CHART OF THE DAY: Mobile App Engagement Continues To Dominate The Mobile Web
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Advanced Prosthetic Hand Ties Shoes, Deals Cards
This hand, the bebionic3, actually shows it doing some of the stuff you’d think it might: tying shoes, dealing cards, picking up household items, etc.
Those tasks make it sound mundane, but it’s actually a pretty darn impressive hand. Not only can it squeeze and pinch, it can also do some less commonly used movements, like making the rock-on devil horns or spinning in a full circle. It even automatically grips an object when it detects that the object’s slipping.
Know your awesome engineers of history: Charles Proteus Steinmetz
The great mathematician and engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz, a contemporary of Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison stood only four feet tall and was crippled and bent by kyphosis but was a giant in his field. One day, when Henry Ford’s, electrical engineers couldn’t solve a problems they were having with a gigant generator,Ford called Steinmetz. Upon arriving, Steinmetz rejected all assistance and asked only for a notebook, pencil and cot. Steinmetz listened to the generator and scribbled computations on the notepad for two straight days and nights. On the second night, he asked for a ladder, climbed up the generator and made a chalk mark on its side. Then he told Ford’s skeptical engineers to remove a plate at the mark and replace sixteen windings from the field coil. They did, and the generator performed to perfection.
Henry Ford was thrilled until he got an invoice in the amount of $10,000. Ford acknowledged Steinmetz’s success but balked at the figure. He asked for an itemized bill.
Steinmetz responded personally to Ford’s request with the following:
Making chalk mark on generator $1.
Knowing where to make mark $9,999.
Ford paid the bill.
Last Sunday at the Oscars, as Bill Westenhoffer was accepting an award for his visual effects work on ‘Life of Pi’, just as he was about to address the grievances of Hollywood VFX professionals, his mic was cut off fifteen seconds short. With pretty much every movie these days relying heavily on visual effects, the VFX community has been getting lowballed consistently to the point where the VFX company that won for Life of Pi couldn’t afford to keep their doors open.
Check out the trailer for the new BBC zombie series ‘In the Flesh’
Zombies are still big business, and in the new BBC series ‘In the Flesh’, zombies are the focus, but it takes place after a zombie outbreak and after a cure is found, and what it’s like for former zombies returning to the world of the living. In the Flesh airs March 17.
For the first time an operation has been conducted, at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, where electrodes have been permanently implanted in nerves and muscles of an amputee to directly control an arm prosthesis. The result allows natural control of an advanced robotic prosthesis, similarly to the motions of a natural limb.
A surgical team led by Dr Rickard Brånemark, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, has carried out the first operation of its kind, where neuromuscular electrodes have been permanently implanted in an amputee. The operation was possible thanks to new advanced technology developed by Max Ortiz Catalan, supervised by Rickard Brånemark at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Bo Håkansson at Chalmers University of Technology.
“The new technology is a major breakthrough that has many advantages over current technology, which provides very limited functionality to patients with missing limbs,” says Rickard Brånemark.
There have been two major issues on the advancement of robotic prostheses: 1) how to firmly attach an artificial limb to the human body; 2) how to intuitively and efficiently control the prosthesis in order to be truly useful and regain lost functionality.
“This technology solves both these problems by combining a bone anchored prosthesis with implanted electrodes,” said Rickard Brånemark, who along with his team has developed a pioneering implant system called Opra, Osseointegrated Prostheses for the Rehabilitation of Amputees.
A titanium screw, so-called osseointegrated implant, is used to anchor the prosthesis directly to the stump, which provides many advantages over a traditionally used socket prosthesis.
“It allows complete degree of motion for the patient, fewer skin related problems and a more natural feeling that the prosthesis is part of the body. Overall, it brings better quality of life to people who are amputees,” says Rickard Brånemark.
How it works
Presently, robotic prostheses rely on electrodes over the skin to pick up the muscles electrical activity to drive few actions by the prosthesis. The problem with this approach is that normally only two functions are regained out of the tens of different movements an able-body is capable of. By using implanted electrodes, more signals can be retrieved, and therefore control of more movements is possible. Furthermore, it is also possible to provide the patient with natural perception, or “feeling”, through neural stimulation.
“We believe that implanted electrodes, together with a long-term stable human-machine interface provided by the osseointegrated implant, is a breakthrough that will pave the way for a new era in limb replacement,” says Rickard Brånemark.
The first patient has recently been treated with this technology, and the first tests gave excellent results. The patient, a previous user of a robotic hand, reported major difficulties in operating that device in cold and hot environments and interference from shoulder muscles. These issues have now disappeared, thanks to the new system, and the patient has now reported that almost no effort is required to generate control signals. Moreover, tests have shown that more movements may be performed in a coordinated way, and that several movements can be performed simultaneously.
“The next step will be to test electrical stimulation of nerves to see if the patient can sense environmental stimuli, that is, get an artificial sensation. The ultimate goal is to make a more natural way to replace a lost limb, to improve the quality of life for people with amputations,” says Rickard Brånemark.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will make for the first appearance of longtime Spidey girlfriend Mary Jane Watson. In the last Spider-Man trilogy, MJ was played by Kirsten Dunst and in this one, the red hair will be donned by Shailene Woodley (The Descendants).
WHAT! Is this the best they can do… Emma Stone to…meh! Sad, sad, sad…