Removing tumors from the inner ear can be a tricky business, with surgeons often having to remove a large amount of bone to safely complete procedures. Researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute have created a new tool, likened to a robotic worm, that is designed to revolutionize the process, while lowering the physical impact of the surgery on the patient.
A group of scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) have developed an electrocardiogram (ECG) that operates from within a car’s driver’s seat. The device, the researchers say, can monitor the driver’s heart rate and prevent accidents due to driver incapacitation.
As some parents will already know, head lice infestations can be very difficult to treat. Typically a toxic shampoo or lotion has to first be applied to the sufferer's scalp, after which the lice are removed by pulling a specialized comb through their hair. Louse eggs aren't harmed by such shampoos, however, so the treatment needs to be repeated once they've hatched. This means more nasty chemicals, and more discomfort for the child (or adult). That's why researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films have developed an alternative, in the form of a comb that zaps the pests with cold plasma.
Being a surgeon is a pretty high-stress job, and relies heavily on surgical assistants for things like setting clamps and holding tools. Researchers from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute are looking to lighten the load a little, by developing a metal hand that lets surgeons more directly control what's happening on the operating table.
For the late-night reveler, the new BMW 7 Series has a feature that makes the walk through the carpark a bit less frustrating. At the press of a key fob, the Welcome Light Carpet lighting system shines a striped pattern of light on the ground to guide motorists back to their car thanks to a system of microoptic lenses developed by the Fraunhofer Institute.
While some electric cars may have a decent range in places like
California, they're not so impressive in locations with frigid winters.
That's because their battery is powering not only the motor, but also
the cabin heating system. Now, however, engineers at Germany's
Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation are
developing new technology that could keep EV drivers warm, without leaving them stranded.
Tired of trying to remember what knobs move your car seat in which
direction? Well, in the not-too-distant future, you may not have to.
That's because scientists from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for
Silicate Research and Isringhausen GmbH have developed a seat
that's moved using simple intuitive gestures.
When its levels are slightly off-kilter, eye fluid can create pretty big problems for our vision. When blockages occur they can lead to a build up in pressure that destroys the optic nerve and causes blindness, a condition we know as glaucoma. In contrast, a lack of fluid can cause the eye to cave in and stop functioning, a disease known as phthisis bulbi. Currently, little can be done about these irreversible conditions once they take hold, but Fraunhofer researchers have a potential solution in the works by way of a microscopic pump that can be implanted in the eyeball to regulate ocular pressure.
If electric buses are ever going to become a common sight in cities
around the world, then they'll need to be able to operate like their
traditional counterparts. This means no taking long breaks to recharge,
or sacrificing seating space for the storage of huge batteries. While
allowing them to draw power from the road
is one alternative, the European EDDA Bus consortium is working on
another – electric buses that can grab a quick charge at bus stops in
just a few minutes.
Smartglasses, or augmented reality glasses, may have found niches in military and industrial circles, but haven't really caught on with consumers for a number of reasons – a major one being that they're extremely conspicuous. To help rectify this, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) in Jena, Germany, has developed technology that allows for a more unobtrusive design, while also providing improved functionality.