NSF Funding Machine Brain Interface →
The National Science Foundation (NSF) announces an award to the University of Washington and its partners to establish a new NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC). The ERC will pursue interdisciplinary research and education to address questions important to both human health and robotics, and to provide the foundation for new industries through innovation. NSF will invest $18.5 million in the...
Engineers discover nanoscale balancing act that... →
Engineering researchers have discovered that under the right circumstances, basic atomic forces can be exploited to enable nanoparticles to assemble into superclusters that are uniform in size and share attributes with viruses.
New generation of Web analytics applies ‘big data’... →
New data tools, perhaps best described as Web analytics on steroids and with psychic powers, are making their way into newsrooms and changing the way that editors decide what stories to promote, where, and when. It’s part of an emerging technology trend called “big data” — a process of gathering large, comprehensive, complex datasets and using advanced computer algorithms to visualize them,...
New IBM computer chip mimics the human brain →
Making computers behave like humans has taken another step forward. IBM on Thursday announced it has created a chip designed to imitate the human brain’s ability to understand its surroundings, act on things that happen around it and make sense of complex data. Instead of requiring the type of programming that computers have needed for the past half-century, the experimental chip will let...
Researchers modify harmless bacteria to kill... →
Researchers in Singapore have modified the DNA of one type of bacterium, Escherichia coli, to first sense the presence of another bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and then to explode, releasing a special kind of toxin that will kill it. Chueh Loo Poh and Matthew Wook Chang of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, describe their research in Molecular Systems Biology.
Computer-generated imagery: Fabricating fabric →
FILMS like “Captain America”, “Tron Legacy” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” have shown that it is possible to use computer-generated imagery (CGI) to make actors look younger, older or wimpier than they actually are, in a surprisingly realistic manner. At least, it is possible if those altered actors are kept at a suitable distance from the viewer. The difficulty of recreating the...
$80 Android Phone Sells Like Hotcakes in Kenya,... →
It seems like just yesterday when only the slickest kid on the block had a smartphone, but now, this revolutionary gadget is selling like hotcakes in the developing world. Earlier this year, the Chinese firm Huawei unveiled IDEOS through Kenya’s telecom titan, Safaricom. So far, this $80 smartphone has found its way into the hands of 350,000 Kenyans, an impressive sales number in a country where...
MABEL Bipedal Robot is Fast Enough to Run You Down →
It was only a year ago that the University of Michigan’s MABEL biped robot was breaking its ankles trying to walk over rough terrain. Now the robot is defying death once again by becoming the world’s fastest bipedal robot, with the ability to sprint at up to 10.9 kph. More specifically, MABEL is the world’s fastest “kneed” bipedal robot, which just means that...
Computer Chip-Sized Spacecraft Will Explore Space... →
We knew to expect a paradigm shift with the end of the space shuttle program, but this is ridiculous. Mason Peck and his group of forward-thinking engineers are taking NASA’s slogan of Faster, Better, Cheaper to the extreme. Their spacecraft will cut down travel time to Alpha Centauri from thousands of years to just a few hundred, and instead of the $1.7 billion it takes to build a space shuttle,...
New Tool May Yield Smaller, Faster Optoelectronics →
The steady improvement in speed and power of modern electronics may soon hit the brakes unless new ways are found to pack more structures into microscopic spaces. Unfortunately, engineers are already approaching the limit of what light—the choice tool for “tweezing” tiny features—can achieve. But there may be a way of reaching beyond this so-called “diffraction limit” by...
If You Need a Bionic Hand, Just Write Mercedes F1... →
It never hurts to ask. 14-year-old Matthew James sent a tongue-in-cheek letter to the head of Mercedes’ F1 team asking for £35,000 (~$57,000) for a bionic hand, which they could brand like an F1 car. Mercedes’ response? They made him the most advanced prosthetic hand in the world.
10 technologies that will change the world in the... →
3D printers, sensor networks, virtual humans and other technologies under development now will drastically change our world in the decade to come, according to Cisco chief futurist Dave Evans
"Smart" Orthopedic Cast Heals Fractures With... →
Had an accident lately? The most interaction your broken bones can expect is a flurry of signatures and well-wishes on your cast—nice, but not exactly conducive to healing. Brazilian designer Pedro Nakazato Andrade, however, has something more engaging in mind: a high-tech orthopedic cast that not only monitors recovery but also cues up your own online cheer squad. Using electromyographic (EMG)...
Crisis robots show people to emergency exits →
What should you do when alarms are ringing, the building is rapidly filling with smoke and the crackle of fire is just round the corner? Follow the robot, say Ayanna Howard and Paul Robinette, electrical engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, who want to create smart roving exit signs. Static signs point people to safety but can’t warn evacuees when an exit is blocked...
Neato XV-11 Update: Your Vacuum Just Got Smarter →
The Neato Robotics XV-11 robot vacuum comes with a USB port for downloadable updates. And why shouldn’t it? It’s a robot, and one of the great things about robots is that you can teach them new stuff and make them smarter. While it’s one thing to talk about firmware updates and new features in the abstract (which we hear a lot), it’s quite another to put time and energy...
Study builds on plausible scenario for origin of... →
The study, “A Route to Enantiopure RNA Precursors from Nearly Racemic Starting Materials,” shows how the precursors to RNA could have formed on Earth before any life existed. It was authored by Jason E. Hein, Eric Tse and Donna G. Blackmond, a team of researchers with the Scripps Research Institute. Hein is now a chemistry professor with UC Merced. The paper was published online...
The robot sommelier with a taste for Cava →
An electronic tongue that can identify different types of Cava wine has been developed by scientists. The ‘robot sommelier’ replicates how humans taste using sensors that detect chemical information from samples of the Spanish champagne-like wine.
