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— Aircraft

Project Firefly: Sikorsky unveils electric helicopter technology demonstrator

Officially announced at AirVenture 2010, Sikorsky's Project Firefly sets out to demonstrate the feasibility and showcase the benefits of electrically powered helicopters. The technology demonstrator is based on an S-300C light helicopter, with a 190-horsepower electric motor replacing the standard piston-engine and lithium ion battery packs added to either side of the cabin. The result is a significantly more efficient system that – although it's expected to fall short of typical helicopter performance when the first flight takes place later this year – is just the tip of the iceberg for the new era of manned electric rotorcraft. Read More
— Science

Researchers demonstrate first plastic spintronic computer memory device

Spintronics – or spin electronics – is an emerging technology that exploits the intrinsic spin of the electron rather than its charge, as is the case with current electronic devices. The technology promises microelectronic devices that can store more data in less space, process data faster, and consume less power. Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) have now demonstrated the first plastic memory device that utilizes the spin of electrons to read and write data. Read More
— Medical

Scaffolding to help mend a broken heart

Although medical advances over recent years have seen the majority of people surviving heart attacks, the damage done to the heart muscle is irreversible. As a result, most patients eventually succumb to congestive heart failure, the most common cause of death in developed countries. Stem cells offer hope for achieving what the human body can’t do: mending broken hearts. Now researchers have built a scaffold that supports the growth and integration of stem cell-derived cardiac muscles cells. The scaffold supports the growth of cardiac cells in the lab and encourages blood vessel growth in living animals. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 finally makes its way stateside

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 that was first released in the UK back in March has finally made its way to the U.S. The company’s flagship Android smartphone will be available on the AT&T network from August 15 and, despite the delay, will still be running the Donut edition of Android, version 1.6 – apparently because Sony Ericsson has been having trouble modding its add ons to suit Android 2.1. Read More
— Robotics

Robots get emotional

In November 2008, we reported on the FEELIX GROWING (Feel, Interact, eXpress: a Global approach to development with Interdisciplinary Grounding) project’s aim of developing robots that are capable of identifying different emotions based on facial expressions. Now, that same project has announced the completion of its first prototype robots that are not only capable of developing their own emotions as they interact with their human caregivers, but they can also express those emotions. Read More
— Good Thinking

'Dryer Box' salvages water-damaged mobile phones

For any unfortunate mobile users whose phone goes kaput due to water damage, there's now a new machine designed to suck moisture right out of your phone – if you live in Japan, that is. JMC Risk Solutions has installed a number of new 'Dryer Boxes' in selected Yodobashi Camera shops around Tokyo for those whose phones get caught out in the rain. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New prosthesis eases phantom limb pain

Phantom limb pain, where a person feels pain in an absent limb or a portion of a limb, is a very real phenomenon, most commonly experienced after amputation of an arm or leg. Chronic phantom pain is believed to affect around 10-45% of amputees. It is highly therapy resistant and can last for years, or even a lifetime, despite high dosages of painkillers that put patients at risk of addiction. However, hope may be on the horizon thanks to a modified hand prosthesis which enables feedback between the artificial hand and the brain. Read More
— Computers

SkinnyByte launches line of Power over Ethernet computers

As its name suggests, Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology delivers electrical power via Ethernet cabling. The technology is typically used to power VoIP phones, wireless LAN access points, cameras and other low power, network-related devices. SkinnyBytes has now announced a line of computers engineered for low voltage and extremely low power consumption that are able to receive all their power over a standard network cable via PoE. Read More
— Science

Artificial antibodies used in high-speed detection test to combat food poisoning

Anyone who has suffered the very unpleasant experience that is food poisoning will be happy to hear that researchers have developed technology enabling the high-speed detection of the toxic proteins that cause it. The new sensor was manufactured by employing a combination of artificial antibodies which capture these toxic proteins and a signal converter which converts those “capturing events” into optical signals. Read More
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