For children of today’s generation, swings and slides don’t seem to cut it anymore—not when you have an Xbox and Playstation in your living room. In an attempt to curb the rising childhood obesity rates partially associated with indoor electronics, researchers in the UK have designed an outdoor playground unit based on the concepts of video games. Called i.play, or “intelligent play,” the electronic unit can make a high-tech addition to nearly any existing playground, says developer Playdale. Intended for children ages eight and above, as well as adults, wheelchair users and individuals with impaired hearing or vision, i.play encourages “stealth exercise”—exercise that feels like fun.The i.play unit consists of a hexagonal court with three curved bars that form the skeleton of a dome. Each bar has a high, low, and mid-positioned activity switch to encourage a whole body aerobic workout that helps build muscular strength, stamina, hand-eye coordination, reaction time, agility and flexibility.The i.play unit audibly tells a player when to activate a switch, an LED on the switch flashes, and the faster the player gets to the switch, the higher the score. Players activate the switch by pushing, pulling, pressing, spinning, turning, or stamping. Like many a video game, the game ends when a player loses three lives (by activating the wrong switch or moving too slow), or by completing all five levels, which is beating the game.The game can be played in groups as well as individually. For groups of up to six, each player gets a number. The first player, chosen by the system, makes a sequence of three switches. Then the i.play unit nominates the next player, who repeats the sequence. Once all the players have successfully repeated the sequence, another switch is added, etc.“The placement of activity switches is an important aspect of the design as we want to get users to perform movements requiring a large range of motion to progressively higher levels of physical exertion,” said i.play co-inventor Phil Hodgkins in a recent press release.The i.play system can also intelligently adjust to children’s performance, making the unit an alternative to team sports because it is competitive yet inclusive. i.play’s Web site notes an 11% decline in the number of young people playing sports at school, as well as a lack of cheap exercise options, that i.play aims to fill. Two i.play systems are already in use in Leicester and Barrow in Furness.Playdale developed i.play in conjunction with Progressive Sports Technologies, a spinout company from Loughborough University. Other features of the system include its fully solar-powered design, programmable software, and like a game console, multiple levels of difficulty and statistics that allow players to monitor their performance both during and after the game.And if that still doesn’t excite gamers, players can win a free iPod Shuffle in a monthly drawing for logging their scores on an online league table. Citation: i.play Offers Video Game-like Playground Equipment (2007, September 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-09-iplay-video-game-like-playground-equipment.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The i.play system combines interactive electronics with conventional playground equipment to encourage young people to exercise. Source: Playdale.
(PhysOrg.com) — Among the vast number of untapped energy sources are finger taps, heartbeats, and even hamsters running on exercise wheels. In a recent study, researchers from Georgia Tech have shown that when hamsters run or scratch themselves – even if they do so erratically – the motions can drive a nanogenerator that produces an electric current. Video: Running hamster generate energyJoin PhysOrg.com on Facebook Many motions can cause the plastic to move. For instance, a hamster wearing a small jacket attached to the generator could harvest energy from the rodent’s movements as it runs and scratches. The researchers also attached the nanogenerator to a person’s index finger, and when the finger tapped on a hard surface, the generator could harvest that biomechanical energy.The researchers hope to increase the generator’s power by adding more piezoelectric wires. If the team could increase the nanogenerator’s power output so that it could generate about one microwatt, the device could power implantable nanosensors that require a permanent power supply. These nanosensors, which perform tasks such as detecting pathogens or cancer proteins, could be powered by the patient’s own biomotions, eliminating the need for the sensors to be surgically replaced. In other applications, the generator could be woven into the fabric of a human jacket to harvest energy for powering portable electronic devices.© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The electricity generated from such tiny, irregular biomotions is currently quite low (about one nanowatt), but Zhong Lin Wang, a professor of materials science and engineering at Georgia Tech, predicts that power generation can be increased to drive some tiny nano-sized devices. Wang and his colleagues have published their study in a recent issue of Nano Letters.While other generators can harvest biomechanical energy from regular motions at a specific frequency, the Georgia Tech team’s generator is the first that can harvest small, irregular motions. Most biomotions – such as walking, stretching, and a heart beating – are irregular movements.Taking advantage of the piezoelectric effect, the team’s nanogenerator consists of a series of zinc-oxide nanowires mounted on a flexible plastic surface. When the plastic bends, the wires also bend, creating an electric potential that drives a current through the wires to an external electrical circuit. Researchers at Georgia Tech have designed a nanogenerator that can harvest irregular biomotions, such as the erratic movements of a hamster running. Image credit: Zhong Lin Wang. Citation: Running Hamsters Can Power Nano Devices (Video) (2009, February 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-02-hamsters-power-nano-devices-video.html How to capture waste heat energy with improved polymers
‘Paul the Octopus’ now an iPhone app The Internet is buzzing with the story of a new study that today’s students are so gullible they will believe anything they see on the Internet, and are even willing to believe in the existence of an elusive tree octopus when shown the website for this “endangered species.” (The website states it is linked to the “Kelvinic University branch of the Wild Haggis Conservation Society.”) The Pacific Northwest tree octopus (Octopus paxarbolis) is a mythical creature invented in 1998 by Lyle Zapato, but the story circulating on the Internet this week often mistakenly has it that Professor Donald J. Leu, director of the New Literacies Research Laboratory at the University of Connecticut, invented the tree octopus and designed its website to test the gullibility of today’s “digital native” students, who are known for their online savviness. One problem with the story is that it is not news. According to the University website the experiment was done on 25 students in 2006. Dr Leu also reported on a similar experiment with 53 7th grade students and the tree octopus website at the Research Conference of the International Reading Association in Toronto, Canada in 2007. There is nothing about new research on this topic on the New Literacies Research Laboratory website, and the information on which the current batch of stories is based is a Pearson press release , which announces a talk by Dr Leu in Texas, at which he talked about the research and its implications.The Tree Octopus and Dog Island websites are among spoof sites included in Dr Leu’s handout: New Literacies for New Times: Preparing our Students for the 21st Century. The sites are suggested as good resources for teaching students how to work out that websites contain false or misleading information.Dr Leu has said that students need to learn to critically evaluate what they read on the Internet, because his studies have shown that students are gullible and do believe the tree octopus story and other hoax websites, and they are unskilled in discriminating good sources of information from unreliable sources on the Internet.Dr Leu spoke about the research at the Texas Association of School Administrators Conference at the end of January. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The Pacific Northwest tree octopus. Image from zapatopi.net. Explore further Citation: Press release reveals journalists believe everything they see on the Internet (2011, February 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-02-reveals-journalists-internet.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com
© 2010 PhysOrg.com In addition to selling this stock hexapod robot kit, the company will also be selling individual leg assemblies and other parts from the bot kit. This will give robot builders the chance to use these parts to create their own multi-legged robot designs. Kondo Robot currently serves only the Japanese market, so robot builders from other nations will have to find a different supplier for hexapod robot parts. The KMR-M6 Hexapod Robot is expected to begin shipping in May of 2011, and will cost roughly 76,000 yen, or $880 US dollars. More information: via Robot Dreams The brain of the KMR-M6 is a Kondo RCB-4HV. It is powered by a ROBO Power Cell 10.8V 800mAh Ni-MH battery. As for aesthetics, the wiring, controller and all other on-board electronics are hidden from view, in a compartment on the robots back. (PhysOrg.com) — Kondo Robot, a Japan-based robotics company known for selling robotics kits which often end up in robot-on-robot battles, announced the release of a new robot kit. The kit, named the KMR-M6 is a Hexapod Robot, that is reminiscent of a spider in its appearance. The kit is designed to be fairly stable. In addition to only requiring two servos per leg, for movement, the robot has a unique spring and multi-bar linkage approach that gives it the ability to navigate more complex obstacles. Citation: Kondo Robot releases a hexapod robot kit (w/ video) (2011, April 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-kondo-robot-hexapod-kit-video.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Korea to sell programmable robot The KMR-M6 has a low profile, at about 14 inches tall, which makes maneuvering through smaller spaces less laborius, and decreases the robots center of gravity, which decreases the likelihood that it will tip over while navigating those obstacles.
