Pushing the bounds of vision could reveal hidden worlds

Image Credit - Amplify project

Nature is complex – often too complex for humans to see. But squint-controlled glasses that let people see 3D thermal images and a camera that can capture the inner workings of high-speed chemical reactions are helping to push the limits of human perception. Human senses have already been highly tuned by millions of years of … Read more

The robots being readied to enter nuclear no-go zones

Image Credit - Centauro

Robust, intelligent robots that react to their surroundings are being developed to work in situations that are too dangerous for humans, such as cleaning up Europe’s decades-old radioactive waste or helping during a nuclear emergency. When Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster struck in 2011 following a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the robots that were deployed to … Read more

Hyperlocal radio and do-it-yourself networks bring information closer to home

Image Credit - Andreea Bonea / RootIO, licensed under CC BY-NC

Modern communications technology means one can find anything, anywhere around the world, on the internet and via mobile phones. But people still live in communities and need information that is relevant to them. By taking a fresh look at community radio – with an FM signal broadcast over a catchment area of only a few … Read more

Age and foaming: how to predict when a volcano will erupt

Image credit - Jimmy McIntyre, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The eruption of a volcano can have devastating consequences – killing people and destroying livelihoods, as well as releasing vast amounts of ash into the sky that disrupts air travel and alters the climate. Knowing what goes on underground, however, would facilitate better warnings for when an eruption will occur – and help save lives while … Read more

From robotic companions to third thumbs, machines can change the human brain

Image credit - Ruud Hortensius and Emily Cross

People’s interactions with machines, from robots that throw tantrums when they lose a colour-matching game against a human opponent to the bionic limbs that could give us extra abilities, are not just revealing more about how our brains are wired – they are also altering them. by Frieda Klotz Emily Cross is a professor of … Read more

Tactile Excel sheets and graphics to boost job prospects for blind people 20 November 2018

Image credit - René Jaun's braille display by visualpun.ch is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Touchscreens and digital graphics are everywhere, but for people who are visually impaired, they can be a major hurdle to using modern technology. But this is set to change, thanks to tactile technology that automatically converts complex digital graphics into braille and stick-on smartphone buttons that make apps navigable by touch. There are 30 million blind or … Read more