A Dozen Indian Children Poised to Receive 3D BioPrinted Ears

Done is the time of creating 3D BioPrinted Implants for study. The team of Professor Alex Selfalian of the University College of London is poised to make the first ear transplant to be performed on a dozen children in India within the next few months.

3D Bioprinted ears

The team of Professor Alex Selfalian has been working tirelessly the past few months to create a replica of the patient’s ears. Replicas were made with the help of 3D printing and scanning technology. This actual clinical study will benefit people suffering from a condition known as microtia. Microtia is an inborn defect of the outer ear where it fails to develop fully. Even though there are already ways to treat the deformity with the use of the patient’s rib cartilage in making outer ears—there still remains much to be desired from the procedure.

The procedure of transplanting the 3D BioPrinted Ears is anticipated to work this way: with the help of a 3D scanner, the patient’s normal ear is replicated and made into a 3D printed model. Out of a plastic-like, porous and spongy material the ears are 3D printed. This material acts as a scaffold for the patient’s skin to attach to. Then the 3D printed ear is attached underneath the forearm skin of the patient for four to eight weeks. Within this time, it is expected that the skin and necessary blood vessels of the forearm grows around the scaffold. The ear is then removed from the forearm and attached to the head of the patient. This procedure has already been tested on rats successfully and is hoped that the trials on humans will have a successful outcome as well.

Robotic Space Technology: A Key Element To The Success Of Space Exploration In The Future

Robotic space technology is an integral part in NASA’s shuttle program. In fact, the space shuttle program uses various robotic arms to help it on its mission while in deep space.  Currently, NASA use space exploration robots that are mainly robotic arms to do heavy lifting as well as aid astronauts during space walks. Robotic arms may look very simple but they can  perform many functions thus making them a crucial part of the success of every space launch of NASA.

NASA
Vision for Space Exploration

According to robotics specialist Brian Roberts, he noted that robotics space technology is very important and the mission could have failed without it. He also added that maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope will be highly improbable without the help of robots in space. With NASA’s central focus on developing space robots, the agency is also creating a new breed of space exploration robots.  Aside from creating robots that can perform mundane tasks like building space stations and fixing damages, the institution is also venturing into the idea of making robotic probes that will be sent to different  asteroids and planets to get materials and send the samples back to the scientists on Earth.  Currently, NASA is eyeing the idea of sending robotic probes to the red planet – Mars.

The best thing about utilizing space exploration robots is that they can do so much more than astronauts. They can also sustain in a particular environment for a long time as long as they have enough energy. They also have no need for any life support such as Oxygen or water thus they can carry their tasks efficiently. The thing is that robotic space technology will be the mainstream in deep space exploration in the future and it will not be long when we will see many technical advancements in this particular technology.

The Makers Movement and Its Impact To Society

The highlight of the makers movement is the launch of the yearly Maker Faire that attracts thousands of visitors. The maker movement education started as a movement and outgrowth of the digital culture and its fusion with other crafting trends. The new tools and technology make it possible for people to fuse both physical and digital worlds.

Impact of Maker Movement

The impact of the makers movement is very promising considering that the entire makers community helps each other. The availability of software online makes it easy for people to create, develop, improve as well as share electronic blueprints. It is also important to take note that those who are involved with the maker movement can also interact with each other online thus making hobbyists all over the world more engaged in creating innovative inventions.

The makers movement has a wide impact in many schools all over the United States. There are now many people who are discovering the use of 3D printers and other technology involved in the maker movement education.  Aside from being popular in schools, there are also many big firms that are courting the maker movement because this particular movement is more relevant to the common people. Big firms can also get scoop on which technologies are relevant and useful to consumers than hiring researchers to create interesting products that they can launch.  In fact, there are many big firms that were seen sponsoring the latest Maker Faire in New York City in September this year. These companies include HP, Autodesk and Cognizant.

The makers movement is a very exciting trend in the future and with the many people becoming interested in the maker movement education, it is no wonder why there are more companies that are eyeing to join the bandwagon because of its many things that it can bring not only to giant corporations but also society.

3D Printed Model Of A Face Can Spark 3D Revolution In Constructive Surgery

3D printed model are not only used to create industrial prototypes but their potential is also seen in medical technology. In fact, the world was surprised when news of a man from Wales have his face reconstructed after his face was damaged due to motorbike accident using 3D technology.

3D Revolution In Constructive Surgery

The creation of a  3D printed model of a face  led to the improvement as well as regulation of technology in the medical industry. The patient, Stephen Power, underwent the combination of both 3D printing and CT scanning technology so that the doctors can manipulate the geometry of the patient’s face.  In the case of Stephen Power, he  broke his cheekbones, jaw and nose. He also has a fracture in his skull. After several months, the doctor created a 3D printed model of his face using the CT scan thus they were able to create implants to rebuild his facial features.

