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Welcome to the IEEE Future Directions Tech Blog.

Scary downloads

I looked at the Dawn of Singularity by Ray Kurzweil, basically a timeline of intelligence evolution, ours and robots. Ours as well since the assumption is that we will be able to increase our intelligence by complementing it with a symbiotic artificial one. There are several predictions that makes me, and probably many others, …

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Interacting with neurons

Ten years ago, in 2005, scientists discover the possibility of modifying neurones in a brain in such a way that they can produce light sensitive molecules on the neurone membrane. When these proteins are hit by a beam of light they affect the behaviour of the neurone. Optogenetics was born and with …

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Shape memory alloy to create a prosthetic finger

Robotic arms are now a reality in manufacturing plant, as well as in hospital (for surgery). Their "hand" does not resemble a human hand at all. It is specialised to perform certain task.  There are also experimental robotic hands (see the clip) mimicking a human hand. Although researchers have been …

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What about skyrmions?

Skyrmions are "ghostly" quantum rings that appear at very low temperature (near absolute zero) in a few materials, like MnSi and FeCoSi. In magnetic materials the spin of electrons are all aligned and point in the same direction. Hence the magnetic field that is "felt" around the atom(s).   A …

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A soft electrode for brain implant

Our brain is made of very soft material, more similar to a dense "yoghurt" than to the flesh we see as our body. In addition it floats in a liquid and it keeps moving as we turn our head or walk. Connecting this moving, soft, mass to electrode to monitor …

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Blooming antennas

Amazing how science can, sometimes, be so romantic… Scientists at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA have created a conductive polymer that can be grown vertically to produce an antenna able to capture light coming from any direction. In the last ten years researchers have been exploring various ways to replace silicon electronics …

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Did you take your pill today?

Once you get older you are likely to be prescribed more and more pills and at the same time you are likely to lose memory, hence skipping your daily "dose". This is where Proteus comes in. They have invented (back in 2012) a sensor that gets powered by stomach acid.  Attached …

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