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Mar 26, 2017

A printable, sensor-laden ‘skin’ for robots (or an airplane)

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, robotics/AI, transportation

Illustration of 3D-printed sensory composite (credit: Subramanian Sundaram)

MIT researchers have designed a radical new method of creating flexible, printable electronics that combine sensors and processing circuitry.

Covering a robot — or an airplane or a bridge, for example — with sensors will require a technology that is both flexible and cost-effective to manufacture in bulk. To demonstrate the feasibility of their new method, the researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have designed and built a 3D-printed device that responds to mechanical stresses by changing the color of a spot on its surface.

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Mar 26, 2017

Stanford scientists find a previously unknown role for the cerebellum

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Researchers long believed that the cerebellum did little more than process our senses and control our muscles. New techniques to study the most densely packed neurons in our brains reveal that it may do much more.

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Mar 26, 2017

A smartphone app can screen for male infertility

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, habitats, mobile phones

More than 45 million couples worldwide grapple with infertility, but current standard methods for diagnosing male infertility can be expensive, labor-intensive, and require testing in a clinical setting.

Cultural and social stigma, and lack of access in resource-limited countries, may prevent men from seeking an evaluation. Investigators at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) set out to develop a home-based diagnostic test that could be used to measure semen quality with a smartphone-based device. New findings by the team indicating that the analyzer can identify abnormal semen samples based on sperm concentration and motility criteria with approximately 98 percent accuracy are published online in today’s Science Translational Medicine.

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Mar 26, 2017

‘Your animal life is over. Machine life has begun.’ The road to immortality

Posted by in category: life extension

In California, radical scientists and billionaire backers think the technology to extend life – by uploading minds to exist separately from the body – is only a few years away.

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Mar 26, 2017

Uber to Suspend Autonomous Tests After Arizona Accident

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Uber Technologies Inc. is suspending its self-driving car program after one of its autonomous vehicles was involved in a high-impact crash in Tempe, Arizona, the latest incident for a company reeling from multiple crises.

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Mar 26, 2017

This chart illustrates how AI is exploding at Google

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Surging investment in machine learning is vaulting Google into the scientific stratosphere.

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Mar 26, 2017

NASA taking first steps toward high-speed space internet

Posted by in categories: internet, space travel

The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) will help NASA understand the best ways to operate laser communications systems. They could enable much higher data rates for connections between spacecraft and Earth, such as scientific data downlink and astronaut communications.

“LCRD is the next step in implementing NASA’s vision of using optical communications for both near-Earth and deep space missions,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which leads the LCRD project. “This technology has the potential to revolutionize space communications, and we are excited to partner with the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate’s Space Communications and Navigation program office, MIT Lincoln Labs and the U.S. Air Force on this effort.”

Laser communications, also known as optical communications, encodes data onto a beam of light, which is then transmitted between spacecraft and eventually to Earth terminals. This technology offers data rates that are 10 to 100 times better than current radio-frequency (RF) communications systems.

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Mar 26, 2017

Keynote speaker Jim Mellon about “Investing in Longevity”

Posted by in category: life extension

Looking forward to Jim Mellon’s new book “Juvenescence- Investing in the Age of Longevity” announced at Master Investor Show in London yesterday…

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Mar 25, 2017

Provo doctors use hologram imaging to change the way surgeons operate

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, holograms

Two Provo doctors are using Microsoft’s HoloLens with advanced medical imaging to create holograms of MRIs and X-rays, and they’re certain this will change the way surgeons operate.

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Mar 25, 2017

Liquid energy storage system gets the “MOST” out of the Sun

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, solar power, sustainability

Solar power is potentially the greatest single energy source outside of controlled nuclear fusion, but the Sun is literally a fair weather source that relies on daytime and clear skies. To make solar energy a reliable, 24-hour source of energy, a team of scientists at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg is developing a liquid energy storage medium that can not only release energy from the Sun on demand, but is also transportable.

The Chalmers team has been working on variants of its system, called a MOlecular Solar Thermal (MOST), for over six years, with a conceptual demonstration in 2013. It differs from other attempts to store solar energy in things like heated salts and reversing exothermic reactions in that the MOST system stores the energy directly in the bonds of an organic chemical.

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