Month: March 2016

Student-Built Exoskeleton Mimics Human Knee

Students from ETH Zurich are developing an exoskeleton for paraplegics that they say more accurately mimics natural knee gait meaning it won’t struggle on uneven terrain. Matthew Stock reports.   Powered exoskeletons can give paraplegics or those with lower-limb weakness the ability to walk again. But they often struggle adapting to uneven terrain or coping with unexpected obstacles. Mechanical engineers from ETH Zurich believe they have the solution. This prototype exoskeleton has one important addition that could make it able to cope with whatever comes its way. PATRICK PFREUNDSCHUH, MECHANICAL ENGINEER: “Here with the Varileg we implemented the mechanical...

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Robot Greets Travelers at Tokyo Airport

If you need to change money while passing through Tokyo’s Narita airport — all you have to do is ask the robot. NAO is a friendly bank clerk that can tell you the rate of exchange for any currency in either English, Japanese, or Chinese. Built by Paris based-Aldebaran Robotics, the sleek red and white machine stands about the height of a bedside table. Gestures, eye movements and mannerisms have all been programmed into NAO in the hopes that humans will take a liking to it. AUSTRIAN TRAVELER, HELFRIED BRUNNER: “It’s very interesting. It looks quite nice, because I...

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Washington’s MedStar Health Shuts Down Computers After Virus

By Jim Finkle and Dustin Volz (Reuters) – MedStar Health, one of the biggest medical providers in the Washington, D.C., area, said on Monday it shut down some computer systems after discovering a computer virus. “Networks temporarily shut down to prevent virus spread,” MedStar, the operator of 10 hospitals in Washington and Maryland, said on Twitter. “We have no evidence of compromised information. All facilities remain open.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was aware of the incident and investigating. Company representatives could not be reached for comment. Computer systems have been down across the MedStar network for...

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Facebook’s Oculus Starts Shipping Rift Virtual Reality Headset

(Reuters) – Virtual reality company Oculus started shipping its highly awaited Rift headsets from Monday, about two years after the company was acquired by social media giant Facebook Inc <FB.O>. The earliest investors in Oculus’s fundraising campaign on crowdfunding website Kickstarter in 2012 started receiving their Rift headsets from Monday. The first of the pre-orders will start shipping from mid-week, Oculus said. ( The company, founded in 2012, launched a campaign on Kickstarter to raise $250,000. A couple of years later, Facebook bought Oculus for about $2 billion. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has said that he saw virtual...

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Microsoft meets with private equity over Yahoo deal

By Sarah McBride Healdsburg, CALIFORNIA (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp <MSFT.O> executives are in early talks with potential Yahoo Inc <YHOO.O> investors about contributing to financing to buy the troubled Internet company, a person familiar with the situation said. The talks are preliminary, the person added, and Microsoft is focused on preserving the relationship between the two companies. Microsoft and Yahoo have longstanding search and advertising agreements. Private equity firms interested in Yahoo approached Microsoft, the person added. Microsoft declined to comment. Yahoo is auctioning its core Internet business, which includes search, mail and news sites. The faded Internet pioneer...

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