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Metamaterial Devices and Applications in the news

 

 

PARC Spinout Metawave Adds A.I. to Metamaterials for Autonomous Cars
15 August 2017 | xconomy
by Benjamin Romano

Maha Achour co-founded Metawave early this year, spinning the company out of the storied PARC laboratories, a unit of Xerox, in Palo Alto, CA, with an exclusive license to commercialize metamaterials radar and antennas in two huge potential applications. Metawave co-founder and CTO Bernard Casse says Metawave is leveraging the rapid rate of progress in A.I. technologies to develop a series of algorithms for optimization, range-finding, and more. "What we want in the end… is a radar that’s smart, that can tell you there’s a child in your parking zone, that can discriminate between an SUV and a sedan, that can anticipate an accident by taking a look at traffic patterns,” he says.

 

ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit: Self-Fluffing Fabrics and the World’s Coolest Paint
10 March 2017 | IEEE-Spectrum
by Evan Ackerman

We know, paint is so boring that watching it dry (which is arguably the most exciting thing that paint ever gets to do) is the absolute standard of ultimate boredom. But a new paint that Xerox PARC was demonstrating at the ARPA-E expo is literally the coolest paint we've ever seen, and it could have an enormous impact on energy efficiency all over the world. 

 

New Tech Makes Brain Implants Safer and Super Precise
22 February 2017 | Singularity Hub
by Shelly Fan

When Jan Scheuermann volunteered for an experimental brain implant, she had no idea she was making neuroscience history. ...Scheuermann had two button-sized electrical implants inserted into her motor cortex…but there are issues with electrodes. To get around these issues, a team from Harvard and Palo Alto Research Center went back to the drawing board. Recently, they published research on a new type of implant made of tiny, thin copper coils embedded in silicon. Unlike its predecessors, the microcoil uses magnetic waves rather than electricity to stimulate the brain.

 

“Hair-Like” Brain Implant Could Simulate Vision in the Blind
10 February 2017 | Med Device Online
by Suzanne Hodsden

Researchers at PARC have developed a “hair-like” implant that rests on the surface of the brain and stimulates neural activity with magnetic fields generated by microscopic coils. In a study published in Science Advances last year, Harvard researchers demonstrated proof of concept, using the prosthesis in mice to stimulate whisker movement.

 

This Technology Could Finally Make Brain Implants Practical
Harvard Medical School is testing a new design of a brain implant meant to restore vision to the blind.
9 February 2017 | MIT Technology Review
by Tom Simonite

Next month, tests will begin in monkeys of a new implant for piping data into the brain that is designed to avoid that problem. The project is intended to lead to devices that can restore vision to blind people long-term.

The three-year project is supported by a multi-million dollar grant under the BRAIN initiative, created by President Obama to improve scientists’ understanding of how the brain works. “At the end of that we hope to have monkeys be able to navigate a maze, just by perceiving light and dark or basic geometric patterns,” says Bernard Casse, a researcher at the PARC research institute, owned by Xerox, where the new implant design was invented.

 

Magnetic Stimulation May Provide More Precise, Reliable Activation of Neural Circuitry
Microcoil implants allow more selective activation of targeting neurons than possible with electrodes
9 December 2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have developed what appears to be a significant improvement in the technology behind brain implants used to activate neural circuits responsible for vision, hearing or movement. The investigators, who are also affiliated with the Boston VA Healthcare System, describe their development of tiny magnetic coils capable of selectively activating target neurons in the Dec. 9 issue of Science Advances. (PARC researchers Florian Fallegger and Bernard Casse are co-authors of the Science Advances report.)

 

DARPA Picks 10 to Build Nano-based Products
7 January 2016 | Defense Systems
by George Leopold

Ten research organizations have been tapped by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop technologies and processes for assembling nano-scale building blocks for materials and millimeter-scale components.

DARPA announced the awards at the end of December under its "Atoms to Products" (A2P) initiative designed to leverage unique "atomic-scale" characteristics like much lower melting points and greater heat resistance.

Boston University, Notre Dame, HRL and PARC form a working group on optical meta-material assembly. One initiative calls for Boston University researchers to develop a technique to "spray paint" atoms with nano-scale precision to build tunable optical meta-materials for the "photonic battlefield."