Indisputably, “connectivity” to a host of applications and devices offers potential to improve people’s lives. We can do amazing things, like view the inside of our refrigerators from the supermarket, remotely control flying drones to deliver packages, see and speak to people on the other side of the world (in real time and on our cells phones, none-the-less), and retrieve vast amounts of information in seconds.
What is Human Augmentation?
Human augmentation (a.k.a. Human 2.0) seeks to enhance and exceed the natural cognitive and physical abilities of people through integrated technology. There are many applications of human augmentation with devices such as cochlear implants to increase sensory perception and orthotics that enhance motion or muscle capability. Some researchers are even working on data-connecting devices that would link the human body to visual/text-based sources of information. A decade or so ago, most people probably would have associated a “power suit” with corporate attire. The notion of a metal “skin” with motors to enhance human strength far beyond normal capability once science fiction, now is “science fact.” In this article, we take a closer look at the evolution of wearable and remote-controlled robots, and how an iterative design process has enabled incremental improvements in the pursuit to create bionic humans.
Have you ever been so focused on an activity that you lost track of time? Yet, at other times have so many things competing for your attention that you lose brain power and productivity because of all the external distractions? Most of us experience both of these “states,” but usually feel personally satisfied when we have “put our mind” on the singular task of getting something done. Well, this article is here to help us learn how to “put our mind to the task” a little more frequently. We examine the concept of flow – that state of perfect concentration where our thoughts and emotions completely align to the task at hand without preoccupation, anxiety and other impediments to our work – its relationship to emotional intelligence, and how to achieve it.
Tomorrow’s engineers and today’s innovators are pursuing specialized education and career options that were never available, until now. The future is here. Technology that was once considered science fiction is reality—uniting engineering and medicine in cross-disciplinary collaborations is revolutionizing the field of prosthetics.
A natural refinement to the invention of the wheel, gears were thought to have been invented by the Greeks. Philosopher and scientist, Aristotle, wrote about a rotating wheel that turned another wheel in the opposite direction in the fourth century B.C.E. By the third century B.C.E., water wheels and clocks were common on the Greek peninsula. Yet, the first specific mention of gears in Greek writings occurred around 50 C.E. by Heron of Alexandria, a mathematician and inventor. Heron is most renowned for Metrica, a three-volume compendium of observations of the mathematics and engineering of Babylonia, ancient Egypt, and the Greco-Roman world.
Engineers face a constant barrage of competing priorities from customers, co-workers, managers, and vendors, all while still juggling family life and personal issues. Life satisfaction and productivity are on a steady decline for engineers, because external pressure and digital distractions make it impossible to maintain creativity, focus, and a work-life balance. The daily demands at work, including emails, notifications and text messages, are continually interrupting workflow and diverting attention. Consistent productivity disintegrates as time spent deeply focusing lessens.