Power Walking

Thanks to a newish invention your walking can now power all sorts of portable devices. There’s been similar devices that have been created but I haven’t mentioned them here in a while. It’s always good to see people turning what we do in something even more productive.

For the past 10 years Dr Max Donelan, from the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, has been working on ways to harness people power —- how to capture the energy generated when you’re out for a stroll.

He succeeded and his Biomechanical Energy Harvester is featured in today’s edition of the academic journal Science.

True bionic power.

Twofer of Machine/Brain Interfaces

The ever quickening pace of technology is leading to more and more good news! The first bit is a great story from New Scientist.

cyborg illustration by Renegade Zen

A man named Matt Nagle controls a computer cursor by ‘thinking’ about it much like you would ‘think’ about moving your arm, despite being totally paralyzed. A brain implant the size of a pill with 96 electrodes allows the man to control the computer or a robotic arm through a system developed by the company Cyberkinetics.

The second bit of good neuroscience news comes from Wired magazine, and is all about a wild new DARPA project called the “cortically coupled computer vision system” or C3 Vision. The system uses an electrode cap to pick up the ‘aha!’ signal that your brain generates when it sees something interesting. As images flicker past the user, the ones that generate the ‘aha!’ signal are saved for later inspection by the user.

There are many commercial applications in military and law enforcement/security sectors, but one could imagine all sorts of other novel uses for the technology such as culling good designs from bad ones.

Readers of TAG will remember the story last month about Japan’s bionic hand

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