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User: Daniil [Maxriter]
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Monday, 30 Nov, 2009


Latest Invention: Baggy Spacesuit that Shrinks to Fit the Astronaut

If you like this invention then vote for it here.

According to David Akin and Shane Jacobs from the University of Maryland in College Park, in the near future astronauts will have the possibility to get suited and booted in just a matter of seconds. This would be possible by stepping into a special baggy suit that afterwards contracts with the help of pneumatic artificial muscles to ensure an ideal fit.

The new invention will significantly improve the efficiency of astronauts' movements during their missions. Jacobs described their new project at the International Astronautical Congress that recently took place in Daejong, South Korea.

"Our research shows that of the physical work astronauts actually do on a spacewalk, only one-quarter of it is mission related. The rest goes into just moving the spacesuit around," outlined Akin. The same technology is used to fit the suit's gloves.

In addition, the new invention will feature stereo LCD spectacles and a video screen incorporated into the helmet. These could be used to receive augmented reality imagery, for instance, which will allow seeing the spacecraft that is hidden from view. Currently, researchers carry out tests of the new spacesuit in the university's neutral buoyancy tank.

Monday, 30 Nov, 2009


Latest Invention: Self-tuning Dark Fire Guitar from Gibson

If you like this invention then vote for it here.

One of the most famous guitar makers, Gibson, has come up with a new invention - a self-tuning guitar called Dark Fire. The guitar is able to reach a perfect pitch in about 3 seconds.

The Dark Fire looks represents an improved version of Gibson's earlier developed "robot guitar," but it has one significant improvement - the new guitar features a self-tuning system with extra factory presets, allowing as much as sixteen alternate tunings. By making use of the new feature, the guitar player will have the possibility to get more set of chords from Dark Fire in just seconds.

In addition, the new invention from Gibson includes an onboard tone control function, which allows the player to imitate different guitar tones like the Texas blues or heavy metal. The instrument is rather pricey, being available for $3,477.

Dark Fire is powered by a rechargeable battery, which the player can juice up via the input jack. The guitar is mostly made of carbon fiber. Currently there is no information on the number of Dark Fires Gibson sold. According to the company, its new version of self-tuning guitar, the Dusk Tiger, is going to be released on December 7.

Monday, 30 Nov, 2009


Latest Invention: Chip Implanted in the Brain to Help Control Your PC

If you like this invention then vote for it here.

According to Intel, its customers would soon have the possibility to have a computer chip implanted into their brains so they would operate computers, mobile phones, TV and more, using their thoughts, without any physical interaction.

Currently the company's new invention is being developed at its lab located in Pittsburg, USA. The chip will be able to feel brain activity with the help of a special technology based on Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI). Scientists at Intel have not yet developed such a chip but according to one of the company's researchers Dean Pomerleau these are close.

Theoretically, different people thinking of the same word or image would have the same activity in their brains, but since no one really knows exactly how the brain works, this is not certain.

With the help of FMRI, Pomerleau together with his colleagues scanned the brains of volunteers in order to see whether brain patters match when people are thinking about the same things. It is worth mentioning that in theory different people that think of a similar word of picture have similar brain activity, informs Physorg. However, such theory cannot be proved since no one yet knows how exactly our brain works.

The research team says that up till now the results look rather promising. According to the lead researcher, in a decade or so people will be more inclined towards the company’s new invention implanted into their brains.

In 10 to 15 years it would be possible for people to operate hybrid computers by making use of a combination of new technology and living tissue, considers Associate Professor Charles Higgins of the University of Arizona. His statement comes after scientists at the University managed to come up with a robot that is controlled by the eyes and brain of a moth. In the near future Intel's new invention could help people with some physical disabilities.

Monday, 16 Nov, 2009


Scientists Turn Desert Into Lush Green Area

A real miracle was created by a scientist from the Permaculture Research Institute. Geoff Lawton managed to transform a lifeless desert into a lush green area, where people can grow food trees and mushrooms.

