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Lakshmi Sandhana

Lakshmi Sandhana

When Lakshmi first encountered pig's wings in a petri dish, she realized that writing about scientists and imagineers was the perfect way to live in an expanding mind bubble. Articles for Wired, BBC Online, New Scientist, The Economist and Fast Company soon followed. She's currently pursuing her dream of traveling from country to country to not only ferret out cool stories but also indulge outrageously in local street foods. When not working, you'll find her either buried nose deep in a fantasy novel or trying her hand at improvisational comedy.

— Electronics

Structural supercapacitors could make batteries and power cords obsolete

By - May 26, 2014 3 Pictures
Imagine using a mobile phone powered entirely by its casing, or an electric car that runs off power stored in its chassis. Researchers at Vanderbilt University have created a structural supercapacitor that could, they believe, bring this closer to reality, making batteries and power cords obsolete. The structural supercapacitor could make it possible to store energy directly in structural materials, allowing them to deliver power long-term while surviving the real-life mechanical stresses they're bound to experience. Read More
— Robotics

Roombots can transform into reconfigurable furniture

Envision small robotic modules, lifting the lid of a storage box, spilling out, rearranging themselves to be the box's legs and transporting it to where you might be seated. That's exactly what Swiss researchers are aiming to create with Roombots, reconfigurable robotic modules that connect to each other to transform themselves into any type of furniture and change shape when needed (from a chair to a table, for example). Designed to help the disabled or elderly, by morphing to suit their needs, the adaptive robotic furniture modules can even be attached to existing furniture to give greater flexibility and the power to move. Read More
— Good Thinking

"We Feel" tool uses Twitter to provide real-time view of world's emotions

By - May 20, 2014 7 Pictures
A new online tool aims to create a real-time emotional map of how people all over the world feel, from analyzing how cheerful or depressed different countries might be, to how budget cuts or other news might hit people emotionally. Called "We Feel," the tool analyzes 32,000 tweets a minute to monitor people's collective mood swings and how their emotions fluctuate over time globally. Read More
— Medical

Prototype prints precise, patient-specific drug doses

By - May 19, 2014 1 Picture
It can be tricky to take exactly one fourths of a pill or the specific dose of prescribed medication, which is why researchers at Purdue University have come up with a way to print the proper dosage that a patient requires. Their prototype uses inkjet printing technology and a predictive mathematical model that calculates exactly how much medicine the patients needs and prints out the precise doses into tablets or films. Read More
— Aircraft

Aero-X hoverbike set to take off in 2017

By - May 19, 2014 8 Pictures
That most long-awaited form of transport may finally be arriving with California-based Aerofex announcing that it'll be launching its Aero-X hoverbike in 2017 at an estimated price of US$85,000 (+CPI). The company is already accepting refundable deposits of $5,000 on its website, with first flights scheduled for 2016. The Aero-X is designed to carry two people up to a height of 10 ft above the ground and reach speeds of up to 42 mph. Read More
— Electronics

Omnidirectional thermal visualizer enables 360-degree surveillance

By - May 16, 2014 2 Pictures
Researchers at the Multimedia University (MMU) in Malaysia have developed an omnidirectional thermal visualizer that provides a 360-degree view of the area under surveillance. The device, the researchers say, can monitor more than one lane at a time in airports and crowded areas, making it easier for authorities to quickly identify people with flu or SARS-like symptoms. Read More
— Medical

Wearable smart veins locator could help nurses see below the skin

By - May 14, 2014 6 Pictures
Getting a needle into a patient's vein can sometimes be a complicated process, especially if the veins aren't visible. Vein-spotting spectacles that see through a patient's skin could help avoid the damage caused by repeated needle pricks, and that's exactly what researchers at the University Teknologi Petronas (UTP), Malaysia, are developing. Their Smart Veins Locator is a wearable head-mounted display that allows nurses to see the patient's veins in real-time, by overlaying a map of their veins on top of their skin. Read More
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