Darpa-funded Inflatable Robotics Helps Spark Idea For Silver Screen Star

on Thursday, 13 November 2014. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Make-believe soft robot in Disney’s newest movie has roots in real-world robotics research.

Darpa-funded Inflatable Robotics Helps Spark Idea For Silver Screen Star

The giant, balloon-like inflatable robot named Baymax in Disney’s Big Hero 6 has its roots in real-world research conducted by iRobot Corporation, Carnegie Mellon University and Otherlab under DARPA’s Maximum Mobility Manipulation (M3) program. The film’s co-director, Don Hall, has said he was inspired to cast Baymax as an air-filled, soft robot after he saw an inflatable robotic arm on a visit to Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. Carnegie Mellon’s work in soft robotics has been supported by DARPA and the National Science Foundation.

DARPA Z-Man Program Demonstrates Human Climbing Like Geckos

on Tuesday, 10 June 2014. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Dr. Matt Goodman: "The challenge to our performer team was to understand the biology and physics in play when geckos climb and then reverse-engineer those dynamics into an artificial system for use by humans."

DARPA Z-Man Program Demonstrates Human Climbing Like Geckos

DARPA’s Z-Man program has demonstrated the first known human climbing of a glass wall using climbing devices inspired by geckos. The historic ascent involved a 218-pound climber ascending and descending 25 feet of glass, while also carrying an additional 50-pound load in one trial, with no climbing equipment other than a pair of hand-held, gecko-inspired paddles. The novel polymer microstructure technology used in those paddles was developed for DARPA by Draper Laboratory of Cambridge, Mass.

The Newest Thing in Quantum Imaging

on Tuesday, 07 January 2014. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Camera technology has advanced beginning in the 1800s, from an eight-hour development process to pictures generated in seconds.

The Newest Thing in Quantum Imaging

Camera technology has advanced beginning in the 1800s from an eight-hour development process to pictures generated in seconds.

New Technology Can Detect Heartbeats in Rubble

on Thursday, 19 September 2013. Posted in Gadgets, Environment, Sci/Tech

DHS manager John Price: "Testing proved successful in locating a task force member buried in 30 feet of mixed concrete, rebar and gravel rubble from a distance of over 30 feet."

New Technology Can Detect Heartbeats in Rubble

When natural disasters or human-made catastrophes topple buildings, search and rescue teams immediately set out to find victims trapped beneath the wreckage. During these missions, time is imperative, and the ability to quickly detect living victims greatly increases the chances of rescue and survival.

Must Have Gadgets for Traveling Business Owners

on Wednesday, 19 June 2013. Posted in Gadgets, Small Business, Business, Sci/Tech

Travel tech is much more than just the smart phone, iPad, or laptop you have in your bag. To stay secure and efficient when on the road, there are many gadgets you should consider adding to your kit.

Must Have Gadgets for Traveling Business Owners

Those who run businesses know that it's more than a full-time job. It’s no longer the 9-5 and because our lives are filled with work, family and daily tasks, it’s important to keep organized. As mobile technology continues to grow, so should we. Just because you’re not at the office doesn’t mean you can’t get anything done. There are gadgets for just about anything nowadays, and if you want to stay ahead of the game investing in some of these gadgets might not only make your business run smoother, but could keep your organization streamlined. As a researcher for Bob Knows Phones, an iPad repair company, I research these gadgets and find those that create value and usability for savvy business owners. Below are just some of the gadgets I uncovered for both businesses small and large!

Trying to Avoid Traffic Tickets? There's An App For That

on Tuesday, 25 September 2012. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Fighting a traffic ticket can sometimes be effective. But the best way to avoid the problems and headaches of traffic tickets is to avoid them altogether.

Trying to Avoid Traffic Tickets? There's An App For That

Fortunately, the most involvement with law enforcement that many people will ever have is a traffic ticket. This is not to say that these tickets aren’t still an annoyance; they can take time out of a person’s life and almost always money out of their pocket. Fighting a traffic ticket can sometimes be a fruitful endeavor, but preventing one altogether is the best way to ensure avoidance of the consequences involved with being ticketed. If you are a smartphone user then you are in luck, preventing traffic tickets has never been easier because there’s an app for that.

