Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fantastic Voyage: from science fiction to reality

Under the direction of Professor Sylvain Martel, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Micro/Nanosystem Development, Construction and Validation, and in collaboration with researchers at the Centre hospitalier de l'Universit� de Montr�al (CHUM), the Polytechnique team has succeeded in injecting, propelling and controlling by means of software programs an initial prototype of an untethered device (a ferromagnetic 1.5- millimetre-diameter sphere) within the carotid artery of a living animal placed inside a clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system.

Encouraged by these results, staff at the Polytechnique NanoRobotics Laboratory are currently working to further reduce the size of the devices so that, within a few years, they can navigate inside smaller blood vessels.

Original Article

Friday, March 23, 2007

Search engine spawned from antiterrorism efforts finds place in business

The strength of the system, added Fetch Chairman and CTO Steve Minton, emanates from the machine learning focus of the search engine's agent-based tools. The system can recognize types of data based on a pattern and can apply what is learned about that pattern to future searches, Minton said.
In addition, the tool can mimic human behavior by automatically filling out a form without human intervention, using data from search results, according to Minton, a member of the original development team at the University of Southern California.

Technology Review's 10 Emerging Technologies of 2007

Technology Review has their 10 Emerging technologies of 2007 series of articles up.  Go take a look at http://www.technologyreview.com/special/emerging/

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Robot that roams the body to seek and destroy cancer

The idea of a beetle moving around inside your body may be the stuff of horror films. But scientists believe an insect-shaped robot could be a major weapon in the fight against cancer.
The device, just under an inch long, is designed to be inserted into the body through a small incision.
Once inside, doctors can control its movements and direct it to areas where investigations are needed.
However, unlike the plot of the 1966 Raquel Welch film Fantastic Voyage - which featured a microscopic crew and submarine travelling through a scientist's bloodstream - this device could not be inserted into blood vessels because it is too big.
I don't think devices that can do precisely that will be long in coming, and they won't need cables connecting them to the outside world either.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Nano tech in batteries

A123 Systems is delivering a new generation of batteries that deliver up to 10 times longer cycle life, five times more power and dramatically faster charge times over conventional high-power battery technology.

Connecting Your Brain to the Game

Emotiv Systems, an electronic-game company from San Francisco, wants people to play with the power of the mind. Starting tomorrow, video-game makers will be able to buy Emotiv's electro-encephalograph (EEG) caps and software developer's tool kits so that they can build games that use the electrical signals from a player's brain to control the on-screen action.
Emotiv's system has three different applications. One is designed to sense facial expressions such as winks, grimaces, and smiles and transfer them, in real time, to an avatar. This could be useful in virtual-world games, such as Second Life, in which it takes a fair amount of training to learn how to express emotions and actions through a keyboard. Another application detects two emotional states, such as excitement and calm. Emotiv's chief product officer, Randy Breen, says that these unconscious cues could be used to modify a game's soundtrack or to affect the way that virtual characters interact with a player. The third set of software can detect a handful of conscious intentions that can be used to push, pull, rotate, and lift objects in a virtual world.