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+ - Researchers Create Walking, Muscle-Powered Biobots

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Researchers at the University of Illinois have created tiny robots that walk when current is applied to their bio-based muscular engines. The tiny robots can twitch their way across a surface or through a liquid.

The researchers see many uses for the robots, including toxin neutralization and the improvement of biological control systems."

+ - Hierarchical membrane for solving Oil-Spill issues.

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Whenever there is a major spill of oil into water, the two tend to mix into a suspension of tiny droplets, called as "emulsion".

It is extremely hard to separate them. And they can cause severe damage to ecosystems.

Now, MIT researchers have discovered a new, inexpensive way of getting the two fluids apart again.

This new approach uses membranes with hierarchical pore structures. The membranes combine a very thin layer of nanopores with a thicker layer of micropores to limit the passage of unwanted material while providing strength sufficient to withstand high pressure and throughput."

+ - Glen Keane's Hand-drawn animation "Duet" displayed at Google I/O 2014

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Glen Keane debuted his new hand-drawn short "Duet" at the Google I/O developer conference.

Glen Keane is an American animator, author and illustrator. Keane is best known for his character animation at Walt Disney Animation Studios for feature films including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and Tangled

He produced "Duet" with Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group.(ATAP). This is the third in Google's series of Spotlight Stories that are designed to explore the possibilities of interactive animation on mobile devices.

Duet is the first traditionally animated, hand-drawn film to debut as a Spotlight Story.

Duet will officially launch later this year and will be available on all capable devices with proper hardware capabilities and OS version higher than Android 4.2."

+ - Google showed Project Ara Prototype

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Paul Eremenko, the head of Project Ara showed the prototype of Project Ara at Google I/O 2014.
Though the phone failed to fully load, Audience cheered on seeing the Android bootup screen.

Project Ara is the codename for an initiative by Google that aims to develop a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones."

+ - Researchers unveil experimental 36-core chip

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "This week, at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture, Peh’s group unveiled a 36-core chip that features just such a “network-on-chip.” In addition to implementing many of the group’s earlier ideas, it also solves one of the problems that has bedeviled previous attempts to design networks-on-chip: maintaining cache coherence, or ensuring that cores’ locally stored copies of globally accessible data remain up to date."

+ - 3D-printed material can carry 160,000 times its own weight.

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Researchers found a new design which is based on the use of microlattices with nanoscale features, combining great stiffness and strength with ultralow density.
The actual production of such materials is made possible by a high-precision 3-D printing process called projection microstereolithography.

Normally, stiffness and strength declines with the density of any material; that’s why when bone density decreases, fractures become more likely. But using the right mathematically determined structures to distribute and direct the loads, the lighter structure can maintain its strength.

This newly invented material is among the lightest in the world.
These matericals can easily withstand a load of more than 160,000 times their own weight.

By Using light to imprint features onto polymer or plastic, the researchers disproved the established diffraction limit, and they proved first time that it is possible to print sub-wavelength features one-hundredth the thickness of a human hair. This discovery allows manufacturers to imprint finer features into items such as DVDs to significantly improve storage capabilities, or to probe the traffic of protein or DNA.

This approach could be useful anywhere there’s a need for a combination of high stiffness (for load bearing), high strength, and light weight — such as in structures to be deployed in space, where every bit of weight adds significantly to the cost of launch. But the Researcher says there may also be applications at smaller scale, such as in batteries for portable devices, where reduced weight is also highly desirable.

As this research was funded by DARPA, it could also end up on robots and drones."

+ - Google's Nest buys Home Monitoring Camera Company Dropcam

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "The popular home monitoring camera startup "Dropcam" will be acquired by Nest Labs, the maker of smart thermostats and smoke detectors.

The deal is worth $555 million in cash.

Nest itself was purchased by Google just four months ago for $3.2 billion.

Dropcam is a cloud-based Wi-Fi video monitoring service. It was founded in 2009. Dropcam lets users place cameras throughout a home for live-viewing and recording. The cameras also include options for night vision and two-way talking with built-in microphones.

Dropcam has never disclosed sales, but it is routinely the top-selling security camera on Amazon, and it recently branched into selling in retail stores like Apple and Best Buy.

People concerned about the privacy implications of Google’s acquisition of Nest may be further unsettled by Nest’s purchase of a home surveillance company. Nest's founder Matt Rogers anticipated this issue , insisted that there’s no reason to worry. In his blog post, he says that data won’t be shared with anyone, including Google, without a customer’s permission.

