Tom Avril

Recent and archived articles by Tom Avril

5 Mar 2018 | 8:00 AM

Do selfies make your nose look big? Study says yes

It is the inescapable 21st-century vexation of the vain. Smartphones allow a person to take selfies as fast as the index finger can click, yet from a dismayingly close distance that may leave the subject dissatisfied.

21 Feb 2018 | 8:30 AM

Penn drones navigate on their own, could save people from peril

The flying robots called drones were used in a dramatic light show for the Olympics opening ceremonies in South Korea, executing elaborate routines that humans had programmed in advance.

(l-r) Loianno, Weinstein and Cho with a swarm of quadrotor drones using visual inertial odometry at the Pennovation Centre in Forgotten Bottom. Penn Engineering's GRASP, or general robotics, automation, sensing & perception lab, has programmed the drones to fly into formations autonomously using a combination of a camera, accelerometer and gyrometer rather than GPS. — Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS
10 Oct 2014 | 7:00 AM

Introducing the smart catheter for the heart

Advances in technology are enabling doctors to tackle intricate surgery with better success.

Technological breakthrough: Dr Joshua M. Cooper, director of cardiac electrophysiology, looks to the large display next to the operating table to ensure that his catheters are going to the correct location in the heart. - MCT photos
31 Aug 2014 | 7:00 AM

At first sight: How doctors helped a blind toddler see again

Doctors in the United States faced many challenges in trying to restore a toddler's eyesight.

Jon Paul Corman was adopted from China, and he had serious vision problems that required the complete removal of one eye and surgery on the other. Now six years old, he has 20/200 corrected vision with help from his doctors. – MCT