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Aug 28, 2019

Electromagnetic Pulse Threats to America’s Electric Grid: Counterpoints to Electric Power Research Institute Positions

Posted by in categories: energy, government, military, policy

Editor’s note: This article is part of a supporting engagement with the Electromagnetic Defense Task Force’s efforts in order to inform readers on the vulnerabilities within the electromagnetic spectrum. For the printer friendly version click here.

Abstract

In spring 2019, a group of nearly 200 military, government, academic, and private industry experts in various areas of electromagnetic defense gathered for the second Electromagnetic Defense Task Force (EDTF) summit. During this time a full analytical and technical review was initiated on the recently released report titled “High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse and the Bulk Power System: Potential Impacts and Mitigation Strategies” authored by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). This essay outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the report and aims to generate further discussion among industry, policy makers, military, and academia to ensure the nation is adequately prepared for any potential electromagnetic event.

Aug 28, 2019

How to recognize a potential Phishing Attack

Posted by in category: futurism

One of the most common threats we all face in this age of digital communications is the Phishing scam. These scams are looking to trick you into giving them money or sensitive data like your logins, which then allow them to hijack your related accounts and lock you out.

Aug 28, 2019

To Hunt Gravitational Waves, Scientists Had to Create the Quietest Spot on Earth

Posted by in categories: physics, space, transportation

LIVINGSTON, La. — About a mile and a half from a building so big you can see it from space, every car on the road slows to a crawl. Drivers know to take the 10 mph (16 km/h) speed limit very seriously: That’s because the building houses a massive detector that’s hunting for celestial vibrations at the smallest scale ever attempted. Not surprisingly, it’s sensitive to all earthly vibrations around it, from the rumblings of a passing car to natural disasters on the other side of the globe.

As a result, scientists who work at one of the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) detectors must go to extraordinary lengths to hunt down and remove all potential sources of noise — slowing down traffic around the detector, monitoring every tiny tremor in the ground, even suspending the equipment from a quadruple pendulum system that minimizes vibrations — all in the effort to create the most “silent” vibrational spot on Earth.

Aug 28, 2019

Weird synthetic proteins could let us build new kinds of life

Posted by in category: futurism

All living things are built from proteins created from the same 20 chemical units, called amino acids. Now, scientists at Cambridge are developing new ones.

Aug 28, 2019

Using Wi-Fi-like sonar to measure speed and distance of indoor movement

Posted by in categories: drones, internet, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique for measuring speed and distance in indoor environments, which could be used to improve navigation technologies for robots, drones—or pedestrians trying to find their way around an airport. The technique uses a novel combination of Wi-Fi signals and accelerometer technology to track devices in near-real time.

“We call our approach Wi-Fi-assisted Inertial Odometry (WIO),” says Raghav Venkatnarayan, co-corresponding author of a paper on the work and a Ph.D. student at NC State. “WIO uses Wi-Fi as a velocity sensor to accurately track how far something has moved. Think of it as sonar, but using radio waves, rather than sound waves.”

Many devices, such as smartphones, incorporate technology called inertial measurement units (IMUs) to calculate how far a has moved. However, IMUs suffer from large drift errors, meaning that even minor inaccuracies can quickly become exaggerated.

Aug 27, 2019

The Elon Musk of China: Dr. Wang Jian of BGI

Posted by in categories: business, Elon Musk, health, space

There are many famous innovators in the Western world who have a bold vision, go after massively transformative projects and despite investor and public criticism deliver on their promises. Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs are household names who went against the current, pushed their vision through and succeeded touching everyone on the planet and making the world a better place.

Since the passing of Steve Jobs, the crown of the bold inventor, innovator and high-tech businessman passed to Elon Musk who despite frequent criticism is the undisputed leader of disruptive entrepreneurship. However, when I ask some of the most informed westerners in my network to recall one global entrepreneur with an Asian name disrupting their life in the same positive way and at the same scale as Elon, very few can recall anyone besides Jack Ma, Dr. Lee Kai-Fu, or Dr. Ge Li. Even fewer would be able to name the exact contribution these people made to their health and wellbeing. For example, few people know that Dr. Ge Li’s companies that act as global open research platforms assisted in the discovery of many of the cutting-edge life-saving treatments that are benefiting everyone on the planet. There will be books written about the transformative role of these people in the future and, hopefully, Netflix documentaries.

But there are many great innovators and entrepreneurs, who are working on bold new ideas and technologies that will change everyones’ life in a very impactful and positive way but are not known to the general public in the West. These innovators often face criticism from the investor community which wants to see business models and projects that they can understand, projects they can believe and get the immediate returns. Like Elon Musk they face a lot of resistance but over time prevail and will impress every one of us. They will go down in history as pioneers and their names will be known in every household.

Aug 27, 2019

Researchers use machine learning to teach robots how to trek through unknown terrains

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, engineering, information science, robotics/AI

A team of Australian researchers has designed a reliable strategy for testing physical abilities of humanoid robots—robots that resemble the human body shape in their build and design. Using a blend of machine learning methods and algorithms, the research team succeeded in enabling test robots to effectively react to unknown changes in the simulated environment, improving their odds of functioning in the real world.

The findings, which were published in a joint publication of the IEEE and the Chinese Association of Automation Journal of Automatica Sinica in July, have promising implications in the broad use of in fields such as healthcare, education, disaster response and entertainment.

“Humanoid robots have the ability to move around in many ways and thereby imitate human motions to complete complex tasks. In order to be able to do that, their stability is essential, especially under dynamic and unpredictable conditions,” said corresponding author Dacheng Tao, Professor and ARC Laureate Fellow in the School of Computer Science and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sydney.

Aug 27, 2019

Bioinspired robots can now learn to swarm on the go

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

A new generation of swarming robots which can independently learn and evolve new behaviors in the wild is one step closer, thanks to research from the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England (UWE).

The team used artificial evolution to enable the robots to automatically learn swarm behaviors which are understandable to humans. This new advance published today in Advanced Intelligent Systems, could create new robotic possibilities for environmental monitoring, disaster recovery, infrastructure maintenance, logistics and agriculture.

Until now, artificial evolution has typically been run on a computer which is external to the swarm, with the best strategy then copied to the robots. However, this approach is limiting as it requires external infrastructure and a laboratory setting.

Aug 27, 2019

Artificial muscles bloom, dance, and wave

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI, wearables

Wearing a flower brooch that blooms before your eyes sounds like magic. KAIST researchers have made it real with robotic muscles.

Researchers have developed an ultrathin, for soft robotics. The advancement, recently reported in the journal Science Robotics, was demonstrated with a robotic blooming flower brooch, dancing robotic butterflies and fluttering tree leaves on a kinetic art piece.

The robotic equivalent of a that can move is called an . The actuator expands, contracts or rotates like using a stimulus such as electricity. Engineers around the world are striving to develop more dynamic actuators that respond quickly, can bend without breaking, and are very durable. Soft, robotic muscles could have a wide variety of applications, from wearable electronics to advanced prosthetics.

Aug 27, 2019

New Electric Aircraft Motor Lab Aims For 1MW Electric Airplane Motor

Posted by in category: transportation

You know a new industry is born when investments pour in and results encourage more spending. Now, a new lab, the Collins Electric Aircraft Lab, wants to offer urban air mobility (UAM) and the general electric aviation world a 1MW electric airplane motor.