Black gold holds a charge for green cars →
THE tiny glass bottle in my hand is filled with what looks like crude oil, but it’s actually oil’s nemesis. If it works, this black sludge will transform the rechargeable battery, doubling the range of electric cars and making petroleum obsolete. Today’s electric cars are handicapped by batteries that are heavy, expensive and a waste of space. Two-thirds of the volume of the...
What the latest antimatter breakthrough means →
Now to reality: scientists at CERN announced recently that they had managed to create, isolate and hold a small quantity of antimatter for over 16 minutes — the longest by far that had been achieved. So far so frightening? Not exactly. The Vatican can rest easy, explains Joel Fajans, a physicist from the ALPHA project, which made the breakthrough. There are fundamental reasons why an...
Paradigm Shift in Understanding of Biology Could... →
The discovery that microbial nanowires inside the bacterium Geobacter sufurreducens can conduct electricity not only represents a paradigm shift in our fundamental understanding of biology but also could completely change how we manufacture and use electronics. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, led by microbiologist Derek Lovley with physicists Mark Tuominen, Nikhil Malvankar, have...
Like Superman's X-Ray Vision, New Microscope... →
Physicists at UC San Diego have developed a new kind of X-ray microscope that can penetrate deep within materials like Superman’s fabled X-ray vision and see minute details at the scale of a single nanometer, or one billionth of a meter. But that’s not all. What’s unusual about this new, nanoscale, X-ray microscope is that the images are not produced by a lens, but by means of a powerful computer...
Tiny Gene Changes Linked to Intelligence →
When it comes to smarts, which is more important — nature or nurture, genetics or environment? Well, yes, it seems. New findings now suggest that half of all differences in intelligence between people appear rooted in the collective influence of many tiny genetic variations. That leaves plenty of influence open to other factors, the researchers said.
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence - You can... →
Sebastian Thrun is a Research Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, a Google Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the German Academy of Sciences. Thrun is best known for his research in robotics and machine learning.
Pipistrel Introduces The World's Most Powerful... →
The concept aircraft carries many of the advantages originating in the microlight world. Its lightweight carbon fiber and Kevlar construction gives it many of the qualities of a glider, while a 1,036 lb. lithium polymer battery pack combined with a powerful electric propulsion drivetrain make it ultra-efficient.
The nanoscale secret to stronger alloys →
Long before they knew they were doing it – as long ago as the Wright Brother’s first airplane engine – metallurgists were incorporating nanoparticles in aluminum to make a strong, hard, heat-resistant alloy. The process is called solid-state precipitation, in which, after the melt has been quickly cooled, atoms of alloying metals migrate through a solid matrix and gather themselves in...
When Will We Be Transhuman? Seven Conditions for... →
The future is impossible to predict. But that’s not going to stop people from trying. We can at least pretend to know where it is we want humanity to go. We hope that laws we craft, the technologies we invent, our social habits and our ways of thinking are small forces that, when combined over time, move our species towards a better existence. The question is, How will we know if we are making...
Further advance in the integration of organic and... →
A fundamental research focus in nanotechnology is the deliberate creation of organic-inorganic hybrids such as rotaxanes that have the properties of both organic and inorganic matter. These nanomaterials can greatly extend the range of control and manipulation that can occur in nanomedicine and other applications.
Are Smart People Getting Smarter? →
The Flynn effect has always been tinged with mystery. First popularized by the political scientist James Flynn, the effect refers to the widespread increase in IQ scores over time. Some measures of intelligence — such as performance on Raven’s Progressive Matrices in Des Moines and Scotland — have been increasing for at least 100 years. What’s most peculiar is how scores have increased: 1) Scores...
New 802.22 Wi-Fi standard has a range of 62 miles →
Tired of your Wi-Fi cutting out every time you take your laptop into the bathroom with you? IEEE (also known as the Institute of electronics geeks) has just released a new, official standard for 802.22 Wi-Fi, and this bad boy can cover 12,000 square miles with just one single base station. You should already be familiar with 802.11 a/b/g/n, which is likely the wireless standard that you currently...
New Language for Programming in Parallel →
A new programming language has been designed to get the most out of the latest multicore computer processors. If it finds favor among coders, it could provide more powerful software for many computers. Over the last few years, as they’ve run up against the physical limits of miniaturization, microchip makers have shifted from increasing the power of processor cores—the part of a chip that...
Advanced Reactor Gets Closer to Reality →
Terrapower, a startup funded in part by Nathan Myhrvold and Bill Gates, is moving closer to building a new type of nuclear reactor called a traveling wave reactor that runs on an abundant form of uranium. The company sees it as a possible alternative to fusion reactors, which are also valued for their potential to produce power from a nearly inexhaustible source of fuel.
Wireless data from every light bulb
Foxconn Replacing Workers with 1 Million Robots →
twicr: Does this mean we’ll see a rise in robot suicides?
Researchers Make Breakthrough in Wireless In-Road... →
Utah State University researchers have made a breakthrough in the quest to make in-road electric vehicle chargers practical for the real world, managing to wirelessly transmit 5 kilowatts of electricity across a 10-inch gap with 90% efficiency. That’s huge for a technology that has struggled to gain traction because of inefficiencies and difficulties bridging enough of a gap to make inductive...
Google & NASA Partner to Host the Green Flight... →
From the Elektra One electric airplane to Siemens’ plug-in hybrid aircraft, we’ve been seeing a lot of eco-friendly airplanes lately. While we love any airplane that doesn’t spew massive amounts of carbon emissions, the fact is that most planes are still gas-guzzling beasts, which is why search giant Google has teamed up with NASA to sponsor the NASA Centennial Challenge competition (a.k.a. the...