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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.

Intelligent Handheld Robots Have the Skills

May 26, 2015 3:52 pm | by University of Bristol | News | Comments

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.

Space Station Flies ‘Under’ Super Typhoon Maysak

May 26, 2015 2:45 pm | News | Comments

Typhoon Maysak strengthened into a super typhoon on March 31, reaching Category 5 hurricane...

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — May 15-21

May 22, 2015 11:56 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

In case you haven’t caught them yet, here's a recap of this week's most popular stories. Looking...

Next-gen Neuroprosthetics: Clinical Trial Shows Intuitive Control of Robotic Arm Using Thought

May 22, 2015 11:02 am | by Alison Trinidad, University of Southern California - Health Sciences | News | Comments

Paralyzed from the neck down after suffering a gunshot wound when he was 21, Erik G. Sorto now...

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Computer simulations predict a liquid phase in atomically thin golden islands that patch small pores of graphene. According to the simulations, gold atoms flow and change places in the plane, while the surrounding graphene template retains the planarity o

Quantum-mechanical Models Predict New Phase of Matter

May 22, 2015 10:27 am | by Academy of Finland | News | Comments

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...

Bread Mold Encapsulated into Droplets -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlarge

Bread Mold Encapsulated into Droplets

May 22, 2015 10:09 am | News | Comments

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 Univer

Playing Graphics-intensive Fast-Action Games in the Cloud without Guzzling Gigabytes

May 21, 2015 9:50 am | by Duke University | News | Comments

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.

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Close-up: Twisted-wing Parasite -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlargeThis 10x photo shows a ventral view of the head of the twisted-wing parasite Myrmecolax sp. It received an honorable mention in

Close-up: Twisted-wing Parasite

May 21, 2015 9:13 am | News | Comments

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.

A robotic hand, or gripper, undergoes a NIST test to measure the contact force exerted by a robotic finger on an object. Courtesy of NIST

Get Ahold of This: NIST Tools Test Robot Hand Grasping, Fine-motor Skills

May 21, 2015 9:01 am | by NIST | News | Comments

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.

The thin electronic mesh stretches with the skin and can monitor data from the brain, muscles, heart, temperature, movement, hydration and strain. It lasts up to two weeks before the skin's natural exfoliation causes it to come away.

Age of Wearable Computing Delivers BioStamp Electronic Skin

May 20, 2015 3:32 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

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.

The IEEE Standard for Ontologies for Robotics and Automation (IEEE P1872) is designed to simplify programming, extend the information processing and reasoning capabilities of robots, and enable

Ontology for Automatons: Standard Knowledge for Robots

May 20, 2015 2:12 pm | by NIST | News | Comments

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.

Novel full-duplex transceiver in the anechoic chamber Courtesy of Sam Duckerin

New Technology could Fundamentally Change Future Wireless Communications

May 20, 2015 2:06 pm | by University of Bristo | News | Comments

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.

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Scientifically accurate 3-D heart model accelerates device testing and research for treatment of heart disease

Dassault Systèmes Announces Commercial Availability of Its First Simulated Human Heart

May 20, 2015 1:58 pm | by Dassault Systèmes | News | Comments

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.

oward 'green' paper-thin, flexible electronics

Journey to Space in a Vacuum Chamber

May 20, 2015 9:07 am | by NASA | News | Comments

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.

Now, engineers and physicists at the University of Pennsylvania have shown how liquid crystals can be employed to create compound lenses similar to those found in nature. Taking advantage of the geometry in which these liquid crystals like to arrange them

Liquid-crystal-based Compound Lenses work like Insect Eyes

May 19, 2015 5:01 pm | by University of Pennsylvania | News | Comments

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.

Star Formation and Magnetic Turbulence in the Orion Molecular Cloud -- Courtesy of ESA and the Planck Collaboration – click to enlarge

Star Formation and Magnetic Turbulence in the Orion Molecular Cloud

May 19, 2015 3:17 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

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.

Scientists are now closer to imitating key electronic aspects of the human brain — a vital step towards creating a bionic brain.

Researchers take Vital Step toward Creating Bionic Brain

May 19, 2015 3:08 pm | by RMIT University | News | Comments

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.

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In this photo, Mount St. Helens spews smoke, soot and ash into the sky in Washington state following a major eruption on May 18, 1980. May 18, 2015 is the 35th anniversary of the eruption that killed more than 50 people and blasted more than 1,300 feet of

A Look Back 35 Years after Mount St. Helens' Deadly Eruption

May 18, 2015 12:15 pm | by Phuong Le, Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

Close-up: Common Wasp Stinger

May 18, 2015 11:51 am | News | Comments

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.

Event display from the LHCb experiments on the Large Hadron Collider show examples of collisions that produced candidates for the rare decay of the Bs particle, predicted and observed to occur only about four times out of a billion. Courtesy of LHCb colla

Two Large Hadron Collider Experiments First to Observe Rare Subatomic Process

May 18, 2015 11:22 am | by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

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.

Three papers discuss why this dress image is seen differently by different observers. Courtesy of Cecilia Bleasdale

What Colors are the Dress? Three Perspectives on Why the Image is seen Differently

May 15, 2015 3:57 pm | by Cell Press | News | Comments

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.

Autonomous Car Prototype Folds, Shrinks, Drives Sideways

Recap: The Week's Top Stories — May 8-14

May 15, 2015 2:34 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

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.

Mapping World Air Traffic from Space -- Courtesy of ESA/DLR/SES – click to enlarge

Detecting and Mapping World Air Traffic from Space

May 15, 2015 9:51 am | by ESA | News | Comments

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.

Optibit took home both grand prizes from the 2015 MIT Clean Energy Prize. Shown here are (from left) Optibit team members Mark Wade and Alex Wright; Penni McLean Conner of Eversource; and Optibit team member Chen Sun. Courtesy of Michael Fein

Optical-chips Team Develops Way to Integrate Fiber Optics into Computer Chips

May 14, 2015 2:09 pm | by Rob Matheson, MIT | News | Comments

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.

Illustration of the Fermi Gamma ray Space Telescope (FGST) map of the sky with the central band removed to block out gamma rays originating in the Milky Way. Gamma rays of different energies are represented by dots of various colors — red dots represent a

Left-handed Cosmic Magnetic Field could Explain Missing Antimatter

May 14, 2015 12:20 pm | by The Royal Astronomical Society | News | Comments

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.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (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 i

Novel Computer Intelligence System Detects Acute Strokes

May 14, 2015 12:06 pm | by Hong Kong Polytechnic University | News | Comments

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.

Inner Eye: Retinal Whole Mount -- Courtesy of Nikon Small World -- 2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention -- Click to enlargeThis 40x image of a retinal whole mount, showing ganglion cell bodies and their axon bundles (red), astrocytes (green), and vasc

Inner Eye: Retinal Whole Mount

May 14, 2015 11:19 am | News | Comments

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.

BigNeuron, a new project led by the Allen Institute for Brain Science, aims to streamline scientist’s ability to create 3-D digital models of neurons. Courtesy of Allen Institute for Brain Science

Digitizing Neurons: Project will convert 2-D Microscope Images into 3-D Models

May 14, 2015 9:46 am | by Oak Ridge National Laboratory | News | Comments

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.

Cloudy Earth -- NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Kevin Ward, using data provided by the MODIS Atmosphere Science Team, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center – click to enlarge

Cloudy Earth: Observation Averages from July 2002 to April 2015

May 13, 2015 2:31 pm | by Adam Voiland, with information from Steve Platnick and Tom Arnold, NASA | News | Comments

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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