Paul Higgins: My first thought was “shark”
Spanish Government Deploys Robotic Fish to Monitor Maritime Pollution
Currently the port relies on divers to monitor water quality, which is a lengthy process costing €100,000 per year. The divers take water samples from hundreds of points in the port, then send them off for analysis, with the results taking weeks to return. By contrast, the SHOAL robots would continuously monitor the water, letting the port respond immediately to the causes of pollution, such as a leaking boat or industrial spillage, and work to mitigate its effects.
The SHOAL fish are one and a half metres long, comparable to the size and shape of a tuna, but their neon-yellow plastic shell means they are unlikely to be mistaken for the real thing. A range of onboard chemical sensors detect lead, copper and other pollutants, along with measuring water salinity.
They are driven by a dual-hinged tail capable of making tight turns that would be impossible with a propeller-driven robot. They are also less noisy, reducing the impact on marine life.
The robots are battery powered and capable of running for 8 hours between charges. At the moment the researchers have to recover them by boat, but their plan is that the fish will return to a charging station by themselves.
Working in a group, the fish can cover a 1 kilometre-square region of water, down to a depth of 30 metres. They communicate with each other and a nearby base-station using very low-frequency sound waves, which can penetrate the water more easily than radio waves. However, this means the fish have a low data transmission rate and can only send short, predefined messages. “It’s a good solution, but it requires thinking carefully about what data to transmit and how to use that data,” says Kristi Morgansen, a roboticist at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the research.
Jet-injected drugs may mean the end of needles
Whether you’re at the doctor’s office or taking medicine at home, future injections could be a lot less painful with this new gadget developed at MIT. Instead of a sterile metal point penetrating your skin, it fires a jet of medicine through your skin at the speed of sound. […]
The Apple (AAPL) tablets, equipped with a custom-made debt-restructuring app, were handed out to the leadership team, including representatives from the Finance Ministry, the Hellenic Exchange (the Greek equivalent of the NYSE), the Bank of Greece (their version of the Federal Reserve) and the three external banks that managed the deal, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Lazard.
The idea was to give the participants a rich set of analytic tools and real-time, secure connections to both the global clearing systems and the back offices of banks around the world.
“During the lead-up to the launch,” says Apfel, “members of the financial leadership team were spending over half their time on the road, meeting with investors or financial overseers from the EU and other parts of the troika. There was a palpable need to create a financial decision-makers’ platform that could follow the financier – not vice versa.”
Full Story: CNN
Combat Exoskeleton Marches Toward Afghanistan Deployment
Lockheed appears to be on track for deploying combat versions of the HULC exoskeleton into Afghanistan in early 2013 or even late in 2012.
The HULC can assist speed marching at up to 7 mph reduces this somewhat; a battery-draining “burst” at 10mph is the maximum speed
A soldier with a pack would normally go at 3 mph maximum and cover 10-12 miles in a day. Exoskeleton Soldiers could also carry lightweight foldable electric scooters on their exoskeleton that would enable 60-100 mph on roads. If the bike had motocross like capabilities it could still go about 30-60 mph on rougher terrain.
There’s a shopping revolution happening—and it’s taking place in stores, online, deep inside your wallet, and everywhere else transactions have traction. From the way we spend money, to the things we spend it on, to the sales outlets themselves, consumers are wandering in a wonderland of buying potential. PayPal’s “digital wallet,” Amex’s slick socializing, Square’s disruptive tech, Warby Parker’s new way of selling eyeglasses, and Fab.com’s, well, fab design site represent just a few of the people and companies at the forefront of the movement—and the innovations powering the way we shop now.