Friday, July 22, 2005

Cool Stuff at NextFest Part III: GelForce

Another interesting product out of the University of Tokoyo is the GelForce electronic touchpad. It has a deformable surface into which are embedded two layers of different colored LED's. A camera underneath the surface shows the displacement of these surfaces allowing the internal forces to be calculated. Eventually they imagine using this kind of setup to create robot skin. What they were showing at NextFest was basically just different maps of the force surface as you pressed the pad - one even distorting a Galaxy image. A possible application for the cosmology gallery would be just that - gravitational lensing. You could press the pad and see how it distorts the image - try one finger to simulate lensing by a black hole , your fist to represent a cluster of galaxies. I think it would be fun.


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