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Oct 13, 2006

Laurie Anderson feat. Antonio Damasio

Via Networked Performance

Live Webcast of conversation with artist Laurie Anderson and neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, moderated by Professor Anne Balsamo, following a lecture by Anderson.

Saturday, October 21st, 8 p.m. (PDT) at USC's Norris Theater and simulcast FREE at HASTAC website.

Laurie Anderson: Recent Works: Saturday, October 21st: University of Southern California's Norris Theater: 7 p.m. (PDT): Free and open to the public!

Laurie Anderson will present a special audio-visual lecture exploring the intersections of art, science and creativity. One of the permier perfromance artists in the world, Ms. Anderson has consistently intrigued, entertained and challenged audiences with her multimedia persentations. Anderson's artistic career has cast her in roles as various as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, ventriloquist, electronics whiz, vocalist and instrumentalist. Following her presentation, Ms. Anderson will be joined in conversation by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, director of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute and a leading researcher of cognition, emotions, and neural

This special presentation is part of the HASTAC In|Formation Year, devoted to twelve months of public programming from a number of universities meant to promote the human and humane dimenstions of technology and to encourage conversation and exchange between humanists, artists, technologists, and scientists.

May 24, 2006

Motor imagery

Motor imagery.

J Physiol Paris. 2006 May 19.

Authors: Lotze M, Halsband U

We describe general concepts about motor imagery and differences to motor execution. The problem of controlling what the subject actually does during imagery is emphasized. A major part of the chapter is dealing with mental training by imagery and the usage of motor imagination in athletes, musicians and during rehabilitation. Data of altered representations of the body after loss of afferent information and motor representation due to limb amputation or complete spinal cord injury are demonstrated and discussed. Finally we provide an outlook on additional work about motor imagery important for further understanding of the topic.

May 23, 2006

Lateralization of unimanual and bimanual motor imagery

Lateralization of unimanual and bimanual motor imagery.

Brain Res. 2006 May 18;

Authors: Stinear CM, Fleming MK, Byblow WD

Most studies of motor imagery have examined motor cortex function during imagery of dominant hand movement. The aim of this study was to examine the modulation of excitability in the dominant and non-dominant corticomotor pathways during kinesthetic motor imagery of unimanual and bimanual movement. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied over the contralateral motor cortex (M1) to elicit motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) in the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles of each hand, in two separate sessions. Transcutaneous electrical stimuli were also delivered to the median nerve at each wrist, to elicit F-waves from APB. Fifteen right-handed volunteers imagined unimanual and bimanual phasic thumb movements, paced with a 1-Hz auditory metronome. Stimuli were delivered at rest, and either 50 ms before (ON phase), or 450 ms after (OFF phase), the metronome beeps. Significant MEP amplitude facilitation occurred only in right APB, during the ON phase of motor imagery of the right hand and both hands. Significant temporal modulation of right APB MEP amplitude was observed during motor imagery of right, left and bimanual performance. F-wave persistence and amplitude were unaffected by imagery. These results demonstrate that the motor imagery is lateralized to the left (dominant) hemisphere, which is engaged by imagery of each hand separately, and bimanual imagery. This finding has implications for the use of motor imagery in rehabilitation.

Limits of brain-computer interface

Limits of brain-computer interface. Case report.

Neurosurg Focus. 2006;20(5):e6

Authors: Bakay RA

Most patients who are candidates for brain-computer interface studies have an injury to their central nervous system and therefore may not be ideal for rigorous testing of the full abilities and limits of the interface. This is a report on a quadriplegic patient who appeared to be a reasonable candidate for intracranial implantation of neurotrophic electrodes. He had significant cortical atrophy in both the motor and parietal cortical areas but was able to generate signal changes on functional magnetic resonance images by thinking about hand movements. Only a few low-amplitude action potentials were obtained, however, and he was unable to achieve single-unit control. Despite this failure, the use of field potentials offered an alternative method of control and allowed him some limited computer interactions. There are clearly limits to what can be achieved with brain-computer interfaces, and the presence of cortical atrophy should serve as a warning for future investigators that less invasive techniques may be a more prudent approach for this type of patient.

Emilio Servadio

Emilio Servadio has been one of the most important Italian psychologists, along with Cesare Musatti and Roberto Assagioli.

