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June 7, 2009

The end is in sight

Just another seven weeks, before I depart. Tempus fugit! I have been working long hours this past week to finish another manuscript for publication. Freely following the maxime: "Publish, but perish anyway!"

If you are interested in what I have published so far in 2009 go to: hsc.umn.edu

My Italian is slowly getting better. I take an advanced conversation course through the Institute twice a week in the evening. It is clearly too advanced for me, but I hang in there. Unfortunately, there is no intermediate course offered. I still make many mistakes during conversations, but at least I manage to get my groceries and most important my aperitivo, the early evening drink in a local bars :-).

May 10, 2009

At the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

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Silke and Till visiting me at the IIT during spring break.

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The "braccio di ferro" (the iron arm). With this robot manipulandum we perform our current experiments. The robot can create virtual force fields, as if you are touching an object that you cannot see. It allows us to examine haptic sensitivity. That is, how fine can humans sense differences in the shape of objects that they feel with their hands but do not see. Two weeks ago we began to examine the first patients with Parkinson's disease.

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Lorenzo and Valentina - the god and goddess of the braccio di ferro.