November 16, 2012
New artificial muscles made from nanotech yarns and infused with paraffin wax can lift more than 100,000 times their own weight and generate 85 times more mechanical power than the same size natural muscle, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas and their international team from Australia, China, South Korea, Canada and Brazil.
The… read more
April 1, 2012
OK, we admit it may not always be obvious, but KurzweilAI does not make up its news items. Really. Well … except this time. Your mission: figure out which of these stories are fake or real. (No fair Googling, or clicking “REVEAL” until you answer in Comments below!) — Ed.
1. Bonobos to communicate with humans via robots and the Internet
Using large touchscreen… read more
March 6, 2012
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding Boston Dynamics’ development of a prototype robot called the Cheetah.
The cat-like bot managed to gallop 18 mph on a treadmill, setting a new land speed record for legged robots. (The previous record: 13.1 mph, set at MIT in 1989.)
The company has a prototype human-like robot in the works called the Atlas… read more
By synchronizing 98 tiny cameras in a single device, engineers from Duke University and the University of Arizona have created a prototype camera that could capture up to 50 gigapixels of data (50,000 megapixels) and images with unprecedented detail.
The AWARE-2 camera’s resolution is five times better than 20/20 human vision over a 120 degree horizontal field.
By comparison, most consumer cameras are capable of taking photographs with sizes ranging… read more
June 5, 2012
Intrigued by the idea of eliminating human error from driving, a California legislator has introduced a bill to clarify that driverless cars are street legal.
The technology has a supporter in state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained mechanical engineer. Padilla’s Senate Bill 1298 would make it clear under California law that autonomous vehicles can use the public roads.… read more
Princeton researchers have found a simple and economical way to nearly triple the efficiency of organic solar cells, the cheap and flexible plastic devices that many scientists believe could be the future of solar power.
April 17, 2013
A brain-training task that increases the number of items an individual can remember over a short period of time may boost performance in other problem-solving tasks by enhancing communication between different brain areas.
The new study is one of a growing number of experiments on how working-memory training can measurably improve a range of skills — from multiplying in your head to reading a complex paragraph.
“Working memory… read more
A quantum internet capable of sending perfectly secure messages has been running at Los Alamos National Labs for the last two and a half years, MIT Technology Review reports.
One of the dreams for security experts is the creation of a quantum internet using quantum cryptography that allows perfectly secure communication based on the powerful laws of quantum mechanics.
The researchers created a quantum network based around… read more
May 28, 2013
The test is the first purely sensory assessment to be strongly correlated with IQ and may provide a non-verbal and culturally unbiased tool for scientists seeking to understand neural processes associated with general intelligence.
“Because intelligence is such a broad construct, you can’t… read more
February 26, 2013
At this year’s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, students in the Learning and Intelligent Systems Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory will present a pair of papers showing how household robots could use a little lateral thinking to compensate for their physical shortcomings.
Many commercial robotic arms perform what roboticists call “pick and place” tasks: The arm picks… read more
July 31, 2012
The ingestible sensor (formally referred to as the Ingestion Event Marker or IEM) is part of the Proteus digital health feedback system, an integrated, end-to-end personal health management system designed to help improve patients’ health habits and connections to caregivers.… read more