Lawton and his group were given about 10 acres of extremely salty and flat soil 400 meters below sea level.

The green area is located 2km from the Dead Sea. To be able to create such an oasis, the researcher needed to apply unconventional farming practices. The materials that Mr. Lawton used included plastic strips and tons of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers.

The initial idea was to develop a lush forest where edible plants would grow. In addition, everything was intended to be made without polluting the location with hazardous chemicals. The team of scientists managed to develop a system that helps gather rainwater into swales surrounded with mulch. The nitrogen-fixing trees found on the uphill side, create shadows that cover water tanks, thus preventing evaporation. As for the downhill side, researchers used it for planting fruit trees such as citrus, date, palm and pomegranate trees.

In about 4 months, the garden gave birth to the first figs. Besides, the researchers noticed that the levels of salt registered a considerable drop, which led to the appearance of mushrooms that started growing under the mulch, informs EcoWorldly.

After their successful project, scientists started thinking that it would be possible to turn other deserts around the world into green areas by using organic materials and rainwater.

Monday, 16 Nov, 2009


Latest Invention: DVD That Can Last for 1,000 Years

If you like this invention then vote for it here.

The lifespan of the majority of DVDs extends from 2 to 5 years. A solution for prolonging the lifespan of a disc was recently proposed by CranBerry LLC, a company that claims it managed to create a new type of DVD that can last for 1,000 years.

The company's new invention is called DiamonDisc. The name comes from the diamond-like synthetic stone surface that the disc is made of. The new DVD holds just as much data as the conventional DVD disc, but in contrast to the standard model that features a gold or silver reflective surface, the new invention does not have a reflective layer.

The ECMA-379 standard temperature and humidity testing, used to estimate the life of optical media, showed that the exceptional qualities of the new DVD allow it to resist the temperature of up to 176 F, deal with ultraviolet rays, and delay material deterioration, reports ComputerWorld.

The initial price of the CranBerry's new invention is $34.95, but one can acquire a pack of five discs for $149.75. The company can burn the disc by itself, but those who look forward to burn the new DVD at home or office would need to purchase CranBerry's burner for $4,995. It is worth mentioning that the discs can be easily played on virtually any conventional DVD player. The main purchaser of the new technology will most likely be the government, who might use the invention for archival purposes.
Monday, 16 Nov, 2009


Holding Hands or Watching Photos of a Loved One Lowers Pain

Scientists claim that touching or watching a partner during difficult times of distress lowers his or her pain. Psychologists at the University of California say that this technique is especially effective for women. A person can also ease the pain by watching a photograph of the loved one. According to the researchers, the finding "underscores the importance of social relationships and staying socially connected." The team studied 25 volunteers - most of them were female students who reported being in a good relationship with their partner for at least 6 months.

The study showed that if young women were given a soft burn, they felt less pain when looking at the pictures of their boyfriends. The same effect was reported when volunteers held the hands with their significant others when researchers applied a "moderately painful heat stimuli" to their forearms.

"This changes our notion of how social support influences people," said Researcher Naomi Eisenberger, an assistant professor of psychology who took part in the research. In another study, each woman was asked to hold the hand of her boyfriend and then the hand of a stranger. The tests revealed that less physical pain was felt when the participants held the hand of their loved ones compared to when they were holding the hand of an unknown person.

According to Prof Eisenberger the current research reveals "how much of an impact our social ties can have on our experience and fits with other work, emphasizing the importance of social support for physical and mental health." The study is available in the journal Psychological Science.

Monday, 16 Nov, 2009


Latest Invention: Full-color LED Dress - the Biggest Wearable Display on Earth

CuteCircuit, a fashionable technology company that operates in the fields of wearable technology and interaction design, has recently presented its new invention called Galaxy Dress and which allows its wearer to advertise different messages all over the body by making use of 24,000 colorful flat, extra-thin LEDs.

