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Cloud

Robots Test Their Own World Wide Web 64

An anonymous reader writes "A new system called RoboEarth is currently being tested at Eindhoven University which will enable robots to complete tasks by sharing knowledge through a cloud based world-wide-web. The current study is based in a hospital setting where robots are sharing information to complete tasks like moving around by sharing a map of the room and serving drinks to 'patients'. The aim of the system is that robots and humans will be able to upload information to a cloud based database which can be accessed and used by robots. This will enable robots to share information and also to learn from each other. It will also allow robots to react to changes within their environment without having to be reprogrammed."
Science

Nano-Suit Protects Bugs From Vacuums 75

sciencehabit writes "Put a fruit fly larva in a spacelike vacuum, and the results aren't pretty. Within a matter of minutes, the animal will collapse into a crinkled, lifeless husk. Now, researchers have found a way to protect the bugs: Bombard them with electrons, which form a 'nano-suit' around their bodies. The advance could help scientists take high-resolution photographs of tiny living organisms. It also suggests a new way that creatures could survive the harsh conditions of outer space and may even lead to new space travel technology for humans." Work is also being done on electron "suits" that protect against radiation.
Science

Researchers Create Short-term Memories In Rat Brains 114

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers say they've found a way to store artificial short-term memories in isolated brain tissue. 'This is the first time anyone has found a way to store information over seconds about both temporal sequences and stimulus patterns directly in brain tissue,' says the study's lead. 'This paves the way for future research to identify the specific brain circuits that allow us to form short-term memories.' The peer-reviewed study can be found here (paywalled)."
Science

Researcher Builds Life-Like Cells Made of Metal 259

Sven-Erik writes "Could living things that evolved from metals be clunking about somewhere in the universe? In a lab in Glasgow, UK, one man is intent on proving that metal-based life is possible. He has managed to build cell-like bubbles from giant metal-containing molecules and has given them some life-like properties. He now hopes to induce them to evolve into fully inorganic self-replicating entities. 'I am 100 per cent positive that we can get evolution to work outside organic biology,' says Lee Cronin at the University of Glasgow. His building blocks are large 'polyoxometalates' made of a range of metal atoms — most recently tungsten — linked to oxygen and phosphorus. By simply mixing them in solution, he can get them to self-assemble into cell-like spheres."
IBM

IBM Scientists Build Computer Chips From DNA 97

snydeq writes "Scientists at IBM are experimenting with using DNA molecules as a way to create tiny circuits that could form the basis of smaller, more powerful computer chips. The technique builds on work done by Cal Tech's Paul Rothemund, who found that DNA molecules can be made to 'self-assemble' into tiny forms [PDF] such as triangles, squares and stars. 'To make a chip, the scientists first create lithographic templates using traditional chip making techniques. After, they pour a DNA solution over the surface of the silicon and the tiny triangles and squares — what the scientists call DNA origami — line themselves up to the patterns etched out using lithography.' DNA-based chips may sound like crackpot tech, but those involved believe the methodology could lead to a new way of fabricating features on the surface of chips that allows semiconductors to be made even smaller, faster and more power-efficient than they are today."
Power

MIT Secretly Built Mega-Efficient Nano Batteries 195

mattnyc99 writes "There was plenty of chatter last week about an MIT announcement that researcher Angela Belcher had developed a way to create virus-based nanoscale batteries to power mini gadgets of the future. In a fascinating followup at Popular Mechanics, Belcher now says that her unpublished work includes full-scale models of the batteries themselves, and that they could power everything from cars and laptops to medical devices and wearable armor. Quoting: 'We haven't ruled out cars. That's a lot of amplification. But right now the thing is trying to make the best material possible, and if we get a really great material, then we have to think about how do you scale it.'"
Programming

An AI 4-Year-Old In Second Life 234

schliz notes a development out of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where researchers have successfully created an artificially intelligent four-year-old capable of reasoning about his beliefs to draw conclusions in a manner that matches human children his age. The technology, which runs on the institute's supercomputing clusters, will be put to use in immersive training and education scenarios. Researchers envision futuristic applications like those seen in Star Trek's holodeck."
Supercomputing

Brain-Inspired Computer Made From Duroquinone 77

hasu notes that scientists at the National Institute for Materials Science at Tsukuba in Japan have created a device, consisting of 17 duroquinone molecules on a gold surface, that can in theory encode 4.3 billion outcomes. The "device" does not constitute a practical computer, since it requires both a scanning tunneling microscope and operation near absolute zero. A single duroquinone is surrounded by sixteen others, and weak chemical bonds allow a pulse to the central molecule to shift all seventeen molecules in a variety of ways. Each duroquinone has four different "settings," so a single pulse can have 4^16 possible outcomes. As a demonstration the researchers docked 8 other nano-devices to their 17-molecule computer. It is unclear how well they have characterized the inputs that result in 4.3 billion different outputs. They are working on a 3D design that would have 1,024 duroquinone molecules surrounding a central one.

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