What if handheld tools know what needs to be done and were even able to guide and help inexperienced users to complete jobs that require skill? Researchers have developed and started studying a novel concept in robotics - intelligent handheld robots.
Typhoon Maysak strengthened into a super typhoon on March 31, reaching Category 5 hurricane...
In case you haven’t caught them yet, here's a recap of this week's most popular stories. Looking...
Paralyzed from the neck down after suffering a gunshot wound when he was 21, Erik G. Sorto now...
Computer simulations have predicted a new phase of matter, an atomically thin two-dimensional liquid. This prediction pushes the boundaries of possible phases of materials further than ever before. Two-dimensional materials themselves were considered impossible until the discovery of graphene around 10 years ago. However, they have been observed only in the solid phase, because the thermal atomic motion required for molten materials...
This 5x photo shows bread mold encapsulated into droplets. It received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photograph was taken using fluorescence.
Gamers might one day be able to enjoy the same graphics-intensive fast-action video games they play on their gaming consoles or personal computers from mobile devices without guzzling gigabytes, thanks to a new tool developed by researchers at Duke University and Microsoft Research. Named “Kahawai," the tool delivers graphics and gameplay on par with conventional cloud-gaming setups for a fraction of the bandwidth.
This 10x photo shows a ventral view of the head of the twisted-wing parasite Myrmecolax sp. It received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photograph was taken using reflected light and focus stacking.
Grasping and shaking hands is a defining human ritual. But what about our android counterparts? What does the grip of a robot’s hand say about the machine’s capabilities, especially dexterity — the ability to wield and manipulate different objects under challenging circumstances, such as in manufacturing or assembly operations? NIST is developing tests to take full measure of robotic grasping in order to provide useful benchmarking tools.
MC10 is developing a technology that will allow digital circuits to be embedded in bendable, stretchable materials, which allows exploration of entirely new form factors for electronics — including a form of “electronic skin.” MC10 has overcome the rigidity of normal electronic components by printing them in very small pieces and arranging them in wavy patterns. BioStamp, a flexible computing prototype, can be worn constantly.
What do you know? There is now a world standard for capturing and conveying knowledge robots possess — or, to get philosophical about it, an ontology for automatons. Crafted by a working group of 166 experts from 23 nations, IEEE Standard for Ontologies for Robotics and Automation is designed to simplify programming, extend information processing and reasoning capabilities, and enable clear robot-to-robot and human-to-robot communication.
Radio systems, such as mobile phones and wireless Internet connections, have become an integral part of modern life. However, today’s devices use twice as much of the radio spectrum as is necessary. New technology is being developed that could fundamentally change radio design and could increase data rates and network capacity, reduce power consumption, create cheaper devices and enable global roaming.
Dassault Systèmes announced that the first heart model from its “Living Heart Project” will be commercially available on May 29, 2015. Powered by Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s realistic simulation applications, the commercial, high-fidelity scientifically validated 3-D simulator of a four-chamber human heart is the first product of its kind.
When you need to test hardware designed to operate in the vast reaches of space, you start in a vacuum chamber. NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland has many of them, but Vacuum Chamber 5 (VF-5) is special. Supporting the testing of electric propulsion and power systems, VF-5 has the highest pumping speed of any electric propulsion test facility in the world, which is important in maintaining a continuous space-like environment.
Compound eyes found in insects and some sea creatures are marvels of evolution. There, thousands of lenses work together to provide sophisticated information without the need for a sophisticated brain. Human artifice can only begin to approximate these naturally self-assembled structures. Taking advantage of the geometry in which liquid crystals like to arrange themselves, researchers can grow compound lenses with controllable sizes.
With blue hues suggestive of marine paradises and a texture evoking the tranquil flow of sea waves, this image might make us daydream of sandy beaches and exotic holiday destinations. Instead, the subject of the scene is intense and powerful, because it depicts the formation of stars in the turbulent billows of gas and dust of the Orion Molecular Cloud.
Researchers have mimicked the way the human brain processes information with the development of an electronic long-term memory cell, which mirrors the brain’s ability to simultaneously process and store multiple strands of information. The development brings them closer to imitating key electronic aspects of the human brain — a vital step toward creating a bionic brain and unlocking treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Thirty-five years ago, Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington state erupted, killing 57 people, blasting more than 1,300 feet off the top and raining volcanic ash for miles around. Today, the volcano has become a world-class outdoor laboratory for the study of volcanoes, ecosystems and forestry, and scientists are constantly recording activity in and around the mountain.
This 5x photo of a common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) stinger received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photograph was taken using reflected light and focus stacking.
Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, have combined their results and observed a previously unseen subatomic process. A joint analysis by the CMS and LHCb collaborations has established a new and extremely rare decay of the Bs particle (a heavy composite particle consisting of a bottom antiquark and a strange quark) into two muons.
When you look at this photograph, what colors are the dress? Some see blue and black stripes, others see white and gold stripes. This striking variation took the Internet by storm in February; now Current Biology is publishing three short papers on why the image is seen differently by different observers, and what this tells us about the complicated workings of color perception.
In case you missed it, here's another chance to catch this week's biggest hits. Writing like a genius; the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity; imaging fascinating, wild and unpredictable thunder; a car prototype that folds, shrinks and drives sideways; a high-efficiency laser system to remove space debris from orbit; and more are among the latest top stories.
Aircraft positions are picked up by the Proba-V mini-satellite, using an experimental ADS-B receiver. These signals are regularly broadcast from aircraft, giving flight information such as speed, position and altitude. Proba-V has picked up upwards of 25 million positions from more than 15,000 separate aircraft. The team has identified more than 22,000 unique call signs, identifying more than 15,000 aircraft.
A team that aims to drastically boost the efficiency of computing with silicon chips took home both grand prizes at MIT’s CEP competition. They developed a way to integrate fiber optics — glass or plastic components that can transmit data using light waves — into computer chips, replacing copper wires that rely on electricity. Using light can drop energy usage about 95 percent in chip-to-chip communications and increase bandwidth tenfold.
The discovery of a 'left-handed' magnetic field that pervades the universe could help explain a long standing mystery — the absence of cosmic antimatter. Planets, stars, gas and dust are almost entirely made up of 'normal' matter of the kind we are familiar with on Earth. But theory predicts that there should be a similar amount of antimatter, like normal matter, but with the opposite charge.
PolyU has developed a novel computer-aided detection system for acute stroke using computer intelligence technology. Reading 80 to 100 computer images, the system is able to detect whether the patient was struck by ischemic stroke or haemorrhagic stroke. The detection accuracy is 90 percent, which is as high as that conducted by specialists, but at a much reduced time from 10 to 15 minutes to just three minutes.
This 40x image of a retinal whole mount, showing ganglion cell bodies and their axon bundles (red), astrocytes (green), and vasculature (blue), received an honorable mention in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. The photograph was taken using confocal microscopy.
A new initiative designed to advance how scientists digitally reconstruct and analyze individual neurons in the human brain will receive support from the supercomputing resources at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Led by the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the BigNeuron project aims to create a common platform for analyzing the three-dimensional structure of neurons.
Decades of satellite observations and astronaut photographs show that clouds dominate space-based views of Earth. One study, based on nearly a decade of satellite data, estimated that about 67 percent of Earth’s surface is typically covered by clouds. This is especially the case over the oceans, where other research shows less than 10 percent of the sky is completely clear of clouds at any one time.
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