Looking for a New Mobile Phone? 2012 Promises to be the Best Release Year Yet

on Monday, 09 January 2012. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Mobile PhonesHave you been looking at your cell phone contract just waiting for the day that you can get a new phone? You’re not alone. Part of the perk of staying in contract is the capability of buying a new phone every two years. If you’re contract is up next year, count yourself among the lucky! 2012 promises to be a giant leap for mobile devices.

Here are the most anticipated cell phones for this year:

1. HTC Edge

Tech reviewers are concerned that this new introduction to the HTC line will not include Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich. If it does, however, this may be the perfect phone. With 1GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, the phone is literally a computer in the palm of your hand. Bonus: it can make phone calls, too!

Top Photog Joe McNally Excited About Nikon D4

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Sunday, 08 January 2012. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Nikon CameraThe Canon/Nikon grudge match got huge boost last Fall when Canon announced its new flagship DSLR, the EOS 1D X. Much to most photogs' surprise, the new Canon seemed to abandon the megapixel race, offering a full-frame sensor with "just" 18 megapixels, offering what may be a DSLR sweet-spot for low light performance combined with enough resolution for most purposes. By comparison, Canon's ever popular EOS 5DmkII supplies 21 megapixels in its full-frame sensor.

Not one to take a punch lying down, Nikon has now announced its alternative to the 1D X in the form of the D4, a DSLR that appears to go toe-to-toe with the Canon offering.

Like the 1D X, the new D4 seems to offer something close to the sweet spot for resolution and low light. Where its predecessor, the very well-liked D3, offered a full-frame sensor with 12.1 megapixels, the new D4 brings a 16.2 megapixel sensor to the pro-DSLR market, giving up a couple pixels to its Canon rival.

Canon Announces EOS-1D X Pro DSLR

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Wednesday, 19 October 2011. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

New Canon Camera, EOS-1D XCanon U.S.A., Inc., announced the pending availability of the company’s new top-of-the-line DSLR camera for professionals on September 18. The new camera promises best-in-class high ISO performance along with a number of features and improvements that the company hopes will set it apart from the competition from rival Nikon, and, increasingly, from Sony.

The new camera, the EOS-1D X features a new canon full-frame sensor sporting 18 megapixels. The release of Canon’s leading camera with only 18 megapixels caught some by surprise. The company’s well-received EOS 5D MkII offers a full-frame sensor with 21.1 megapixels. Rival Nikon’s current top camera, the D3x, offers a full-frame 24.5 megapixel sensor. The company’s rumored D800 DSLR is expected to offer a 36 megapixel sensor when it is announced, though this figure is, again, only rumored. Sony, meanwhile, sells its innovative a77 mirrorless DSLR, equipped with 24.3 megapixel sensor and the ability to rattle off 12 frames per second in continuous shooting.

The Best Shopping Apps for Smartphones

on Friday, 14 October 2011. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Smartphones and available apps.While the laptop mobilised computing to a huge extent, it is the smartphone that allows purely transportable connectivity and unlimited information on the move. Mobile shopping and mobile deal finding is something many of us take for granted, though some of the apps available are amazing. So, what are the best apps for smartphones to aid shopping, bargains and choice?

The Practical

For the more practical sort of shopping, Tesco’s app, from the major UK retailer, offers an excellent and well thought out experience. The app syncs with your existing Tesco account and using it you can add to your shopping list for the week, or you can create a separate mobile shopping list if you wish. As well as offering all products on a mobile platform, Tesco also allows you to book a delivery slot and checkout with this small but well produced app.

Thumb shopper is another excellent app for those necessities. It is a simple, but excellently executed app that allows you to create a simple and manageable list, which you can change, store or keep from week to week. The simplicity of this app is key and it means you wont forget your shopping list again.

Stop Flushing Dollars Down the Drain With the Sloan AQUS Water Reuse System

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Monday, 03 October 2011. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Sloan Valve Company water reuse system. Every time you flush the toilet, on average 1.6 gallons of clean potable water goes down the drain. While clean water is cheap and plentiful in the United States (for now anyway), it seems rather wasteful to use it to flush, well, waste. But, what other options are there?