One LED measures 2x2mm. However, all of them harmoniously work together, producing a mesmerizing light show with hundreds of colors running through the flowing skirt.

The developers of the new invention thought about adding four layers of silk chiffon in order to disperse the light, creating an even more amazing effect. They also considered applying 4,000 Swarovski crystals to extend the dress' glitter when the light from the LED bulbs softens.

Surprisingly, the heaviest part of the new invention is the 40-layer pleated silk organza crinoline and not the technology used to make the dress shine, informs Ecouterre. It is worth mentioning that the silk organza crinoline is used to give the skirt its flounce.

In order to power the LED bulbs one should use only a few iPod batteries that will allow the dress to glitter for 30 minutes to 1 hour. In addition, the LED technology will not overheat the wearer of the Galaxy Dress, which is currently a prototype and can be observed at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Friday, 13 Nov, 2009


New-Gen Parking Lot Uses Cars' Windscreens to Generate Electricity

Designboom together with Nissan recently announced the final results of their competition entitled "Think Outside the Parking Box."

Although the first prize went to a concept that was inspired from the Ferris wheel, probably the most impressive design was the one that came second, called the Solasis Light Tower, which represents a green energy parking lot that makes use of vehicles' windscreens to shine sun onto a special solar power concentrating tower.

In order to save some space in the city, designers decided to place the Solasis Light Tower on a floating platform. The vehicles on the parking lot a parked in a way so their windscreens as well as hoods face the solar receptor located at the front of the parking lot.

The designers behind this project are Klaud Wasiak and Yongbang Ho. When developing their concept the two took into consideration the construction of Nissan Qashqai that features mesh composed of photovoltaics and mirrors located on the windscreen and roof. When the car is parked the mirrors turn on and follow the sun to redirect the beams of light to the tower.

Those who decide to park their vehicle on this parking lot can then use an underground metro line to get to the city core. The designers thought about creating such a parking lot mainly because they think that today a lot of parking lots represent wasted and unusable spaces.

Friday, 13 Nov, 2009


Virtual Reality Might Be Used to Aid Bullied Children

Scientists from the University of Warwick claim that virtual reality could be used to help children avoid bullying and discrimination at school. Researchers decided to launch an anti-bullying virtual learning program in British and German schools and noticed that the victimization in the respective schools lowered by 26 percent.

In their research, the team of scientists led by Maria Sapouna and Professor Dieter Wolke from Warwick Medical School and the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick studied the results of FearNot!, which is an anti-bullying virtual learning intervention.

The group examined 1,129 children from 27 primary schools throughout the United Kingdom and Germany. They selected children aged 8 and 9 and divide them into two groups - the intervention and control one. The first group was involved in three sessions, during which they individually interacted with the virtual reality game. One session lasted 30 minutes and children from the intervention group were asked to participate in sessions during a three-week period.

FearNot! represents a virtual school that features 3D pupils who assume the same roles that children take when bullying takes place, i.e. the bullied person, the bully or the onlooker. Afterwards these personalities were used to improvise real-life bullying situations. Thus children were able to interact with virtual characters and offer ways of dealing with the occurred situation. Despite the fact that the effect of the program was a short one, scientists consider that longer interventions could lead to much better results.

According to Professor Wolke, the current study is the first one to analyze the effectiveness of a virtual learning intervention for people who suffer from bullying. "Virtual interventions could be most effective as part of a wider anti-bullying curriculum," he said.

Friday, 13 Nov, 2009


Digital Cloud Could Fly Over London's Skies

An international group of architects decided to develop a "digital cloud" that would float above London. They plan involves building 120 meters (400 feet) tall mesh towers along with a series of plastic bubbles that are interconnected and that will serve as screens for displaying pictures and information. In addition, the construction will also serve as an observation deck and park. Initially the building was seen as the center of the Olympic village.

The designers hope to raise money for the construction of the unique structure from small donations from millions of people. According to one of the designers that work on the project, Carlo Ratti, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the size of the construction will be based on the amount of collected donations.

