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Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

Aug 25, 2016

Hacking microbes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, food

Biology is the world’s greatest manufacturing platform, according to MIT spinout Ginkgo Bioworks.

The synthetic-biology startup is re-engineering yeast to act as tiny organic “factories” that produce chemicals for the flavor, fragrance, and food industries, with aims of making products more quickly, cheaply, and efficiently than traditional methods.

“We see biology as a transformative technology,” says Ginkgo co-founder Reshma Shetty PhD ’08, who co-invented the technology at MIT. “It is the most powerful and sophisticated manufacturing platform on the planet, able to self-assemble incredible structures at a scale that is far out of reach of the most cutting-edge human technology.”

Aug 25, 2016

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins

Posted by in category: engineering

Nice.


Protein engineering techniques might one day lead to colorful ultrasound images of cells deep within our bodies.

Aug 23, 2016

Journey to Mars in Less than Two Days Onboard this Radical Train Concept

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, space travel

As for the maximum distance the train could journey, “There is no limit,” Bombardier asserts. He reckons the first ship would shuttle cargo and travelers between Earth and the Moon—a trip that would take roughly seven hours to complete at the ideal speed of 15 km/s. “The Moon will serve as a launching pad for other projects, because it is easier to assemble and build this kind of train in the absence of gravity,” he says. “And Mars seems to be a good candidate for the next phase, especially if we can terraform it.”

Though intriguing, the notion begs many questions, and likely won’t be viable for eons. “Obviously there is a lot to consider,” the designer admits. “The general purpose here is to devise a system to transport minerals, materials, and humans from one place to the other in our solar system. Solar Express is a basic idea, and we would like to know how we could improve it.”

Aug 22, 2016

China’s Race to Space Domination: To Try to Gain an Edge Here on Earth, China is Pushing Ahead in Space

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering, quantum physics, robotics/AI, space

More on China’s race on Space. Last Tuesday, China launched the 1st Quantum Satellite. In 2017, China is planning to be the dominant force in mining of Space. First stop — mining the dark side of the moon. Given China’s own history with environmental pollution plus mining’s damaging effects to the environment when not properly managed; etc. one must ponder how will space and Earth itself be impacted by such mining.


Before this decade is out, humanity will go where it’s never gone before: the far side of the moon. This dark side — forever facing away from us — has long been a mystery. No human-made object has ever touched its surface. The mission will be a marvel of engineering. It will involve a rocket that weighs hundreds of tons (traveling almost 250,000 miles), a robot lander, and an unmanned lunar rover that will use sensors, cameras, and an infrared spectrometer to uncover billion-year-old secrets from the soil. The mission also might scout the moon’s supply of helium-3 — a promising material for fusion energy. And the nation planting its starry flag on this historic trip will be the People’s Republic of China.

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Aug 22, 2016

HKUST Develops Tiny Lasers that Opens New Era for Light-based Computing

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, physics, solar power, sustainability

Congrats Hong Kong Univ.


Researchers at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have fabricated microscopically-small lasers directly on silicon, enabling the future-generation microprocessors to run faster and less power-hungry – a significant step towards light-based computing.

The innovation, made by Prof Kei-may Lau, Fang Professor of Engineering and Chair Professor of the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, in collaboration with the University of California, Santa Barbara; Sandia National Laboratories and Harvard University, marks a major breakthrough for the semiconductor industry and well beyond.

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Aug 22, 2016

Farewell Remote Controllers, Hello Brain Controlled UAV’s

Posted by in categories: computing, drones, engineering, neuroscience, robotics/AI

When the Holiday season kicks off next fall (2017); I have a feeling that I may end up buying a Penny Robot or a BMI controlled drone for my niece & nephews.


The post is also available in: Hebrew :הכתבה זמינה גם ב

A new research out of Arizona State University with DARPA funding.

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Aug 19, 2016

Biohybrid Robots Built From Living Tissue Start To Take Shape

Posted by in categories: engineering, robotics/AI

Think of a traditional robot and you probably imagine something made from metal and plastic. Such “nuts-and-bolts” robots are made of hard materials. As robots take on more roles beyond the lab, such rigid systems can present safety risks to the people they interact with. For example, if an industrial robot swings into a person, there is the risk of bruises or bone damage.

Researchers are increasingly looking for solutions to make robots softer or more compliant – less like rigid machines, more like animals. With traditional actuators – such as motors – this can mean using air muscles or adding springs in parallel with motors. For example, on a Whegs robot, having a spring between a motor and the wheel leg (Wheg) means that if the robot runs into something (like a person), the spring absorbs some of the energy so the person isn’t hurt. The bumper on a Roomba vacuuming robot is another example; it’s spring-loaded so the Roomba doesn’t damage the things it bumps into.

But there’s a growing area of research that’s taking a different approach. By combining robotics with tissue engineering, we’re starting to build robots powered by living muscle tissue or cells. These devices can be stimulated electrically or with light to make the cells contract to bend their skeletons, causing the robot to swim or crawl. The resulting biobots can move around and are soft like animals. They’re safer around people and typically less harmful to the environment they work in than a traditional robot might be. And since, like animals, they need nutrients to power their muscles, not batteries, biohybrid robots tend to be lighter too.

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Aug 18, 2016

China’s Scientists Propose the Human ‘Quantum Brain’ –“The Source of Our Dominance on the Planet: More Complex Than a Galaxy”

Posted by in categories: engineering, neuroscience, quantum physics

The human brain has Quantum consciousness according to China. Why a cogitative thinking system that truly mimics the human brain will require QC.


Chinese scientists have proposed a new theory that explains why humans are so much more intelligent than animals even though our brains are often much smaller than those of other species. Researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Neuroscience and Neuro-engineering have previously carried out studies backing the theory that the brain not only processes and passes on information not only through electrical and chemical signals, but also with photons of light.

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Aug 18, 2016

Video: The Coming Quantum Computing Revolution

Posted by in categories: engineering, finance, quantum physics, supercomputing

In this video, D-Wave Systems Founder Eric Ladizinsky presents: The Coming Quantum Computing Revolution.

“Despite the incredible power of today’s supercomputers, there are many complex computing problems that can’t be addressed by conventional systems. Our need to better understand everything, from the universe to our own DNA, leads us to seek new approaches to answer the most difficult questions. While we are only at the beginning of this journey, quantum computing has the potential to help solve some of the most complex technical, commercial, scientific, and national defense problems that organizations face. We expect that quantum computing will lead to breakthroughs in science, engineering, modeling and simulation, financial analysis, optimization, logistics, and national defense applications.”

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Aug 17, 2016

Exploring the promise of the quantum realm

Posted by in categories: engineering, nanotechnology, particle physics, quantum physics, security, terrorism, transportation

Nice work; understanding the quantum effects in nanomechanical systems is closer to reality in being achieved. Imagine a nanobot or microbot with quantum mechanic properties.


Rob Knobel is probing the ultimate limits of nanomechanical systems to develop and build tiny vapour sensors, which could be used as airport security tools to prevent terrorism or drug smuggling.

He and his students are using highly specialized equipment in the $5-million Kingston Nano Fabrication Laboratory (KNFL), which opened a year ago in Innovation Park, to fabricate nanosensors made from graphene, a form of carbon a single atom thick.

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