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Archive for the ‘energy’ category: Page 122

Sep 3, 2015

Will Your Car Obey You or the Police?

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

A few lines in a seemingly routine RAND Corp. report on the future of technology and law enforcement last week raised a provocative question: Should police have the power to take control of a self-driving car?

Human drivers are required to pull over when a police officer gestures for them to do so. It’s reasonable to expect that self-driving cars would do the same. To look at it another way: Self-driving cars are programmed to stop at red lights and stop signs. Surely they should also be programmed to stop when a police officer flags them down. It is, after all, the law.

It’s clear, then, that police officers should have some power over the movements of self-driving cars. What’s less clear is where to draw the line. If a police officer can command a self-driving car to pull over for his own safety and that of others on the road, can he do the same if he suspects the passenger of a crime? And what if the passenger doesn’t want the car to stop—can she override the command, or does the police officer have ultimate control? – Slate, Aug. 24, 2015

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Sep 3, 2015

V1.0: A Network Edition is here!

Posted by in categories: energy, neuroscience, transportation

The brain of a honey bee uses about ~0.1mW of power. While the brain of a self driving car ~100W. That’s a power factor of about one million. We’ve got a very long way to go.


V1.0: A Network Edition is here! http://ow.ly/RAI4k.

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Sep 2, 2015

20 kilometer high space elevator tower planned

Posted by in categories: energy, space

By Jim and Drury Ambitious plans to build a twenty kilometer (12.4 miles) tall space elevator tower have been announced by a Canadian space technology firm. Although this distance is a mere fraction of that reached in space missions, Thoth Technology says its ThothX Tower will make a major cost reduction in space flights by helping navigate the difficult first 50 kilometers (31 miles) of travel that traditionally requires rockets. In addition to needing to carry sufficient fuel to get a payload into orbit, they need extra fuel in order to carry the required fuel to reach that point in the first place. Despite first being proposed more than a century ago, the idea of a space elevator has always appeared fanciful. Thoth Technology has been granted a United States (US) patent for the elevator, which is pneumatically pressurized and actively-guided over its base.

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Sep 2, 2015

Sky Greens brings farming into a bountiful vertical future

Posted by in categories: energy, food, innovation

Sky Greens, vertical farming, vertical farming Sky Greens, vertical farming Singapore, vertical farming INDEX

When it comes to growing food, the sky’s the limit thanks to innovations like the Sky Urban Vertical Farming System. Designed and pioneered by the Singapore-based company Sky Greens, the vertical farming system is a revolutionary modern spin on the ancient practice of agriculture. Using cutting edge technology, the system demonstrates an energy efficient, environmentally friendly method of producing food that could be a powerful tool in feeding the ever-growing, increasingly urbanized, global population.

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Aug 29, 2015

David Hanson: We are close to building the first sentient robot

Posted by in categories: energy, materials, robotics/AI

Hanson would be unimpressed by my use of the word “it” to describe his robots, though. His latest creations, Han and Sophia, are “he” and “she” respectively. And Hanson believes that the latter model will become the “first sentient robot, the first one to achieve human-like consciousness.”

This is because Sophia is smaller in size – all of her mechanisms fit inside a smaller chassis. This is beneficial for two reasons: she costs less to make in terms of materials and it takes her less energy to make facial expressions and move around.

“Because of this, she can make more of a difference in the world,” Hanson explains. He adds:

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Aug 27, 2015

Antimatter catches a wave: Accelerating positrons with plasma is a step toward smaller, cheaper particle colliders

Posted by in categories: energy, particle physics

A study led by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of California, Los Angeles has demonstrated a new, efficient way to accelerate positrons, the antimatter opposites of electrons. The method may help boost the energy and shrink the size of future linear particle colliders — powerful accelerators that could be used to unravel the properties of nature’s fundamental building blocks.

The scientists had previously shown that boosting the energy of charged particles by having them “surf” a wave of , or plasma, works well for . While this method by itself could lead to smaller accelerators, electrons are only half the equation for future colliders. Now the researchers have hit another milestone by applying the technique to positrons at SLAC’s Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET), a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

“Together with our previous achievement, the new study is a very important step toward making smaller, less expensive next-generation electron-positron colliders,” said SLAC’s Mark Hogan, co-author of the study published today in Nature. “FACET is the only place in the world where we can accelerate positrons and electrons with this method.”

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Aug 27, 2015

Electrical circuit made of gel can repair itself

Posted by in categories: electronics, energy, materials, robotics/AI

(Phys.org)—Scientists have fabricated a flexible electrical circuit that, when cut into two pieces, can repair itself and fully restore its original conductivity. The circuit is made of a new gel that possesses a combination of properties that are not typically seen together: high conductivity, flexibility, and room-temperature self-healing. The gel could potentially offer self-healing for a variety of applications, including flexible electronics, soft robotics, artificial skins, biomimetic prostheses, and energy storage devices.

The researchers, led by Guihua Yu, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, have published a paper on the new self-healing in a recent issue of Nano Letters.

The new gel’s properties arise from its hybrid composition of two gels: a supramolecular gel, or ‘supergel’, is injected into a conductive polymer hydrogel matrix. As the researchers explain, this “guest-to-host” strategy allows the chemical and physical features of each component to be combined.

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Aug 22, 2015

Samsung, MIT say their solid-state batteries could last a lifetime

Posted by in category: energy

Researchers from Samsung and MIT have developed a new solid electrolyte that they say will enable batteries to last indefinitely. They see it as a power storage “game changer.”

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Aug 19, 2015

This Startup Is Developing an Electric Car Battery That Can Charge in Minutes

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

An Israeli startup is planning on bringing its fast charging batteries to electric cars.

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Aug 19, 2015

Indian airport now runs entirely on solar power

Posted by in categories: energy, solar power, sustainability

One Indian airport now runs just from its own solar power plant.

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