It is worth mentioning that the current project was submitted to a competition launched by London Mayor Boris Johnson, who has committed to construct a tourist attraction in the Olympic Park. According to a spokesman, the mayor is still to decide which project will be brought to life.

The group of architects behind the digital cloud decided to go further and publish detailed information of their building. The design of the structure was inspired from the works of Toman Saraceno, an artist who lives in Germany and is famous for his inflatable sculptures of huge sizes, reports BBC News. Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) is a type of plastic that will be used to create the spheres. It would be worth noting that such plastic was used in the construction of the Beijing Aquatic Centre. The spheres will have different sizes and each sphere would serve as an individual element - some of them will be used as habitable spaces, while others as LCD screens with information projected on them.

"We could provide a custom feed of… searches made by Londoners during the Olympics to give a real time 'barometer' of the city's interests and mood," mentioned the California-based Internet giant Google that is one of the project's supporters. Google said that it will provide the information feeds for the digital cloud. The plastic spheres will also feature information on weather, the number of spectators, race results and more. Visitors will be able to climb up the cloud using ramps, stairs and lifts.

Architects decided to use the damping technology in their construction to be able to resist earthquakes. The technology is similar to that used in Japanese skyscrapers. Professor Ratti mentioned that the digital cloud would also make use of renewable energy. There will be solar cells on the ground as well as within some of the spheres. In addition, the lift would make use of regenerative braking, with the latter being used today in some hybrid vehicles.

Thursday, 12 Nov, 2009

Current Events

New Recycling Plant to Convert Diapers to Power

Two British companies, Versus Energy and Knowaste, decided to team up with the goal of creating the world's first diaper recycling facility in the town of West Bromwich in Birmingham, England. The new plant is expected to be built in the Black Coal country, a place that a time ago was considered the heart of the Industrial Revolution.

Organic materials obtained from disposable diapers will produce green energy that will be used to power the facility. Although organic waste in diapers represents just 2 percent of the materials, the remaining 98 percent will be dried, sterilized and then divided into reusable paper pulp and plastic.

It has not yet been announced what will the outcome of the recycling process serve for, but based on Knowaste's knowledge, the obtained material could be used to manufacture roof tiles, shoe insoles, wallpaper as well as industrial thickeners, reports CleanTechnica.

In the near future the company expects to recycle such difficult waste as feminine hygiene products, incontinence products that are used by adults and the disabled, as well as waste from hospitals.

Monday, 09 Nov, 2009


Latest Invention: In-car Personal Robot That Learns Driver's Habits

The new invention of MIT researchers is the Affective Intelligent Driving Agent (AIDA), which represents an in-car personal robot. With their new invention scientists hope to change the usual way drivers interact with their vehicles. To develop the robot, a group of researchers from the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab teamed up with MIT's SENSEable City Lab and the Volkswagen Group of America's Electronics Research Lab.

The goal of researchers was to create a personal assistant that would learn about a driver's behavior in an environment and offer suggestions according to the collected data. According to Professor Carlo Ratti, director of the SENSEable City Lab, they wanted to create a system able to provide information like an "informed and friendly companion." The new system interacts with the driver via a small robot incorporated in the car's dashboard.

Professor Cynthia Breazeal, director of the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab, says AIDA can analyze the driver's mood from his or her facial expressions and react in a "socially appropriate and informative way." The new invention communicates by giving smiles or blinking its eyes that appear on the robot's screen. In order to recognize the set of goals that the driver looks forward to achieve, the system evaluates the mobility model of the driver, registering common routes and destinations. The system builds its own understanding of the city, integrating real-time event data regarding the environmental conditions, along with commercial activity, different tourist attractions, and uptown areas.

Assaf Biderman, associate director of the SENSEable City Lab, says that after AIDA has collected enough knowledge about driver's needs and priorities, it is able to make significant interferences. In just one week the system will learn about the driver's home and work location. After that AIDA will be able to guide the driver to the nearest grocery story, offering a route to dodge traffic jams.

