Spectrum: Smarter Prosthetics and a Battery Safe Enough to Eat

Plus, check out Google's Talking Shoes that could inspire you to burn calories and creating fuel pucks from easy-to-find materials.

by / July 3, 2013

Electronics You Can Eat

Two Carnegie Mellon University researchers teamed up to develop edible electronics. The pill-sized devices are biodegradable and activate when wet. Specific applications haven’t been developed yet, but they could be used for tasks like stimulating damaged tissue or monitoring gastric health, the researchers say. The edible creations are powered by sodium-ion batteries, which can be made cheaply and are less invasive than implanted devices. 

Fuel Pucks

Add five parts shredded paper, one part sawdust and 10 parts water, mix in a huge container, press really hard and voila: You’ve created fuel pucks or fuel bricks! This is exactly what U.S. airmen in the 440th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron are doing in Afghanistan to help local orphanages that need fuel to cook and stay warm. In a four-month period, volunteers made more than 1,600 pucks and 700 bricks. The pucks burn for up to 20 minutes and the bricks for 40 minutes. Source: U.S. Air Force

Smarter Prosthetics

A British firm has married prosthetic limbs with smartphone technology — the result is called i-limb ultra revolution, reportedly the first prosthetic limb that can be controlled by an iPhone application. Users may control the limb using their own muscle signals or access 24 preprogrammed grip patterns with an iPhone app called “biosim,” according to Touch Bionics, the manufacturer.

The+Google%2FAdidas+Talking+ShoeTalking Shoe

Meet Google’s talking shoes, a.k.a. your future personal cheerleader or drill sergeant. If you played a great game, but don’t have someone to pat your back, the Talking Shoes will compliment you. On the other hand, if you’ve been inactive for a while, the retrofitted Adidas with a tiny built-in computer, an accelerometer, a pressure sensor, a gyroscope, speaker and Bluetooth, will chastise you. Source: ABC News

Karen Stewartson

Karen Stewartson served as the managing editor of Government Technology for many years. She also contributed to Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.

Platforms & Programs