A student of Freud, Servadio was renowned primarily for his contributions to psychoanalysis (he was among the founders of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society), but he was also well known for his work in parapsychology and altered states of consciousness.


In this commemorative article (download the Servadio_SISSC.zip: 2.8 Mb), Pierangelo Garzia, a science writer who had personally known Servadio, describes the main scientific achievements and the phylosophical approach of this great thinker.

May 22, 2006

3rd International Conference on Enactive Interfaces

Via VRoot.org 

The 3rd International Conference on Enactive Interfaces, promoted by the European Network of Excellence ENACTIVE INTERFACES, will be held in Montpellier (France) on November 20-21, 2006.

The aim of the conference is to encourage the emergence of a multidisciplinary research community in a new field of research and on a new generation of human-computer interfaces called Enactive Interfaces.

From the website:

Enactive Interfaces are inspired by a fundamental concept of “interaction” that has not been exploited by other approaches to the design of human-computer interface technologies. Mainly, interfaces have been designed to present information via symbols, or icons.

In the symbolic approach, information is stored as words, mathematical symbols or other symbolic systems, while in the iconic approach information is stored in the form of visual images, such as diagrams and illustrations.

ENACTIVE knowledge is information gained through perception-action interactions with the environment. Examples include information gained by grasping an object, by hefting a stone, or by walking around an obstacle that occludes our view. It is gained through intuitive movements, of which we often are not aware. Enactive knowledge is inherently multimodal, because motor actions alter the stimulation of multiple perceptual systems. Enactive knowledge is essential in tasks such as driving a car, dancing, playing a musical instrument, modelling objects from clay, performing sports, and so on.

Enactive knowledge is neither symbolic nor iconic. It is direct, in the sense that it is natural and intuitive, based on experience and the perceptual consequences of motor acts.

ENACTIVE / 06 will highlight convergences between the concept of Enaction and the sciences of complexity. Biological, cognitive, perceptual or technological systems are complex dynamical systems exhibiting (in)stability properties that are consequential for the agent-environment interaction. The conference will provide new insights, through the prism of ENACTIVE COMPLEXITY, about human interaction with multimodal interfaces.


Origami Cell Phone

lg_img_origami_cell.jpg Via Pasta and Vinegar 

The Origami Cell Phone is a future cell phone concept, which uses flexible e-paper to create a larger-than-cell display.

The concept was developed at Inventables, a consulting company specialized in "just about possible" applications.



The top10 in cognitive science

Via Pasta and Vinegar

According to the Cognitive Science Millennium Project, the top 10 most influential works in cognitive science from the 20th century are the following:

  1. Syntactic Structures Chomsky, N. (1957)
  2. Vision: a computational investigation into the human representation and processing of visual information Marr, D. (1982)
  3. Computing machinery and intelligence Turing, A. M. (1950) Mind, 59, 433-460.
  4. The organization of behavior; a neuropsychological theory Hebb, D.O. (1949)
  5. Parallel distributed processing: Explorations in the microstructure of cognition Rumelhart, D. E., McClelland, J. L. (1986)
  6. Human problem solving Newell, A., & Simon, H. A. (1972)
  7. he modularity of mind: An essay on faculty psychology Fodor, J. (1983)
  8. Remembering: A study in experimental and social psychology Bartlett, F. C. (1932)
  9. The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information Miller, G. A. (1956) Psychological Review, 63, 81-97
  10. Perception and Communication Broadbent, D. (1958)


Neurotechnology market is raising

The MIT Technology Review has interviewed Zack Lynch, managing directory of market analysis firm NeuroInsights,  about the future of neurotechnology. According to a recent report produced by Lynch's firm, 450 companies participate in the neurotechnology market, producing revenues of $110 billion in 2005.

Here is an excerpt of the interview:

Technology Review: Why neurotechnology?

Zack Lynch: Neuroscience is now moving from a science to an industry. What we're really looking at is an evolution: researchers are now going beyond basic science and developing more effective therapeutics for brain-related illnesses.

The need is huge. One in four people worldwide suffer from a brain-related illness, which costs a trillion dollars a year in indirect and direct economic costs. We all know someone who is affected. That burden will continue to grow with the aging population. We have more people, and more people living longer -- it's a multiplier effect.

TR: We're also starting to see a new kind of therapy for brain-related illnesses -- electrical stimulation. Various types of stimulation devices are now on the market to treat epilepsy, depression, and Parkinson's disease. What are some of the near- and far-term technologies we'll see with this kind of device?

