Wearable Bionic Exosuits Are the Next Step in Wearable Technologies

Wearable Bionic Exosuits Are the Next Step in Wearable Technologies

Do you remember the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, when the first kick was delivered by a man in an elaborate exoskeleton suit? This man was Juliano Pinto – a fully paralyzed person. Remarkably, but that exoskeleton suit enabled him to kick a soccer ball with his foot using – only his thoughts!

The progress hasn’t been frozen since the World Cup. Many companies have actively started developing these technologies and today we can see the first results of their hard work.

Wearable robotics are a logical extension of the modern wearable technologies, namely smartwatches, smart clothing, and many others. Noteworthy, the popularization of many wearable devices made it possible to reduce size of the computers, so that people could comfortably wear them on their bodies.

Dmitry Grishin, an entrepreneur and investor who serves as chief executive of Mail.ru Group and founder of Grishin Robotics, says that the revolution in technology and smartphones made many components – cameras, sensors, batteries, processors and others – incredible cheap. This factor boosted development of the modern exoskeletons.

According to recent market research by WinterGreen Research, the market for rehabilitation robots, active prostheses and exoskeletons is already worth $43 million with projected reach of $1.8 billion by 2020.

However, most people think of exosuits as standalone military machines that give superhuman abilities to anyone who wear it. For instance, Iron Man is the most obvious example of a person wearing exosuit.

However, coming back to reality, the United States Department of Defense works on the innovative project Tactical Light Operator Suit (TALOS) that aims to develop a soft, low-powered exosuit that will augment the physical capabilities of soldiers. This suit will allow the soldiers carry 100-plus pounds of equipment or 17 times more weight than a regular soldier without risking the joint and back injuries. These technologies will exceed the physical abilities of all troops.

TALOS project is a collaborative work involving 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities, and 10 national laboratories. Below you can watch a video describing TALOS project.

Albeit, this statement (exosuits are the standalone military machines) is a half-truth, application of this technology is not limited to the only military.

Many companies like Panasonic, Kene Wearable Bionics or Cyberdyne strive to develop wearable robotic suits that will help people move again, or reduce strain on workers who are involved in physical labour for prolonged hours.

For instance, Cyberdyne created the Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) – the world’s first cyborg-type robot that enables person move again or reduce common strain on joints and back.

When a person wants to move a leg or an arm, then the brain sends signals through the spinal cord and the nerves that surround it. So, when the person is paralyzed, these spinal nerve structures are damaged, and the signals are too weak to reach the leg or the arm.

HAL functions by picking up these weakened brain signals through sensors that are attached to a person’s skin.

HAL could be applied to many fields such as welfare, medical, industrial or disaster sites. You can watch a video below describing HAL at work.

Another applicability of wearable robotic suits could be in the industrial sector. Panasonic is one of the companies that aim to integrate exosuits into every aspect of our lives.

In their video, they highlighted two exosuits – the Assist Suit and the Power Loader—that according to their vision would improve productivity and change the entire industry. You can watch their video below and share if you’d like to.

Apparently, such technology encounters lots of challenges. For instance, the first generation of the HAL suit weighed around 30 kilograms and required two persons to set up the suit while the last generation weighs only 10 kilos.

You may have guessed that weight and mobility of the exosuits are the crucial factors to consider because they’re supposed to give you wings to ease your strain on joints.

However, in order to make the exosuits lighter, the engineers should first reduce a size of the suit’s parts.

The biggest challenge in reducing size and weight of the parts is the battery life. Analogically to all modern devices, the battery is the biggest headache for all engineers because it can only last for a couple of hours.

Therefore, the engineers should find a way to invent a limitless power source, or, at least, a miniature battery that will last for a prolonged time.

Even though we’re far away from seeing the Iron Man suits on the streets – we should consider this fact that wearable robotics are the fast growing industry that’s already finding its use in medicine, manufacturing and the military.

Why MYLE Personal Assistant (PA) is Perfect for You

Why MYLE Personal Assistant (PA) is Perfect for You

First off, try to imagine an invisible personal assistant, ever so helpful Ms. or Mr. Jones hovering above your shoulder, always ready to record your notes, orders or thoughts. You would only be required to do nothing for that, except talking. And that’s how your MYLE user interface pretty much operates.

And MYLE will do what your reliable personal assistant would.

Like helping you manage your time by adding entries to your calendar and later sending timely alerts and reminders to your phone or computer.
Tap once on the MYLE device and say “Reminder, finish and send presentation to Nicole by 4pm next Tuesday”. MYLE will catch the deadline and will remind you as the specified date gets nearer.

Another interesting feature that MYLE can help you master is to keep track of the time you spend on your activities, be it a job or your life. By showing you how effectively you spend your day MYLE will free you more spare time. It will also analyze your activities – using some very complex cloud-based mathematical algorithms of its analytical engine – to provide tips on how to make your day more productive and less stressful.

