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“A wise robot once said to me through Serial.println- that robots teach us about ourselves.”

Archive for August 29th, 2007

South Korea to build Robot City

South Korea, like Japan, is basically a place in which we can see what our future will be like. Their relatively small sizes allow for newer technologies to be implemented faster, so stuff that’s there now will hit our shores in a few years. If South Korea can really been seen as a look into our future, it looks like our future will be full of a lot of robots.

Robotic Future City

That’s because South Korea is planning to build “Robot Land,” an industrial city built specifically for the robotics industry. It’ll have all sorts of facilities for the research, development, and production of robots, as well as things like exhibition halls and even a stadium for robot-on-robot competitions. The $530 million project should get underway sometime in 2009, which means we should see our own robot city here in the States around 2013.

Link. :)

The Invisible Hearing Aid

A fully implantable device is poised to change the world of hearing loss–but is it worth the risks that are associated with the required surgery?

Hearing Aid

Developed by Otologics, of Boulder, CO, the device picks up sound with a microphone implanted underneath the skin behind the user’s ear. The signal is processed by electronics and sent to a tiny vibrating piston implanted against the small bones in the middle ear. The bones transmit the vibrations to the inner ear, which encodes them as nerve impulses and sends the information to the brain.

“You can have a more normal life,” says Otologics’s CEO José Bedoya. “You can be exposed to environments in which hearing aids have difficulty operating properly.” He also suggests that implantation creates a psychological bond with the device that is life enhancing. “Individuals implanted with the system have said that it becomes a part of you–there’s a greater sense of security.”

The device is powered by a battery that is recharged when the user places a small radio transmitter against his or her head for 60 to 90 minutes. The transmitter is held to the skin by a magnet in the implant. An inductive coil in the implant converts the radio energy to electricity and recharges the battery with it. The battery can stay inside the body for at least five years, according to the company, before it needs to be replaced. The implanted components are hermetically sealed together to protect against leaks, so the electronics, microphone, and inductive coil are replaced as well. However, the piston in the middle ear remains in place.

Pretty cool! However, what happens if a soccerball hits the side of the head? ;o

Something to think about…

Link.

RoboGames!

Wow, how cool! I found out about the RoboGames, where there are multiple events for robots. Infact, their junior league is up to 18 years of age! That’s absolutely fantastic.

Canada could use some help with this event, after winning only one gold medal in 2007. Compared to USA, who won 33, that’s pretty pathetic. However, we do beat them in hockey… ;)

The events that I’m looking at are… well, all of them for the junior league!

Check out the events here.