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University of Michigan


— Robotics

MABEL: the world's fastest knee-equipped bipedal robot

By - August 18, 2011 3 Pictures
Although Honda’s ASIMO has been running around at speeds of up to 6 km/h (3.7 mph) since 2004, his style is more of a fast sneak than a true running action. Getting bipedal robot like ASIMO to run like a human is no easy feat - as C-3PO is sure to attest – but researchers in a University of Michigan (U-M) lab have done just that with a bipedal robot called MABEL. The researchers believe that MABEL, which can reach a peak pace of 10.9 km/h (6.8 mph), is the world’s fastest bipedal robot with knees. Read More
— Telecommunications

New system could make censorship of Internet sites virtually impossible

By - August 10, 2011 1 Picture
Chinese citizens could once again enjoy LOL Cats on YouTube - as well as content critical of the communist government - if a new system developed by researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M) and the University of Waterloo (UW) in Canada were implemented. The researchers claim the system, called Telex, would thwart Internet censorship and make it virtually impossible for a censoring government to block individual sites by essentially turning the entire web into a proxy server. Read More
— Science

Implant could wirelessly relay brain signals to paralyzed limbs

By - June 20, 2011 3 Pictures
For a great number of people with paralyzed limbs, the reason that they can’t move the arm or leg in question is because the “move” command isn’t able to reach from their brain to the limb. This is often due to damage to the nervous system, or to the brain, although the limb itself is still perfectly functional ... so it could still move, if only there was a way of getting the signal to it. Well, one might be on its way. Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed an implant known as the BioBolt, that wirelessly transmits neural signals from the brain to a computer. In the future, that computer could hopefully then relay them onto a formerly-paralyzed limb. Read More
— Science

Nanofiber spheres carry healing cells into cartilage wounds

By - April 19, 2011 1 Picture
Cartilage wounds can be very difficult to treat. While they may eventually heal on their own, the resulting tissue often won't take the same form – or allow for the same function – as the original. Cartilage injuries are often treated with a process known as ACI (autologous chondrocyte implantation), in which a patient's own cells are injected at the wound site to form new tissue. The procedure doesn't always work, as the cells are just injected loosely, with no carrier to transport them or help them get established. Now, however, a scientist from the University of Michigan has developed a technique in which cells are delivered to wounds via injectable nanofiber spheres, and the results are said to be very promising. Read More
— Science

Discovery paves way for “optical battery” to generate solar power without solar cells

By - April 15, 2011 1 Picture
It has long been thought that, even though light has electric and magnetic components, the effects of the magnetic field are so weak that they could effectively be ignored. Now researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M) have discovered that under the right conditions, a light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously expected. The researchers say the discovery paves the way for the creation of an "optical battery" that could harness power from the sun without the use of solar cells. Read More
— Science

Moth antennae inspire new Alzheimer's research tool

By - March 1, 2011 2 Pictures
In order to detect the presence of nearby females, the male silk moth utilizes an oily coating on his antennae. Any female pheromone molecules that are in the air will stick to that coating, which then guides them through nanotunnels in the insect's exoskeleton, and ultimately to nerve cells that alert Mr. Moth to the fact that there are ladies in the area. It's a clever enough system that scientists from the University of Michigan have copied it, in hopes of better understanding neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Read More
— Electronics

Eye implant contains 'world's first' millimeter-scale computing system

By - February 24, 2011 1 Picture
Researchers from the University of Michigan have created what they claim is the world’s first millimeter-scale complete computing system, designed as an implantable eye pressure monitor for glaucoma patients. Incorporating a microprocessor, pressure sensor, memory, thin-film battery, solar cell and wireless radio with an antenna that can transmit data to an external reader device, the device is just over one cubic millimeter in size. The scientists see it as the next step in the evolution of ever-smaller and more efficient computers. Read More
— Science

New type of light-emitting material could rival existing OLEDs

By - February 16, 2011 2 Pictures
Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are a technology that shows great promise, as they are thinner, lighter, and less expensive to manufacture than their non-organic LED counterparts. Despite their name, however, they are not fully organic, as small amounts of precious metals are required to make them glow. A completely organic and even cheaper alternative could be on its way, though ... researchers from the University of Michigan have created metal-free organic crystals that shine with phosphorescence – until now, only non- or semi-organic compounds have displayed this property. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

University investigates program for recycling pacemakers

By - October 31, 2010 2 Pictures
Despite ongoing advances in prevention techniques and monitoring systems, heart disease remains the world’s leading cause of death. A study from the University of Michigan (U-M) Cardiovascular Center has looked to the past for a future remedy in a study that examines the legality and basic logistics of recycling pacemakers after they have been removed from a deceased person. Read More
— Science

Tabletop X-ray device rivals world's largest machines

By - October 25, 2010 1 Picture
Researchers have created a tabletop device that produces synchrotron X-rays, the energy and image quality of which are as good as some of the largest, most expensive X-ray facilities on the planet. It uses a high power laser combined with a tiny jet of helium gas to produce an ultrashort high energy beam, that could be used for everything from examining molecules to checking the integrity of airplane wings. Read More
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