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Bionic

Medical

Cyborg cardiac patch offers alternative to heart transplants

An engineered cardiac patch has been created that incorporates human cells with flexible electronics and a nanocomposite structure to not only replace damaged heart tissue, but also provide remote monitoring, electrical stimulation, and the release of medication on demand. Using electroactive polymers and a combination of biological and engineered parts, the patch contracts and expands just like normal human heart tissue, but regulates those actions with the precision of a finely-tuned machine.Read More

Good Thinking

British woman receives first bebionic hand designed for women and teens

A British woman has been fitted with what's billed as the "world’s most lifelike bionic hand". The bebionic small hand is the latest model in Steeper's bebionic line of prosthetic hands and is the first of the advanced myoelectric hands to be specially designed to fit women and teenagers as it senses the user's muscle movements and uses these to trigger individual motors in each finger.

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Robotics

Festo unveils robotic ants, butterflies and chameleon tongue gripper

Designing a robot that can convincingly move like a member of the animal kingdom is a much more difficult prospect than merely building something that has the outward appearance of one. Some of the best examples of both have come from the engineers at Festo, including a herring gull named SmartBird and a bit of a bounder known as the BionicKangaroo. As a taste of things to come at next month's Hannover Messe trade show in Germany, the company has now revealed three more biomimetic creations: a small colony of ants, a gripper modeled on a chameleon's tongue and some fine flyers in the shape of some big blue butterflies.Read More

Medical

Prosthetic arm takes alternate route to mind control

Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna have developed a technique that allows amputees to control a robotic prosthesis with their mind when there's no neural connection left to exploit between the brain and the part of the hand that remains. Called "bionic reconstruction," the procedure was applied to three patients who were able to successfully use the prosthesis to undertake routine activities, thereby improving their quality of life.Read More

3D Printing

EDAG Light Cocoon concept employs weatherproof textile skin over a bionically-inspired, back-lit trellis frame

EDAG traditionally produces a concept car incorporating "new thought" for the Geneva Motor Show each year and the 2015 concept car might initially stretch your imagination beyond normal limits. The EDAG Light Cocoon Concept uses a weatherproof textile instead of the traditional metal skin for the car's panels, stretched over a bionically-inspired trellis body structure, then back-lit for effect. Read More

Robotics

Bionic bird can be flown with your smartphone

A French startup has turned to crowdfunding to build an extremely light bionic bird that can be controlled using the magnetometer and accelerometer in a smartphone. The bird, currently at the prototype stage, would communicate via Bluetooth for a range of 100 meters (330 ft) and be able to fly for up to eight minutes at a time, or over a mile, after a quick 12-minute charge.Read More

Inventors & Remarkable People

Engineer designs DIY bionic hand for boy he met in an elevator

It seems like hardly a month goes by without news reaching us of advances in the field of bionic hands. Unfortunately, however, these high-tech prostheses can be very costly to purchase, with prices ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars. This puts them out of reach of a large number of people, such as a boy that General Electric engineer Lyman Connor met last year. Connor proceeded to design and build a low-cost bionic hand in his home workshop, which he now hopes to make available to amputees-on-a-budget .... plus he hopes to get one to the boy, if only he can locate him. Read More

Robotics

Festo's BionicKangaroo gets the hop on energy-efficiency

Festo’s BionicKangaroo is yet another impressive addition to the company’s already mind-blowing bionic zoo that includes, among other things, bionic seagulls, dragonflies, flying penguins, elephant trunks and a whole selection of robotic marine critters. Just like its animal cousin, the robo-marsupial developed by Fasto’s Bionic Learning Network is able to store energy from the landing phase of a jump and reuse it efficiently on subsequent jumps. The technology developed for the BionicKangaroo may hold the key to more energy-efficient machines based on both pneumatic and electric drive technologies. Read More

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