Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Sensory

A firefighting helmet that incorporates ultrasound and vibrational forehead pads could hel...

Firefighters can quite often find themselves in smoke-filled rooms, where it’s impossible to see more than a few inches in any direction. Not wanting those firefighters to run into walls, researchers at the University of Sheffield have created a prototype helmet that vibrates against the wearer’s forehead, letting them know the location of nearby obstacles.  Read More

Researchers have disabled the cold sensation in lab mice  (Photo: Shutterstock)

How many times have you been shivering on a winter day, and wished that you were capable of simply not feeling the cold? Well, that’s just what scientists at the University of Southern California have done to a group of lab mice – they disabled the animals’ ability to sense cold, while leaving their ability to sense heat and touch intact. It is hoped that the research could lead to more effective pain medications for humans.  Read More

One of Duke University's infrared detector-equipped test subjects

Quite often, when we hear about brain-machine interfaces, it’s in the context of returning an ability to people who lack it. People who are unable to speak, for instance, might be able to interface with a machine that could speak for them. Recently, however, scientists at Duke University used such an interface to augment rats with a sort of “sixth sense” – the ability to detect invisible infrared light by sense of touch. The research could have significant implications for the disabled.  Read More

IBM's '5-in-5' list for 2012 predicts the five sense-related technologies enabled by cogni...

As the year nears its close, IBM, as it has every year since 2006, has pulled out the crystal ball and given us its predictions of five innovations that it believes will impact our lives in the next five years. For this year’s “5-in-5” list, IBM has taken a slightly different approach, with each entry on the list relating to our senses. The company believes cognitive computing whereby computers learn rather than passively relying on programming will be at the core of these innovations, enabling systems that will enhance and augment each of our five senses.  Read More

A blind cave fish, that gets around underwater just fine (Photo: Frank Vassen)

Ever wonder how fish can find their way around so easily in murky water? Well, most of them use something called their lateral line – a row of hair cells down either side of their body that detect changes in water pressure caused by movement, or by water flowing around objects. Now, scientists from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and MIT have copied the lateral lines of the blind cave fish, in a man-made system designed to allow autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to navigate more accurately and efficiently.  Read More

Disney's REVEL system applying virtual textures to  different areas of a teapot (Photo: Di...

Having long been successful with "talkies," Disney has developed technology that could allow the creation of "feelies." While designed more for touchscreens than the silver screen, the REVEL system developed at Disney Research uses reverse electrovibration to bring computerized control over the sense of touch, thereby allowing programmers to change the feel of real-world surfaces and objects without requiring users to wear special gloves or use force-feedback devices.  Read More

Sense wirelessly connects with a computer and will give users a sensory representation of ...

The Sense concept designed by CD&I Associates is a wireless device that will, it's claimed, offer a "more emotional connection between users and experiences" through touch and smell. It aims to give users haptic, thermal and olfactory sensations while playing games, watching movies and shopping online via a tactile hand sheath and flavor-ink printed output.  Read More

Pray that this robot hand isn't out to get you.

Don't watch the video after the jump if you've recently seen a Terminator movie - because it's becoming clear that if the robots come after us, there'll be no stopping them. The video shows an incredible array of three-fingered robot hand/eye co-ordination exercises, including throwing and catching, spinning pens, tying knots and dribbling a ping-pong ball. The Ishikawa Komuro laboratory at the University of Tokyo put these videos together to demonstrate the incredibly quick parallel processing they are achieving with a mix of visual and tactile sensory inputs. Astounding stuff. Sarah Connor, you're in deep trouble.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 29,498 articles