Unlike a human assistant, MYLE is ready to serve you 24/7. Its size and understated design will make it look appropriate on all sorts of garments, and it’s always within an instant reach. To activate it one only needs to tap it with a finger and say the note or a command.

Unlike other solutions on the market, where users always share their personal data with the provider, MYLE takes totally different approach to handling your personal information. Here users are sole owners of all their data.

With all that MYLE enables you to organize your daily routines in the most efficient and least stressful manner. Leave those tedious distractions behind and focus on something that’s truly valuable.

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) Are Making Our Lives Simpler

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) Are Making Our Lives Simpler

Back in the 1990s the IT world came with an idea of the personal digital assistants (PDAs). At that time this concept start quickly becoming popular because most of the PDAs combined many features of cell phones, and they were also called “the first smartphones,” yet PDAs were handy at managing personal and business lives.

IBM was the first company to introduce the world’s first PDA with full cell phone functionality. They called their innovation the IBM Simon, which is also considered the first smartphone. Simon featured many applications such as calendar, appointment scheduler, world time clock, notepad and other apps that aimed to keep users’ lives organized.

Then in 1996, the mobile giant Nokia, produced the world’s best-selling PDA, the 9000 Communicator, with full cell phone functionality. Later the same year, Palm Computing presented the first generation of their PDAs, which were a great solution for someone who wanted to keep organized their busy lives.

Fifteen years later, Apple launched the Siri personal assistant, which made impossible things real. It allowed people speak their search queries into a phone, and Siri would understand and perform their queries for them. IPhone users started to feel some sort of emotional attachment to their devices.

After this enormous success, Apple’s main rival – Google – launched the Google Now feature in 2012, and then Microsoft developed Cortana personal assistant. In 2015, Facebook launched M assistant. So in spring 2016, MYLE will reveal its first intelligent personal assistant, which has an ability to outpace any other solutions on the market.

Many companies are interested in the PDAs market, and as according to recent research, nearly 39% of smartphone owners use some sort of PDAs such as Google Now or Siri. This trend will be rising over the next five years.

Most of the PDAs are in favour for many entrepreneurs because they can practically organize their day: suggesting routes for travel, advising on current weather conditions, finding the best restaurants based on the previous history, conducting faster web searches and setting up meetings. They also help by suggesting places for business meetings, remembering things like important thoughts and crucial business ideas.

Majority of the contemporary PDAs could be controlled by voice or through manual data input.

However, those features above are only one drop in the ocean compared to what they will do for its users in the next couple of years. Other key features of the PDAs are their integration into different systems and apps, such as Slack, Wunderlist, Evernote or Salesforce.

For instance, in order to save notes, ideas, to-dos and other tasks to Evernote, a MYLE user should only say those commands to the device. It will automatically recognize and understand the words, convert speech-to-text and categorize all users’ commands into assigned applications.

However, MYLE device is not limited to these functions. Moreover, its smart AI algorithm will enhance itself to better understand users’ behaviour using the latest breakthroughs in machine learning.
MYLE sets a purpose for its PDA, namely, to take over routines of many entrepreneurs to free their tight schedule for leisure time, family and other activities.

PDAs are powered by artificial intelligence and they have already become an essential feature for many businesses and consumers.

Dealing With Information Overload – the MYLE Way

Dealing With Information Overload – the MYLE Way

Busyness – crazy busyness – due to information overload is the definite challenge of the modern age.

But once you think about it, don’t you have that funny sense that we have a bit too much of this good thing?  Public polling results seem to support this suspicion.

An absolute majority of workers and everyday people of the developed world complain about Information overload, stating amount of data they have to deal with on a daily basis has gone so much up that it is becoming or has already become unbearable and plain stressful. Just to give you an example – 91% of US workers say they sometimes delete or discard work information without fully reading it. While 65.2% of their UK counterparts stated that their work was negatively affected by the amount of data they had to process.

The IT industry seems to recognize the challenge, flooding the market with all sorts of activity trackers, organizers, schedulers and other endless apps.  In doing so though, they create a problem of its own.

Now there are too many applications that you have to spend your time and attention, learning and working with them. Again, the proof is in the numbers: 72% of US workers admit that they would be more productive if they didn’t have to switch back and forth between apps to get their work done.

Science has its own proof too. A Temple University study found that as you give people more and more data, they reach “cognitive and information overload.” Activity falls off in the part of the brain responsible for decision making and control of emotions and the quality of their decisions suffer, with the number of errors going up drastically.

So MYLE to the rescue by addressing at the mighty 2/3 of the problem – data input and processing. Forget those tiny buttons on your smartphone. Or filling of endless forms and timesheets at work.

