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Mask-bot: A Robot with a Human Face

Published: November 7, 2011.
Released by Technische Universitaet Muenchen  

Robotics researchers in Munich have joined forces with Japanese scientists to develop an ingenious technical solution that gives robots a human face. By using a projector to beam the 3D image of a face onto the back of a plastic mask, and a computer to control voice and facial expressions, the researchers have succeeded in creating Mask-bot, a startlingly human-like plastic head. Yet even before this technology is used to give robots of the future a human face, it may well soon be…


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medicine
Adenosine in Ambrosia Pollen Increases Allergic Response
Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) - an otherwise unremarkable plant - produces pollen that can trigger strong allergic reactions such as asthma even in very small quantities. Scientists from Technische Universität München (TUM) and Helmholtz Zentrum München have now published a joint study showing that the substance previously identified as the major allergen only induces such a vigorous allergic response in combination with the adenosine also present in the pollen.

technology
Designer Electronics Out of the Printer
They are thin, light-weight, flexible and can be produced cost- and energy-efficiently: printed microelectronic components made of synthetics. Flexible displays and touch screens, glowing films, RFID tags and solar cells represent a future market. In the context of an international cooperation project, physicists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have now observed the creation of razor thin polymer electrodes during the printing process and successfully improved the electrical properties of the printed films. …

biology
A Protein Provides Emergency Aid
Small heat shock proteins ensure that other proteins do not clot, allowing the cell to survive stress. Defects in these "small helpers" are associated with medical conditions like cataracts and cancer. Now, scientists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have characterized a small heat shock protein responsible for embryonic development in the Caenorhabditis elegans nematode. Presumably, a similar protein exists also in humans.

medicine
Brain Tumors: Millimeter by Millimeter Towards a Better Prognosis
A method known as navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) has been gaining importance in neurosurgery for some time now. Among other applications, it is used to map brain tumors before an operation and to test whether important regions of the brain, for example motor and language areas, are affected. Doctors at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have now shown that preoperative nTMS analysis of motor areas improves the prognosis of patients with malignant brain tumors.

medicine
Soft-tissue Engineering for Hard-working Cartilage
An international study published in the journal Nature Communications points the way toward wider, more effective use of biocompatible materials in repairing human tissues. Focusing on the difficult case of restoring cartilage, which requires both flexibility and mechanical strength, the researchers investigated a new combination of 3-D printed microfiber scaffolding and hydrogels. The composites they tested showed elasticity and stiffness comparable to knee-joint tissue, as well as the ability to support the growth and cross-linking of human cartilage cells. Researchers at the Technische…

physics
The Weakest Magnetic Field in the Solar System
Magnetic fields easily penetrate matter. Creating a space practically devoid of magnetic fields thus presents a great challenge. An international team of physicists has now developed a shielding that dampens low frequency magnetic fields more than a million-fold. Using this mechanism, they have created a space that boasts the weakest magnetic field of our solar system. The physicists now intend to carry out precision experiments there.

biology
Compact Synchrotron Makes Tumors Visible
Soft tissue disorders like tumors are very difficult to recognize using normal X-ray machines. There is hardly any distinction between healthy tissue and tumors. Researchers at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have now developed a technology using a compact synchrotron source that measures not only X-ray absorption, but also phase shifts and scattering. Tissue that is hardly recognizable using traditional X-ray machines is now visible.

biology
Rubber from Dandelions
Dandelions deliver a desirable product: rubber. This is why the robust and undemanding plant has become the focus of attention of the rubber-producing industry. But how is rubber, contained in the plant's white milky fluid, actually formed? A team of scientists has now identified proteins, which play a key role in the production of rubber in the plant. Thus a biotechnological production of rubber comes closer.

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