Biderman adds: "AIDA can also give you feedback on your driving, helping you achieve more energy efficiency and safer behavior." It is worth mentioning that the new invention was created in partnership with Audi and the Volkswagen Group of America's Electronics Research Lab. The group of scientists behind the system is managed by Professor Cynthia Breazeal, Carlo Ratti, and Assaf Biderman.

Friday, 06 Nov, 2009


Latest Invention: Metal-Air Battery that Is 11 More Efficient than Lithium-Ion

Fluidic Energy, a spinoff firm from Arizona State University looks forward to come up with its new invention - a battery that would have an energy density 11 times greatest compared to the density of lithium-ion batteries; plus the new batteries will be about 60 percent cheaper than the lithium-ion ones.

US Department of Energy has given a $5.13 million research grant to Fluidic Energy so the latter could make its new invention come to life.

Together with a team of scientists Cody Friesen, a professor of materials science at Arizona State and founder of Fluidic Energy, is working on the creation of Metal-Air Ionic Liquid battery. The main aspect of the new battery is the ionic liquids that are used as the battery's electrolyte. These liquids will allow researchers overcome previous issues linked with earlier metal-air batteries.

It is worth mentioning that the advantage of ionic liquids, like the ones used in Fluidic Energy's new invention, is that they do not evaporate, which means that they are able to work for a much longer period time, reports TechnologyReview. Currently scientists look forward to achieve energy density from 900 to 1,600 watt-hours per kilogram. If successful, the new batteries will be able to help electric cars travel from 400 to 500 miles on a single charge.

Friday, 06 Nov, 2009


Taipei 101 - the Tallest Eco-friendly Building in the World

Taipei 101 was expected to be the tallest building in the world until it was surpassed by Burj Dubai. But the Taiwanese engineers decided not to give up and turn the skyscraper into the tallest environmentally-friendly building in the world.

The new upgrades will save a lot of money and significantly cut the impact of the construction. Engineers hope that Taipei 101 will be officially named "World's Tallest Green Building." The energy-efficiency upgrades cost $1.8 million, but the annual income of the building is expected to reach $20 million in savings.

The major upgrades will be made over the following 18 months. To be able to complete the programmed upgrades, the owners of the skyscraper decide to team up with SL+A International Asia Inc., an Interior Design Consultancy company, Siemens and EcoTech International Inc.

Upgrades will be made in energy systems for heating, cooling as well as ventilation. The landscape will also have eco-friendly features. The food served in restaurants is going to be prepared to avoid waste. The current eco-systems of Taipei 101 include low-e glass, waste recycling and gray water system. More information is available here.

Thursday, 05 Nov, 2009


World's First Space Hotel to Open Soon

Galactic Suite Space Resort is going to be the world's first orbiting space hotel that is expected to open in 2012. If you want to spend three nights in the hotel you will need to complete a two-month training course first. The course will take place on a Caribbean island. You will have to pay $4.4 million - the price also includes special training. It is worth mentioning that over 40 people have already made their choice.

As soon as you reach the space hotel, you will be able to witness the sunrise that will take place 16 times a day. In addition, you will circumnavigate the planet every 80 minutes. To surf around other tourists' pod rooms, you will need to wear special Velcro suits that will allow sticking to the walls and help you crawl.

Xavier Claramunt, who currently holds the position of chief executive of the Barcelona-based company Galactic Suite Ltd, is expecting that his orbiting space hotel will become the leader in the field of space tourism, reports Reuters. He considers that space tourism could become extremely popular in just about 15 years.

At first the company will have one pod that would house four guests and two astronauts. It would orbit 450 kilometers (about 280 miles) above the earth and travel at a speed of 30,000 km/h (about 18,640 mph). It would take the space tourists a day and a half to get to the pod onboard a Russian-built rocket, which is going to be launched from a Caribbean island. As soon as the rocket reaches the pod, it would dock with it for the whole stay. After three nights in outer space, passengers would return to the rocket and return to Earth.

