December 18th, 2003


[/.] Boomer Dev Watch

Disco! Disco!!In order to achieve stable motion control for conventional humanoid robots, either one or both feet needed to be touching the floor and, from the opposing force produced by the contact with either of the feet, motion such as walking was controlled. This is the control theory based on the so called ZMP (Zero Moment Point) stable range and forms the foundation of robot motion control.

The new 'walking, jumping, running movement control' technology which Sony has developed this time accomplishes motion involving both feet losing contact with the floor at the same time, which means it is a motion control technology enabling stable running and jumping. The seamless addition of motion control based on this new technology enabling running and jumping, has lead to the development of a robot having outstanding motion capabilities. (Japanese)

The robot helicopter will protect you from THE TERRIBLE SECRET OF SPACE.A new robot 'brain', based in part on the workings of the human inner ear, has enabled the production of the world's first small robotic helicopter that can see and think for itself, say Australian researchers.

The 'brain' and helicopter - called "Mantis" - was announced this week by CSIRO Complex Systems Integration.

Autonomous helicopter flight is characterised by helicopters that can fly without a human pilot or guidance from a remote-controlled device. Although many teams worldwide have been working on so-called vertical take-off, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the CSIRO helicopter is the first to fly completely independent of expensive global positioning systems (GPS) guidance. Instead it uses its brain to control its balance and orientation.

(Gotta love the headline on that second one: "New-generation autonomous helicopter to create new era of human safety" Submit to the safety controls of the robot helicopter, citizen!! ;])

It appears that I'm posting about three Boomer Dev Watch posts for each Hardsuit Dev Watch post. Megatokyo is in big trouble, indeed...

St. Louis U scientists genetically alter cold virus to attack cancer cells.

( no cure for Legolas/Haldir slash fics.(/

Can the common cold ever be a good thing? It is if you've figured out a way to genetically engineer the virus so that it fights and kills cancerous cells - while leaving healthy cells intact. That's been the work of Dr. William Wold and his colleagues at Saint Louis University school of Medicine for the last 30 years. "The potential is understandably huge," said Wold, whose work has just received a U.S. patent after years of study.

Dr. Wold, chair of the department of molecular microbiology and immunology, and his colleagues Karoly Toth, Konstantin Doronin, Ann E. Tollefson, and Mohan Kuppuswamy have found a way to convert the relatively benign "adenovirus" that causes the common cold into an anti-cancer drug that attacks and destroys cancerous cells.

"Human cancer is currently treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy, depending on the cancer type," Wold said. "These treatments can be highly successful, but new therapies are required, especially for tumors that have become resistant to chemo- or radiation-therapy."

Wold's group has developed several new "adenovirus cancer gene therapy vectors," changing these genes so the virus will attack cancer cells.

"Some of our vectors are designed to destroy many different types of cancers, others are designed to be specific to colon or lung cancer. In preclinical testing these vectors were highly effective against cancerous tumors and did not harm normal tissues."

Wold and his colleagues have done this by modifying one gene so that the virus can grow in cancer cells but NOT normal cells and by boosting the activity of another gene that the virus normally uses to disrupt the cells it has infected. "When the virus infects cells, it takes the altered genes with it, and those genes attack cancer cells while leaving normal cells intact," Wold explained.

MrCranky on LOTR: ROTK

I spent the last 40 minutes of this thing wondering when in the hell it was going to stop. It fades to black more times than Ozzy Osbourne taking an I.Q. test.

Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) start slowly hoofing it up Mt. Doom while Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and the other members of the Fellowship battle the evil Orcs. It's almost as if the hike takes place in real time. It made me think that Mt. Doom badly needs a gondola.

And is it just me or is there enough man-love in this film to make a Promise Keeper weep? Merry (Dominic Monaghan) loves Pippin (Billy Boyd), Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) loves Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and of course, Sam loves Frodo. It's pretty certain that once this whole battle for Middle Earth is over, there are going to be more than a few members of the Fellowship in therapy trying to straighten out their sexuality.