With the success of his operation, this can mean that more 3D printed models for face reconstruction will be created in the future. The best thing about this technology is that the patent does not limit on one company thus other patients can also benefit from this technology. Another benefit of this technology is that it is low cost thus it can provide a lot of patients who need facial reconstructive surgery with the implants that they need.

In the future, we are more likely to see 3D printed models of body parts that will be incorporated in surgery. Although this may be the case, it is important for the medical researchers to test the compatibility of any 3D printed model implants to the body to ensure that it will work properly. If all obstacles and hurdles will be addressed, it is possible to see this technology incorporated in medicine in the near future.

NASA Creates Exoskeleton To Improve Mobility Of Astronauts In Space

Space exploration robots are not only created in order to explore uncharted territories in outer space. In fact, they also function in helping astronauts to become more efficient while they are in a zero-gravity environment. The NASA X1 robotic exoskeleton is designed to help astronauts move as well as stay healthy in space. However, NASA also noted that this robotic space technology may also be useful among paraplegics on Earth.

Created by the joint efforts of NASA and the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, the exoskeleton is a 57-pound robot  that humans can easily wear to assist or inhibit leg movements. When the inhibit mode is activated, this can be used by astronauts to train themselves move in a zero-gravity environment with more efficiency.  When worn over the legs, the X1 reaches up the back as well as around the shoulders. It also provides 10 degrees of freedom  and the motorized joints make it easy to control the movement of the wearer.

exoskeleton X1

Although space exploration robots such as the exoskeleton X1 is still in its infancy stage, many experts in space exploration believe that robotic space technology will play a critical role in exploring deep space. Aside from improving the mobility, astronauts may also use the exoskeleton X1 to improve their strength thus making it easier for astronauts to push or pull things away while working in space. It is  also important to take note that robotic space technology can have spinoffs that are also useful here on Earth. Just like the exoskeleton X1, it is not only geared for astronauts but also for paraplegics who need help in improving their mobility.

Space exploration robots are very promising and this is the reason why NASA is continuously developing novel ideas to improve the use of robots in outer space and also to ease the lives of astronauts working in deep space.

Tech Trends Popular Under Makers Movement

The fifth annual World Maker Faire held at the New York Hall of Science during the last week of September  highlighted the different kinds of trends under the makers movement education. If you are one of the many enthusiasts for the makers movement, it is important that you know the latest trends that were highlighted for this year’s annual meet.

World Maker Faire

Drones

Drones are very popular this year at the maker movement. They are also becoming more affordable  due to the makers movement. During the Maker Faire, there are many companies that cater to people who love to build their own drones. They also provide recreational activities like racing and drone battles.

3D Printers

3D printers are still on the rave for this year’s makers movement. During the Maker Faire, there are many artists who have incorporated 3D printing in their nature of work. There were also exhibits that features living replica of art masterpieces  from the past.

Arduino

Arduino is an electronics platform to help users design different machines that will fit the purpose of the inventor making different types of robotic machines.  Arduino uses an open-sourced platform to control the board thus making it a perfect tool for DIY enthusiasts and follower of the maker movement education.

Wearable Technology

Wearable technologies like fitness trackers are also popular trends in the Maker Faire. The creation of functional wearable technology is a trend today and it is  not only popular among followers of the maker movement but also among fashion-savvy individuals.

Interactive Music

Interactive music is also a  popular trend in the maker movement. There are many innovators and musicians who have created their own instruments from ordinary objects that are integrated with technology. This trend makes music making very interesting.

The makers movement continues to test the followers of this movement to push themselves to create more innovative yet useful objects. In the next Maker Faire, it is expected that we will see more trends in this technology.

Cheap 3D Printing Can Print Metals And Is Also Open Source

Conventional cheap 3D printing devices can print using plastic but some 3D printers in the future can print metals. Recently, 3D printing is no longer limited to printing plastics. Recently, 3D printers are now used to create metal 3D printed models.

While metal 3D printers exist, it is important to take note that they cost half a million dollars but with the innovation done by scientists, they have created an open-source cheap 3D printing machine that ejects metal for under $1,200.

Metal 3D printers

According to Joshua Pearce from the Michigan Technological University and also one of the proponents of the 3D metal printers, open sourcing the plans can accelerate the development of technology by encouraging others to help build the design.

To print the metal 3D printed models, this particular 3D printer used a metal inert gas welder to lay the layers of steel just like what plastic printers do. This particular 3D printers has a lot of potentials and it can be used to make replacement parts of any metal structures from bicycles to medical tools. The production of these things using the 3D printer can help reduce the cost of buying the parts and equipments. Pearce also added that this can help small start up companies that make specialty metal parts successful.

