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— Music

Korg's Cliphit turns everyday objects into an impromptu drum kit

Many of us find ourselves tapping our fingers on desks or tabletops at any and every opportunity. It doesn't matter whether or not we've ever actually held a drumstick, if we have a rhythm in our head and a hand free we'll tap out a beat on whatever surface is within reach. We have already seen attempts to turn this from an annoying habit into a way of making something approaching real music, such as the Wavedrum and the TableDrum, but Korg has now upped the ante with Cliphit. Read More
— Electronics

Nature inspires color-sensitive, CMOS-compatible photodetector

Researchers at Rice University's Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) have developed a new image sensor that mimics the way we see color by integrating light amplifiers and color filters directly onto the pixels. The new design enables smaller, less complex, and more organic designs for CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensors and other photodetectors used in cameras. Read More
— Aircraft

BAE Systems developing "smart skin" for aircraft

In some cases, a pilot discovering damage to an airplane involves noticing a frightening thump on the hull. That may indicate that something is wrong, but not what or where. On the other hand, when human beings are injured, the network of nerves in the skin tell us almost exactly where and what is wrong. Stealing a march on nature, BAE Systems’ Advanced Technology Centre is working on a "smart skin" that covers the fuselage of an aircraft with thousands of microsensors to send back a wide variety of detailed information in real time. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Evermind uses household appliances to monitor the elderly or infirm

For those with elderly or special needs relatives or friends who live by themselves, it is not always practical to check on their well-being all of the time. Sure, you could drop by or call them on the phone, but if it’s too late or too early in the day, this is inconvenient for both you and them. Evermind helps address these problems by alerting you remotely when electrical appliances are switched on and off by the person that you care about, indicating that they are active and everything is normal. Read More
— Around The Home

Haiku smart ceiling fan knows when to go for a spin

If you're already finding it hard to keep up with all the smart climate control systems for the home that are hitting the market, then this might just be the one to send you into a spin. Big Ass Fans has added its SenseME technology to its Haiku ceiling fan, which includes Wi-Fi connectivity and sensors that enable it to regulate temperature and kick into action when someone enters the room. Read More
— Science

Laser tech allows for longer-distance sensing

The trouble with existing 3D imaging technology is that – at the consumer level, at least – it tends to struggle with distances beyond a few feet. Put even a third of the width of a basketball court between yourself and a Microsoft Kinect sensor, for instance, and it won't pick up your movements at all. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, claim to have developed a Lidar (light radar)-based system that can remotely sense objects across distances as long as 30 feet (10 m), which could have widespread benefits in fields as diverse as entertainment, transportation, robotics, and mobile phones. Read More
— Robotics

One oven-baked robot to go, please

Lots of people make their own robots, and in all sorts of ways, but have you ever heard of anyone baking one in an oven? Researchers at MIT have demonstrated how to create self-assembling bodies that fold together when baked, as well as showing how a similar technique can be used to generate electronic components to control them. Read More