Archive for February, 2011

Innovative mobility through thought control and bionics

The most innovative wheelchairs being developed today are soon going to help the disabled get where they need to go in a new and exciting way: Thought control.

Imagine a wheelchair that can be directed by brain signals detected from a unique cap worn by the user. THis is the work of scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland (EPFL).

The developers are using this technology to help people control machines via brain signals, which they say will  revolutionize the way the paralysed and disabled maneuver.

I find this video demonstration fascinating:

The main focus of bionics to date has been on providing prosthetics for amputees. Prosthetic arms can now be controlled by nerve signals in the remaining arm, which can be picked up by electric sensors on the skin.

Developers say the next innovation may be bionic limbs which are able to “feel.”

New concept car takes green to a new level with zero emissions


Not too long ago I blogged about the YEZ electric car that is changing the way manufacturers think about energy efficiency and media connectivity. In a few weeks you’re going to hear a lot about Nissan’s zero-emission ESFLOW electric sports car, which will be featured at the International Motorshow in Geneva. Talk about green innovation!

This photo is one of many you’ll want to check out on the AllCarsElectric site. It’s a concept car that will hopefully be in production someday. It is aerodynamic, futuristic and downright cool in my opinion. Nissan says it gets 150 MPC (miles per charge),but no word yet on the price one of these might cost. The 2011 Geneva Motorshow opens March 11.

Here’s a video of the ESFLOW concept car:

Photo courtesy allcarselectric.

Valentine’s Day rendezvous for NASA

February 13, 2011 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos, Innovation

Want a unique and innovative way to spend Valentine’s day with your sweetheart? Gather your favorite people around the computer or the NASA channel to see something historical.

Monday the NASA’s Stardust spacecraft will fire up its camera as it comes face-to-face with a crater that was created six years ago by a NASA space probe. In 2005 the Deep Impact probe crashed into the comet, “Tempel 1,” at 23,000 mph, sending a huge plume of debris. This will be the first time we’ve seen pictures of the damage to the comet made by the impact.

Check out this NASA video of the impact itself:

Comets are irregular bodies of ice and dust that orbit the sun, and these photos are expected to yield some new learnings about them.

The Stardust spacecraft launched in 1999 and has traveled 3 1/2 billion miles. For the past four years NASA has targeted Valentine’s Day 2011 for a rendezvous date with the comet. The Stardust will fly within 124 miles of the comet, and will snap 72 pictures as it passes by. The photos will be beamed back to Earth and then uploaded on NASA TV and on the NASA website.

Crowdsourcing, video games and open innovation make boring job fun!

February 10, 2011 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos, Crowdsourcing, Open Innovation

Crowdsourcing is something I believe businesses need to weave into their social media strategy, and here’s a great example of how it can work. The National Library of Finland has put together an effort to digitize all of its archives—no easy task—by using crowdsourcing and videogames!

The project is called, Digitalkoot, which when translated means Digital Volunteers. Now normally digitizing archives is a dull, tedious job as you could imagine. With millions of pages of historical and cultural magazines, newspapers and journals, it would be easy for mistakes to hamper this process.

So the library partnered with Microtask, a company that designed two video games to make this work more entertaining. ‘
Here’s one of them, called “Mole Hunt.”

Mole Hunt actually shows players how to spot erroneous words in archived material. Not only that, but the game helps make sure digitized materials are accurate and searchable. The hope is that teachers and children will find the volunteer project appealing enough to sign up.

The Skin Cell gun

February 3, 2011 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos, Innovators, Technology

Science has found a new way to help people suffering from bad burns heal faster than we could ever imagine. This new technology is much like a paint spray gun that helps skin heal.

Click on the video and check out this astounding innovation that I think will change the face of how our medical professionals treat soldiers, firefighters and anyone else susceptible to burns. This “Skin Gun” uses the cells of the burn victim’s own skin to regenerate growth.  The first day this video was posted on YouTube, it got over 100,000 views. And for good reason: