Artificial skin can ‘feel’ changes in temperature

January 30, 2017

An artificial skin capable of detecting temperature changes using a mechanism similar to the one used by the organ that allows pit vipers to sense their prey, has been developed by a team of engineers and scientists at Caltech and ETH Zurich. The material could be grafted onto prosthetic limbs to restore temperature sensing in amputees. It could also be applied to first-aid bandages to alert health professionals of a temperature increase—a…


Machine identifies suicidal behavior just through words

New computer tools can identify with high accuracy, through a person’s spoken or written words, whether they are suicidal, mentally ill but not suicidal, or neither. A study shows that the computer technology known as machine learning is up to 93% accurate in correctly classifying a suicidal person and 85% accurate in identifying a person who is suicidal, has a mental illness but is not suicidal, or neither. These results…

November 8, 2016

‘Wearing robotic exoskeleton’ for human gait rehab

October 26, 2016

Wearable “robot-assisted training” is quickly emerging as a method that helps improve the rehab process of stroke and spinal cord injury patients, who often require gait rehabilitation to regain the ability to walk or to help strengthen their muscles. In a major advance, researchers from Beihang University in China and Aalborg University in Denmark have designed a lower-limb robot exoskeleton—a wearable robot—that features natural knee movement to greatly improve patients’…


Paralyzed man feels again through brain computer

October 14, 2016

Imagine being in an accident that leaves you unable to feel any sensation in your arms and fingers. Now imagine regaining that sensation, a decade later, through a mind-controlled robotic arm that is directly connected to your brain. That is what 28-year-old Nathan Copeland experienced after he came out of brain surgery and was connected to the Brain Computer Interface (BCI), developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and…


Air-actuated soft robots behave like human muscles

October 13, 2016

An EPFL team is developing soft, flexible and reconfigurable robots. Air-actuated, they behave like human muscles and may be used in physical rehabilitation. They are made of low-cost materials and could easily be produced on a large scale. Robots are usually expected to be rigid, fast and efficient. But researchers at EPFL’s Reconfigurable Robotics Lab (RRL) have turned that notion on its head with their soft robots. Soft robots, powered…


Could you swallow your surgeon whole?

October 6, 2016

The 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa, who will share the 8m kronor (£727,000) prize for the design and synthesis of machines on a molecular scale. They were named at a press conference in Sweden. The machines conceived by today’s laureates are a thousand times thinner than a strand of hair. They could slip inside the human body to deliver…


Using brain power to move paralyzed hands

September 19, 2016

Stroke is an unfortunate, and more common than we’d like to think, occurrence. Approximately one in six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime and in Switzerland stroke affects 16,000 people every year. Two thirds of those affected suffer from paralysis of the arm. While physical therapy and training can assist in patients regaining some control over their limbs, some cases are not simple enough to be helped with…


Handy 3D-printed devices from MIT

September 2, 2016

Although these names seem fitting for superhero characters; Cyborg beast, phoenix, talon — they are actually names for devices that make people feel like superheroes. These devices are 3D-printed hands that are designed for people who live without all or part of their arms. The hands are featured on a growing network called e-NABLE, which is an online forum to promote collaboration between hand-design developers, to pair developers with those…


These 3D printed objects immediately revert to original position after modification

In this series, a 3-D printed multimaterial shape-memory minigripper, consisting of shape-memory hinges and adaptive touching tips, grasps a cap screw. (Image Credit: Qi (Kevin) Ge)
August 29, 2016

With the help of some light, engineers from MIT and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have figured out a way to 3D print structures that can recall and revert back to their original shapes.  After being stretched, twisted, and bent at extreme angles, the structures, which ranged from small coils to an inch-tall replica of the Eiffel tower, were able to change their shape into the original form within…


Surgical software installed in London’s largest teaching hospital

August 16, 2016

It has been announced by Renishaw that a neuromate stereotactic robot system and neuroinspire surgical planning software have been installed at one of London’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals, King’s College Hospital. Mr Richard Selway and Mr Irfan Malik, Consultant Neurosurgeons at King’s College Hospital, have already successfully used the systems for several stereoelectroencephalography (stereo EEG) cases for epilepsy, since the installation in January 2016. Mr Selway said: “We are delighted…