Seven from Seven: Tech You Can Control With Your Mind, And The UK’s First Para-Astronaut

2nd December 2022

Each week, we scour the worlds of innovation, tech for good and social impact to bring you seven of our top stories…

  1. Researchers at the University of Malaga have used new technology that helps deaf people to ‘listen’ to music through touch. Specifically, they’ve developed an algorithm which converts monophonic music into tangible stimuli, transmitted through a device worn around the wrist. The prototype is connected to a computer, but an advanced portable version that could be used at concerts is the next phase of this ground-breaking technology.
  2. Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has joined forces with Hycamite TCD Technologies, to develop clean hydrogen technology. The two are working together to enable cost-effective production of hydrogen from liquefied natural gas on board marine vessels. The concept will enable the production of hydrogen onboard, meaning a reduction in the vessel’s overall carbon dioxide and methane slip emissions. This is another encouraging step forward in developing renewable energy for transportation.
  3. Alberta researchers have unveiled Think2Switch, a headset that reads brain signals and sends them to switch-enabled home devices. These devices are controlled by computers, allowing people with motor impairments to use devices without moving a muscle. This new piece of technology will help drastically improve the lives of people with motor impairments.
  4. Research undertaken by drugmakers Biogen and Eisai has found the first drug to have slowed the destruction of the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The breakthrough has shown that a new era of treating Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, is here. One of the world’s leading dementia researchers, Prof John Hardy, said this discovery was ‘historic’ and was optimistic that we’re now seeing the beginning of new, revolutionary Alzheimer’s therapies.
  5. British former Paralympian John McGall will become the world’s first disabled astronaut after being selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to join its training programme. McFall, who won a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, will take part in the space training corps as a ‘para-astronaut’. McGall said he felt compelled to help the ESA understand how someone with a physical disability could do meaningful work in space.
  6. The Fraunhofer Application Center for Optical Metrology has developed prototypes designed to ensure added safety during day-to-day activities at warehouses. Optical sensors on industrial trucks will provide warehouse staff with better protection as they do their jobs. As warehouses are home to heavy volumes of traffic, accidents become an inevitability even with several safety measures in place. These new optical sensors will pay closer attention to the movements of individual vehicles, ensuring better safety for the workers, and greater efficiency for the loads being moved.
  7. The European Commission is launching a platform to strengthen its value chains for clean energy. Clean Tech Europe platform aims to advance the key industries that will deliver Europe’s clean and digital transitions. The platform will help develop industries that champion clean energy, which is beneficial for the 27-nation bloc’s sustainability ambitions.

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