ZL: We're seeing explosive growth in this area because scientists are overcoming many of the hurdles in this area. One example is longer battery life, so devices don't have to be surgically implanted every five years. Researchers are also developing much smaller devices. Advanced Bionics, for example, has a next-generation stimulator in trials for migraines.

In the neurodevice space, the obesity market is coming on strong. Several companies are working on this, including Medtronics and Leptos Biomedical. In obesity, even a small benefit is a breakthrough, because gastric bypass surgery [one of the most common treatments for morbid obesity] is so invasive.

In the next 10 years, I think we'll start to see a combination of technologies, like maybe a brain stimulator that releases L-dopa [a treatment for Parkinson's disease]. Whether that's viable is a whole other question, but that possibility is there because of the microelectronics revolution.

The real breakthrough will come from work on new electrodes. This will transform neurostimulator applications. With these technologies, you can create noninvasive devices and target very specific parts of the brain. It's like going from a Model T to a Ferrari. Those technologies will present the real competition for drugs.

May 21, 2006

Foundation and Practice of Neurofeedback for the Treatment of Epilepsy

Foundation and Practice of Neurofeedback for the Treatment of Epilepsy.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2006 Apr 14;

Authors: Sterman MB, Egner T

This review provides an updated overview of the neurophysiological rationale, basic and clinical research literature, and current methods of practice pertaining to clinical neurofeedback. It is based on documented findings, rational theory, and the research and clinical experience of the authors. While considering general issues of physiology, learning principles, and methodology, it focuses on the treatment of epilepsy with sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) training, arguably the best established clinical application of EEG operant conditioning. The basic research literature provides ample data to support a very detailed model of the neural generation of SMR, as well as the most likely candidate mechanism underlying its efficacy in clinical treatment. Further, while more controlled clinical trials would be desirable, a respectable literature supports the clinical utility of this alternative treatment for epilepsy. However, the skilled practice of clinical neurofeedback requires a solid understanding of the neurophysiology underlying EEG oscillation, operant learning principles and mechanisms, as well as an in-depth appreciation of the ins and outs of the various hardware/software equipment options open to the practitioner. It is suggested that the best clinical practice includes the systematic mapping of quantitative multi-electrode EEG measures against a normative database before and after treatment to guide the choice of treatment strategy and document progress towards EEG normalization. We conclude that the research literature reviewed in this article justifies the assertion that neurofeedback treatment of epilepsy/seizure disorders constitutes a well-founded and viable alternative to anticonvulsant pharmacotherapy.

Towards adaptive classification for BCI

Towards adaptive classification for BCI.

J Neural Eng. 2006 Mar;3(1):R13-23

Authors: Shenoy P, Krauledat M, Blankertz B, Rao RP, Müller KR

Non-stationarities are ubiquitous in EEG signals. They are especially apparent in the use of EEG-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs): (a) in the differences between the initial calibration measurement and the online operation of a BCI, or (b) caused by changes in the subject's brain processes during an experiment (e.g. due to fatigue, change of task involvement, etc). In this paper, we quantify for the first time such systematic evidence of statistical differences in data recorded during offline and online sessions. Furthermore, we propose novel techniques of investigating and visualizing data distributions, which are particularly useful for the analysis of (non-)stationarities. Our study shows that the brain signals used for control can change substantially from the offline calibration sessions to online control, and also within a single session. In addition to this general characterization of the signals, we propose several adaptive classification schemes and study their performance on data recorded during online experiments. An encouraging result of our study is that surprisingly simple adaptive methods in combination with an offline feature selection scheme can significantly increase BCI performance.

Towards adaptive classification for BCI

Towards adaptive classification for BCI.

J Neural Eng. 2006 Mar;3(1):R13-23

Authors: Shenoy P, Krauledat M, Blankertz B, Rao RP, Müller KR

Non-stationarities are ubiquitous in EEG signals. They are especially apparent in the use of EEG-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs): (a) in the differences between the initial calibration measurement and the online operation of a BCI, or (b) caused by changes in the subject's brain processes during an experiment (e.g. due to fatigue, change of task involvement, etc). In this paper, we quantify for the first time such systematic evidence of statistical differences in data recorded during offline and online sessions. Furthermore, we propose novel techniques of investigating and visualizing data distributions, which are particularly useful for the analysis of (non-)stationarities. Our study shows that the brain signals used for control can change substantially from the offline calibration sessions to online control, and also within a single session. In addition to this general characterization of the signals, we propose several adaptive classification schemes and study their performance on data recorded during online experiments. An encouraging result of our study is that surprisingly simple adaptive methods in combination with an offline feature selection scheme can significantly increase BCI performance.

