In a darkened, hangar-like space inside MIT’s Building 41, a small, Roomba-like robot is trying to make up its mind. Standing in its path is an obstacle — a human pedestrian who’s pacing back and forth. To get to the other side of the room, the robot has to first determine where the pedestrian is, then choose the optimal route to avoid a close encounter.
The control of modern infrastructure, such as intelligent power grids, needs lots of computing...
Superconductors and magnetic fields do not usually get along. But a research team has produced...
The Council on Competitiveness has released a new report that explores the value of government leadership in supercomputing for industrial competitiveness, titled Solve. The Exascale Effect: the Benefits of Supercomputing Investment for U.S. Industry. As the federal government pursues exascale computing to achieve national security and science missions, Solve examines how U.S.-based companies also benefit from leading-edge computation
President Barack Obama is expanding his push for increased manufacturing in the United States by directing federal money toward new technologies, apprenticeship programs and competitions designed to assist small manufacturers. The White House announced the executive actions October 27, 2014, as part of the day's focus on manufacturing, which administration officials consider one of the bright spots of the economic recovery.
Projecting images on curved screens poses a dilemma. The sharper the image, the darker it is. A novel optical approach brings brightness and sharpness together for the first time on screens of any curvature — and additionally allows about 10,000-times faster projection rates. Researchers have applied a proven approach used with cameras.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, can collect detailed information in real time at relatively low cost for ecological research. In a new Opinion piece published in the Cell Press journal Trends in Parasitology, experts demonstrate that drones can be used to understand how environmental factors influence the spread of infectious diseases.
A Google executive has broken the sound barrier and set several skydiving records over the southern New Mexico desert after taking a leap from the edge of space. Alan Eustace's supersonic jump from a high-altitude, helium-filled balloon is part of a project by Paragon Space Development and its Stratospheric Explorer team. The goal is to develop a self-contained commercial spacesuit that would allow people to explore the stratosphere.
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured images of a comet passing much closer to Mars than any previous known comet flyby of Earth or Mars. The images of comet Siding Spring were taken against a backdrop of the pre-dawn Martian sky on October 19, 2014. Images of comet A1 Siding Spring from the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam) are online.
A research team has been awarded approximately $58 million to analyze deposits of frozen methane under the Gulf of Mexico that hold enormous potential to increase the world’s energy supply. The grant, one of the largest ever awarded to the university, will allow researchers to advance scientific understanding of methane hydrate, a substance found in abundance beneath the ocean floor and under Arctic permafrost.
Through a computational algorithm, researchers have developed a neural network that allows a small robot to detect different patterns, such as images, fingerprints, handwriting, faces, bodies, voice frequencies and DNA sequences. Nancy Guadalupe Arana Daniel focused on the recognition of human silhouettes in disaster situations.
The founder of virtual reality firm Oculus and singer Rosanne Cash and are among those who were honored with American Ingenuity Awards at the Smithsonian Institution, along with eight other scientists and scholars for their groundbreaking work. Washingtonian magazine has described the event as the “Golden Globes of Intellect.”
Computer chips with superconducting circuits — circuits with zero electrical resistance — would be 50 to 100 times as energy-efficient as today’s chips, an attractive trait given the increasing power consumption of the massive data centers that power the Internet’s most popular sites. Superconducting chips also promise greater processing power.
For those most severely affected, treating epilepsy means drilling through the skull deep into the brain to destroy the small area where the seizures originate — invasive, dangerous and with a long recovery period. Five years ago, a team of Vanderbilt engineers wondered: Is it possible to address epileptic seizures in a less invasive way?
Raytheon Company has unveiled its wearable computing Intel-Ops solution at the AUSA 2014 Meeting and Exposition. The new technology merges a proven, wearable computer system with situational awareness capabilities to create an enhanced real-time view of the battlefield for commanders and their troops.
From performing surgery to driving cars, today’s robots can do it all. With chatbots recently hailed as passing the Turing test, it appears robots are becoming increasingly adept at posing as humans. While machines are becoming ever more integrated into human lives, the need to imbue them with a sense of morality becomes increasingly urgent. But can we really teach robots how to be good? An innovative piece of research looks into the matter
A customer service robot has started roaming around the passenger terminal of Indianapolis International Airport. The robot was rolled out October 9, 2014, with a staffer guiding it remotely around the baggage claim area greeting travelers and looking for anyone who needed assistance. The robot looks like a miniature Segway, but with a blue customer service shirt and an interactive iPod on top showing the face of the employee piloting it.
The IEEE Technology Time Machine (TTM) is going further into the future. Now in its third year, the annual two-day IEEE meeting is mixing things up a little in terms of format and topics. Rather than just looking at how some technologies might evolve in the next decade, experts and visionaries are going to look out to 2035 and beyond.
New research by biomedical engineers at the University of Minnesota shows that people who practice yoga and meditation long-term can learn to control a computer with their minds faster and better than people with little or no yoga or meditation experience. The research could have major implications for treatments of people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases.
Electricity and magnetism rule our digital world. Semiconductors process electrical information, while magnetic materials enable long-term data storage. A University of Pittsburgh research team has discovered a way to fuse these two distinct properties in a single material, paving the way for new ultrahigh density storage and computing architectures.
Computationally intensive research in Sweden will soon get a boost from the fastest academic supercomputer in the Nordic countries, to be installed in October 2014 at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. KTH is due to begin using the fastest academic supercomputer of any university in Scandinavia. A Cray XC30 with 1,676 nodes and a memory of 104.7 terabytes will be installed at KTH’s PDC Center for High Performance Computing.
Designers of the ambitious U.S. air traffic control system of the future neglected to take drones into account, raising questions about whether it can handle the escalating demand for the unmanned aircraft and predicted congestion in the sky.
With President Obama announcing climate-support initiatives at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, the U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories are teaming with academia and the private sector to develop the most advanced climate and Earth system computer model yet created. For Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers, it is a welcome advance for an already vibrant high-performance computing community.
India celebrated putting a spacecraft into orbit around Mars on September 24, 2014, hoping the rare feat will show the world it is open for business in space exploration and inspire a new generation of homegrown scientists to help drive growth. Those motivations help explain why India, a poor country of 1.2 billion, even invests in a space program when so many of its people lack access to proper toilets, electricity and health care.
Researchers have equipped a robot with a novel tactile sensor that lets it grasp a USB cable draped freely over a hook and insert it into a USB port. The sensor is an adaptation of a technology called GelSight, which was developed at MIT. The new sensor isn’t as sensitive as the original GelSight sensor, which could resolve details on the micrometer scale. But it’s smaller, and its processing algorithm is faster.
A new resource unveiled by researchers from several Harvard University labs, in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, provides both experienced and aspiring researchers with the intellectual raw materials needed to design, build and operate robots made from soft, flexible materials.
There are many situations where it’s impossible, complicated or too time-consuming for humans to enter and carry out operations. Think of contaminated areas following a nuclear accident, or the need to erect structures such as antennae on mountain tops. These are examples of where flying robots could be used. The EU’s ARCAS project has designed a range of different flying robots with multi-joint manipulator arms
Researchers have developed a technique for controlling the surface tension of liquid metals by applying very low voltages, opening the door to a new generation of reconfigurable electronic circuits, antennas and other technologies. The technique hinges on the fact that the oxide “skin” of the metal — which can be deposited or removed — acts as a surfactant, lowering the surface tension between the metal and the surrounding fluid.
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