Happy Halloween from the Lilly COI staff! Check out a few of our favorite ghoulish innovations… IF YOU DARE.
Greg Gage and his colleagues at Backyard Brains have developed a device called the RoboRoach that lets you control the path of an insect. It may make you squirm, but Gage says the device could inspire a new generation of neuroscientists. He wants to get kids interested in neuroscience early enough to guide them toward that career path. And a cyborg cockroach might be the inspiration. With the RoboRoach device and smartphone app, you can interact with the antennae to influence the insect’s behavior.When you swipe your finger on your mobile phone, the app sends a message using Bluetooth to the device, which then sends a small pulse of electricity into the left or right antenna. The result: a cockroach that follows your directions. [Source: NPR]
Two years ago, Mark Rober was an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., part of a team that worked on the Curiosity rover. For Halloween, he strapped an iPad to his chest and another to his back. Then he turned them on and used the devices’ cameras and screens to make it appear as if he had a gaping hole in the middle of his torso. Millions of people watched his YouTube video explaining how the costume worked, and a business was born. In 2012, Rober and a few friends launched Digital Dudz in their spare time, creating a free smartphone app and selling $29 T-shirts to people who liked Rober’s original idea but didn’t want to shell out for two iPads. In a month, Digital Dudz had $250,000 in sales and was getting nibbles from would-be acquirers. [Source: Businessweek]
Looking to keep track of the little ghosts and goblins this Halloween, but don’t want to be a hovering parent? Well, technology from Seattle startup Glympse is here to help. The Seattle company just unveiled a free app (for iOS only) called Track n Treat, which like the name suggests allows parents to keep a remote eye on the kiddos as they wander the neighborhood trick or treating. Glymps co-founder Bryan Tussel says his company created Track n Treat to provide assurance to parents by giving them a real-time view on where their children are on Halloween. Parents can track the locations on the Web or their own smartphones, watching where they go on the device.