Where the river meets the sea, there is the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy, according to a team of mechanical engineers at MIT. The researchers evaluated an emerging method of power generation called pressure retarded osmosis, in which two streams of different salinity are mixed to produce energy. In principle, a PRO system would take in river water and seawater on either side of a semi-permeable membrane.
MIT spinout Akselos has developed novel software, based on years of research at the Institute,...
As a report from the Obama administration warns that one in four bridges in the United States...
In the age of big data, visualization tools are vital. With a single glance at a graphic display...
On August 19, 2014, National Aviation Day, a lot of people reflected on how far aviation has come in the last century. Could this be the future — a plane with many electric motors that can hover like a helicopter and fly like a plane, and that could revolutionize air travel?
The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University. Instead of one highly-complex robot, a “kilo” of robots collaborate, providing a simple platform for the enactment of complex behaviors. Called Kilobots, these extremely simple robots are each just a few centimeters across and stand on three pin-like legs.
There may be itsy-bitsy aliens among us. Scientists say seven microscopic particles collected by NASA's comet-chasing spacecraft, Stardust, appear to have originated outside our solar system. If confirmed, this would be the world's first sampling of contemporary interstellar dust.
A photo is worth a thousand words, but what if the image could also represent thousands of other images? New software seeks to tame the vast amount of visual data in the world by generating a single photo that can represent massive clusters of images. This tool can give users the photographic gist of a kid on Santa’s lap or housecats. It works by generating an image that literally averages the key features of the other photos.
Igor Markov reviews limiting factors in the development of computing systems to help determine what is achievable, identifying loose limits and viable opportunities for advancements through the use of emerging technologies. He summarizes and examines limitations in the areas of manufacturing and engineering, design and validation, power and heat, time and space, as well as information and computational complexity.
With five technical papers contending for one of the highest honored awards in high performance computing (HPC), the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) awards committee has four months left to choose a winner for the prestigious 2014 Gordon Bell Prize. The winner of this prize will have demonstrated an outstanding achievement in HPC that helps solve critical science and engineering problems.
SOLIDWORKS Education Edition 2014-2015 is an integrated applications portfolio that includes tools and enhancements designed to improve teacher efficiency, shorten student design processes, increase team collaboration and enable educational productivity across numerous areas.
Tate Britain is inviting art fans to a night at the museum — though robots, not T. rexes, will be roaming this time. The London art museum says, for five nights beginning August 12, 2014, people from around the world can get an after-hours tour online thanks to four roaming robots fitted with lights, cameras and sensors designed to let them move around the rooms in the dark.
LabVIEW 2014 system design software standardizes the way users interact with hardware through reuse of the same code and engineering processes across systems, which scales applications for the future. This saves time and money as technology advances, requirements evolve and time-to-market pressure increases.
High-tech specks called quantum dots could bring brighter, more vibrant color to mass market TVs, tablets, phones and other displays. A scientist has described a new technology, called 3M quantum dot enhancement film (QDEF), that efficiently makes liquid crystal display (LCD) screens more richly colored. His talk was given at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
Physicists have created a tractor beam on water, providing a radical new technique that could confine oil spills, manipulate floating objects or explain rips at the beach. The group discovered they can control water flow patterns with simple wave generators, enabling them to move floating objects at will. The new technique gives scientists a way of controlling things adrift on water in a way that resembles sci-fi tractor beams.
No longer just fantastical fodder for sci-fi buffs, cyborg technology is bringing us tangible progress toward real-life electronic skin, prosthetics and ultraflexible circuits. Taking this human-machine concept to an unprecedented level, pioneering scientists are working on the seamless marriage between electronics and brain signaling, with the potential to transform our understanding of how to treat the brain's most devastating diseases.
NASA technologists have hurdled a number of significant challenges in their quest to improve a revolutionary observing technology originally created for the James Webb Space Telescope. This image shows a close-up view of the next-generation microshutter arrays — designed to accommodate the needs of future observatories — during the fabrication process.
A team of engineers used little more than paper and Shrinky dinks — the classic children's toy that shrinks when heated — to build a robot that assembles itself into a complex shape in four minutes flat, and crawls away without any human intervention. The advancedemonstrates the potential to quickly and cheaply build sophisticated machines that interact with the environment.
Turning what seemed like a science fiction tale into reality, an unmanned probe swung alongside a comet on august 6, 2014, after a 4-billion mile (6.4-billion kilometer) chase through outer space over the course of a decade. Europe's Rosetta probe will orbit and study the giant ball of dust and ice as it hurtles toward the sun and, if all goes according to plan, drop a lander onto the comet in the coming months.
As our lives and businesses become ever more intertwined with the Internet and networked technologies, it is crucial to continue to develop and improve cybersecurity measures to keep our data, devices and critical systems safe, secure, private and accessible. The NSF's Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace program has announced two new center-scale "Frontier" awards to support projects that address grand challenges in cybersecurity science
FLOW-3D 11 features FlowSight, an advanced visualization tool based on the EnSight post-processor, which offers powerful ways to analyze, visualize and communicate simulation data. Its capabilities include the ability to analyze and compare multiple simulation results simultaneously, volume rendering and a CFD calculator, as well as flipbooks.
Researchers at MIT, Microsoft and Adobe have developed an algorithm that can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. In one set of experiments, they were able to recover intelligible speech from the vibrations of a potato-chip bag photographed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass.
Simulink Real-Time enables engineers to build, test, and run real-time applications from Simulink models on dedicated target computer hardware connected to their physical systems, providing a complete end-to-end real-time simulation and testing solution.
At the Smart America Expo in June 2014, Yan Wan from the University of North Texas exhibited unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) she developed that are capable of providing wireless communications to storm-ravaged areas where telephone access is out.
The Columbia River basin in the Pacific Northwest offers great potential for water power; hydroelectric power stations there generate over 20 000 megawatts already. Now a simulation model will help optimize the operation of the extensive dam system.
The magnets cluttering the face of your refrigerator may one day be used as cooling agents, according to a new theory. The theory describes the motion of magnons — quasi-particles in magnets that are collective rotations of magnetic moments, or “spins.” In addition to the magnetic moments, magnons also conduct heat; researchers found that when exposed to a magnetic field gradient, magnons may be driven to move from one end of a magnet to...
NASA's Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles of driving. The previous record was held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover. If the rover can continue to operate the distance of a marathon — 26.2 miles — it will approach the next major investigation site mission scientists have dubbed "Marathon Valley."
A new method of building materials using light could one day enable technologies that are often considered the realm of science fiction, such as invisibility cloaks and cloaking devices. Although cloaked starships won't be a reality for quite some time, the technique researchers have developed for constructing materials with building blocks a few billionths of a meter across can be used to control the way light flies through them.
Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision. Chandra, one of NASA's current "Great Observatories," along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, is specially designed to detect X-ray emission from hot and energetic regions.
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