The Sloan Valve Company of Franklin Park, Illinois has one innovative solution, available now. The company’s AQUS Water Reuse System, when retrofitted to a homeowner’s or business owner’s plumbing system, allows toilets to be flushed with drain water collected from bathroom sinks, making dual use of an otherwise wasted resource and saving money in the bargain.

IBM Computer Pioneer Mark Dean Says PCs Face Extinction in the iPad Age

Written by ADH Staff on Monday, 15 August 2011. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Ipads seem to now be replaceing personal computers just as the typewriter was replaced. The last mechanical typewriters are now being sold and the technology that once defined modern life during most of the 20th century is about to go extinct, pushed out of the market by the emergence of the personal computer.

Now, however, the question is how much longer does the personal computer have before it goes the way of the typewriter?

Two years ago, no one was asking this question. But the emergence of the iPad and the strength of the smartphone market has taken a big bite out of the PC. Two years ago, the iPad did not exist. But since its introduction in April 2010, Apple has sold nearly 29 million of the devices, dominating the emerging market for tablet-style computing. Absent the iPad, much of those sales would have been funneled in to traditional laptop and desktop PCs.

According to Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, iPads are even outselling the company’s line of Macintosh computers. And they are dominating PCs running Windows.

Etymotic Research Creates Device That Protects Soldiers Against Hearing Damage

Written by Denise Behreandt on Friday, 29 April 2011. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Hearing loss of U.S. soldiersSometimes, when a soldier returns home, it is as a changed person. Mental, emotional, and physical scars brought back from war remind other Americans that these brave men and women have sacrificed much for their service.

In order to lessen these scars, some American companies are creating amazing devices that can protect U.S. soldiers. Etymotic Research, Inc., in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, is one company that has created unique technologies that can help soldiers. The company has created High-Fidelity Electronic BlastPLG Earplugs that “were developed to mitigate hearing damage and tinnitus sustained by an alarmingly high percentage of deployed soldiers.”

According to a 2009 report from the, more than half of the soldiers examined at the Ear, Nose, and Throat clinic at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan suffered from hearing issues, including hearing loss and damaged ear drums. “The first question I ask a patient who comes in with a hearing complaint is ‘Were you wearing hearing protection?’” Air Force Col. (Dr.) Joseph Brennan said. “Since I arrived here in May, I have not had one service member answer ‘yes’ to that question.”

The Ultimate Star Wars Gadget

Written by ADH Staff on Thursday, 28 April 2011. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

Star WarsGeorge Lucas envisioned a fictional universe and brought his vision to the big screen with the epoch-making Star Wars in 1977. Instantly becoming a worldwide hit, the saga from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away captured the hearts of viewers and according to Wikipedia, as of 2008 had generated box office revenue of “approximately $4.41 billion, making it the third-highest-grossing film series...”

In 2008, Lucas continued with his fictional galaxy theme in an animated series called Star Wars, The Clone Wars. With the continued interest in and success of the Star Wars universe, books, video games, apparel, toys, and more continued to fly off store shelves. Now, adding to the merchandise, developer Mark Bongo from Major League Mods - Custom Game Consoles has created the ultimate gadget for Star Wars Fans — The Star Wars R2-D2 Xbox 360 with projector.

Honeywell’s T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle UAV To Be Used to Inspect Japanese Reactors

Written by ADH Staff on Thursday, 07 April 2011. Posted in Gadgets, Sci/Tech

American Japan is set to employ an innovative American “micro air vehicle” (MAV) to get a closer look at the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactors.

According to the Japan Times, “The government intends to use a small U.S. remote-controlled aircraft to check radiation levels around spent nuclear fuel pools at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, sources said.” 

The paper notes that use of the small drone, called the “T-Hawk,” was proposed by the U.S. government. The T-Hawk, says the Japan Times, has been used by the U.S. military “in reconnaissance operations in Iraq and other countries.”

The small device was developed by the Honeywell International Inc. as a result of a grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Looking something like a reconnaissance “droid” from Star Wars, Honeywell describes the T-Hawk as a “lightweight and portable … combat-proven unmanned micro air vehicle that can be quickly deployed.”  

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