Disposable e-Readers with Paper-based Electrowetting Display

Making Disposable Dynamic Displays With Electronic Ink on Real Paper | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

Engineers at the University of Cincinnati have shown that under the right conditions, ordinary paper can be as dynamic as any screen.

“Nothing looks better than paper for reading,” says research leader Andrew Steckl. “We hope to have something that would actually look like paper but behave like a computer monitor in terms of its ability to store information. We would have something that is very cheap, very fast, full-color and at the end of the day or the end of the week, you could pitch it into the trash.”

UC Breakthrough May Lead to Disposable e-Readers

Andrew Steckl is an Ohio Eminent Scholar at UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science. His latest research involves advances in display technology that achieves electrowetting on paper as opposed to glass.

... Importantly, they found that the performance of the electrowetting device on paper is equivalent to that of glass, which is the gold standard in the field.

“It is pretty exciting," said Steckl. “With the right paper, the right process and the right device fabrication technique, you can get results that are as good as you would get on glass, and our results are good enough for a video-style e-reader.”

Steckl imagines a future device that is rollable, feels like paper yet delivers books, news and even high-resolution color video in bright-light conditions.

Andrew Steckl's research is featured on the cover of the November issue of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. The American Chemical Society (ACS) is the world's largest scientific society.

Electrowetting on Paper for Electronic Paper Display

Duk Young Kim and Andrew J. Steckl* 
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2010, 2 (11), pp 3318–3323
DOI: 10.1021/am100757g
Publication Date (Web): October 25, 2010

The use of paper as a material for various device applications (such as microfluidics and energy storage) is very attractive given its flexibility, versatility, and low cost. Here we demonstrate that electrowetting (EW) devices can be readily fabricated on paper substrates. Several categories of paper have been investigated for this purpose, with the surface coating, roughness, thickness, and water uptake, among the most important properties. [...]


Tiger-Stone Brick Printing Technology

The Tiger Stone: A Contraption that "Prints" Roads - Transportation - GOOD

The Tiger Stone works like this: Operators on top of this rig grab bricks from a hopper and feed them into an opening. As the vehicle drives, gravity pulls them down in a perfectly tessellated layer and lays them on a prepared sand surface. Apparently it can lay out 400 meters of road in a day.

YouTube - Build your own road DIY. Tiger Stone

This is how building a road is now as easy as laying laminate flooring. Now even a 4 year old can lay tiger stone in your neighbourhood in a build it yourself style. Tiger-stone allows you to build 400 yards of road a day.

Amazing Brick Machine Rolls Out Roads Like Carpet | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

The machine consists of an angled plain that workers feed with paving stones or bricks. As the electric crawler inches forward along a sand base layer, the bricks are automatically packed together by gravity. A small telescoping forklift feeds the hopper, allowing the Tiger-Stone to lay out an impressive 400 square meters of road day, and the span can be adjusted up to six meters wide. 

Collected from: Introductie Tiger-Stone

Collected from: YouTube - tiger-stone


Before the Big Bang -- Roger Penrose's Conformal Cyclic Cosmology

"We Can Glimpse the Universe Before the Big Bang": One of World's Leading Physicists

The circular patterns within the cosmic microwave background suggest that space and time did not come into being at the Big Bang but that our universe in fact continually cycles through a series of "aeons," according to University of Oxford theoretical physicist Roger Penrose, who says that data collected by NASA's WMAP satellite supports his idea of "conformal cyclic cosmology".

Black hole encounters would have repeated themselves several times, with the center of each event remaining at almost exactly the same point in the CMB sky, even when occurring in different aeons. The huge amounts of energy released would appear as spherical, low-variance radiation bursts in the CMB. Image credit: Gurzadyan and Penrose.

Penrose claims to have glimpsed universe before Big Bang - physicsworld.com

Seeing through the Big Bang

According to Penrose and Gurzadyan, these circles allow us to "see through" the Big Bang into the aeon that would have existed beforehand. The circles, they say, are the marks left in our aeon by the spherical ripples of gravitational waves that were generated when black holes collided in the previous aeon. And they say that these circles pose a problem for inflationary theory because this theory says that the distribution of temperature variations across the sky should be Gaussian, or random, rather than having discernable structures within it.

arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:1011.3706

Concentric circles in WMAP data may provide evidence of violent pre-Big-Bang activity


Flying Snakes

How flying snakes glide from tree to tree by 'slithering' through the air | Mail Online

Scientists have discovered how a certain species of snake is able to ‘fly’ by appearing to slither while in the air.

