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Lakshmi Sandhana

The Strandbeest Plaudens Vela can walk in the wind at low speeds and avoid tumbling over i...

How many artificial animals can you encounter on a seaside walk? More than one if you frequent the Dutch coastline where Theo Jansen's moving artworks amble along with the help of their rudimentary senses. The complex wind-powered skeletal constructs that Jansen calls "Strandbeests," or beach beasts, are designed to stay on the beach and live off the sea breeze.  Read More

Nevermind detects the player's fear levels making the game harder as their fear rises and ...

While traditional horror video games seek to provide an exciting thrill, Nevermind is a biofeedback-enhanced horror game that has greater ambitions. It requires you to manage your anxiety in alarming scenarios – the more stressed you feel, the harder the game becomes. The aim, says Erin Reynolds, its creator, is for players to learn how to not let their fears get the best of them in nerve-wracking situations and hopefully carry over their gameplay-acquired skills into the real world.  Read More

Two Swiss architects 3D print an intricate room in artificial sandstone containing 260 mil...

Thinking big is no challenge for architects Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger; they've created a 3D printed room using algorithms to design its intricate cathedral-like interior. Assembled out of 64 massive sandstone-like parts printed out with a huge 3D printer, the room contains 260 million surfaces printed at a resolution of a tenth of a millimeter. The 11 ton room took a month to print but only a day to assemble. The revolutionary fabrication methods the duo used to print the room will, they believe, open the door to printing architecture, freeing architects to create new unimaginable buildings and also restore old ones.  Read More

Ishin-Den-Shin lets a person hear a recorded spoken message through a finger (Photo: Disne...

Forget using tape recorders and smartphones to play back spoken messages – what if you could simply hear them through a finger? Disney researcher Ivan Poupyrev has come up with a system that allows for just that. Using the human body as a sound transmitter, the technology lets you hear audio messages when someone touches your ear with their finger. Even more strikingly, it also lets you hear those spoken messages off the surface of any ordinary object you might touch, like a knife or a ring.  Read More

Rice University researchers use the heartbeat as a random signal generator to make medical...

Remotely hacking a pacemaker or insulin pump should be impossible, but sadly it isn't. It puts the millions of people who use wireless medical implants at potential risk. Researchers at Rice University believe they have a solution: a touch-based device that will use a person's own heartbeat as a password to permit or deny access to their implant.  Read More

Venturi VBB - 3 electric car will attempt to reach a speed of 700 km/h (434 m/h) in 2015 (...

French manufacturer Venturi Automobiles is no stranger to the world of high-speed electric vehicles. The company's ongoing collaboration with Ohio State University saw the Buckeye Bullet 2.5 set the current EV land speed record of 495 km/h (307mph) in 2010, and now the team is setting its sights on a new mark with what's billed as the most powerful electric car ever made – the Venturi VBB-3.  Read More

Navigating outdoors on the MIT campus (Photo: MIT SENSEable City Lab)

The latest personal tour guide to zoom around the MIT campus flies a few feet off the ground, uses GPS and responds to phone calls. Aptly named Skycall, the drone that functions as a hovering tour guide is the brainchild of MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, which created the system to help students find their way on campus. It lets users summon it through a call, flies to where they are and leads them to their destination at an unhurried pace, while they trail along behind it.  Read More

An image of a manga comic created by the Manga Generator (Image: Shirai Labs)

If you've longed to be the star of a manga comic, here's your chance to punch, jump and kick your way into one. Shirai Lab's Manga Generator turns any pose you strike into a comic panel in real time with the help of a Kinect sensor, adding backgrounds, props, speech bubbles and sound effects to convey the emotion you want to express. After a couple of minutes you're given a single-page multi-panel comic that features your image, fancifully rendered manga-style throughout.  Read More

Jobs involving cognitive tasks are among those under threat, according to the study (Photo...

Almost 47 percent of US jobs could be computerized within one or two decades according to a recent study that attempts to gauge the growing impact of computers on the job market. It isn't only manual labor jobs that could be affected: The study reveals a trend of computers taking over many cognitive tasks thanks to the availability of big data. It suggests two waves of computerization, with the first substituting computers for people in logistics, transportation, administrative and office support and the second affecting jobs depending on how well engineers crack computing problems associated with human perception, creative and social intelligence.

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MIT's new digital material allows the assembly of huge structures like towers, spacecraft ...

MIT researchers have invented a new digital material with a block-like design which could allow the assembly of huge structures like towers, spacecraft and airplanes – simply by snapping blocks together. Parts 10 times stiffer than existing ultralight materials can be assembled instead of engineered, by small robots crawling over the structure adding pieces of material bit by bit. Not only does the tinkertoy-like block construction method enable any structure to be assembled and disassembled easily, it's also possible to recycle them into entirely new configurations.  Read More

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