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New Robotic Neck Brace to support ALS

Engineers and Neurologists in Columbia have worked together to develop a new robotic neck brace which is said to dramatically help those suffering with ALS, in a way which no other device has done before.  People with ALS can lost completely lose all mobility of the head, but with this device, their heads can be held in a specific position as well as actively aiding their range of motion.  The neck brace contains sensors and actuators which not only can help the original position of the head, but can also restore up to 70% of the range of the human head. This is achieved by measurements recorded by the sensors and surface EMG of Electromyography on the neck muscles.  “The brace would also be useful to modulate rehabilitation for those who have suffered whiplash neck injuries

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New Self-Healing Material

A new stretchy material has been developed between Stanford University and the Korea Institute of Science & Technology. This material is conductive, meaning that it is able to stimulate the healing process without any further help from external methods. The material itself will be used in within a wearable device, and the strength can be determined by how stretched the material is. The more under strain the material becomes, the better the boost in conductivity, and thus the stronger the help the wearer will receive. During tests of the material, the boost in conductivity was said to increased 60-fold under a strain of 3,500 percent. Despite being constantly stretched, the material is meant to be incredibly strong and was developed to match the strength of human skin to make it

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Sight Saving Technology from a new low cost OCT Scanner

A new redesigned, 3D Printed Spectrometer may become the next low-cost portable OCT Scanner which would have the ability to save sight. It currently weighs 15 times lighter then a standard commercial system and costs less than a tenth of the current price. Since the current commercial are so expensive, they cannot be used as regularly to help treat macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. “The key to preventing blindness is early detection,” said Adam Wax, professor of biomedical engineering at Duke. “Our goal is to make OCT drastically less expensive so more clinics can afford the devices, especially in global health settings.” “Right now OCT devices sit in their own room and require a PhD scientist to tweak them to get everything working just right,” said Wa

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New Records from a 3D-printed Thermoelectric device

The Specific Innovation and Knowledge Centre at Swansea University claims that they have been able to produce a thermoelectric device that is approximately 50 percent more efficient than a standard device. The team added additve manufacturing techniques to a standard thermoelectric device which not only can prove to reach this new record, but will still be cheap enough to produce in bulk. Created using Tin Selenide, the device has a high potential for thermoelectric behaviour. Industries that could benefit from such materials include steelmaking, which generates huge amounts of heat and also requires electrical power. Tata Steel is about to support a PhD researcher on the Swansea team to explore the industrial applications of their technology. “Turning waste heat into electri

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New MOANA headset to link thoughts to computers

MOANA, a four year project, has been led by a team at Rice University in Texas to design and develop a new headset to link human brains and our thoughts to machines and computers, non surgically. The overall need to design a link between machines and brains is to allow the transmission of visual images to blind patients. The project has been funded by a programme known as DARPA, who are also developing more wearable interfaces which can communicate with the brain. “In four years, we hope to demonstrate direct, brain-to-brain communication at the speed of thought and without brain surgery,” said Rice’s Jacob Robinson, the lead investigator on the $18m project, which was announced on May 20, 2019 as part of DARPA’s Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program.

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Transplant organ delivered for the first time by drone

The University of Maryland and their School of Medicine counterpart devised and developed a custom built drone which would become the first unmanned aerial system of its kind to deliver a transplant organ. Due to the importance of transplant organs, the drone has been created with a backup power distributor, dual batteries, backup propellors and even a parachute system to ensure that whatever happens in an emergency, the drone is able to maintain and monitor the human organ.  “We built in a lot of redundancies, because we want to do everything possible to protect the payload,” said Anthony Pucciarella, director of operations at the UMD UAS Test Site. The process was devised with simply everything in the mind. The drone was developed with temperature, barometric pressure, GP

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Virtual Reality for training at Rolls Royce & Qatar Airways

Rolls-Royce and Qatar Airways have begun investigating ways to bring virtual reality technology into their training programs to help ease the demand of engineers. The number of engineers needed to repair aircraft is rising daily, and could be said to double by 2036. As a result, both companies want to find an innovative way to build skills and refresh skills of aircraft engineers.  The IntelligentEngine vision uses HTC Vive VR equipment to allow the engineers to become fully immersed in an engineering virtual reality, where they can use touch, sight and sound to separate parts of an engine.  “We developed a fully-immersive VR version of the engine,” said Moss. “In fact, everything that you can do in real life is remodelled in the engine, so you can take the engine to pie

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New Hydrogel Patch developed to reduce heart attack damage

Soochow, China, Fudan University and Brown University, US, have collaborated to design and create a hydrogel patch which can reduce the amount of damage caused from the aftermath of a heart attack and publishing it in Nature Biomedical Engineering. Created used food starch, the new hydrogel patch is adhesive, meaning that is can be placed and stick directly on to the heart.  It is said to work by preventing the heart from remodelling, which can occur as the result of a heart attack, and also reduces the function of the heart’s main pumping chamber. The international team tried to create a patch which has the perfect thickness and stiffness to create a supportive cure, which isn’t too restrictive.  “Part of the reason that it’s hard for the heart to recover after a

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Real Time Sweat Monitor has launched

Sweati, alongside the Imperial College London, have developed and now launched their non-invasive device. The new real-time sweat monitor can track glucose, lactate and hydration, by using microfluidics and chip technology. The device itself is relatively small, fitting in the palm of your hand and about two credit cards in thickness and has been designed with athletes, soldiers and diabetics in mind. “Imagine a device that will be able to tell you when to fuel, when to hydrate and what pace to run at,” said Sweati founder and CEO James Mayo. “That means no more hitting the dreaded ‘wall’ whilst running a marathon. Sweati will make working out enjoyable and efficient. “For diabetics, it would mean no more blood draws interrupting their day as the patch will continuou

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