Two years with magnetic implants

The 22nd of this December marked the completion of two years since I had magnets implanted into the middle and ring fingers of my left hand in the hopes of developing a new type of human-machine interface while at University. The research was finally published in our paper "A Novel Human-Machine Interface using Subdermal Magnetic Implants" in the Proc. IEEE International Conference on Cybernetic Intelligent Systems in September this year.

Looking back, it is amusing to see that I had made a post on this blog on my initial thoughts on the possibility of an interface being developed from magnetic implants around the time I first came up with the idea for it. And looking further back, it is kind of embarassing to see the over-excited mildly juvenile post I had made after attending a lecture by Prof. Kevin Warwick, with whom I ended up publishing my first paper with!

Anyway, here is a very recent X-ray image of my hand showing the current state of the 3mm diameter, 0.7mm thick neodymium disc magnets I have implanted in my fingers.

As the X-ray image shows, the magnet in the middle finger stands perpendicular to the phalanx while the one in the ring finger lies parallel. I had intended both magnets to lie parallel to the bone but an unfortunate injury in the first few days post-implantation upset the magnet in the middle finger and eventually had it settle in the position it is in now. I had anticipated pain and other potential issues from to the increased pressure levied on tissue by the edge of the magnet during gripping due to the position it had moved to. Luckily, except for a few situations involving a lot of pressure applied on the finger pad it has not been an issue at all.

The ring finger implant has remained without incident and is the most sensitive to external magnetic fields. Hopefully, it will continue to be like that in the years to come!

Orion: A view from the Maldives

At some point in your life, when you looked up at the night sky, chances are you spotted the unforgettable three bright stars in a line that make up the "belt" in the Orion constellation. It was the first constellation I learnt when I was a kid and started to grow a fascination towards the cosmos. Male' has too much light pollution to take a decent picture of the night sky so I took the chance to snap a shot of the constellation which stood out of the dark night canopy when I made a stopover at GA. Nilandhoo recently. Orion and Hyades are both distinctly visible in the picture.

The three stars which make up the Belt of Orion lie at different distances from the Earth despite appearing to be in the same line-of-sight. The reddish coloured star in the constellation is Betelgeuse (pronounced beetle-juice) and is one of the most brightest stars in the night sky. It is nearing the end of its life and is expected to be so bright when it explodes that it would be visible during the day!

Magnetic implant X-ray

I finally got around to digitizing the X-ray image I took of the magnetic implants I have in the fingers of my left hand. The image below shows the location of the implanted disc magnet within the pad of the ring finger.

Life, March 2010

So it has been a while since I updated my blog - over a month and a half to be more precise! There is a reason: I have been terribly distracted. My life so far this year has proven to be quite challenging, hectic and full of change but very interesting nonetheless.

Anyway, I have been snapping pictures of life around me this past month thanks to the pretty decent camera on my brand new Google Nexus One phone, which replaced my battered and nearly dead i-mate SP5m that I have had for 4 long years. Here are a few snaps...

Fish, coconut and chilli

I had "mahaa kaattaai miruhaa" (fish, coconut and chilli) today, which eaten together is, or atleast used to be, a common Maldivian snack. Ah, nostalgia! :-)

Mahaa kaattaai miruhaa

Snow today

Snow! I like snow. For me, it is a welcome break from the usual rainy and dreary winter gloom. And this winter seems to be bringing more snow than any of the past 4 years I've spent in the UK. :-D

Snow begins, around 6pm
Snow begins, around 6pm.

And six hours later, about 7 inches of snow.
And six hours later, about 7 inches of snow.

Summer glow

A few snaps of the summer goodness from a few days ago...