Cyborg cockroaches may be emergency responders
By Megan Gannon, News
Editor | LiveScience.com – Fri, Sep 7, 2012
Researchers say they've figured out a way to create cyborg, remote-controlled cockroaches, hoping one day the resilient creatures could be steered into disaster zones to gather information and look for survivors. Video footage from the experiments at North Carolina State University shows the part-robot roaches being directed along a curving path via remote control. The researchers say they attached a lightweight chip with a wireless receiver and transmitter onto Madagascar hissing cockroaches and wired a microcontroller to the insects' antennae and cerci — the sensory organs on the bug's abdomen that cause it to run away from danger.
With electrical signals, the researchers stimulated the cerci to trick the roaches into thinking they needed to scamper away from a predator. Once moving, charges sent to the antennae controlled the insects' direction. A signal sent to one antenna could make a roach think its feeler was touching a wall, sending it in the opposite direction, a statement from NC State explained. "Building small-scale robots that can perform in such uncertain, dynamic conditions is enormously difficult. We decided to use biobotic cockroaches in place of robots, as designing robots at that scale is very challenging, and cockroaches are experts at performing in such a hostile environment," NC State researcher Alper Bozkurt said in the statement.
Intel unveils all-in-one desktop that doubles as a 27-inch tablet
The Adaptive All-In-One's display panel weighs 14 pounds, though Intel is trying to slim it down
By John P. Mello Jr. | PC World
Intel used its Developer's Conference
in San Francisco to unveil a desktop computer prototype that has a display that can double as a 27-inch tablet with a four-hour battery life. Slate producers like Samsung, with its Galaxy Note II, and Apple, with its expected iPad Mini, are down-sizing the tablet's classic 10-inch form factor. But Intel must think that there's room to push the form at the other end of things.
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Called the Adaptive All-In-One, the 2.5-inch thick unit has 1080p HD resolution and has the guts of a personal computer, including optical drive, input/output ports and high-performance graphics processor. On the desktop, it plugs into a dock that charges its battery and connects it to peripherals such
as a keyboard and mouse. Its touchscreen can be used both on and off the dock.
The display panel weighs 14 pounds. That may have been portable in the days of the Osborne I, but it's not very portable by today's standards. Intel recognizes that deficiency and is
working with screen and battery manufacturers to slim down the units, Ernesto Martinez, a client innovation engineer at Intel who helped develop the prototype, told MIT's Technology Review.