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Sensors

Wimoto's Growmote ... obviously

Wimoto has turned to crowdfunfing website Indiegogo to finance the first run of its range of small sensors designed to work remotely with mobile devices and computers. Sensors which monitor weather, soil conditions (for the green fingered) and water levels are available for under US$40 each, and are due to hit doormats this September.  Read More

CAD model of the FluzCrawler robot inspecting a wire cable (Image: Fraunhofer IZFP)

The important task of inspecting cables on bridges, elevators, ski lifts and cable cars for signs of strain, wear and corrosion is commonly carried out by a device that clasps around the cable and exposes it to a magnetic field, looking for disruptions in the field. The problem is that the diameter of the cables and their jackets can vary considerably, limiting the use of such devices. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing have come up with a one-size-fits-all approach in the form of a robot they’ve dubbed the FluxCrawler.  Read More

FitBark uses integrated motion sensors to track your pooch's activities

Is your best friend looking a little pudgy and out of shape? Are they a little sluggish and out of it when you hang out, preferring a nap over a run or walk? Don't make things awkward by telling them, just slide on a collar while they're sleeping and encourage them to get more exercise. We're talking about your dog, of course, and the new FitBark collar.  Read More

The Sense+ smartphone dock will sound an alert in the event of fire

While most smartphone docks focus on bringing da noise to add some life to a party, the Sense+ Docking Station is designed to be a potential life-saver. The portable device packs built-in smoke and gas detection sensors to sound an alert in the event of fire. The Sense+ also works in conjunction with an accompanying app that automatically calls friends and family if the user doesn’t respond.  Read More

The DARPA Unattended Ground Sensor

While the needs of the modern digital warrior are growing rapidly, military sensors take three to eight years to develop while private industry can produce similar technology in only one or two years. In the hope of speeding things up, DARPA’s Adaptable Sensor System (ADAPT) program is looking to smartphone industry technologies and practices.  Read More

IBM MessageSight: a mega-platform for the internet of things (Image: NASA Goddard Space Fl...

Three years ago, Google's Eric Schmidt announced that every two days, more information is created than was the case from the dawn of humanity up to 2003. According to IMS Research, by 2020 web-connected devices will create 2.5 quintillion bytes of information every day, with 22 billion internet of things devices up-belching information to the web. To marshal all that data, IBM has come up with a platform it calls MessageSight, which will allow any one organization to pool information from up to a million sensors and devices, at a rate of 13 million messages per second.  Read More

Scientists at Georgia Tech have crafted a new type of touch-reactive material that's sensi...

For years now, scientists across the globe have strived to find a method that gives robots an accurate sense of touch, and with good reason. A robot with an improved ability to feel would be better equipped to identify objects, judge its movements with greater care, and perform more tasks overall. In the latest step towards that goal, researchers at Georgia Tech have crafted a new type of touch-reactive material that's sensitive enough to read fingerprints and could provide robots with a sense of touch that resembles our own.  Read More

Italian researchers have developed a robot that can be taught to build an IKEA table (Phot...

Teaching a robot how to deal with real-world problems is a challenging task. There has been much progress in building robots that can precisely repeat individual tasks with a level of speed and accuracy impossible for human craftspeople. But there are many more tasks that could be done if robots could be supplied with even a limited amount of judgement. A robotics group led by Professor Sylvain Calinon at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) is making progress in solving this problem.  Read More

The NeroTrigger uses sensors to ensure you always capture the moment ... no matter how bri...

There's something undeniably cool about photos of high-speed blink-and-you-miss-it subjects like balloons mid-burst or flashes of lightning. But, unless you've got the reactions of an about-to-be-swatted fly, they can be tricky to take. Luckily, more and more remote triggers are cropping up which use sensors to ensure you always capture the moment, no matter how brief. The NeroTrigger is the latest such offering which incorporates light, sound and laser sensors, among other things.  Read More

BMW and Continental have joined forces to develop technology that will enable highly auton...

German automotive companies BMW and Continental have teamed up to develop self-driving car technology, or as they call it, an “electronic co-pilot” for cars. The main goal of the joint venture is to develop and test technologies that would usher in an era of highly automated driving on European freeways from 2020, with fully automated systems expected from 2025.  Read More

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