Thursday, May 19, 2011
Mobile phones in developing nations could charge up using dirt: "There's no doubt that residents of developing nations can benefit hugely from having mobile phones. This particularly applies to the field of medicine, as the phones allow people living in remote areas to contact health care practitioners, or to use health care apps. Given how unreliable the electrical grid can be in such countries, however, keeping those phones charged can be a challenge."
Posted by steve at 10:57 AM
Pesticide exposure linked to lower IQ in children: "The results of three recent studies have found that children exposed to organophosphates (OPs) in the womb have a lower IQ at seven years than those that have not. Indoor use of two OPs (chlorpyrifos and diazinon) known to be neurotoxicants have been phased out over the past decade because of health risks, however they are still approved for use in agricultural pesticides and are widely used on food crops. Increasingly scientists are finding that prenatal exposure to pesticides may lead to later health impacts."
Posted by steve at 10:56 AM
Continental forward braking system to get stereo vision: "More and more, we're hearing about vehicle safety systems that use video cameras to identify hazards. Like us humans, automotive supplier Continental's recently announced ContiGuard forward-looking braking system has two eyes, in the form of two high-resolution CMOS cameras, and a suite of electronics that enables it to analyze the difference in perspective between the left and right views – similar to the parallax shift which our brains also use to create spatial vision when processing images."
Posted by steve at 10:55 AM
Huey the Chameleon - a lamp that changes colors to match its surroundings: "Suppose you just love the sage green color of your new desk blotter, and think 'If only I could instantly make my whole office this color.' Well, now you can ... sort of. The designers over at ThinkGeek have created a gizmo called Huey the Color Copying Chameleon Lamp, that automatically 'reads' any color that it's placed upon, then glows in that color."
Posted by steve at 10:54 AM
Lizard-inspired robot can swim through granular material: "When the sandfish lizard wishes to escape predators, it can actually dive beneath the surface of the sand, and then swim through it. Inspired by the sandfish, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created an undulating robot that can likewise swim through a granular medium. While that medium has so far consisted of quarter-inch plastic balls in a lab setting, the team hopes that their robot – or one of its descendants – could someday be used to tunnel through debris to rescue earthquake victims."
Posted by steve at 10:53 AM