With MYLE everything can be done with the most natural way of data input – by using your voice and simply talking to your device. Thanks to its infinitely customizable, self-learning and very smart analytical platform that powers MYLE, all you have to do is tap the device and start speaking.

All the downstream work of processing the data and assigning it to appropriate destinations – be it fillable forms, schedulers, activity or expense trackers or pretty much any mobile application or a industrial software you can think of  – happens automatically.

Additionally, all your voice notes are saved in your MYLE account not just as text, but as an audio file too. And even if you have some peculiar pronunciation,  MYLE is capable of learning them and adjusting the input accordingly.

Once MYLE becomes an integral part of your daily life, you will suddenly discover that you are not drowning in the data anymore – and still have some extra spare time on your hands!

Reining in the Information Deluge

Inforgraphic design by Visually.

Design vector designed by Freepik

Japanese Scientists Invented Artificial Tongue to Enable Speech for Oral Cancer Victims

Dentistry researchers led by professor Shogo Minagi from Okayama University in Japan, have invented the world’s first artificial tongue prosthesis.

Professor Minagi and his team have developed a prosthesis that’s made of resin and connected to a person’s back teeth by a wire. The research team has used materials that are already widely used so that any dental technician can make this type of prosthesis without any difficulties.

Minagi claims that patients can control the artificial tongue by pushing it with the remaining base of their tongue, thus, allowing patients move the tongue up and down to touch the palate (part of the oral cavity required to speak).

This breakthrough is crucial for people whose tongues have partially been removed due to oral cancer or car accidents and other injuries that affected their ability to speak.

Minagi’s work was inspired by Kenichi Kozaki, a dentistry professor and an expert on dental pharmacology at the Okayama University after he’s being diagnosed with tongue cancer. As a result of this cancer, most of his tongue, jaw bones and pharynx were removed, and he lost the ability to speak.

“We could create a really good prosthesis quickly thanks to Kozaki, who is a dentist himself. He tried many different versions of the prosthesis and offered us detailed feedback,” said Minagi, who also hopes that this invention will be widely used in oral cancer treatment.

In September, Okayama University established an outpatient clinic called Yume no Kaiwa Purojekuto Gairai (Outpatient Clinic to Achieve the Dream of Speaking Project).

According to Minagi, at least, four people are currently having artificial tongues made through the clinic.

Oral cancer is a cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth or throat. There are several types of oral cancers, but around 90 per cent are the squamous cell carcinomas, which are found in mouth, tongue and lips.

It’s only discovered when the cancer has metastasized to another location, in most cases the lymph nodes of the neck. This cancer is particularly dangerous because it may not be noticed by the patient in its early stages, as it can progress without producing any symptoms or pain.

Approximately more than 54,000 people have been diagnosed with the oral cancer in 2015, and it causes 13,500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Herewith, the worldwide cases of oral cancers are much greater, with over 450,000 new cases recorded each year. Yet the statistics are not accurate due to the poor healthcare system in the least developed countries.

Roughly $3.2 billion is spent in the U.S. each year on the treatment of head and neck cancers.

New Research Finds: 40% of U.S. Smartphone Users Use Speech Recognition Software

New Research Finds: 40% of U.S. Smartphone Users Use Speech Recognition Software

Every day we start seeing more technologies powered by speech recognition software. We could oversee such innovation in the cars, smartphones, smartwatches, smart houses and other assistive technologies that are designed to ease our lives.

According to the new research study conducted by Parks Associates, 39% of smartphone owners use some speech recognition software such as Google Now or Siri. Also, 360 View: Mobility and the App Economy report states that more than one-half of iPhone owners use voice recognition feature while less than one-third of Android owners use such feature.

“Smartphone penetration has reached 86% of U.S. broadband households, so it is a mature market, with users, particularly younger consumers and iOS users, exploring more intelligent features and interfaces, including voice control,” said Harry Wang, Director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. “The growing consumer interest in voice control features is driving this technology into new IoT areas. At CES 2016, Vivint demonstrated voice control for home security via Amazon Echo, and Volvo showed voice control for connected cars via Cortana on Microsoft’s Health Band.”

Another key insight from the research is a significant increase by 12 per cent in the use of the voice recognition software among iPhone users from 40 per cent to 52 per cent between 2013 and 2015.

Additional report data shows:

  • More than 70% of smartphone users watch short streaming video clips, and more than 40% watch long streaming videos.
  • 36% of smartphone users use Wi-Fi calling.
  • 26% of smartphone users use a payment app for purchases at a retail location.
  • 24% of smartphone users stream video from the phone to a second screen (e.g., TV, PC).

If you’d like to find more information about 360 View: Mobility and the App Economy report, you can check it online at www.parksassociates.com. If you have any additional questions about data, or you’d like to schedule an interview with an analyst, contact Holly Sprague at hsprague@gmail.com.

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