Nest has run into product challenges recently. In April, Nest said it was suspending sales of its smoke alarms after it determined the units could be switched off unintentionally. The products are now back on the market."

+ - Continuous system for converting waste plastics into Crude Oil 1

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "A MIT spinout company aims to end the landfilling of plastic with a cost-effective system that breaks down nonrecycled plastics into oil, while reusing some of the gas it produces to operate.

To convert the plastics into oil, this new system first shreds them. The shreds are then entered into a reactor — which runs at about 400 degrees Celsius — where a catalyst helps degrade the plastics’ long carbon chains. This produces a vapor that runs through a condenser, where it’s made into oil.

Much of the system’s innovation is in its continuous operation

This company aims to produce more refined fuel that recyclers can immediately pump back into their recycling trucks, without the need for oil refineries.

Currently 2 Trillion Tons of Plastic waste is sitting in US landfills. So, there is a huge demand for this technology."

+ - Robotic Device for detecting Leaks in Pipes of Gas, Oil or Water. ->

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Researchers at MIT have devised a robotic system that can detect leaks quickly and with high accuracy by sensing a large pressure change at leak locations.
This new system can detect leaks of just 1 to 2 millimeters in size, and at relatively low pressure.
The system can detect leaks in gas pipes, water pipes, or in petroleum pipelines.
The researchers have begun discussions with gas companies and water companies about setting up field tests under real-world conditions.

The robotic device consists of two parts.
One part is, a small robot, with wheels to propel it through pipes.
And another part is, a drum-like membrane that forms a seal across the width of the pipe.
When a leak is encountered, liquid flowing toward it distorts the membrane, pulling it slightly toward the leak site. That distortion can be detected by force-resistive sensors via a carefully designed mechanical system, similar to the sensors used in computer trackpads , and the information sent back via wireless communications."

Link to Original Source

+ - Bake your own robot

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "MIT researchers have found a way for easily creating Robots by assembling them from parts produced by 3D printers.

The researchers demonstrate the promise of printable robotic components that, when heated, automatically fold into prescribed three-dimensional configurations.

i-e 2D plastic sheets can be easily converted into a 3D object just by applying heat.

The researcher came up with this innovation by exploring how origami techniques could be adapted in order to create reconfigurable robots.

Apart from robots, this technique can be used for creating any kind of three-dimensional objects.

And, the researchers developed an algorithm that would turn a 3D model of an object into a 2D physical structure so that the self-folding sheets can be created easily.

i-e To create a robot or any other 3D object, First we need to create the 2D designs for the self-folding sheets based on the 3D model of the required object. The new algorithm will help to do this step easily. Then those self-folding sheets can be created using 3D printers. After that they will be heated to form the required 3D object.

The same team has also developed a range of electromechanical components including sensors, actuators, resistors and capacitors, which can work together as the "muscles" that enable robots' movements."

+ - Paralyzed Man in Robotic Body Suit Kick Off World Cup 2014

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "A Paralyzed man has made the first kick of the World Cup using a mind-controlled robotic exoskeleton.

This has all been made possible by the "Walk Again Project", a nonprofit international collaboration of researchers that focuses on using technology to help people with paraylsis walk again.

This project is supported by research from several institutions including Duke University Center for Neuroengineering

When the patient thinks about walking, the brain signals are transmitted to a computer which then activates the exoskeleton to move accordingly.

The exoskeleton uses a cap placed on the patient's head to pick up brain signals and relay them to a computer in the exoskeleton's backpack.

Juliano Pinto is a 29-year-old with complete paralysis of the lower trunk

Using his robotic suit, Mr Pinto kicked the official ball a short distance along a mat laid down by the touchline during world cup opening ceremony.

The researchers believe that the people with paralysis may abandon the wheelchair and literally walk again."

+ - Major websites launch anti-NSA-surveillance campaign on June 5th.->

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Some of the world's largest websites are planning a coordinated day of action on Thursday to oppose mass surveillance online.

The sites, which include Reddit, Imgur and BoingBoing, will be taking part in the campaign, called "Reset the Net", in a number of ways.

Some will showing a splash screen to all users, reminiscent of the one used in the successful protests against SOPA, the US copyright bill which many feared would damage the backbone of the internet. But rather than telling users to write to their electoral representatives, this protest will push more direct action, encouraging visitors to install privacy and encryption tools.

Unauthorized Surveillance of NSA is criticized by various countries."

Link to Original Source

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