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4D printed objects ‘make themselves’

March 1, 2013

Cube self-folding strand (credit: Self-Assembly Lab, MIT/Stratasys)

At the TED conference in Los Angeles, architect and computer scientist Skylar Tibbits showed how the process allows objects to self-assemble, BBC News reports.

It could be used to install objects in hard-to-reach places such as underground water pipes, he suggested.

It might also herald an age of self-assembling furniture, said experts.

Smart materials

“We’re proposing that the fourth dimension is time… read more

Blocking this molecule in the brain could prevent age-related cognitive decline

February 8, 2013

neurogeneis-branching-thumbnail

Researchers have discovered a molecule that accumulates with age and inhibits the formation of new neurons. The finding might help scientists design therapies to prevent age-related cognitive decline.

The investigators identified the molecule, called Dickkopf-1 or Dkk1, in the brains of aged mice. By blocking production of Dkk1, “we released a brake on neuronal birth, thereby resetting performance in spatial memory tasks back to levels observed in… read more

Gingrich proposes Moon base by 2020

January 27, 2012

Domed lunar settlement (credit: Pat Rawlings/NASA)

Newt Gingrich has called for a bold, aggressive space program that would establish a permanent base on the Moon by 2020, along with a next-generation propulsion system for taking humans to Mars, and commercial near-Earth activities that include science, tourism, and manufacturing.

Transcript of the speech, courtesy of the National Space Society.

 

 

 

Astronaut on ISS uses interplanetary Internet to control robot in Germany

November 12, 2012

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NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) used an experimental version of interplanetary Internet in late October to control an educational rover from the International Space Station, NASA says.

The experiment used NASA’s Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol to transmit messages and demonstrate technology that one day may enable Internet-like communications with space vehicles and support habitats or infrastructure on another planet.

Space station Expedition… read more

Simulated attack on the US power grid planned for Wednesday — Thursday

November 12, 2013

gridexii

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is quietly planning to launch a simulated attack on the U.S. power grid on Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 13–14) called GridEx II, according to an unpublished document obtained by KurzweilAI from NERC.

The updated objectives for GridEx II are:

• Exercise the current readiness of the electricity industry to respond to a security incident, incorporating… read more

Nanomagnets may replace silicon-based transistors in computers, say UC Berkeley researchers

November 20, 2013

As the current passes through a strip of tantalum, electrons with opposite spins separate. This helps in orienting the nanomagnets  on the top of the tantalum strip such that they can be switched easily, which is also called "clocking". Thus information propagates from the input magnet along a chain of magnets and thus we perform nanomagnetic logic.

New work by University of California Berkeley researchers could one day make nanomagnetic switches a viable replacement for the conventional power-consuming transistors found in all computers.

“Increased energy consumption of modern day computers is a major challenge that the computer industry faces,” researcher Debanjan Bhowmik explained to KurzweilAI. Bhowmik is a UC Berkeley graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and the first author of a paper on this… read more

First true 3D microchip created: Cambridge scientists

February 1, 2013

(Credit: iStockphoto)

University of Cambridge scientists have created a new type of microchip that allows information to travel in three dimensions, enabling additional storage capacity on chips.

Currently, microchips can only pass digital information in a very limited way — from either left to right or front to back, the researchers say.

In the future, a 3D microchip would enable additional storage capacity on chips by… read more

Floating cities of the future

August 1, 2012

seascraper_national_geographic

Touted as an eco-friendly floating city, the Seascraper  is among concepts for sustainable offshore settlements described by National Geographic.

“With more than seven billion people on the planet, mass migrations to cities, and increased risks of flooding and sea level rise, more and more architects and innovators seem to be weighing anchor,” NatGeo says.

Scientists create single-atom bit, smallest memory in the world

November 17, 2013

The scanning tunneling microscope makes single holmium atoms on a platinum surface visible. (Photo: KIT/T. Miyamachi)

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) researchers have taken a big step towards miniaturizing magnetic data memory down to a single-atom bit: they fixed a single atom on a surface so the magnetic spin remained stable for ten minutes.

“A single atom fixed to a substrate is [typically] so sensitive that its magnetic orientation is stable only for less than a microsecond,” said Wulf Wulfhekel of KIT.

A… read more

A Japan-developed robot for disaster response

November 23, 2012

toshiba_robot

Toshiba has developed a remote-controlled tetrapod inspection robot with camera and dosimeter, designed to investigate risky areas, such as Fukushima nuclear power plants.

The multiple joints of its legs are controlled by a movement algorithm that enables the robot to walk on uneven surfaces (like Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog), avoid obstacles, and climb stairs to get access into areas can’t be reached by wheeled robots (such as some iRobot… read more

MIT researchers build ultrahigh-definition Quad HD (4K) TV chip

February 21, 2013

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At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference this week, MIT researchers unveiled their own Quad HD video chip design.

Quad HD is also known as 4K and ultrahigh-definition (UHD). The new Quad HD video standard enables a fourfold increase in the resolution of TV screens.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, several manufacturers debuted new UHD models.

There is no UHD content… read more

Beyond Second Life: more realistic avatars

May 21, 2013

avatar

Philip Rosedale, founder of once-popular virtual world Second Life, has created a new company called High Fidelity. As suggested by the video above and the blog, the company is developing more natural ways for avatars to communicate (with heads and hand movements, for example) and with low latency (faster response time).

“Imagine holding your phone and being able to twist and move your avatar’s hand.… read more

Chocolate may help keep brain healthy

August 8, 2013

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may help older people keep their brains healthy and their thinking skills sharp, according to a study published in the August 7, 2013, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study involved 60 people with an average age of 73 who did not have dementia. The participants drank two cups of… read more

A personalized robot companion

August 20, 2013

cordis_mobiserv

A consortium of European researchers has developed a customizable robot companion for people with memory or mobility problems.

The robot, a mobile wheeled semi-humanoid figure equipped with cameras, sensors, audio and a touch screen interface, can remind users to take their medicine, suggest they have their favorite drink or prompt them to go for a walk or visit friends if they haven’t been out for a while,… read more

Tesla plans ‘mostly autonomous’ car within three years

September 20, 2013

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Elon Musk has decided that the next step for Tesla Motors cars is to go (mostly) autonomous, IEEE Spectrum reports.

From the Financial Times:
“We should be able to do 90 percent of miles driven within three years,” [Musk] said. Mr Musk would not reveal further details of Tesla’s autonomy project, but said it was “internal development” rather than technology being supplied by another company.read more

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