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— Medical

Robotic surgery gets a helping hand with world first surgical training software

It might be OK to see a trainee tag affixed to the chest of someone serving you a burger, but quite another to see the same tag on the chest of your surgeon as you’re put under before an operation. Of course that’s not the reality with trainee surgeons getting practice alongside more experienced surgeons and on cadavers. But cadavers don’t grow on trees – thankfully – and practicing on live patients exposes them to some risk. Now two Buffalo scientists have paired up to create a new procedure-based, hands-on surgical training software system that promises to deliver effective training in emerging robot-assisted surgical techniques. Read More
— Urban Transport

Honda's driving simulator upgrade gets A+ from teachers

In terms of teaching secondary students relevant and very useful life skills, there could be no better investment at every secondary school than Honda’s all-new automobile driving simulator. Honda has been developing bicycle, motorcycle and car driving simulators solely for the purpose of traffic safety education for almost a decade, and the this model is completely new from the ground up, designed specifically to enhance the ability of driver trainees to recognize, understand and appropriately react to potential risks. In a world where becoming part of the road toll is a daily risk we all share, one wonders at just how many lives a US$66,000 machine like this might save? Read More
— Automotive

Ferrari's F1 simulator pushes the limits

Simulators have long been used to teach new skills that would otherwise involve great expense and/or great risk - like learning to fly a new aeroplane. Now Ferrari has built its own F1 simulator so it can develop its Formula One cars and train its drivers to use new technology and to race on new tracks without breaking F1 rules limiting testing in the real world. The simulator uses ten linked computers, 60 GB of RAM, five giant 3D video screens, a 3500 watt Dolby sound system, and weighs more than 200 tonnes. Even the 130 kW electrical power supply for the machine is a beast. Read More
— Bicycles

At long last - a bicycle simulator

Simulators are a great, safe way to teach people how to do things properly before they actually have to do them. The first simulators were for airplanes and they cost a lot of money when they appeared 80 years ago. Although simulating an aircraft cockpit and behavior was a difficult and costly business, it had a very effective ROI in terms of planes and pilots. Nowadays, you can simulate almost any environment thanks to the computer - there are low cost safety simulators available for planes, boats, cars, motorcycles, and even the inside of a person’s mouth - but until now, not bicycles. Honda is rectifying that with a bicycle simulator that has been developed for the purpose of traffic safety education. Read More
— Robotics

KUKA RoboSim 4-D Simulator ready to shake, rattle and roll theme park patrons

Jaded theme park aficionados looking for a new thrill will want to get along to the Innoventions pavilion in Epcot at Disney World, Florida, to experience The Sun of All Thrills. On display will be the new KUKA RoboSim 4-D Simulator, a robotic ride that not only puts thrill-seekers at the mercy of a 3-D motion robotic arm, but also adds “wind” by controlling air movements to provide a more realistic simulation experience. Read More
— Music

Austrian composer simulates speech using... A piano?

Remember back in the 80s when Steve Vai used to make his guitar "talk" to David Lee Roth? That video clip is here, but be warned, Roth's bare butt peeking through the holes in his leather chaps is one of the LEAST offensive things in the clip. It seems things have become more refined in the last 20-odd years. This fascinating clip shows how Austrian composer Peter Ablinger has programmed a mechanically-actuated piano to reproduce recorded human speech. And yes, you can somehow understand it. Read More
— Medical

3-D virtual reality dental simulator

March 27, 2008 Evidence of dentistry has been found dating back as far as 5500 BC however common knowledge tends to only go back as far as the Middle Ages when dental procedures were performed by barbers or general practitioners (with the aid of pliers and a bottle of whisky). These days patient care is of the utmost importance, which is why dentistry researchers at the University of Illinois (UIC) are developing a haptic training simulator called PerioSim, which uses 3-D virtual reality technology to allow dental students to improve their skills before being allowed near real live patients. Read More
— Around The Home

The ultimate loungeroom golf simulator - now including online tournament play

March 17, 2008 High flying, deal-making business and the leisurely sport of golf have gone hand in hand for decades, the high-class country club being an exclusive refuge for the wealthy and powerful. With so much money behind it, golf is one of the few sports that can support blue-sky, no-expense-spared technology like the Full Swing Golf simulator. Built into a wall in your home, office or place of business, this immensely popular boys' toy allows you to play over 50 of the world's most famous courses, from the Old Course at St. Andrew's to Pebble Beach, using your own clubs and never losing a ball. A new online mode allows you to play over the Web against your buddies... Provided they have the US$50,000 to $80,000 you need to set yourself up with a system! Read More