SAN FRANCISCO--Sitting in the windowless basement level of a nondescript building in the shadow of the Bay Bridge, Andy Miller is doing one of his most essential -- and rewarding -- jobs: helping smart and talented, but young and inexperienced, entrepreneurs navigate the crucial steps needed to move their new company forward. After all, great technology can only get you so far. It takes great business strategy and decisions to build a truly successful company.
With the unveiling today of its Leap 3D motion control system, a San Francisco startup called Leap Motion has, well, leapfrogged the state of the art in this young field, giving users the ability to control what's on their computers with hundredth of a millimeter accuracy and introducing touch-free gestures like pinch-to-zoom.
Leap, which comprises both a small USB … Read more
The annular solar eclipse darkened the sun and lit up social networks this evening.
Instead of completely obscuring the sun, the eclipse, which began around 5:30 p.m. PT, created a golden ring around the moon's silhouette, giving millions in the western United States and Southeast Asia front-row seats to a spectacle that hadn't been witnessed in 18 years.
While the eclipse was expected to last about 3.5 hours, the "ring of fire" phenomenon was only expected to last about 4.5 minutes, depending on location. The best viewing, weather permitting, was expected to … Read more
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL--With its engines throttling up to full thrust, the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a commercial cargo ship bound for the International Space Station was aborted at the last instant early Saturday when telemetry showed higher-than-allowable pressure readings in one of the rocket's nine first-stage powerplants.
A post-scrub inspection revealed the problem was caused by a suspect check valve in an engine turbopump. Engineers with rocket-builder Space Exploration Technologies Corp. worked late Saturday to replace the valve and if no other problems crop up, the company hopes to make another launch attempt Tuesday.… Read more
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--In what proponents hail as the dawn of a new era, Space Exploration Technologies is in the final stages of prepping a low-cost Falcon 9 rocket for launch Saturday on a long-awaited mission to boost the company's unmanned Dragon cargo ship on an inaugural flight to the International Space Station.
The solar-powered capsule is the first of a new breed of private-sector spacecraft built for NASA in a commercial venture to deliver critical supplies to the space station in the wake of the shuttle's retirement and, if the company's founder has his way, … Read more
After a stroke, it is often possible -- with months of therapy and determination -- for the brain to relearn how to control a weakened limb. Finding the resources (therapist, finances, time) can be the bigger hurdle.
"Eighty percent of patients do not regain full recovery of arm and hand function and this really limits their independence and ability to return to work," pediatric neuroscience professor Janet Eyre … Read more
Synthetic biology startups have a new friend in Silicon Valley.
Today, Singularity University pulled back the wraps on its new SynBio Startup Launchpad, an accelerator program designed to boost the prospects of entrepreneurs in the blossoming field.
As part of the unveiling of the accelerator program, Singularity University announced the first three companies that are "seeking to apply the rapid-cycle, low-cost approaches employed by tech and biotech startups."
Those companies are Evolutionary Solutions, which is building a genome synthesis device; Modern Meadow, which is using tissue-engineering techniques to generate large amounts of animal protein for textiles and food; … Read more
Robots climbing up your leg -- are you cool with that? Chinese researchers certainly are, arguing they could become electronic pets, or even "mobile" phones.
Presented this week at the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in St. Paul, Minn., Clothbot was developed by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
As seen in the video below, the machine crawls up folds in clothing, slowing making its way up trouser legs or even the back of a shirt. It uses a pair of gripper wheels to create and … Read more
By implanting a 96-electrode sensor the size of a baby aspirin onto the surface of their brains, researchers have enabled two quadriplegic participants to use their thoughts alone to perform tasks with two types of robotic arms.
The BrainGate implant -- and the resulting Jedi mind tricks -- may be sort of anxiety-producing to some. But the smile on the face of the woman who hadn't been able to serve herself coffee in 15 years put a fine point on the progress the technology is affording.
"One of our participants was able to do something that, when all … Read more
A Silicon Valley startup is designing mobile apps that take advantage of the smartphone's camera, accelerometer, and touch screen to help users monitor their health.
Azumio was founded in 2010 with the aim of turning the smartphone into a biofeedback device. Whether it's analyzing heart rate, controlling stress, or tracking sleep patterns, the apps can offer a better picture of a user's health. SmartPlanet gets a demo from Azumio's Jen Grenz.
This video originally appeared on SmartPlanet with the headline "Azumio turns your phone into a biofeedback device."
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