Archive for Sensors

Exoplanet Mesh: Scratching The Surface

Launched just this past March, the Kepler Telescope is already producing useful results:

NASA scientists who put the telescope through a 10-day test after its March 6 launch said this week that Kepler is working well. Its ability to detect minute changes in light has enabled scientists to determine that a planet orbiting a distant star has an atmosphere, shows only one side to its sun and is so hot it glows.

Kepler’s ability to take measurements that precise at such a great distance “proves we can find Earth-size planets,” William Borucki, Kepler’s principal science investigator told reporters at a recent briefing.

The powerful scope is looking at thousands of stars in its vision field in the Milky Way on a 3½-year mission to find planets the size of Earth and to determine how common these planets are.

For folks interested the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, Kepler helps put some things into context – mainly that we’re just scratching the surface since the Kepler Mission is only looking at a 100,000 stars. Click the image below to see just how small a slice of the Milky Way(let alone the universe) this is)

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Reach Out and Make Things Happen

With Phidgets it’s getting cheaper and easier to touch the meshverse. There are a bunch of interesting and just plain crazy projects linked to from the Phidgets site. I mean were you thinking about Tetris Weightlifting?

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This is the kind of Home Brew Computer Club stuff that spawned the PC revolution. See also Wikipedia and reactable.

(via Craig Latta via the Squeak developers list)

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Mississippi River Bridge Collapse

Coleman said Gov. Tim Pawlenty had told him the 40-year-old bridge was inspected and “given a clean bill of health” three years ago.

6 dead as Mississippi River bridge falls amid rush hour in Minneapolis – CNN.com

Based on the photos just coming in, there will be many more than 6 fatalities before this is over. Even if nobody died, one wonders whether more frequent inspections and some type of active sensor network would cost more than the repairs and forthcoming traffic diversion. See Aging Infrastructure Mesh.

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Snake-like Circuits

Elastic circuits that stretch to more than twice their lengths could lead to new devices that can bend with a person’s body — inside and out.

Discovery Channel :: News – Technology :: Stretchy Circuits Extend Like Serpents

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Tiny Sensors: Getting Beyond The Wii Remote

The Wii Remote is very cool and hacking it to interface with other applications is a quick and often effective path. However, augmented reality solution requirements often don’t mesh well with the game oriented Wii Remote design. Fortunately,  there’s no need to limit one’s imagination since there are very small sensor systems available such as the Tiny Digital Compasses and w2o and the WiTilt I found via Sonic Residues.

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