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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
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.

medicine
Novel Mechanism for Crohn's Disease Uncovered
Crohn's disease is one of a family of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). While it has already been proven to have genetic causes, scientists have now shown that the presence of certain intestinal bacteria also plays a role. A study reported in the Gut journal has shown that in mice, bacterial imbalance in the gut can lead to an inflammation similar to Crohn's disease, and this can be transmitted to other animals. With this knowledge, researchers plan to further develop the existing practice…

technology
Passenger-focused Air Conditioning
How can a pleasant vehicle climate be achieved efficiently? Researchers at the Technische Universität München (TUM) pursued this question in the context of the research project Visio.M funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) with a total of 7.1 million euro. The results of their research show that the potential of energy efficient air conditioning is all but exhausted. And this applies also to gasoline powered cars.

medicine
A Multi-faceted Poison
The Bacillus cereus bacteria is one of the potential causes of food poisoning. Indeed, a recent study in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry shows that this versatile pathogen produces 19 different variants of a poison that causes nausea and vomiting in human beings. This variety could explain why some cases are relatively benign and others can result in death.

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