Five related species of tree-dwelling snakes found in Southeast and South Asia are able to 'fly' by flinging themselves from their nest and gliding to a branch on another tree.

The discovery may one day have implications for new technology for military drones or aircraft as the latest research was sponsored by the US Defence Department.

YouTube - Gliding snake

Compilation of high-speed video's of flying snakes Chrysopelea paradisi

Collected from: YouTube - Gliding snake

YouTube - Flying Snakes Caught on Camera

Five related species of tree-dwelling snakes found in Southeast and South Asia may just be the worst nightmares of ophidiophobes (people who have abnormal fears of snakes). Not only are they snakes, but they can "fly"--flinging themselves off their perches, flattening their bodies, and gliding from tree to tree or to the ground.

When Snakes Fly : Discovery News

  • Video footage and a new mathematical model explain how five snake species achieve gliding flight.
  • The snakes stay in the air for up to 79 feet because the upward component of the aerodynamic force is greater than the snake's weight.
  • Future studies on the snakes and other animal gliders could lead to more energy-efficient flying vehicles.

Collected from: Flying Snake Home Page

BacillaFilla: Fixing Cracks in Concrete

Engineered Bacteria Can Fill Cracks In Aging Concrete | Popular Science

Researchers at the University of Newcastle in the UK have created a new kind of concrete glue that can patch up the cracks in concrete structures, restoring buildings that have been damaged by seismic events or deteriorated over time. But the glue isn’t an adhesive or some kind of synthetic material; the researchers have custom-designed a bacteria to burrow deep into the cracks in concrete where they produce a mix of calcium carbonate and a special bacteria glue that hardens to the same strength of the surrounding concreate.

Press Releases - - Newcastle University

Cracks in your concrete? You need ‘BacillaFilla’

The BacillaFilla spores only start germinating when they make contact with concrete – triggered by the very specific pH of the material – and they have an in-built self-destruct gene which means they would be unable to survive in the environment.

Once the cells have germinated, they swarm down the fine cracks in the concrete and are able to sense when they reach the bottom because of the clumping of the bacteria.

This clumping activates concrete repair, with the cells differentiating into three types: cells which produce calcium carbonate crystals, cells which become filamentous acting as reinforcing fibres and cells which produce a Levans glue which acts as a binding agent and fills the gap.

Team:Newcastle/solution - 2010.igem.org

[,,,] BacillaFilla repairs concrete by 3 different processes:
  1. Some of the cells with produce calcium carbonate crystals,
  2. Some of the cells will become filamentous thereby acting as reinforcing fibres in the crack and
  3. All the cells will produce Levans glue which acts as a binding agent and at the same time it fills up the whole crack.
Therefore the mixture of all the three elements together will make a strong repair.


Identification of People by Their Ears

Ears provide new way of identifying people in airports - Telegraph

The shape of a person's ears could provide a new way of identifying people in airports following new research.

Forget fingerprints or the colour of your eyes, airport security could soon be looking at the shape of your ears when deciding whether to allow you into the country
Researchers have discovered that each person's ears have a unique shape and have created a system that is able to scan them. The scans can then be compared with a database of ear shapes to identify whose they are.
They hope that the system can be used to take pictures of a person's ear as they walk through passport control.

The research which was carried out by Professor Mark Nixon, Dr John Carter and Alastair Cummings at ECS, describes how the transform is capable of highlighting tubular structures such as
  • the helix of the ear and spectacle frames and, by exploiting the
  • elliptical shape of the helix, can be used as the basis of a method
  • for enrolment for ear biometrics.
Professor Nixon, one of the UK's earliest researchers in this field, first proved that ears were a viable biometric back in 1999.

The Hot New Thing in Biometric Security is... Ears - Technology Review

[...]  researchers in the School of Electronics and Computer Science of the University of Southampton have come up with a means for identifying ears with a success rate of 99.6% (pdf). That doesn't mean it can identify who owns what ear at that rate, just that it can successfully complete the first step of any biometric identification exercise, known as enrollment. (Recognition is, of course, the second step.) If you're into algorithms, the way they got such consistent results is no less interesting than the potential applications of their work. [...]