May 20, 2006

The NEW TIES project

Via Cognews 

With funding from the European Commission's Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) initiative of the IST programme, five European research institutes are collaborating on the NEW TIES project to create a thoroughly 21st-century brave new world - one populated by randomly generated software beings, capable of developing their own language and culture.

From the project's website

The project is concerned with emergence and complexity in socially-inspired artificial systems. We will study large systems consisting of an environment and an inhabitant population. The main goal of the project is to realize an evolving artificial society capable of exploring the environment and developing its own image of this environment and the society through cooperation and interaction. We will work with virtual grid worlds and will set up environments that are sufficiently complex and demanding  that communication and cooperation are necessary to adapt to the given tasks. The population's weaponry to develop advanced skills bottom-up consists of individual learning, evolutionary learning, and social learning. One of the main innovations of this project is social learning interpreted as passing knowledge explicitly via a language to others in the same generation. This has a synergetic effect on the learning processes and enables the society to rapidly develop an "understanding" of the world collectively. If the learning process stabilises, the collective must have formed an appropriate world map. Then we will probe the collective mind to learn how the agents perceive the environment, including themselves, and what skills and procedures they have developed to adapt successfully. This could yield new knowledge and surprising perspectives about the environment and the survival task. The project represents a significant scale-up beyond the state-of-the-art in two dimensions: the inner complexity of inhabitants and the size of the population. To achieve and explore highly complex organisms and behaviours, very large populations will be studied. This will make the system at the macro level complex enough to allow significant behaviours (cultures etc) to emerge in separate parts of the system and to interact. To enable this we will set up a large distributed computing infrastructure, and a shared platform to allow very large scale experiments in a p2p fashion.

May 18, 2006

Special issue of CyberPsychology & Behavior on Virtual Rehabilitation

CyberPsychology & Behavior
Volume 9, Number 2, Apr 2006

The above issue is now available online from Liebert Online at:

The table of contents for this issue is listed below. Click on the links below to view the abstract for each article, or click on the link above to read the table of contents online.

State of the Art in Virtual Rehabilitation

Albert "Skip" Rizzo
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 113-113.


TIES that BIND: An Introduction to Domain Mapping as a Visualization Tool for Virtual Rehabilitation

Patrice L. (Tamar) Weiss, Rochelle Kedar, Meir Shahar CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 114-122.


Feasibility, Motivation, and Selective Motor Control: Virtual Reality Compared to Conventional Home Exercise in Children with Cerebral Palsy

C. Bryanton, J. Bosse, M. Brien, J. Mclean, A. McCormick, H. Sveistrup
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 123-128.


Integrating Haptic-Tactile Feedback into a Video-Capture-Based Virtual Environment for Rehabilitation

Uri Feintuch, Liat Raz, Jane Hwang, Naomi Josman, Noomi Katz, Rachel Kizony, Debbie Rand, Albert "Skip" Rizzo, Meir Shahar, Jang Yongseok, Patrice L. (Tamar) Weiss
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 129-132.


Reaching within Video-Capture Virtual Reality: Using Virtual Reality as a Motor Control Paradigm

Assaf Y. Dvorkin, Meir Shahar, Patrice L. (Tamar) Weiss
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 133-136.


Virtual Reality in the Rehabilitation of the Upper Limb after Stroke: The User?s Perspective

J.H. Crosbie, S. Lennon, M.D.J. McNeill, S.M. McDonough
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 137-141.


Usability of the Remote Console for Virtual Reality Telerehabilitation: Formative Evaluation

Jeffrey A. Lewis, Judith E. Deutsch, Grigore Burdea
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 142-147.


The Rutgers Arm, a Rehabilitation System in Virtual Reality: A Pilot Study

Manjuladevi Kuttuva, Rares Boian, Alma Merians, Grigore Burdea, Mourad Bouzit, Jeffrey Lewis, Devin Fensterheim
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 148-152.


