We have one from years ago that was made for a ferret who lost the use of her rear legs. Sukie points to an instructables how-to article on an inexpensive homemade version.
A lot of variation is possible and much will depend on the type of surface the critter tries to walk on. Here's ours from years ago. I have no idea if they are still made, but it shows some of the possible variation.
Sitting all day has been shown to be unhealthy. Standing desks have become increasingly popular, but most tend towards the expensive. Travis notes a simple portable standing attachment for laptops that is much less expensive...
It should probably also be noted that just standing in one place for very long periods is also unhealthy - you need to move around a bit.
He also noted something for the desk at work that adjusts allowing you to spend time sitting as well as standing .. the Varidesk.
Marom Bikson, a professor of biomedical engineering at City College of New York, recently used a prototype of Thync’s device in a 100-person study (funded by the company) that focused on its calming effects. Bikson says the study showed “with a high degree of confidence” that the device has an effect, although the results varied. “For some people—not everyone—the effect is really profound,” he says. “Within minutes, they’re feeling significantly different in a way that is as powerful as anything else I could imagine short of a narcotic.”
The device uses a form of transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS), something that’s been tested in various forms for years but has yet to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a specific disease.
In Thync’s device, a barely perceptible electrical current is applied to the skin on your head at different places for the Red Bull effect and for the relaxing effect.
Most TDCS research focuses on trying to use the electrical current to directly affect the outer part of the brain. Thync found that it was able to create strong effects by instead targeting specific nerves and muscles just beneath the skin.
Tyler’s ambitions extend beyond selling an electronic substitute for coffee. In separate work he is developing technology that uses ultrasound to affect the brain directly without surgery or drugs. “It’s a new frontier, with potential that hasn’t been tapped into yet,” he says.
really small - non technical version here, and the paper (pdf) in Nature.
New type of microengine using internal combustion of hydrogen and oxygen
Vitaly B. Svetovoy1,2, Remco G. P. Sanders1, Kechun Ma1 & Miko C. Elwenspoek1,3
1MESA1 Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, PO 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands, 2Institute of Physics and Technology, Yaroslavl Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 150007, Yaroslavl, Russia, 3FRIAS, University of Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.
Microsystems become part of everyday life but their application is restricted by lack of strong and fast motors (actuators) converting energy into motion. For example, widespread internal combustion engines cannot be scaled down because combustion reactions are quenched in a small space. Here we present an actuator with the dimensions 100 x 100 x 5µm3 that is using internal combustion of hydrogen and oxygen as part of its working cycle. Water electrolysis driven by short voltage pulses creates an extra pressure of 0.5– 4 bar for a time of 100–400 µs in a chamber closed by a flexible membrane. When the pulses are switched off this pressure is released even faster allowing production of mechanical work in short cycles. We provide arguments that this unexpectedly fast pressure decrease is due to spontaneous combustion of the gases in the chamber. This actuator is the first step to truly microscopic combustion engines.