The Army recently handed Case Western Reserve University and Waltham, MA’s Infoscitex Corp. a joint contract to start investigating a “Microfabricated Biomimetic Artificial Gill System… based on the subdividing regions of clef, filament, and lamellae found in natural fish gills.” In the first phase of the program, “gas exchange units will be designed and demonstrated for rapid, efficient extract of oxygen from surrounding water.”
“An advanced breathing apparatus that mimics the efficiency, simplicity, and durability of the gill-swim bladder found in fish could greatly improve human maneuverability and sustainability in both aquatic and high altitude settings,” the contract announcement reminds us. Sure could.
Maybe the army should search the net before spending our tax dollars inventing something that already exists. Apparently, it isn't even terribly complicated. "Alan Izhar-Bodner, an Israeli inventor, has developed a way for divers to breathe underwater without cumbersome oxygen tanks. His apparatus makes use of the air that is dissolved in water, just like fish do. The system uses the "Henry Law" which states that the amount of gas that can be dissolved in a liquid is proportional to the pressure on the liquid. Raise the pressure - more gas can be dissolved in the liquid. Decrease the pressure - gas dissolved in the liquid releases the gas. This is exactly what happens when you open a can of soda; carbon dioxide gas is dissolved in the liquid and is under pressure in the can. Open the can, releasing the pressure, and the gas fizzes out."
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
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The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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