Whether they're the result of injuries, surgery or birth defects such as cleft palate, missing sections of bone in the skull or jaw can certainly affect someone's appearance. Although there are some methods of filling in such gaps, they have limitations that limit their application. A newly-developed foam-like material, however, may be able to succeed where other approaches have failed.
Bipedal robots have proved a challenging frontier for roboticists, with styles ranging from clunkers to lurchers to those seemingly falling over drunk. However, the AMBER lab at Texas A&M University has created universal mathematical functions of walking derived from human data and optimized for robotic systems. Their own proof of concept robots have strikingly human gaits and react appropriately to disturbances. Furthermore, the system has the potential to be applied to other bipedal robots to similarly upgrade their stride.
Last November, German tech firm Evoluce unveiled a Kinect-based prototype multi-touch system
that allows users to navigate through Windows 7 applications, simply by moving their hands in the air. While that system utilizes the Kinect unit’s RGB camera and depth sensor to track the user’s hands, a new technology developed at Texas A&M University's Interface Ecology Lab uses a matrix of infrared light beams to do essentially the same thing. It’s called ZeroTouch, and it was presented at last week’s 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Vancouver.
We’ve already heard about new types of packaging that use things such as sorbic acid
and silver nanoparticles
to keep food fresh for longer, but this week scientists from Texas A&M University announced the development of a “nano-brick” film that utilizes yet another substance to achieve the same purpose. That substance is montmorillonite clay, which is one of the ingredients used to make bricks. The film is about 70 percent clay (with the rest of it made from various polymer materials) and when its structure is viewed through an electron microscope, it actually even looks
like bricks and mortar.