Xbox Kinect hack assists visually impaired:
Who knew that Microsoft’s humble Kinect sensor for its Xbox gaming console could be hacked to do so much more than just impair your dancing skills? So far just in medicine, we’ve seen the Kinect used as a touch-free image browser, an augmented reality CT viewer, a force feedback sensor for robotic surgery, and a program to actually control these surgical robots, including the da Vinci robot. The latest comes from the University of Konstanz in Germany. Engineers there have wired up a Kinect sensor to help improve indoor navigation for the visually impaired. The project, called NAVI (Navigational Aids for the Visually Impaired), consists of a helmet-mounted Kinect connected to a computer in a backpack, a special belt containing vibration motors to warn the users of obstacles ahead and to the sides, and a Bluetooth headset to provide verbal feedback. Check out the video of the system in action:
115-year-old X-ray machine restored to working condition:
Weeks after Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen published about the development of his X-ray machine, a physicist and a hospital director in Maastricht, built their own version of the device. Recently, this 115-year-old machine was taken out of deep storage, dusted off, and made to work again.
Sensable haptic device teaches blind children to write:
Stephen Brewster, professor of human-computer interaction at University of Glasgow, has been testing a haptic system he developed to teach blind kids how to write. The system focuses around the popular Phantom Omni force feedback device from Wilmington, Mass.-based Sensable Technologies Inc. to help guide the pen in the right direction. “The device can guide or constrain certain types of movements, so as the teacher draws on a touch screen the movements are echoed directly back to the student, allowing the student to feel the movements and learn the letter shapes,” Brewster said.
Implications of Cyberdyne’s exoskeleton extends well beyond technology:
DigInfo TV attended the Cybernics International Forum in Tokyo last week (before the earthquake) and has profiled the latest that Cyberdyne, a Japanese maker of power assisted exoskeletons, is developing.
A weekly roundup of new developments in medical technology, by MedGadget.com.