“What we wanted to understand was whether there are signal changes emitted by people when they are lying, and can machines detect them? The answer was yes, and yes,” Ifeoma Nwogu, a co-author of the study and professor at the Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors, told the UB Reporter.According to a report in Scientific American, their work was inspired by findings from a professor of psychology at the University of California in San Francisco, School of Medicine, Paul Ekman. He has focused on emotions as they relate to facial expressions. As for interrogators themselves, their experiences indicate that the use of such software for telling who is lying and who is telling the truth would not be practical in all instances and may not always lead them to the right targets. Just as polygraphs have drawn controversy over how reliable they really are, face-detection tools might also generate its share of false positives. Undaunted, the researchers last year presented their study results at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition and now they are set to broaden their investigations to account for body language too.Also, said Nwogu, faster algorithms may raise the software’s ability to spot behavioral deviations in near real-time. The system that they are using tracks eye movements using a statistical technique that models the movements. Nwogu and others on the team, in the course of their 40 interviews, used the beginning of each interview to establish what normal, baseline eye movements looked like for each subject. The team focused on such details as the rate of blinking and the frequency with which people shifted the direction of their gaze. The researchers then used their system to compare each subject’s baseline eye movements with eye movements during the critical section of each interrogation.Another goal as they continue their research is to expand the sample size. They used a sampling of 40 people, which they said was too small to be statistically significant. Other researchers involved in this study include Nisha Bhaskaran, Venu Govindaraju, and Mark Frank, a professor of communication and behavioral scientist. Explore further © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: UB team’s software is set to eyeball liars (2012, March 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-03-ub-team-software-eyeball-liars.html More information: (PhysOrg.com) — A study team at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York, is working on video analysis software to analyze eye movements to spot liars. So far, they say their results show that their software can spot liars with a promising level of accuracy. Their claim is based on their study using 40 people. Their system correctly identified who was telling the truth and who was lying 82.5 percent of the time. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researchers say liars can’t completely suppress facial expressions
Explore further (Phys.org) — Researchers working in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda have filmed gorillas dismantling snares set by poachers to catch smaller game. Previously, anecdotal evidence had suggested that silverback gorillas had been seen dismantling snares. In this instance it was two young blackback, mountain gorillas that were involved. The team, part of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center, filmed first a silverback motioning towards the snare. Next, two young male blackbacks arrived on the scene, surveyed the situation, then proceeded to take apart the snare, avoiding being caught in it in the process. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Gorillas filmed performing amazing feat of intellectual ability (2012, July 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-gorillas-amazing-feat-intellectual-ability.html Gorilla King Titus dies in Rwanda Image: Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund / gorillas.org © 2012 Phys.org Snares are small loops of plant leaves or rope, fashioned in a noose and laid on or near the ground. They are attached lightly to a bent bush and strongly to a tree. If an animal steps in the snare, the rope is released from the bendy bush causing the noose to tighten around the victim, who cannot run away because of the tether to the tree. Some victims are retrieved when poachers come to check their snares; others die from dehydration.Those who work with gorillas have known for quite some time that the animals possess a brain that supports an intellectual level that far surpasses most other animals, including most other primates. In short, they’re really smart. Unfortunately, there is not much documented evidence to support such claims due to the few studies that have been done to measure it. This is because there are relatively few animals available in captivity that can be studied and because of the limited environment in which the animals live in the wild, which means, practically speaking, they don’t often run into situations that require much brainpower. But when they do, researchers say, it can take your breath away.To dismantle a snare, the gorillas pull the bent branch back, breaking it and releasing the tension in the rope. In the film, the two young gorillas get right to work indicating they’d done it before, and the researchers report that once finished the duo moved to another snare and disabled it as well.The researchers also note that the snare destroying episode came shortly after the death of an infant gorilla that had become trapped in a snare; in trying to escape it had broken its shoulder which led to gangrene setting in.Snares are common in protected parks in Africa as poachers set traps hoping to get some bush-meat either for consumption directly or to sell on the black market. The snares are not normally strong enough to trap a full grown gorilla or even a juvenile but present a significant threat to those still very small. The researchers report that the recent death of an infant was the second this year.
