Today I bring to you the fifth episode of my “What I Learnt The Previous Week" series. The topics below represent a summary of some interesting discoveries I made within the last week which spanned between 14th - 18th of May 2018. I hope you find them interesting.
So, let's get going!
MONDAY: The Smart Walls - A Sensor and Interactive Wall Surface Achieved Through Painting
Man Painting wall . Source: Pixnio - Public Domain
Many are usually decorated with graphics and artworks while some are left as plain as an unused whiteboard. But it was a nice discovery to know that technology could borrow this long walls for something rather innovative and engaging.
So, I was opportune to stumble upon this great technology in the "Reality World" that I'll be sharing with you. It was researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University and the Disney Research team that found out a technology that could help turn those long and rather less used walls to smart walls at a cost as low as $20.
With the application of conductive paints coupled with some electronics, these walls can become more than just a bearer of artworks and also act as a sensor of human touch, gestures and even control some home appliances
Cool, right? I love it already too!
With the increasing developments in ubiquitous computing and IoT, making these walls became an active part of the smart environment wouldn't be far-fetched. These brought about the idea of the Smart walls which uses a sensing approach called Wall++
These walls would be integrated with electrodes which makes it act as a touchpad and an electromagnetic sensor using special coatings termed conductive paints. These electrodes are achieved through the use of special coatings that contain active elements like silver and nickel in them. Using simple tools like Paint rollers, the coating is patterned into different shapes prevalently a cross-hatched pattern to form a Diamond shape which after testing proved to be the most effective electrode pattern.
The electrode enabled wall operates in two modes. First is the Capacitive sensing mode which makes the wall a gesture and touch sensor surface capitalizing on the electrostatic field distortion that follows a touch on the wall. The second mode - the Electromagnetic sensing mode makes the wall to detect appliances through electromagnetic signals achievable in this mode. In this mode too, with integration with IoT, devices location (mostly electrical) can be detected using EM waves.
With more and more discoveries in the IoT world, this technology is continuously being improved. The Capacitive mode enables users to adopt the wall in controlling video games, VR experiences and many more while the EM mode allows for controlling room lighting level, control laundry machines and many more
Fabulous, right? Check out this video to see how it works or read more about the project here
TUESDAY: 3D Printing of Therapeutic Biological Tissues
Surgery Process. Source: Mag Pixel under CC0 Public Domain license.
The latest development, the 3D printing of artificial tissue that could help in transplants and surgeries is another eye-catching innovation that I read about recently
Majorly in the medical department, inadequate availability of surgery materials especially for artificial transplants and surgery remains a worrying issue. With this awesome technology where we can print out biological tissue within minutes directly from our printer would by far aid surgery success and ease the whole process of searching for donor or animals to extract them from.
This technology is based on stereolithography - a light-based process for creating 3D objects through laser beam reflected on a liquid polymer that hardens as the light pass over it. The biological tissue printing is possible through implementation of this technique with a customized 3D printer by a Professor from the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering known as Ali Khademhosseini.
The printer has a microfluidic chip that enabled the printing of different materials. The other key component of this custom-built 3D printer is the digital micromirror. This is an array of independently moving mirrors that help detect and direct light (laser beam) to the printing surface. It also changes the light pattern and indicates the new shape of each layer being printed.
By passing micromolecular polymer gel known as hydrogel into the printer and light is reflected on it, scaffolds, where the tissue can grow on, are being created. The printer was first used for creating simple shapes like pyramids before it was used to mimic blood vessels and muscle tissues which were then implanted into a rat to see how it react to it. The test worked perfectly well without the rat's system rejecting this artificial bio-tissue.
Although it is yet to be tested in humans, the success with a rat which is a commonly used animal for testing such technologies, we can be assured that this would be a success in humans too and might be the tool we need in performing easier and successful transplants.
I am sure you'll want to know more about this project. You can read more on it in the Research Paper here
WEDNESDAY: Ergophobia – Fear of Work
Fear. Source: Pxhere under CC0 Public Domain license
Well, if I were you, I wouldn't conclude yet as it might mean more than that (obviously a motivational talk from a lazy guy).
Though, Ergophobia, also sometimes called Ergasiophobia may have a meaning directly translating to "work Aversion", but still, I will prefer you take a chill pill and not conclude this is the "Lazy Guys" handiwork.
Ergophobia is a social anxiety disorder that isn't just about work aversion but goes as far as making its sufferer avoid seeking employment. They either believe they could be yelled at or build a low reputation for low performance which might create a kind of mental blow to them.
So, it is more than a complex disorder that puts the sufferer in a state that makes him weak both mentally and physically when it comes to performing a task, most times fearing people's reaction or the possibility of getting injured.