Video Animations of Living Cells

The Animators of Life

Building on decades of research and mountains of data, scientists and animators are now recreating in vivid and sometimes jaw-dropping detail the complex inner machinery of living cells.

Perhaps the pivotal moment for molecular animations came four years ago with a video called “The Inner Life of the Cell.” Produced by BioVisions, a scientific visualization program at Harvard’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and a Connecticut-based scientific animation company called Xvivo, the three-minute film depicts marauding white blood cells attacking infections in the body. 

If there is a Steven Spielberg of molecular animation, it is probably Drew Berry, a cell biologist who works for the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. Mr. Berry’s work is revered for artistry and accuracy within the small community of molecular animators, and has also been shown in museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Productive Nanosystems: The Movies

Productive nanosystems are nanoscale machines that make atomically precise products under programmable control, and artificial productive nanosystems will be central to advanced, atomically precise nanotechnologies (see nanotechnology roadmap). Drew’s animations show the productive nanosystems at the foundation of life: The devices that perform RNA-programmed protein synthesis and DNA-programmed synthesis of DNA and RNA.

What is striking about the videos is how much Drew gets right, and how well he handles the necessary cheats forced on animators by the impossibility of showing the millions of random molecular motions that typically occur between the significant biomolecular events.


Discovering New Dimensions at LHC

Why is gravity so weak? The traditional answer is because the fundamental scale of the gravitational interaction (i.e. the energy at which gravitational effects become comparable to the other forces) is up at the Planck scale of around 1019 GeV - far higher than the other forces. However, that only raises another question: what is the origin of this huge disparity between the fundamental scale of gravity and the scale of the other interactions?

A possible explanation currently gaining ground in theoretical circles is that the fundamental scale of gravity is not really up at the Planck scale, it just seems that way. According to this school of thought, what is actually happening is that gravity, uniquely among the forces, acts in extra dimensions. This means that much of the gravitational flux is invisible to us locked into our three dimensions of space and one of time.

Proof of extra dimensions possible next year: CERN | Reuters

(Reuters) - Scientists at the CERN research center say their "Big Bang" project is going beyond all expectations and the first proof of the existence of dimensions beyond the known four could emerge next year.

The Atlas experiment, which analyses the results of proton collisions inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), is designed to observe phenomena involving massive particles, such as the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up 'dark matter' — all of which have previously been unobservable with lower-power particle accelerators.

Fabiola Gianotti, lead researcher on the Atlas experiment — one of six particle-accelerator experiments taking place at Cern — said in a report published on the Cern website on Monday that the project has produced results even more quickly than expected.


Gianotti said that future research, such as probing for extra dimensions, could yield results sooner than she had predicted. "In just a few months of data taking, Atlas has observed the known elementary particles, up to the heavy W and Z Bosons and the even heavier top quark," she wrote.


BSB -- Broad Sustainable Building

The Past, Present and Future of BSB
BSB, which stands for Broad Sustainable Building, is an enterprise that would take more than a few days. Since 2009, two ‘prototypes’ of BSBs were erected in Broad Town, Changsha, China. A developed version of BSB will show up in the Broad Pavilion of Expo 2010. Later this year, BSB will see its first appearance in Beijing in the form of a green, sustainable 5-star hotel.

Expo pavilion built in 14 hours

Broad pavilion, one of 17 corporate pavilions at the Shanghai Expo, was completed within 24 hours.


Stock Market Prediction based on Google Searches

Stock market prediction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stock market prediction is the act of trying to determine the future value of a company stock or other financial instrument traded on a financial exchange. The successful prediction of a stock's future price could yield significant profit. Some believe that stock price movements are governed by the random walk hypothesis and thus are unpredictable. Others disagree and those with this viewpoint possess a myriad of methods and technologies which purportedly allow them to gain future price information.

 Google searches predict stock market moves

(CNN) - Economics, in a broad sense, is the study of how the financial decisions of billions of individuals coalesce into large trends that shape the way money is created, destroyed or transferred around the globe.

In that vein, physicists in Germany and the U.S. have released a study that shows how individual searches on Google correspond to large movements on the stock market.

The joint study by researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany and the Center for Polymer Studies at Boston University looked at the stock moves of S&P 500 companies and compared them with searches of the company names on Google Trends from 2004 to 2010.

