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Sammy Screamer is a motion detector to help parents keep an eye on the kids

Ever wished you had an extra set of eyes on the cookie jar, or somebody making sure the kids aren't sneaking out of their bedrooms when its time to do homework? Looking to help out with these and a whole host of common parenting duties is Sammy Screamer, a small movement sensor that sends out alerts when it detects motion.  Read More

A subject's position is tracked by a WiTrack system (screen at lower left) located in anot...

Microsoft's Kinect system is certainly impressive, but now that we've had a chance to get used to it and start taking it for granted, it does have one problem – you have to stay located in front of it. MIT's new WiTrack system, however, can track users' movements even when those people are in another room. Among other things, this could allow for video games in which the players run all over their house.  Read More

Scientists have successfully used accelerometers to determine whether or not a person is s...

Among the behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer's, one of the most prominent is a change in the "temporal structure of activities" – in other words, the amount of time that it takes the patient to do things. With that in mind, German scientists have developed a new early detection method that involves attaching accelerometers to patients, in order to assess their movements.  Read More

UPenn's XRL robot jumping and grabbing the edge of a cliff five times its own height (Phot...

Most land-dwelling animals with skeletons (exo or endo) have the ability to jump. It is of particular importance to survival, as running primarily consists of a long series of jumps. Without the ability to jump, a robot's freedom to move around is limited, something that is particularly true of smaller robots for which even relatively narrow trenches or low walls can prove too much of an obstacle. A robotics group at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) has taught a six-legged crawling robot to jump, giving it remarkable acrobatic capabilities.  Read More

The quick body movements of sparring martial artists are tracked by The Captury's software...

Actors may soon say good-bye to those humbling Lycra body suits commonly used in the visual effects industry, thanks to a group of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (MPII). They've formed a start-up called The Captury that is set to deliver its proprietary markerless motion capture software later this year. Their software can even capture a costume's surface detail in three dimensions, like the draping folds in a ballroom dress.  Read More

The Radian is an inexpensive device, designed to allow budget videographers to shoot motio...

If you’ve ever seen the film Baraka, then you’ll know just how magical motion-controlled time-lapse cinematography can be. For the uninitiated, the process involves taking a motion picture camera that’s capable of shooting time-lapse footage, then mounting it on a rig that slowly pans, tilts or even dollies the camera, as it’s shooting that footage. While such motion-control equipment has traditionally only been available to deep-pocketed professionals, California-based Alpine Labs wants to make it more accessible – that’s why it’s developing the Radian, an affordable motion-control mount for DSLRs or smartphones.  Read More

The pyramid patterns created in a polymer sheet increase current production in the new tri...

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have taken advantage of the triboelectric effect, which sees an electric charge generated through friction between two different materials, to develop a generator that could supplement power produced by piezoelectric nanogenerators previously developed at Georgia Tech. The triboelectric generator could be used to produce electricity from activities such as walking and even has the potential to create touchscreens that generate their own power.  Read More

U.K. Olympic hopeful Mimi Cesar using the MotivePro vibrating suit to help perfect her rhy...

Many professional athletes employ motion capture technology to help identify problems with their techniques so they can be corrected. However, such technology generally takes the athlete out of the usual performing environment and only lets them review their technique after the fact. Now researchers at Birmingham City University have developed a wearable device, dubbed the “Vibrating Suit,” that provides feedback to the wearer about where their body is in space in real time. Aside from assisting athletes perfect their technique, the technology could also be used to help prevent injuries in those that perform strenuous activities as part of their job.  Read More

Scalybot 2 replicates the rectilinear locomotion employed by snakes that is efficient and ...

While you might think its lack of limbs might limit how it gets around, snakes have actually developed several different forms of locomotion. One of these is “rectilinear locomotion,” and while most snakes are capable of it, it is most commonly associated with large pythons and boas. Although it is the slowest form of snake locomotion, it is also very efficient and allows the snakes to crawl into tight spaces. It is these latter two qualities that appealed to Georgia Tech researchers when developing a new all-terrain robot called Scalybot 2.  Read More

A conventional gyroscope

Earlier this year the iPhone 4 became the first smartphone to boast a built-in gyroscope in addition to an accelerometer, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor. Combining a gyroscope with an accelerometer allows the device to sense motion on six axes – left, right, up, down, forward and backward, as well as roll, pitch and yaw rotations – allowing for more accurate motion sensing abilities comparable to a game controller such as the Wii-mote. The iPhone 4 uses a MEMs (micro-electro-mechanical-systems) gyroscope but a newly developed optical gyroscope, small enough to fit on the head of a pin, could allow the integration of more accurate motion sensing technology in not only smartphones, but also in medical devices inside the human body.  Read More

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