Assistive Technologies


This prosthetic arm combines manual control with machine learning – TechCrunch

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Prosthetic limbs are getting better every year, but the strength and precision they gain doesn't always translate to easier or more effective use, as amputees have only a basic level of control over them. One promising avenue being investigated by Swiss researchers is having an AI take over where manual control leaves off. To visualize the problem, imagine a person with their arm amputated above the elbow controlling a smart prosthetic limb. With sensors placed on their remaining muscles and other signals, they may fairly easily be able to lift their arm and direct it to a position where they can grab an object on a table. The many muscles and tendons that would have controlled the fingers are gone, and with them the ability to sense exactly how the user wants to flex or extend their artificial digits.


State & Union: Tech teens plan robotic handicapped helper

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Olean Police arrest 15-year-old for making OHS terroristic threats, video'kill list' Rural Revitalization Corp. levels Olean property after year-long effort to save Police reports 9/7/19 Grading the Bills' new-look 2019 roster Police reports 9/5/19: Olean man charged with grand larceny, welfare fraud Police reports 9/8/19 Taking a look at Bills' roster with cut to 53 Salamanca woman pleads guilty to tampering with evidence in murder Police reports 9/4/19: Rochester man faces drug, tampering charges in Wellsville Will changes impact Bills' final record? Rural Revitalization Corp. levels Olean property after year-long effort to save Will changes impact Bills' final record?


State & Union: Tech teens plan robotic handicapped helper

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Olean Police arrest 15-year-old for making OHS terroristic threats, video'kill list' Rural Revitalization Corp. levels Olean property after year-long effort to save Police reports 9/7/19 Grading the Bills' new-look 2019 roster Police reports 9/5/19: Olean man charged with grand larceny, welfare fraud Police reports 9/8/19 Taking a look at Bills' roster with cut to 53 Salamanca woman pleads guilty to tampering with evidence in murder Police reports 9/4/19: Rochester man faces drug, tampering charges in Wellsville Will changes impact Bills' final record? Rural Revitalization Corp. levels Olean property after year-long effort to save Will changes impact Bills' final record?



Google's Cloud Text-to-Speech gets more languages and voices - SiliconANGLE

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Google LLC today updated its Cloud Text-to-Speech service with new languages and voices in order to make it useful to more of its customers. Google Cloud Text-to-Speech is intended to help companies develop better conversational interfaces for the services they supply. It works by transforming written text into artificial speech that's spoken in realistic human voices. With the service, Google is targeting three main markets: voice response systems for call centers; "internet of things" products such as car infotainment systems, TVs and robots; and applications such as podcasts and audiobooks, which convert text into speech. In a blog post, Google product manager Dan Aharon said Cloud Text-to-Speech is getting 12 new languages or variants, including Czech, English (India), Filipino, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Mandarin Chinese (China), Modern Standard Arabic and Vietnamese.


Bionic shorts can boost endurance using using wires to pull legs forward as you run or walk

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A newly-developed pair of smart robotic shorts puts a literal bounce in the wearer's step. In an article published in the journal of Science, researchers from Harvard demonstrate what they call the'hip exosuit' -- a type of smart bionic shorts that boosts the wearer's ability to run and walk. Scientists say that unlike other exoskeletons which focus on increasing strength, the hip exosuit -- which already has a working prototype -- is designed for endurance. Using cables that line the inside of the shorts' legs, the device is able to boost the wearer's movement using the help of an algorithm that discerns their gait. A motor pack in the back then pulls the cables in sync with the wearer's motions and helps propel them forward as they move.


Text to speech Python Tutorial

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We can make the computer speak with Python. Given a text string, it will speak the written words in the English language. This process is called Text To Speech (TTS). Pytsx is a cross-platform text-to-speech wrapper. It uses the Google Text to Speech (TTS) API.


Amazon's Text-To-Speech AI Service Sounds More Natural And Realistic

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Amazon enhanced Polly - the cloud-based text-to-speech service - to deliver natural and realistic speech synthesis. The service can now be leveraged to present domain-specific style such as newscast and sportscast. Though text-to-speech existed for more than two decades, it is never used in mainstream media due to the lack of natural and realistic modulation. Except for automated announcements that read out from existing datastores, the technology never replaced human voice and speech. Thanks to the advancements in AI, text-to-speech has evolved to become more natural and realistic to an extent that it may be hard to distinguish it from a human voice.


A Wearable Robotic Tail Turns Anyone Into a Furry With Improved Balance

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There are lots of companies who make wearable tails for humans, but they're usually for cosplay or other entertainment pursuits. Researchers at Keio University in Japan have created a wearable animated tail that promises to genuinely augment the wearer's capabilities--not just appearance--by improving their balance and agility. I wrote a post about Disney's efforts to market Zootopia to furries last week, and I really pissed… The easiest way to understand what inspired this creation is to watch a video of monkeys effortlessly leaping from tree to tree. Their tails not only serve as an additional limb for grasping branches but also help them reposition their bodies mid-flight for a safe landing by shifting the monkey's center of balance as it moves. The Arque tail, as it's been named, does essentially the same thing for humans, although leaping from the highest branches of a tree isn't recommended just yet.


The eerie 'forced exoskeleton rave' where dancers' bodies are controlled by ROBOTIC SUITS

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A robotic exoskeleton and performance art installation is automating the discipline of synchronized dance. At San Francisco's Gray Area Festival, an annual event that combines art, technology, and music, an exhibit called'Inferno' is employing robotics to turn people into puppets. With an exoskeleton and a'dark industrial' soundtrack, Inferno is commandeering participants' limbs for an enthralling -- if off-putting -- performance. Participants in the piece are subject to the input of a'DJ' who controls both the music and how subjects dance to it'Each robot is designed to perform dynamic movements choreographed and activated by the artists, mobilizing the performers to dance in time to the dark, industrial techno soundtrack for the audience,' says a description on the event's website. The installation, which described by one Twitter user as a'forced rave' is not just fascinating to watch, but according to the routine's creators, Louis-Philippe Demers and Bill Vorn, is designed to stoke conversations about agency and technology.