Mind-controlled quadcopter flies using imaginary fists



June 8, 2013

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Subjects were trained to control the quadcopter by imagining opening or closing their fist...

Subjects were trained to control the quadcopter by imagining opening or closing their fists

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Researchers at the University of Minnesota have done away with all that tedious joystick work by developing a mind-controlled quadcopter. It may seem like the top item of next year’s Christmas list, but it also serves a very practical purpose. Using a skullcap fitted with a Brain Computer Interface (BCI), the University’s College of Science and Engineering hopes to develop ways for people suffering from paralysis or neurodegenerative diseases to employ thought to control wheelchairs and other devices.

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tunis dance of guys and gals 6.3.2013

And the guys join in.

In Europe they would be hauled in for defamation of an ethnic minority, with the Islamic fundamentalists cheering and chucking stones. It shows just how far we’ve fallen. These are the people worth supporting, not the Islamic fundamentalists who always manage to claw their way to the top. Lead the way girls! ‘

NOTE: They are doing this in spite of Islam, not from principles stemming from it.


H/T: Stefan Metzler

Really interesting slide show of extra-solar planets.

I remember when I was a child, I was told in absolute terms that we could never know if there was planets circling other stars as we simply could never develop the technology to detect them. It was too difficult as the light from parent stars would always be so much brighter than the reflected light of the planets circling them.

So this has extra amazement for me. But it is a beautiful and very interesting slide show in any case. Make sure to go back to the start as well as towards the end.

Hot Jupiter

Someone made a killing selling dashboard cameras in Russia

H/T Hermes & Don L and everyone who sent in this material. I don’t understand the story yet but the videos are cool.

OK the story is getting interesting. Some reports now claim that the meteor was destroyed above ground by anti-missile defenses. Now that is interesting in a few ways. If its true, then Russia has moved far ahead of what people commonly think I suspect. It is also interesting that if this is true, and they had not shot the meteor, then what would the consequences have been of an impact of this magnitude? Would it have been equivalent to a nuke? Would it have been another meteor-caused extinction event?

All meteor vids in one place

Man to climb Chicago’s Willis Tower using thought-controlled bionic leg



November 2, 2012

Zac Vawter prepares for 'SkyRise Chicago', a fundraiser for the Rehabilitation Institute o...

Zac Vawter prepares for ‘SkyRise Chicago’, a fundraiser for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Despite losing most of his right leg in a motorcycle accident, Zac Vawter (31) intends to climb all 103 flights of stairs at Chicago’s Willis Tower this Sunday. He’s been helping researchers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) test a cutting-edge bionic leg that is controlled by his own nerve impulses. He can walk, kick a ball, and climb stairs by simply thinking of what he wants his leg to do.

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Star Trek Tech

1. Warp drive someday?

Warp drive looks more promising than ever in recent NASA studies


October 3, 2012

The warp drive broke away from being a wholly fictional concept in 1994 (Image: Shuttersto...

The warp drive broke away from being a wholly fictional concept in 1994 (Image: Shutterstock)

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“Interstellar travel may still be in its infancy, but adulthood is fast approaching, and our descendants will someday see childhood’s end.” The Starflight Handbook

The first steps towards interstellar travel have been taken, but the stars are very far away. Voyager 1 is about 17 light-hours distant from Earth and is traveling with a velocity of 0.006 percent of light speed, meaning it will take about 17,000 years to travel one light-year. Fortunately, the elusive “warp drive” now appears to be evolving past difficulties with new theoretical advances and a NASA test rig under development to measure artificially generated warping of space-time.

The warp drive broke away from being a wholly fictional concept in 1994, when physicist Miguel Alcubierre suggested that faster-than-light (FTL) travel was possible if you remained still on a flat piece of spacetime inside a warp bubble that was made to move at superluminal velocity. Rather like a magic carpet. The main idea here is that, although no material objects can travel faster than light, there is no known upper speed to the ability of spacetime itself to expand and contract. The only real hint we have is that the minimum velocity of spacetime expansion during the period of cosmological inflation was about 30 million billion times the speed of light.

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2. The Tricorder:

New medical scanner could surpass ‘Star Trek’ tricorder abilities

Ever since Gene Roddenberry introduced us to the world of Star Trek, we have spent the years since trying to catch up to the technological advances thought up by him and his brilliant creative teams. Now, a new development has a chance to surpass one of those technologies — the tricorder.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Penn State’s Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics have developed a new a dime-sized chip that uses the interference pattern created by two sound waves to sort a continuous stream of biological cells. This would allow cells of different types to be directed into different channels, and all those separate channels could examined simultaneously to give faster, more accurate medical scans.

[ Related: Medical science discovers a way to prevent age-related immune system decline ]

The new chip uses the principle of interference, where two sound waves interact with each other, causing nodes of higher and lower pressure on the surface of the chip. As the biological cells flow across the surface of the chip, they are funneled into these nodes, and by changing the frequency of the waves, more nodes can be created, thus funneling more streams of cells to be analyzed.


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Radical bi-directional flying wing design gets NASA funding


A team that has created a supersonic jet design resembling a flying shuriken has been awarded a US$100, 000 grant from NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program to continue development of the aircraft. Aside from looking suitably futuristic, the concept plane’s four-pointed star design serves a practical purpose. By rotating in mid air, the plane can transition between broad-wing subsonic and shorter wingspan supersonic configurations.

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