Robotic needles bust cranial blood clots, could make brain surgery less invasive

Rachel Martin Contributor, TechHive

Rachel is a recent MIT graduate with a bachelor's in materials science and engineering. She likes 3D printing, solar cells, and maybe 3D printing solar cells, as well as videos of cats being confused by Roombas.
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As a two-time laparoscopic surgery patient, let me tell you: It’s not the best thing in the world, but it’s a lot better than old open-torso surgery, and improving all the time as imaging techniques, robotics, and doctors get used to the practice. Now, a breakthrough from Vanderbilt University may carry the principles of laparoscopy to a previously intractable part of the body: the brain.

Cranial blood clots, or intracerebral hemorrhages, typically have a 40 percent mortality rate, often due to how hard it is to get to them and the delicacy of their location. Survivors can often suffer brain damage due to the buildup of pressure inside the skull, which can only be alleviated by “debulking” the clots that prevent blood from draining from the brain.

That procedure has historically been ferociously difficult, but the Vanderbilt University team of engineers and physicians, headed by Professor Robert Webster III and Dr. Kyle Weaver, has a solution in the form of a steerable robotic needle guided by CT scanning technology.

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This is real: A Kickstarter project for a pi-shaped pie pan

Nick Mediati Associate Editor, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Nick covers gadgets, DIY, geek culture, and future tech for TechHive. He likes puns and the color yellow.
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Back in 2012, our James Mulroy showed how you could make a pi-shaped pie for your Pi Day festivities. Making the pie may have been the easy part; making the pi-shaped baking pan required manually cutting and reshaping foil loaf pans is tedious stuff. Kickstarter user Pinojo wants to save you some time with his Pi Pans.

The Pi Pan, as you probably guessed, is a pi-shaped pie pan. Yes. It's the product of three years' worth of design and prototyping work, and you could soon own one for yourself. Pinojo has already met his $2000 pledge goal on Kickstarter, but with 27 days to go and plenty of perks left, you can still get behind this project. Pledging at the $15 level gets you one of the first Pi Pans when they ship this December, ensuring that you'll have the best Pi Day celebration around come 2014.

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Renting an ArduSat space satellite might be cheaper than your vacation rental car

Kevin Lee Contributor, TechHive

Kevin is a small-time tech hound, amateur photographer, and a general know-at-least-something of all things geeky hailing from New York.
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Nobody said that NASA, the ESA, or the Russia's Roscosmos should have all the fun when it comes to experimenting in space. On Friday, the International Space Station should receive its first batch of open-source satellites called ArduSats.

Later next week, the ISS use its robotic arm  to launch the ArduSats into orbit around Earth as if they were tiny Star Trek torpedoes. At some point in the near future, Kickstarter backers of project will get their time slots to run experiments using the satellite fleet. There’s also a chance that extra time slots will be rented out to regular folks like you and me.

NanoSatisfi
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Shark, attacked: Tracker robot hunts sharks to understand their behavior

Elizabeth Fish Contributor, TechHive

Elizabeth Fish is a freelance writer who happens to run a hyperlocal news website in Lincoln, UK. She also covers all things geeky for TechHive.
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"When the hunter becomes the hunted" is a phrase you could use to describe a new underwater robot designed to track sharks.

Based on Ocean Server's IVER2, this "sharkbot" by Dr Chris Lowe from CSU Long Beach's Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics (LAIR) and engineer Chris Clark from Harvey Mudd College helps researchers get close enough to sharks to monitor them without upsetting their typical routine. The robot finds the shark and uses its tracking ability to make sure it's always 300-500 meters behind the animal. The scary hunter of the sea never knows a thing.

In the future, scientists will use the robot to track the likes of great white sharks to learn more about the big fish.  Sharks are natural predators, and while they don't see humans as their typical prey, biologists are keen to learn about shark behavior, and anything else that makes them tick.

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Yogy the robot puts the power of Arduino in the hands of kids

Jacob Siegal Contributor, TechHive

Jacob Siegal spends a vast majority of his time surrounded with and invested in technology and media, so he decided he may as well start writing about it. You can find more of his writing at Game Rant and his topical tweets @JacobSiegal.


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Yogy, an Arduino-based obstacle avoidance robot from Instructables user Jaidyn Edwards (chickenparmi) might look like an empty yogurt container with eyes...but that’s only because it is.

We’ve featured plenty of Arduino projects in the past, but this is one of the first made specifically as a toy for kids. Yogy is designed to be easier to construct than similar kits found elsewhere, and it could be a great first project for a child and their parents to work on together.

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AquaTop display makes waves and turns your bathtub into a touchscreen

Rachel Martin Contributor, TechHive

Rachel is a recent MIT graduate with a bachelor's in materials science and engineering. She likes 3D printing, solar cells, and maybe 3D printing solar cells, as well as videos of cats being confused by Roombas.
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Waterproofing your iPhone so you can check your email in the shower might be cool chemistry, but it’s old hat by now. Transforming your entire bathtub into a touchscreen, on the other hand, well, that's another matter entirely.

A Kinect sensor, a projector, and some bath salts (to make the liquid opaque) is all the AquaTop display system needs to turn any tub of water into a virtual screen surface. The Tokyo-based research team at the University of Electro-Communications’ Koike Laboratory points out that typical touchscreens, being disappointingly solid, limit the ways in which a person can interact with a virtual object.

Haptic feedback technology can approximate physical interaction, but there’s nothing like being able to scoop up an “object” and dump it somewhere else, like you can with the AquaTop. The AquaTop display concept makes use of the properties of a liquid medium with a whole new vocabulary of gestures, as shown off in a demo video from the research team.

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Emerging Objects has big, bold plans for 3D-printed rooms

Kevin Lee Contributor, TechHive

Kevin is a small-time tech hound, amateur photographer, and a general know-at-least-something of all things geeky hailing from New York.
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I sat on a 3D-printed bench.

"Durability" and "strength" are about the last words I would ever associate with 3D printing. But I'm not talking about the small, plastic trinkets you would print out with your MakerBot. This is Emerging Objects, a small fabrication studio in Oakland, CA that’s researching how to 3D-print using materials like wood, ceramic, newspaper, concrete, and salt.

Some 3D-printed art pieces made from newspaper, salt, and maple wood.
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