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Engineering Newswire: Stealing 3D Printed Designs With Sound

This Engineering Newswire looks at developing a guide collar for the blind, creating bionic fingertips for amputees and eavesdropping on 3D printers.

Toyota’s Guide Collar for the Blind

It comes as no surprise that those with limited vision are set to benefit from autonomous cars. However, getting around after exiting the car will still be a challenge. Toyota is working to change this by developing a wearable device for the blind and visually impaired that will provide them with greater independence.

Equipped with cameras that detect the user’s surroundings and communicate information to him or her though speakers and vibration motors, the device can “recognize” common indoor features, such as restroom signs, escalators, stairs, and doors.

Eavesdropping on 3D Printers

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine have demonstrated that they can steal intellectual property by recording and processing sounds emitted by a 3D printer.

The team showed that a device as ordinary as a smartphone can be placed next to a machine and capture acoustic signals that carry information about the precise movements of the printer’s nozzle.

Bionic Fingertip Lets Amputees Feel Textures

A new device developed by researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne could allow amputees to rediscover the sensation of texture.

The device uses a series of sensors to detect undulations in the surface beneath them, converting the physical feel into electric signals. These signals can then be injected into the nerves of a patient.

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