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Georgia Tech

— 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
— Computers

Will Georgia Tech's $7K online M.S. in computer science program make the grade?

The Georgia Institute of Technology, in partnership with Udacity and AT&T, is preparing to offer an accredited online master of science (M.S.) degree in Computer Science. The instruction will be via Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC), which will be open to anyone at no charge, but will also be available as for-credit courses leading to an Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS CS). The total cost of instruction fees and tuition for those taking the M.S. route is expected to be less than US$7,000. Read More
— Science

Nanowires become signature- and fingerprint-reading LEDs

What do electronic signatures, fingerprint scans and touch-sensitive robot skin have in common? All three technologies may soon be advancing, thanks to a new system that turns an array of zinc oxide nanowires into tiny LEDs. Each wire illuminates in response to externally-applied mechanical pressure. By analyzing the resulting mosaic of miniscule points of light, a computer is able to produce a high-resolution map of the pressure-applying surface. Read More
— Science

“Mini Lisa” demonstrates potential of nanomanufacturing technique

Arguably the world’s most famous painting, da Vinci's Mona Lisa has now been copied onto the world’s smallest canvas at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Associate Professor Jennifer Curtis' "Mini Lisa" is one-third the width of a human hair, with details as small as one-eighth of a micron. Mini Lisa demonstrates the flexibility of a new nanolithography technique that can vary the surface concentration of molecules on very small portions of a substrate. Read More