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Georgia Tech

Robotics

Teaching robots to play Angry Birds helps children's rehabilitation

If Angry Birds is known for anything, it's an ability to keep youthful eyes glued to the screen for extended periods of time. But a new study conducted at Georgia Tech has shown that teaching a robot how to play the video game keeps kids slinging those wingless birds through the air for even longer, a finding that could help in the rehabilitation of cognitive and motor-skill disabilities.Read More

Wearables

Vibrating glove teaches Braille through passive haptic learning

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a glove that helps users learn to read and write Braille, all while focusing on unrelated activities. The wearable computer uses miniature vibrating motors sewn into the knuckles, and was found to assist in developing motor skills in participants without them focusing on the movement of their hands. Read More

Science

Bacteria brews biofuel with potential to replace high-energy rocket fuel

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the US Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered a bacterium that could yield a new source of high-energy hydrocarbon fuel for rocketry and other aerospace uses. High-energy, specific-use hydrocarbon fuels such as JP-10 can be extracted from oil, along with more commonly used petroleum fuels, but supplies are limited and prices are high – approaching US$7 per liter. That’s where the new bacterium, engineered by Georgia Tech scientists Stephen Sarria and Pamela Peralta-Yahya, could come in.Read More

Science

Custom prosthetic arm turns student into a bionic drummer

In 2012, Jason Barnes lost the lower part of his right arm after being electrocuted. Though he could have pursued his dream of becoming a professional drummer using only his remaining limb (like Def Leppard's Rick Allen, for example), he decided to build his own stick-wielding prosthesis. The attachment certainly allowed him to make some noise, but it wasn't flexible enough to give the speed or bounce control he was looking for. Now, thanks to the work of Georgia Tech's Professor Gil Weinberg, Barnes is preparing for a gig later this month where a novel robot drumming prosthetic arm will help him pound out precision rhythms with a live band.Read More

Medical

Tiny probe designed to provide live 3D images from within blood vessels

Imagine if you were trying to clear rubble out of a tunnel, but you could only see that tunnel from the side, instead of looking straight into it. Well, that's currently what it's like for doctors who are trying to see inside patients' blocked coronary blood vessels using ultrasound. Soon, however, a tiny catheter-based probe may give them a 3D real-time forward view from inside those vessels – or from inside the heart itself – not unlike that seen by the microscopic submarine crew in the movie Fantastic Voyage. Read More

Science

Graphene-based nano-antennas may enable cooperating smart dust swarms

Smart dust. Utility fog. Programmable matter. Grey and blue goo. Cooperating swarms of micron-sized devices (motes) offer completely new solutions and capabilities that can hardly be imagined. However, cooperation requires communication, and conventional radio or optical networking simply isn't practical at this size. Now researchers at Georgia Tech have invented a plasmonic graphene nano-antenna that can be efficiently used at millimeter radio wavelengths, taking one more step toward smart dust.Read More

Robotics

Researchers use arm sensors to improve robot control

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a system that makes a human-controlled robot more "intelligent," and improves the amount of control that a human user has over it. It incorporates a number of sensors that are placed on the user's arm to read muscle information, and help the robot to anticipate the user's intentions. The system has been developed to improve safety and efficiency in manufacturing plants. Read More

Automotive

Ford's C-MAX Solar Energi Concept sports rooftop solar panels

A plug-in hybrid car sounds like an excellent way of squaring the circle between the green cred of an electric car and the range and reliability of one that runs on petrol, but what if you live somewhere that’s a bit off the grid? Ford’s answer is its C-Max Solar Energi Concept, which makes its debut at CES next week. The car uses a combination of high-efficiency solar panels and a separate frame roofed with a Fresnel lens to concentrate sunlight on the panels to give it a proper charge without using the engine or plugging into the electrical mains.Read More

Bicycles

Transport bicycle packs a storage compartment in the front wheel

While more and more city dwellers are taking to the streets on bicycles these days, many of them still run into the same problem of how to carry things while riding. Most people will wear a backpack or attach saddle bags to their ride, but would it be easier if a bicycle had a built-in trunk instead? That's what three industrial design students wanted to find out when they made the Transport, a hubless bicycle that replaces the spokes in the front wheel with a handy storage compartment. Read More

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