A self-balancing skateboard/Segway project

The twin wheeled skateboard works like a Segway.  Electric skateboards exist already with powered rear wheels, but the plan here was to build something like a Segway but in the form of a skateboard. It knows which way is “up” via a combination of gyroscope and and accelerometer sensors. (Videos)

 

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Top 15 emerging technology trends: Forrester

“We went a level deeper in our research by examining how today’s hot technology create platforms for future disruption,” analyst Bryan Hopkins writes.

Forrester, a research firm, understands that everyone who’s been listening  knows that mobile, social, cloud, and data are big freight trains of change that are blowing up old business models and old business practices.

 

 

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Swarms of robots could bring buildings to life

robot swarm

The more of these robots we have in our homes, the more intelligent they could be.

What does it take for a building to be considered smart? Add some lights that turn themselves off when nobody is around or install an “intelligent” air conditioning system to regulate the ambient temperature and you’re well on your way. But compared to the living buildings proposed by Akira Mita, today’s smart buildings are the architectural equivalent of single-celled organisms.

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Car seat sensors ID drivers by their rear ends

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Pressure-sensing seat

Hilarity quickly ensues when Larry David calls out “I’d know that tush anywhere!” When your car says it – or at least, thinks it – the result is the engine starting and personal comfort preferences like climate control and seat positioning being remembered and activated, hands free. It’s still sort of hilarious, of course, but you can’t deny the security or the practicality inherent in the concept.

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DARPA developing sensors to track you by your heartbeat

heartbeat

The government wants to track you by your heartbeat.

You may be hiding on the other side of the wall but the U.S. military can see you breathing, they can even see your heartbeat racing.  But you may be surprised if you think you can run farther away or hide in a crowd.  The Defense Department’s sensors will find you.  The Pentagon is looking to tweak their life-form finder that can spot your heartbeat no matter where you are.

 

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‘Sensing skin’ for concrete would detect tiny cracks

sensingskin

MIT researchers tested the ‘sensing skin’ by attaching it to the underside of a concrete beam, then applying enough force to cause tiny cracks to form in the beam under one patch of the skin.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), in 2009,  assigned a grade of “D” to the overall quality of infrastructure in the United States, saying that ongoing evaluation and maintenance of structures was necessary to improve that grade. Since then, federal stimulus funds have made it possible for communities to repair some infrastructure, but high-tech, affordable methods for continual monitoring remain in their infancy. Instead, most evaluation of bridges, dams, schools and other structures is still done by visual inspection, which is slow, expensive, cumbersome and in some cases, dangerous.

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New device captures ambient energy from the air to power small electronic devices

Energy3

Professor Manos Tentzeris displays an inkjet-printed rectifying antenna used to convert microwave energy to DC power.

Researchers have found a way to capture and harness energy transmitted by such sources as radio and television transmitters, cell phone networks and satellite communications systems. By getting this ambient energy from the air around us, the technique could provide a new way to power networks of wireless sensors, microprocessors and communications chips.

 

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TagSense – new app automatically tags smartphone photos

faces

TagSense not only can pick out people but the context of the picture, including emotions, weather conditions and type of activity.

A new app can automatically tag your smartphone photos with a wide range of attributes, picking out not only the people but the context of the picture, including emotions, weather conditions and type of activity.

 

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