However, there are doubts about the usefulness of this 3D printer. Many critics believe that some people can make 3D printed models of actual guns and other weapons by using the available standard designs.  This is plausible but Pearce mentioned that while it is possible that this technology will be abused, its positive potential is still greater than what others fear it can do.

The thing is that cheap 3D printing machines are now available and they do not only make plastic models but also metals which can be beneficial to society as a whole.

3D Selfie Now Possible With 3D Printing

Dan Bilzerian with his figurine
My3Dna

These days, people are looking for technology that will allow them to make photorealistic models of everything including small-scale figurines of themselves. Perhaps a few decades ago this is not possible but thanks to the 3D printing technology, getting your very own figurine with your image and likeness captured is possible.

The brain behind this idea is the My3Dna which plans to bring this technology to all major cities in the United States. Armed with a portable studio, an advance photo camera and a reliable printer, the My3Dna US Tour plans to visit cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Chicago, Houston, Seattle and Florida to name a few.

People who plans to have their own miniature scale models can choose from an array of sizes from 1/10 scale to ¼ scale with prices of the scale models which vary from $350 to $1,000. Aside from getting a scale model of yourself, you can also get the opportunity of having your scale model sent on board a space shuttle to fly to the stratosphere and the whole thing will be documented in HD camera. It’s like having your very own representative go to outer space to have a unique space selfie.

The team behind the My3Dna has been working hard for the last couple of years to develop the unique technology of making scale models. While it takes  a few weeks for conventional technology to create a scale model, the company has a rate of 20 hours per scale model. Moreover, the company was also able to  face all major hurdles in establishing this particular business and the only hurdle that they are facing is how to execute the US tour properly. Nevertheless, the US tour planned by the My3Dna can really change the way people think about 3D printing technology as something that is fun  and exciting.

 

Robotic Space technology: Repairs Another Robot In Outer Space

Robotic space technology is supposed to be young and many researchers are finding ways on how to make robots more independent thus not relying too much on ground control when making important decisions as well as repairing itself. However, the most groundbreaking thing has ever happened in robotic space history.

Recently, one of the space exploration robots from NASA completed a repair of another robot in space. Mathieu Caron from the Canadian Space Agency cannot contain his excitement over the news. He noted that this capability illustrates how useful robots are  in both manned and unmanned missions not only in outer space but also in dangerous locations in the planet.

There are many space exploration robots in the International Space Station but the robots in question are called CanadarmII and Dextre. CanadarmII is a 56-foot long robotic arm  that helps build the space station while in space. It is also used to move supplies and also grab hold of cargo ships to anchor them securely near the space station. Dextre, on the other hand, is a Canadian robot that is 12 feet tall and a 30-foot wing span. It functions by reaching into cargo ships to unload the supplies.

For the past two weeks, the camera on Canadarm was not functioning properly. Instead of the astronauts going to Canadarm to fix the problem, Dextre was controlled by  the team of engineers located in Houston and Montreal. They instructed Dextre to replace the malfunctioning camera on Canadarm.

Canadarm

This was the first time in robotics space history that a robotics system was able to fix other robots. This proves that space exploration robots can be directed by the ground control on what they need to do in order to get the job done properly. This breakthrough is very important because it frees up the astronauts from the dangers of working too much outside.

First Humanoid Robotic Space Robot In Space Finally Woke Up

NASA is very active in developing humanoid robots for space exploration. In the recent space exploration conducted by NASA, they included a humanoid robot in its flight to be tested first time in outer space. Called Robonaut, this humanoid robot is one of the many space exploration robots that the agency is currently developing. This robot measures 3 feet and 4 inches tall and it weighs about 330 pounds. In order to function properly, it has arms that are two feet and 8 inches long.

robonaut

Robonaut was first delivered to the International Space Station in February this year and since its delivery, it remained in a sleep state. It was delivered by the space shuttle Discovery on its final flight. It was only finally this August that it finally awakened. However, the robot is yet to be commanded to move. For now, it remains in active mode while observing the environment using the many sensors that are embedded in its body.

Robotic space technology is hype in NASA. The researchers in this agency are creating space exploration robots as possible helpers to astronauts. Instead of the astronauts doing mundane tasks like repair of the space station, robots will be tasked to these things.

The reason why the robot was only awakened now because it took long for the operating software to get delivered to the space station. But since the robot is now activated, this robotic space technology can prove that robots will be handy in such harsh environments.

The robot did not remain stagnant for a long time. On September 1st, the ground controllers commanded Robonaut to move its fingers, hands as well as arms. The astronauts will also help the robot acclimatize to this zerogravity environment. With the success of this particular robotic space technology, Robonaut will be able to set the standard on how space exploration robots should operate in outer space.