Responses to a Virtual Reality Grocery Store in Persons with and without Vestibular Dysfunction

Susan L. Whitney, Patrick J. Sparto, Larry F. Hodges, Sabarish V. Babu, Joseph M. Furman, Mark S. Redfern
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 152-156.


A Treadmill and Motion Coupled Virtual Reality System for Gait Training Post-Stroke

Joyce Fung, Carol L. Richards, Francine Malouin, Bradford J. McFadyen, Anouk Lamontagne
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 157-162.


Influences of the Perception of Self-Motion on Postural Parameters

E.A. Keshner, K. Dokka, R.V. Kenyon
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 163-166.


Immersive Virtual Reality as a Rehabilitative Technology for Phantom Limb Experience: A Protocol

Craig D. Murray, Emma Patchick, Stephen Pettifer, Fabrice Caillette, Toby Howard
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 167-170.


Motor Training in the Manipulation of Flexible Objects in Haptic Environments

I. Goncharenko, M. Svinin, Y. Kanou, S. Hosoe
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 171-174.


Using Virtual Environment to Improve Spatial Perception by People Who Are Blind

Orly Lahav
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 174-177.


The Jerusalem TeleRehabilitation System, a New Low-Cost, Haptic Rehabilitation Approach

Heidi Sugarman, Ehud Dayan, Aviva Weisel-Eichler, Joseph Tiran
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 178-182.


Human Experience Modeler: Context-Driven Cognitive Retraining to Facilitate Transfer of Learning

C.M. Fidopiastis, C.B. Stapleton, J.D. Whiteside, C.E. Hughes, S.M. Fiore, G.A. Martin, J.P. Rolland, E.M. Smith
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 183-187.


Application of Virtual Reality Graphics in Assessment of Concussion

Semyon Slobounov, Elena Slobounov, Karl Newell
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 188-191.


Virtual Reality Pencil and Paper Tests for Neglect: AProtocol

Kenji Baheux, Makoto Yoshizawa, Kazunori Seki, Yasunobu Handa
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 192-195.


Virtual and Physical Toys: Open-Ended Features for Non-Formal Learning

Eva Petersson, Anthony Brooks
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 196-199.


Three-Dimensional Virtual Environments for Blind Children

Jaime Sanchez, Mauricio Saenz
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 200-206.


Effectiveness of Virtual Reality for Pediatric Pain Distraction during IV Placement

Jeffrey I. Gold, Seok Hyeon Kim, Alexis J. Kant, Michael H. Joseph, Albert "Skip" Rizzo
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 207-212.


Simulating Social Interaction to Address Deficits of Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Children

Cheryl Y. Trepagnier, Marc M. Sebrechts, Andreas Finkelmeyer, Willie Stewart, Jordana Woodford, Maya Coleman
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 213-217.


Starting Research in Interaction Design with Visuals for Low-Functioning Children in the Autistic Spectrum: A Protocol

Narcis Pares, Anna Carreras, Jaume Durany, Jaume Ferrer, Pere Freixa, David Gomez, Orit Kruglanski, Roc Pares, J. Ignasi Ribas, Miquel Soler, Alex Sanjurjo
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 218-223.


Virtual Reality Assessment of Medication Compliance in Patients with Schizophrenia

Elizabeth K. Baker, Matthew M. Kurtz, Robert S. Astur
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 224-229.


Reality Check: The Role of Realism in Stress Reduction Using Media Technology

Y.A.W. de Kort, W.A. Ijsselsteijn
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 230-233.


Hippocampus Function Predicts Severity of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Robert S. Astur, Sarah A. St. Germain, David Tolin, Julian Ford, David Russell, Mike Stevens
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 234-240.


BusWorld: Designing a Virtual Environment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Israel: A Protocol

Naomi Josman, Eli Somer, Ayelet Reisberg, Patrice L. (Tamar) Weiss, Azucena Garcia-Palacios, Hunter Hoffman
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 241-244.


Simulation and Virtual Reality in Medical Education and Therapy: A Protocol

Michael J. Roy, Deborah L. Sticha, Patricia L. Kraus, Dale E. Olsen
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 245-247.


Virtual Reality Applications to Agoraphobia: A Protocol

Georgina Cardenas, Sandra Munoz, Maribel Gonzalez, Guillermo Uribarren
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 248-250.



Albert "Skip" Rizzo
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 251-257.



Giuseppe Riva, Alessandra Preziosa
CyberPsychology & Behavior, Vol. 9, No. 2: 258-260.


