading scientists to solve critical problems, while five surprise modeling, connectomics, probabilistic CMOS, reality mining, and offline Web applications represent whole new ways of looking at problems. And three graphene transistors, nanoradio, and wireless power are amazing feats of engineering that have created something entirely new.

Submission + - SPAM: Chip offers longer-lasting, self-charging devices

coondoggie writes: "Researchers today will unveil an experimental chip design for portable electronics that can be up to 10 times more energy-efficient than present chip technology. The design could lead to cell phones, implantable medical devices and sensors that last far longer when running from a battery. MIT and Texas Instruments researchers said the key to the improvement in energy efficiency was to find ways of making the circuits on the chip work at a voltage level much lower than usual. While most current chips operate at around one volt, the new design works at just 0.3 volts, researchers said. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Navy BeginsTesting Railgun (Update) (

ZonkerWilliam writes: Eetimes has an update on the testing and time-line for the deployment of their EM Railgun, as quoted from the article;

In 2009, ONR will decide whether to award contracts for deployment to BAE Systems PLC (Farnborough, U.K.) or General Atomics Technologies Inc. (San Diego) for the railgun. Boeing Co. (Chicago) and Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (Cambridge, Mass.) are vying for the projectile contract. If the Navy decides to deploy the railgun, it plans to have a final design in place for approval by 2012. Initial prototypes will probably shoot a single projectile, but plans for rapid-fire versions are already on the drawing board. The final design specification calls for a muzzle velocity of 5,760 mph for a weapon that is capable of launching a projectile in a parabolic ballistic path 94 miles high. It must strike targets within six minutes at 3,840 mph.

The Military

Submission + - Israel considering skynet for air defense (

Robotbeat writes: Wired's "Danger Room" section is running an article about a new, increasingly autonomous, Skynet-like system that would be integrated into battle management systems. The original article is on Defense News. Israel is considering a centralized command-and-control system that could take the flesh-and-blood out of the loop in "doomsday" scenarios, such as a massive missile attack from Iran. "[I]n the event of a "doomsday" strike, Opall-Rome notes, the system could handle "attacks that exceed physiological limits of human command." Although the system would initially mostly be composed of improved algorithms rather than on autonomous systems, it will have the ability to operate autonomously. The fact that the Israelis are so worried about a massive attack that they would consider developing what is basically Skynet is pretty scary. Welcome to the 21st Century!

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