Love Is in the Water For Some Reason at RoboSub... →
It’s the 14th year of AUVSI’s RoboSub competition, which of course means that all of this year’s challenges are love-themed. You know, because of 14. Valentine’s Day. It’s the 14th. Of February. Yeah, I dunno, if it was me I would have gone for a The Hunt for Red October theme or something a little, uh, edgier. Anyway, the competition took place from July 12 to 17 at...
NYC’s East River May Get Tidal Power Plant →
Wind and solar power dominate the renewable energy conversation, but tidal power could soon play a much larger role. The New York based company Verdant Power is working to build the nation’s first-ever tidal power plant. The desired location? New York City’s East River. The company has been testing turbines in the river since 2006, and they are currently awaiting approval of their build-out...
Unstoppable Robot Eats Landmines for Breakfast →
The Digger D-3 is the most recent addition to my own personal list of robots not to stand in front of. It’s a mine-clearing robot, and not the sort of mine-clearing robot that pokes around with a metal detector. Instead, it’s the sort of mine-clearing robot that just sucks it up and tells the landmines to bring it.
Is Google replacing our memory? →
A Columbia University study has found that Google and other search engines are literally changing the way our brains process and retain information. The research was conducted by Columbia psychologist Betsy Sparrow and presented in a paper Science magazine published entitled “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips.”
Physicists take steps toward delivering quantum... →
Today, fiber optics technology transports information in the form of classical data to homes and businesses. But researchers are currently working on ways to combine quantum data with the classical data in fiber optics networks in order to increase security. In a new study, scientists have shown how quantum and classical data can be interlaced in a real-world fiber optics network, taking a step...
Five countries will have more than a million... →
Freaky Robot Mouth Learns to Sing →
Professor Hideyuki Sawada from Kagawa University in Japan was at Robotech 2011 showing off that incredibly bizarre robot mouth of his. It’s based as closely as possible on a human mouth, complete with an air pump for lungs, eight fake vocal cords, a silicon tongue, and even a nasal resonance cavity that opens and closes. Using a microphone, the mouth can listen to itself speak (or whatever...
Giving Robots A Stroke Of Humanity: Interview With... →
Heather Knight, a self-proclaimed “Social Roboticist,” has long been an advocate of robots “in the wild.” The founder of New York-based Marilyn Monrobot Labs is working to integrate socially interactive robots into the world—participating in everything from the entertainment industry to education to hospitals and virtually every sphere you can think of. Currently pursuing her doctoral research at...
Robots Learn to Take Pictures Better Than You →
Humans would like to believe that artistry and creativity can’t be distilled down into a set of rules that a robot can follow, but in some cases, it’s possible to at least tentatively define some things that work and some things that don’t. Raghudeep Gadde, a master’s student in computer science at IIIT Hyderabad, in India, has been teaching his Nao robot some general...
South Korea: We’re Spending $2 Billion To Put Our... →
In a bold move towards digitizing education, South Korea’s Ministry of Education Science and Technology has announced it is spending 2.2 trillion Wan ($2 billion USD) over the next four years, to convert its schools from classic paper textbooks to new digital versions on tablet PCs. The adoption of tablet based reading will also be accompanied by WiFi and cloud computing systems in schools. South...
Flying car 'Transition' gets road approval from... →
The Transition is able to move between the sky and road by making use of push-button retractable wings that narrow the plane enough to allow it to fit on standard roads. In its current configuration, the Transition is 19 feet 9 inches long with a wingspan of 26 feet 6 inches wide and has a height of 78 inches in flying mode; with wings folded however, it’s just 90 inches wide, 18 feet 9 inches...
A new way to build nanostructures →
The new 3D nanofabrication method makes it possible to manufacture complex multi-layered solids all in one step. In this example, seen in these Scanning Electron Microscope images, a view from above (at top) shows alternating layers containing round holes and long bars. As seen from the side (lower image), the alternating shapes repeat through several layers.
LG's New RoboKing Vacuum Can Now Explain Its... →
LG’s RoboKing series of robot vacuums may or may not be variations on the Roomba theme to the extent that they’re not allowed to be sold here in the United States, where Roomba is the undisputed king (queen?) and reigns with a tight fist and lots of patents. But we have to give credit to LG for thinking outside the box disc when it comes to introducing nifty features.