Thursday, 05 Nov, 2009


Living Light Sculpture Offers Data on Air Quality

This amazing sculpture, called Living Light, installed in South Korea at the World Cup Stadium's Peace Park.

The outdoor pavilion along with glass covering projects latest information on the local air quality. The designers of this sculpture are Soo-in Yang and David Benjamin, representing The Living. Their creation has one interesting feature - its glass skin represents a huge redrawn map of 27 neighborhoods that can be found in Seoul.

The city's neighborhoods light up if the air quality is better than the same period last year. The quality of air is analyzed by the real-time sensors from the Korean Ministry of Environment. By sending text messages to the device, citizens will receive a response with information about air quality in specific neighborhoods.

According to the designers, the glass skins used on their device could be used on buildings, making them more attractive and creating informative public space.

Thursday, 05 Nov, 2009


Researchers Hope to Create Genetic Zoo With 10,000 Species

An international group of scientists will gather a collection of DNA samples taken from more than 10,000 animal species. According to the researchers, their project, called "Genome 10K," will be able to provide important clues on the evolution of vertebrates.

Initially the idea to launch such a project was suggested in April 2009 at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The team of 70 researchers will collect DNA samples from animals kept in different zoos, museums and universities around the globe. The current list of all vertebrates species collected by the researchers can be found in an online database available here.

It is worth mentioning that launching a similar project was impossible a few years ago. Initially the cost of the project was estimated at $1 billion, but over the past ten years the price has considerably dropped, reports Discovery News. The list of animals selected by the team of researchers includes a wide range of mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish. Most of the animal species are critically endangered and some event went extinct.

With the DNA sequences of each animal, the team will be able to get a better idea of the genetic heritage of each species. In addition, the collected information could help preserve threatened species, offering new clues regarding the reactions of different animals to various factors, including climate change and pollution. The most difficult part of the project is not the gathering of DNA samples, but raising enough money to execute the program.

Wednesday, 04 Nov, 2009


Solar-powered Vertical Parking System Saves a Lot of Space

One of the major problems in big cities is the continuously increasing number of cars that almost completely fill all parking spaces and often create huge traffic jams.

Taking into consideration the issue, Baita Bueno, a Brazilian designer, thought about creating a vertical parking system, which makes it possible to park your car at a 90-degrees angle. The system decreases the space required today to park a car by over 60 percent, which means that the space required to park one car today will be able to fit 3 vehicles thanks to the new system.

The project is entitled "90 degrees." The parking system will not only be able to offer secure parking space, but it will also take advantage of renewable energy with the help of solar panels, thus being able to fuel cars.

The vertical parking system features tire support and side clamps to provide a tight grip. In addition, it also has a built-in generator and fuel plug, which means that your car will always be charged.

Wednesday, 04 Nov, 2009


X-Ray Is the Most Important Contemporary Invention

London's Science Museum carried out a poll among its visitors who voted X-ray the most important invention among all contemporary innovations. People were offered a list of top 10 greatest inventions in science, engineering and technology and were asked to choose the one that they consider to be the most important.

It is worth mentioning that the list of top 10 greatest scientific inventions was developed by the museum's curators. A total of about 50,000 votes were collected from visitors of the museum's official website and those who paid a visit to the London galleries of the Science Museum. The poll is one of the events meant to celebrate the Science Museum's centenary year.

The results of the poll showed that the X-ray machine is considered to be the invention that had the greatest impact in the modern history of science. Number two in the list was penicillin and DNA double helix was third breakthrough. The list of the greatest inventions in science continued with the Apollo 10 capsule, the V2 rocket engine, Stephenson's Rocket, the Pilot ACE, the steam engine, the Model T Ford motor car, and the electric telegraph.

All top 10 most important inventions in science, engineering and technologies can be viewed as part of an exceptional Centenary Journey path through the museum galleries.

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