Can Google Predict the Stock Market? - ScienceNOW

[...] To predict the market, you need data on what is going through people's minds before they make their financial decisions. One such source of data is the total weekly volume of Internet search queries, now available to researchers through Google Trends
Researchers led by Preis compared the week-by-week fluctuations in two sets of data: The number of times that the name of a company in the S&P 500 was included in a Google search query, and the price and trading volume of that company's stock. They focused on the 6 years from 2004 to 2010.

The findings, to be published 15 November in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, aren't going to make anybody rich. The Google data could not predict the weekly fluctuations in stock prices. However, the team found a strong correlation between Internet searches for a company's name and its trade volume, the total number of times the stock changed hands over a given week. [...]


MARS Magenn Air Rotor System -- The Floating Balloon Wind Generator

Magenn Power Inc.


Magenn Power's high altitude wind turbine called MARS is a Wind Power Anywhere™ solution with distinct advantages over existing Conventional Wind Turbines and Diesel Generating Systems including: global deployment, lower costs, better operational performance, and greater environmental advantages.

Collected from: Magenn Power Inc.

Airborne wind turbine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An airborne wind turbine is a design concept for a wind turbine that is supported in the air without a tower.[1] Airborne wind turbines may operate in low or high altitudes; they are part of a wider class of airborne wind energy systems (AWE) addressed by high altitude wind power.

An Ontario based company called Magenn Power Inc. has developed a turbine called the Magenn Air Rotor System (MARS). The 100-foot (30 m)-wide MARS system uses a horizontal rotor in a helium suspended apparatus which is tethered to a transformer on the ground. Magenn states that their technology provides high torque, low starting speeds, and superior overall efficiency thanks to its ability to deploy higher in comparison to non-aerial solutions.[6] The first prototypes were built by TCOM in April 2008.[7]

The distinct advantages of the Magenn Air Rotor System design are as follows:
  • Magenn Air Rotor System is less expensive per unit of actual electrical energy output than competing wind power systems.
  • Magenn Power Air Rotor System will deliver time-averaged output much closer to its rated capacity than the capacity factor typical with conventional designs. Magenn efficiency will be 25 to 60 percent. This is hugely important, since doubling capacity factor cuts the cost of each delivered watt by half.
  • Wind farms can be placed closer to demand centers, reducing transmission line costs and transmission line loses.
  • Magenn Air Rotors are operable between 2 meter/sec and in excess of 28 meters/sec.
  • Magenn Air Rotors can be raised to higher altitudes, thus capitalizing on higher winds aloft. Altitudes from 400-ft to 1,000-ft above ground level are possible, without having to build an expensive tower, or use a crane to perform maintenance.
  • Magenn Air Rotors are mobile and can be easily moved to different locations to correspond to changing wind patterns. Mobility is also useful in emergency deployment and disaster relief situations.


Cody the Robotic Nurse Performs Autonomous Bathing Tasks

Meet Cody, the robot that gives sponge baths | Crave - CNET

The autonomous robot uses lasers--because, really, robots all have lasers, or at least should--to specify a body part that needs to be scrubbed.

A camera then feeds the information to a microprocessor which, in turn, commands the robot's arm to wipe the selected area, which it swabs first

This new humanoid robot named "Cody" comes from Georgia Tech's Healthcare Robotics Lab (to which I belong).  Cody is composed of a Segway RMP 50 Omni mobile base, 1-DoF vertical linear actuator, and a pair of 7-DoF Meka Arms with series elastic actuators (the same as Simon).  This mobile manipulator has shown some pretty impressive capabilities.  It can open doors, drawers, and cabinets using equilibrium point controllers developed by Advait Jain and Prof. Charlie Kemp.  It also has a nice direct physical interface (touching interface) to reposition the robot that was developed by Tiffany Chen and Prof. Charlie Kemp. Much of the code controlling this robot is open-source and has ROS (Robot Operating System) interfaces.

Healthcare Robotics Logo



This paper describes the design and implementation of a behavior that allows a robot with a compliant arm to perform wiping motions that are involved in bed baths. A laser-based operator-selection interface enables an operator to select an area to clean, and the robot autonomously performs a wiping motion using equilibrium point control. We evaluated the performance of the system by measuring the ability of the robot to remove an area of debris on human skin.