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MM: Device-Controlling Tattoos And A Telescope Filled With Robotic Worms

In this episode, we examine mapping the cosmos with robots and controlling your phone with tattoos.

Controlling Devices With Temporary Tattoos

Recently a group of PhD students from MIT and researchers from Microsoft came up with a temporary tattoo wearable that can turn into a touchpad to remotely control a smartphone or share data using near field communication, or NFC.

According to the MIT Media Lab, DuoSkin is a fabrication process that enables anyone to create customized functional devices that can be attached directly on their skin. Using gold metal leaf, a material that is cheap, skin-friendly and robust for everyday wear, the team demonstrated three types of on-skin interfaces: sensing touch input, displaying output and wireless communication.
DuoSkin draws from the aesthetics found in metallic jewelry-like temporary tattoos to create on-skin devices which resemble jewelry. DuoSkin devices enable users to control their mobile devices, display information and store information on their skin while serving as a statement of personal style.

The team believes that in the future, on-skin electronics will converge towards the user friendliness, extensibility and aesthetics of body decorations, forming a DuoSkin integrated to the extent that it has seemingly disappeared.

With this technology create a new category of the ultimate wearable? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below. 

3D Mapping the Universe with Robotic Worms

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab have received formal approval to move forward with the construction of a telescope designed to measure the light from millions of galaxies.

Dubbed DESI (or the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument), this telescope will have the ability to look 11 billion light years away, which would prove helpful in giving scientists data about the acceleration of our expanding universe.

But what’s most interesting is what’s inside this incredibly intricate instrument.

Simply put, DESI is filled with 5,000 worm-like robots that control the interior fiber-optic cables of the telescope. Each cylindrical robot is only about the width of a finger and 10 inches long. The full robotic array planned for DESI will be segmented in 10 pie wedge-shaped “petals” that each contain 500 robots.

Now, with that the trial run completed, researchers are turning their attention to making their deadline of 2019 when DESI is scheduled to take its first observations.

Do you think robotic worms are the key to discovering the universe’ secrets? Comment below or tweet us your thoughts @MnetNews.

That’s all the time we have for today, but tune in every Tuesday and Thursday for your next Manufacturing Minute.

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