Impaired allocentric spatial memory underlying topographical disorientation

Impaired allocentric spatial memory underlying topographical disorientation.

Rev Neurosci. 2006;17(1-2):239-51

Authors: Burgess N, Trinkler I, King J, Kennedy A, Cipolotti L

The cognitive processes supporting spatial navigation are considered in the context of a patient (CF) with possible very early Alzheimer's disease who presents with topographical disorientation. Her verbal memory and her recognition memory for unknown buildings, landmarks and outdoor scenes was intact, although she showed an impairment in face processing. By contrast, her navigational ability, quantitatively assessed within a small virtual reality (VR) town, was significantly impaired. Interestingly, she showed a selective impairment in a VR object-location memory test whenever her viewpoint was shifted between presentation and test, but not when tested from the same viewpoint. We suggest that a specific impairment in locating objects relative to the environment rather than relative to the perceived viewpoint (i.e. allocentric rather than egocentric spatial memory) underlies her topographical disorientation. We discuss the likely neural bases of this deficit in the light of related studies in humans and animals, focusing on the hippocampus and related areas. The specificity of our test indicates a new way of assessing topographical disorientation, with possible application to the assessment of progressive dementias such as Alzheimer's disease.

May 17, 2006

Robot of the year award

Via Pink Tentacle (source: Yomiuri Shimbun)

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) plans to establish an annual Robot of the Year Award to recognize outstanding robots developed and put into practical use each year. In addition to the grand prize, prizes will be awarded to robots in the following categories: (1) industrial robots, such as those used in painting and welding, (2) service robots, such as those used in cleaning and security, (3) robots for use in special environments, such as rescue robots, and (4) robots developed by small to medium sized venture firms.

Air display

The company IO2 has developed a new display technology, the Heliodisplay, which allows to project into the air still or moving images that can be manipulated with a fingertip. The Heliodisplay works by creating a cloud of microscopic particles that make the air a display medium.

From the company's website:

Heliodisplay images are not holographic although they are free-space, employing a rear projection system in which images are captured onto a nearly invisible plane of transformed air. What the viewer sees is floating mid-air image or video. These projected images and video are two-dimensional space (i.e. planar) but appear 3D since there is no physical depth reference. While conventional displays have the benefit of being attached to a physical substrate, Heliodisplay projections are located in air, so you will notice some waviness to the quality of Heliodisplay images. 

Watch the video here



May 16, 2006

Building a Playground of Light

Via Wired



Innovations from NYU's technology program include a digital projector that turns the walls and floor of a therapist's office into an interactive game space. The goal: keeps kids engaged.

Read the full story 


May 15, 2006

Daegu to Launch 'Ubiquitous' Health Monitoring

From Smart Mobs

Daegu in South Korea "will be the first city in the country to provide a “ubiquitous” healthcare service in which so-called wearable computers will be used to monitor the health of elderly people living alone and patients with chronic diseases,"this article says."The devices,in the form of shirts,alert medical staff in real time when an emergency occurs.Daegu City said Thursday that it will launch its groundbreaking “U-Healthcare Service” in cooperation with the Ministry of Information and Communication.The city will distribute the bio-shirts to some 100 elderly people and patients with chronic diseases later this year.The shirts have embedded sensors that register vital signs and send the information to medical centers through the network. They also permit self-diagnosis, distance monitoring, emergency care and medical consultation for users in an environment of ubiquitous connectivity"

Daegu to Launch 'Ubiquitous' Health Monitoring 




Powered Shoes

The project Powered Shoes, developed by Hiroo Iwata, is a locomotion interface that allow users to walk in arbitrary directions in virtual environments while maintaining their positions:
It has often been suggested that the best locomotion mechanism for virtual worlds would be walking, and it is well known that the sense of distance or orientation while walking is much better than while riding in a vehicle. However, the proprioceptive feedback of walking is not provided in most virtual environments. Powered Shoes is a revolutionary advance for entertainment and simulation applications, because it provides this proprioceptive feedback. 


The system follows another fashinating walking-based interface that Iwata presented at Siggraph 2004 called "CirculaFloor":
CirculaFloor is a locomotion interface using a group of movable floors. The movable floors employ a holonomic mechanism that achieves omni-directional motion. Circulation of the floors enables users to walk in arbitrary directions in a virtual environment while their positions are maintained