Kolkata: The hapless father of a six-month-old girl has started fast unto death in Asansol demanding stern action against the persons responsible for her daughter’s death.Akshay Ghosh, father of the child, who is on fast unto death said despite repeated complaints the administration has not taken any action against the nursing home. Earlier, Ghosh and his wife Rupa had staged a dharna for 26 days outside the nursing home situated at Kumarpur off Sen Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsRaligh Road.On March 20, the child had high fever and was taken to the nursing home. The nursing home authorities had administered an injection and within half an hour the baby showed signs of uneasiness and died.Following the death, Ghosh requested the nursing home authorities to tell him the name of the injection and the course of treatment they had followed. But the nursing home refused to disclose the name of the injection and also did not tell anything on the treatment. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedGhosh said following this he had gone from the pillar to post demanding stern action against the culprits. “What has happened to my daughter can happen to others. So, I want action against the culprits whose callousness has led to the death of my only daughter.” He said on March 19 was the baby’s naming ceremony and she was absolutely fine on that day. She had taken her food and slept well at night. She had fever from the afternoon and as the temperature shot up she was taken to the nursing home.
How much do you like the colours — red, white and blue? I’m sure a lot and so does Sharad Haksar. Haksar who hails from Chennai is a well known photographer. Exploring the various aspects of these colours, Haksar travelled to Japan and Iceland, the two places which fascinated him since childhood. More than the people and the culture, the pristine landscape excites his mind’s eyes and there he started capturing nature’s resplendence in these two lands. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Those finest travel photos are now put on an exhibition which the artiste has titled Red, Blue & White. The artiste further puts a logic behind the title of the show. As red and white symbolise the flag colours of Japan while red, blue and white represent the national hues of Iceland, the exhibition is named so. 80 spectacular images from the collection will showcase the beauty of the two places through the eyes of the artiste. Each of the colours which Haksar captured during his travel have a different story. Red offers a rare glimpse of the autumn season in Japan when the koyo or coloured leaves are in full bloom. The koyo season typically begins in mid-September in Hokkaido to the north, gradually spreading to the southern end of the Japanese archipelago in about 50 days. During the peak period, the leaves of the maple and gingko trees turn red and yellow in concert presenting the viewer, a stunning and picturesque scenery, at every turn. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe white series is a visual chronicle of the blossoming of the white cherry blossom or the sakura. Seen widely by the Japanese as a symbol of elegance, hope, sacrifice and new beginnings, the blossom holds enormous attraction in the country. There are over 200 varieties of sakura in Japan and most of them grow to a height of 25 feet to 50 feet with a canopy spreading up to 40 feet wide. Blue is an ode to the surreal scapes of Iceland. The enthralling collection of images is a result of the exhilaration and excitement that Sharad experienced as he tried to capture the terrain of Iceland. From the azure crystal caves in Jokursarlon’s glaciers to the black volcanic beaches in Vik, Iceland’s tranquil natural beauty had ample inspiration to offer to Sharad’s creative instincts.
A Delhi court today recorded statements of three police officials as prosecution witnesses in a case, in which rights activist Irom Sharmila is facing trial for allegedly trying to commit suicide during her fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar in 2006.Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain recorded testimonies of inspector Subhash, assistant sub-inspector Pal Singh, who was head constable at the Parliament Street Police Station at the time of the incident and constable Kapil. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIThe court fixed the case for tomorrow for recording evidence of other witnesses.Sharmila, who is on a fast for over 14 years in Manipur, demanding
Iftar is a meal taken just before sunset, to break the fast. Traditionally, Muslims eat three dates in adherence to the Prophet Mohammad as he preached and practiced the same.Dates are followed by a sumptuous healthy meal, which traditionally consists of choley or kaale chane, pakode, dahi