Ergophobics thus are, mostly dependent on other people for food and other resources as this mental state makes them financially weak. They also suffer the mental breakdown of being tagged "Lazy" as many of you are already doing!
PS: I am not Ergophobic. In fact, I did work researching and typing this (smiles)
Causes of Ergophobia
The fear of rejection tops the cause of this pitiable disorder. Many people have high ego and are weak mentally when it comes to people's comment on what they do. So, they will rather not participate in a particular work than do and get insulted over unsatisfaction. This overtime makes the person develops a high rate of work aversion due to this fear.
A more complex cause is Schizophrenia which is a societal disorder that makes the person see, think and behave differently at different times. This condition will make the person unfit to perform some work or make him/her avoid working for the fear of being overcome by this disorder at work.
Stress, sleep disorder, and other health issues also make are a possible cause of Ergophobia as it puts the person in an unstable mental state that might be unfit for work.
Symptoms of Ergophobia
The symptoms of this phobia include dizziness or shivering when asked to perform a particular work. Many times, Ergophobics appear normal until it is time for them to perform work. They become weak, sweating and finding every possible way to avoid doing the work
Also, Ergophobics are known to be scared of expressing themselves and stutter a time when trying to present a work they did.
How to get rid of Ergophobia
As we might have realized, this phobia could be very detrimental to the sufferers personal and professional developments as it could lead to demotion or even termination from work if found to be less productive due to this disorder. So, being apt in getting rid of this phobia is important. First, self-mindfulness and trying to socialize is one of the steps such person need to take. This will help reduce anxiety levels and reaction to people's view of his/her personality.
Being a complex situation, seeking medical help from specialists like Psychotherapist, hypnotherapist and other mental health specialist is needed. Counseling sessions and support groups can also help the person get rid of this phobia.
Better still, the person, if capable can start his/her own business so as to avoid being criticized while working for someone or to simply be the owner and not need to work.
I believe you would have a different view about Ergophobics now, don't you?
You can as well read more about Ergophobia here
THURSDAY: Using Bird Senses to Improve Drone Navigation
Drone. Source: Pxhere under CC0 Public Domain license
Researchers and Military are employing it more and more in monitoring and detecting functions and ways to improve it becomes important so as to get improved and more reliable data.
This need made scientists turn to studying birds with great echolocation and great sensitive visual abilities in order to adapt these special features they have to improve Drone navigation especially in dark places and closed spaces.
In achieving this, South American Oilbirds known for extremely sensitive vision and great echolocation abilities are being studied to detect how they do this so as to improvise it in drone technology to improve navigation and its total functionality.
The Oilbirds are members of the Caprimulgiformes order of birds that are mostly found in the rainforest region of South America mostly residing in caves. There are known for being night-active animals with very good echolocation abilities. Echolocation is simply the ability of the bird to emit echoes (usually known as "calls") to their environment and receive back echoes which they are able to translate into the presence of a particular obstacle in their path. It could also be used for hunting preys or avoiding predators as the case may be.
By studying how they do this, the scientist believes it can be simulated into the Drone operation to navigate it through dark and foggy areas. The researchers were able to detect that the oilbirds regulate the volume of the echoes or signal they receive according to the light level of the surrounding they are in. They are quite sensitive and navigate with their very sensitive sight.
These features and many more make them the most suitable for this biomimetic study which is forecasted to be the answer to improving drone navigation and functionality.
You can read more about the study here
FRIDAY: Chimpanzee Performing Midwifery Duties
Bonobo. Source: Pixabayunder CC0 Creative Commons license
Right from time, humans are the only known animal to have this kind of brain to help fellow human to deliver her baby. It has always been seen as one of the features distinguishing humans from other animals. But, I think with more and more research, we might get to debunk many other features of human as being ultimately unique.
It was a team of researchers from the University of Pisa and Lyon observed a female Bonobo helping one of their mate giving birth. Bonobo has been known to be one of the closest human relatives as they are more social than Chimpanzee which also has many human features.
Many other related events have been recorded but this particular even seems more involving with many other females gathering around the mother giving birth thwarting away males and chasing flies from the scene.
This event and many other reported occurrence of this situation were compiled and published in the Evolution and Human Behaviour Journal. There, they suggested that human birth attendance may have evolved in a chimp-bonobo-human pattern with the Chimpanzee probably having lost this trait over time.
The report has many other stated findings that might make us think otherwise about attributing "Birth Attendance" uniquely to Human.
You can read more about this discovery in the published Paper here and read more on the gist here
Thanks for Reading
So, guys! This is the summary of what I learned in the previous week. I hope you learned something.
Special Thanks to @mobbs for starting this movement and also @samminator - my nigga. It gives me joy sharing my discoveries...Till next time!
References for further reading
If you find it interesting, then, more is awaiting you down here. Check out my previous release on this series
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