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Shape-shifting robot shows off its moves

November 18, 2004

A shape-shifting robot comprised of many independently moving components, has been demonstrated walking, rolling and slithering for the first time.

The coordinated movement of numerous cells enables the robot to change its overall shape and also move itself along. The cells each have a computer and communicate with each other via an infrared link.

Shape-shifting rovers

October 18, 2006

An innovative rover robot designed to explore planets and moons is undergoing final assembly this week in a lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

The robot may also be useful in hazardous environments on Earth.

The new rover changes its shape and topples along, veering a bit from side to side as it moves ahead. Depending on the terrain, its overall shape can change from tetrahedral to… read more

Shape-shifting skin to reduce drag on planes and subs

April 17, 2008

Aircraft or submarines covered with an undulating skin able to change at a flick of a button would experience 50% less drag than conventional vehicles.

This trick, which naturally occurs in dolphins, is now being tested by engineers at Texas A&M University.

Shape-shifting ‘smart dust’ may explore alien world

April 18, 2007

Thousands of miniscule wireless sensors, or “smart dust,” could one day be used to explore other planets.

Several research groups are developing tiny smart dust devices. Each is a few cubic millimeters in volume and can perform simple sensing tasks and relay messages to other such devices over distances of less than a meter.

Together, they can be sprinkled across an area or throughout a building, and used… read more

Shapley supercluster: most massive structure within a billion light-years

October 22, 2013


While scanning the sky for the oldest cosmic light, ESA’s Planck satellite captured snapshots of some of the largest objects populating the Universe today: galaxy clusters and superclusters.

Several hundred galaxies and the huge amounts of gas that permeate them are depicted in this view of the core of the Shapley Supercluster, the largest cosmic structure in the local Universe.

The supercluster… read more

Shared Supercomputing and Everyday Research

November 23, 2009

Researchers and others are moving to a cloud-computing infrastructure to allow access to supercomputer resources by individual scientists and organizations around the globe, reducing the need for smaller universities and labs to spend money on their own computing infrastructure while opening access to formerly private medical and other scientific data.

Sharing a Joke Could Help Man and Robot Interact

August 2, 2007

Current AI programs are devoid of humor, but joking around is central to human social interaction. So University of Cincinnati researchers built a computer program that can get a joke — based on a simple pun.

To teach the program to spot jokes, the researchers first gave it a database of words, extracted from a children’s dictionary to keep things simple, and then supplied examples of how words can… read more

Sharing Data Visualization

April 11, 2007

IBM has launched a new website, called Many Eyes, with the hope of adding a social aspect to data visualizations like maps, network diagrams, and scatter plots.

Many Eyes teaches people how to build their own visualizations so that they can dive into complex, multidimensional data.

Sharing Fingerprints

March 4, 2009

Hackers can manipulate outdated algorithms to give two very different documents the same digital signature.

Sharing information corrupts wisdom of crowds

May 19, 2011

When people can learn what others think, the wisdom of crowds may veer towards ignorance.

In a new study of crowd wisdom — the statistical phenomenon by which individual biases cancel each other out, distilling hundreds or thousands of individual guesses into uncannily accurate average answers — researchers told test participants about their peers’ guesses. As a result, their group insight went awry.

“Although groups are initially ‘wise,’… read more

Sharing Internet access in networks of cars via WiFi

A new algorithm lets networks of Wi-Fi-connected cars share a few expensive links to the Internet
July 6, 2012

Car WiFi network (credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT)

A new algorithm that would allow Wi-Fi-connected cars to share their Internet connections has been developed by engineers at MIT, Georgetown University, and the National University of Singapore (NUS)

Wi-Fi is coming to our cars. Ford Motor Co. has been equipping cars with Wi-Fi transmitters since 2010. According to an Agence France-Presse story last year, the company expects that by 2015, 80 percent of the cars it sells in… read more

Sharing Their Demons on the Web

November 14, 2008

There’s a growing number of Web sites filled with stories from people who say they are victims of mind control and stalking by gangs of government agents, drawing the concern of mental health professionals and the interest of researchers in psychology and psychiatry.

Sharper, deeper, faster optical imaging of live biological samples

July 26, 2011

Sharper Deeper

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have developed a novel approach that could redefine optical imaging of live biological samples, simultaneously achieving high resolution, high penetration depth (for seeing deep inside 3D samples), and high imaging speed.

The research team employed an unconventional imaging method called light-sheet microscopy: a thin, flat sheet of light is used to illuminate a biological sample… read more

Sharpest infrared image of Milky Way’s core unveile

January 6, 2009

Astronomers released the sharpest infrared picture yet taken of the center of our galaxy, revealing massive filaments of gas and a new population of about 200 massive, rogue stars.

Sharply tuned nanostrings work at room temperature

July 14, 2006

Using a fast, low-cost fabrication technique that allows inexpensive testing of a wide variety of materials, Cornell researchers have come up with nanoscale resonators — tiny vibrating strings — with the highest quality factor so far obtainable at room temperature for devices so small.

The work is another step toward “laboratory on a chip” applications in which vibrating strings can be used to detect and identify biological molecules. The… read more

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