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— Marine

Using GPS to measure changes in sea level

By - May 26, 2014 3 Pictures
Measuring sea level is not only an invaluable tool for pilotage, navigation, aeronautics, cartography, sea charting, and geology, it’s also a fundamentally important metric for measuring possible evidence of climate change, and for measuring the direction, extent and rate of such change. Johan Löfgren and Rüdiger Haas of Chalmers University in Sweden have developed a new way of measuring sea level that uses satnav signals for constant, real-time monitoring that promises new insights into many fields, including climate change. Read More
— Electronics

Quadrotor gets autonomous navigation capabilities with Google's Project Tango

By - May 22, 2014 2 Pictures
We’ve seen a lot of eye- and brain-catching robotics fun from the GRASP lab at the University of Pennsylvania, including a swarm of nano quadrotors playing the James Bond theme and a quadcopter swooping raptor-like onto prey. Dr. Vijay Kumar now gives us proof of concept of the utility of Google’s Project Tango in aerial systems by outfitting a quadrotor with the device to provide autonomous navigational capabilities. Read More
— Marine

Historically-significant marine chronometer accompanied Darwin

By - May 5, 2014 4 Pictures
In an age where accurate time measurement is taken for granted, the upcoming auction of an 1825 marine chronometer highlights just how far science has advanced in the last 200 years. The marine chronometer was a critical technology enabling navigation at sea. This 190 year-old example, which is heading for the auction block on July 9, has certainly witnessed its fair share of history in fulfilling that critical scientific role, having accompanied Charles Darwin on his epic five-year second voyage (1831-1836) to South America and the Galapagos Islands, the North American Boundary Expedition (1843-1846) which established the border between the USA and Canada and the 1857 survey of the Australian coastline which saw the naming of Darwin and the Fitzroy River. Given its stellar provenance, the chronometer seems ridiculously cheap if it does fall within its expected price range of … £30,000-50,000. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

SuperShoes tickle your toes to help you find your way

By - April 22, 2014 13 Pictures
For today's smartphone-wielding urbanite, wandering aimlessly around the city streets is something of a rarity. There's Google Maps for when we don't know where to turn, ATM locators for when we need cash and then countless apps to tell us where to spend it. Looking to draw our eyes away from our smartphone screen and onto the world around us is Dhairya Dand, whose SuperShoes insoles use tickling patterns to communicate these typical smartphone functions to your feet. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Lechal haptic footwear guides you by buzzing your feet

By - February 21, 2014 3 Pictures
Three years ago, we heard about a prototype shoe that could be used to guide the wearer via haptic feedback. Designed by Anirudh Sharma, who was then a researcher at Hewlett-Packard Labs in Bangalore, India, the Lechal shoe was intended for use mainly by the blind. This week, however, Sharma and business partner Krispian Lawrence announced that the production version of the Lechal will soon be available for preorder, and it's aimed at helping all people navigate the city streets. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Inside app uses your phone's sensors for indoor navigation

By - February 4, 2014 3 Pictures
Due to those pesky roofs that block access to satellites, smartphone-based GPS systems don't work for navigating indoor environments such as shopping malls. Some non-GPS alternatives are in development, including ones that incorporate rapidly-blinking LED lights or Wi-Fi signals. The just-announced Inside app, however, utilizes the phone's own standard sensors, and is reportedly accurate up to a distance of down to one meter (3.3 ft). Read More
— Science

Siemens' smart C-Walker guides the cognitively impaired

By - January 8, 2014 6 Pictures
The C-Walker is a high-tech walking device that aims to safely guide people with cognitive impairments through public spaces like airports and shopping centers, reducing their reliance on visual signboards and avoiding obstacles in their way. Using onboard sensors, this "cognitive navigation prosthesis" monitors its environment in real time to figure out a path that poses little risk, actively re-planning it when it encounters problems like wet floors, or people dashing about. Aside from aiding senior citizens, the technology is expected to come in handy in factory settings, helping workers avoid danger zones and accidental collisions with machines. Read More
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