Jim Lillie

Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

Friday, 19 October 2018 00:00

Scanning Eyes to Save Brains

A new diagnostic tool produced by researchers at SINTEF, a Norwegian development organization, and Dr.  Llewellyn Padayachy, a South African pediatric neurosurgeon, incorporates ultrasound to gauge pressure on the brain after an accident. This new technology, which was validated by a recent study, would permit first responders to conduct an exam at accident scenes by scanning the patient's eye.

Previously, emergency workers had to transport the patient to an operating room where a hole was drilled in the skull for the insertion of a sensor to measure intracranial pressure that can result in damage to the spinal cord as well as brain damage.

Padayachy came up with the concept for the novel device while collaborating with Norwegian ultrasound researchers at one of South Africa's biggest pediatric heath institutions, the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town.

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan has devised a robot that can lend a hand on construction sites. Due to the prototype robot's relatively slow movements, it is intended to help in situations where there aren't enough workers to get the job done.

From initial reports, though, the creature is said to perform tasks with remarkable accuracy, which suggests that as the robot is developed to pick up speed, it could one day replace human workers.

A demonstration video shows the robot placing a section of drywall into place and securing it to studs with screws. It's the kind of task that demonstrates a machine's ability to replicate movements that require human flexibility, particularly in an environment -- a building site -- where many different operations are occurring simultaneously.

Thursday, 11 October 2018 00:00

A Home Fit for a Hobbit

Dubbed Hobbit Hollow, the energy-efficient dwelling in New York State was designed by Jim Costigan, who has for many years fashioned quite the opposite in his career as an architect of Manhattan skyscrapers.

The structure is located on a little under 2 acres of land in Pawling, New York. A stream and waterfall are nearby.

Costigan recently told New Atlas that after seeing the Fellowship of the Ring, he believed that Bilbo Baggin's house, known as Bag End, stood out as truly one-of-a-kind.  Feeling as though the cinematic depiction was a dwelling he'd like to inhabit, Costigan researched whether a similar model had already been built, but came up empty. As a result, he built what he calls the Hobbit Shed in his backyard to house his lawn tractor.

He put an image of the shed on the Web and says that he received a "tremendous response" to the posting. At that point, Costigan started to come up with ideas for a version of the shed that could serve as an actual house.

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