Computational creativity and the future of AI

Ben Coxworth

RESPeRATE is a device that is designed to lower blood pressure by getting its users to bre...

People suffering from hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) are typically advised to switch to a healthier diet, get more exercise and lose weight, plus they are often put on a combination of several medications. As of today, UK residents are now also able to get a prescription for what is definitely a different type of treatment – a system known as RESPeRATE. It monitors the patient’s breathing and uses sound to guide them into taking longer, slower breaths, thus relaxing their bodies. According to its makers, multiple clinical trials have shown that it causes significant, lasting reductions in blood pressure.  Read More

SpaceX has test-fired its advanced new SuperDraco engine, to be used on the Dragon spacecr...

SpaceX, the California company that is developing the reusable Dragon spacecraft, recently test-fired its new SuperDraco engine. Presently, the Dragon capsule is equipped with less-advanced Draco engines, which are designed for maneuvering the spacecraft while in orbit and during reentry. The SuperDraco, however, is intended to allow the astronauts to escape if an emergency occurs during the launch.  Read More

Scientists have developed technology that is able to reconstruct words heard by test subje...

Last September, scientists from the University of California, Berkeley announced that they had developed a method of visually reconstructing images from peoples' minds, by analyzing their brain activity. Much to the dismay of tinfoil hat-wearers everywhere, researchers from that same institution have now developed a somewhat similar system, that is able to reconstruct words that people have heard spoken to them. Instead of being used to violate our civil rights, however, the technology could instead allow the vocally-disabled to "speak."  Read More

The SolarWorld GT solar-powered car is currently on a drive around the world, and embarks ...

Last October, the SolarWorld GT solar-powered car set out from Darwin, Australia on a drive around the world. It has since driven 3,001 kilometers (1,865 miles) across Australia, logged 1,947 km (1,210 miles) crossing New Zealand, and been shipped across the Pacific Ocean. This Friday, it will embark on the U.S. leg of its journey, as it sets out across America from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Read More

The Invis-A-Rack is a ladder rack for pick-up trucks that folds away when not in use

If you need to transport things like building materials, boats or construction equipment, then having a ladder rack over the bed of your pick-up truck can prove invaluable. Such racks also add to your vehicle’s aerodynamic drag, however, plus they can get in the way when loading certain cargo items, and they make your truck look like ... well, like a work truck. That’s why Donny McCall invented the Invis-A-Rack. It’s an aluminum ladder rack that can reportedly support up to 500 pounds (227 kg) when in use, but that folds away in seconds when not needed.  Read More

The Artguardian system monitors environmental conditions in galleries, to make sure that a...

While great works of art should be exhibited so the public can enjoy them, putting those pieces on display also puts them at risk. If environmental factors such as lighting intensity, temperature or humidity aren’t in the optimal range, for instance, works can prematurely deteriorate as a result. In order to minimize the risks, three of Germany’s Fraunhofer research institutes have collaborated to develop Artguardian, a system that monitors the conditions under which artworks are displayed.  Read More

The Urban Cultivator is a computer-controlled hydroponic growing system for herbs and vege...

There’s no question that fresh herbs taste better than their dried counterparts, nor is there any denying that garden-fresh veggies are preferable to ones that have spent the past several days in a truck or on a supermarket shelf. People who are lucky enough to live in warmer climates can keep the fresh greens coming year-round, if they plant a garden. For those of us in colder regions, however, things get a bit more challenging come winter. We can rig up indoor herb gardens on windowsills or using full-spectrum fluorescent lights, but that can sometimes get a little complicated. If you can justify its price, however, there is an alternative – the Urban Cultivator.  Read More

The SmartCap is a device that monitors workers' fatigue levels by monitoring their brain w...

You don’t need to be an expert in occupational safety to know that worker fatigue is one of the leading causes of workplace accidents – this particularly applies to people who operate heavy machinery or drive for a living. While it would be great if all employees simply took a break when fatigue started setting in, it can sometimes be difficult for people to tell just how tired they really are. That, or they decide that they just want to push through and get the job done, drowsiness be damned. A relatively new invention from Australia’s EdanSafe, however, takes the guesswork out of the picture. It’s called the SmartCap, and it measures employee fatigue in real time by monitoring its wearer’s brain waves.  Read More

Disks made from cocoons of the tasar silkworm may find use as patches for regrowing cardia...

Although people do regularly recover from heart attacks, the heart itself never entirely “gets better.” This is because cardiac muscle tissue doesn’t regenerate – any that dies in the event of a heart attack will only be replaced with inactive scar tissue, and the heart’s performance will be permanently compromised as a result. Scientists have responded by trying to develop heart patches made of materials that act as nanoscale scaffolds, upon which new cardiomyocytes (heart cells) can grow. Materials used for these scaffolds have included fibrin, nanofiber, gold nanowires and polymer. Now, new research is suggesting that silkworm silk may be a better choice than any of those.  Read More

The Vehicle Protection Jammer is designed to block radio signals being transmitted to road...

Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs, are one of the largest sources of coalition casualties in Iraq. Many of these IEDs take the form of roadside bombs, which are hidden on or alongside a road, then detonated when a moving vehicle passes near them. While there is more than one way of causing these bombs to detonate, they are often set off by a hidden human observer, using a radio-control device. Forces using the new Vehicle Protection Jammer from EADS subsidiary Cassidian, however, should find themselves at a greatly-reduced risk of such attacks.  Read More

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