Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center is a legendary and often misunderstood place. Once Xerox's outpost in Silicon Valley, it's now a separate company within Xerox, and it focuses on applied R&D. PARC is where you'll find the beginnings of the personal computer, LAN, voice command, and laser printing. Today its work branches far beyond computing, with a strong emphasis on ethnography, the study of what people do and how they do it.
Kids do the sweetest things. And sometimes, well, it gets them into a little trouble.
Take Doyle Byrnes, a nursing student at Johnson County Community College in Kansas. Or, should I say, former nursing student.
According to the Kansas City Star, Byrnes was due to graduate in May and, perhaps because she was feeling sentimental, she was part of a group that allegedly asked their nursing instructor, Amber Delphia, whether they could pose for a picture with a human placenta.
Oh, is it really so different than the Winkelvoss twins posing with their oars?
Some think it might be. For … Read more
Those fearing the much-talked-about takeover by our future robot overlords need not worry about this teddy bear bot from Fujitsu--unless, of course, it's really a killer automaton disguised as a cute, furry animal. We're pretty sure it's not, though.
Japan-based Fujitsu, which is far better-known for laptops than for fuzzy bear-bots, designed the little guy to provide interaction and comfort to patients at nursing homes, as well as entertainment to much younger crowds.
Japanese researchers have created a robot nurse that can lift elderly patients from wheelchairs and beds. Naturally, it looks like a giant teddy bear.
Riba, short for Robot for Interactive Body Assistance, was developed by the state-run Riken research center. Promoters are calling it the world's first robot to lift people in its arms.
Riba can move patients weighing up to 134 pounds in its foam-padded paws and transfer them from beds to wheelchairs. Its cute face is designed to make the 400-pound robot less imposing. Very kawaii.
Riba can also recognize faces and voices and respond to voice … Read more
If you're involved at all in organizing the home care of a person who's recuperating from an injury or serious illness, is elderly and ailing, or for some other reason requires frequent visits from nurses or therapists, keep an eye on Enurgi, a health-care marketplace that just launched.
You can find caregivers on the site, book them for home care, rate their job performance, and manage their payment via Paypal. The service helps you keep a calendar so you can easily tell who's coming over and when, and quickly fill in gaps you may have in your … Read more
If I hear about one more highly focused social networking site, I'm going to explode. Or failing that, write a blog post. Every day, Webware gets pitched on at least one, and sometimes several, new social nets designed for particular demographics: Barack Obama supporters, lesbians, you name it. The new metasocial network service Ning is leveraging this trend by making it possible for anyone to start a network, just as easily as anyone can now launch their own blog.
People with traditional publishing backgrounds are looking at this trend and thinking that social networks could become the new special-interest … Read more