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Aug 28, 2019

Harvard’s noodly robot fingers are great at grabbing jellyfish

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Researchers created ‘fettuccini-like silicone fingers’ to capture fragile marine life without damaging it.

Aug 28, 2019

Android 10 coming soon, with important privacy upgrades

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, security

It’s official: Android 10, the next version of the Android operating system, ships 3 September 2019. Well, it’s semi-official, at least.

Mobile site PhoneArena reports that Google’s customer support staff let the date slip to a reader during a text conversation. Expect the operating system, also known as Android Q, to hit Google’s Pixel phones first before rolling out to other models. It will include a range of privacy and security improvements that should keep Android users a little safer.

Aug 28, 2019

Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be getting 6.6 million classic user-created maps

Posted by in category: futurism

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is already pretty content-rich, containing Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4, the Halo ODST singleplayer campaign, and soon, Halo: Reach. The collection, in addition to giving players an easy way to access most of the franchise’s classics, offers remastered visuals and improved matchmaking.

Aug 28, 2019

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rideshare program secures its first customer

Posted by in categories: futurism, satellites

On August 22nd, spaceflight startup Momentus Space and launch heavyweight SpaceX announced the first public launch contract to fall under the umbrella of the latter company’s recently-announced Satellite Rideshare Program.

Meant to provide a reliable, consistent, and affordable form of shuttle-like access to orbit, SpaceX’s rideshare program will – pending demand – involve no less than one dedicated Falcon 9 launch per year, capable of placing 15+ metric tons (33,000+ lbs) into low Earth orbit. Although SpaceX’s rideshare proposal is far from revolutionary, the company’s contract with Momentus Space appears to be more than a basic launch service agreement, potentially opening doors for far more flexible rideshare launches in the future.

Since its November 2017 founding, Momentus Space has been able to put money where its mouth is far more so than any comparable space tug hopeful, of which there are several. The concept that has helped Momentus raise nearly $34M in just 1.5 years is relatively simple: build a spacecraft whose sole purpose is to propel other spacecraft to their final orbit(s).

Aug 28, 2019

Ferromagnetic soft continuum robots

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

Small-scale soft continuum robots capable of active steering and navigation in a remotely controllable manner hold great promise in diverse areas, particularly in medical applications. Existing continuum robots, however, are often limited to millimeter or centimeter scales due to miniaturization challenges inherent in conventional actuation mechanisms, such as pulling mechanical wires, inflating pneumatic or hydraulic chambers, or embedding rigid magnets for manipulation. In addition, the friction experienced by the continuum robots during navigation poses another challenge for their applications. Here, we present a submillimeter-scale, self-lubricating soft continuum robot with omnidirectional steering and navigating capabilities based on magnetic actuation, which are enabled by programming ferromagnetic domains in its soft body while growing hydrogel skin on its surface. The robot’s body, composed of a homogeneous continuum of a soft polymer matrix with uniformly dispersed ferromagnetic microparticles, can be miniaturized below a few hundreds of micrometers in diameter, and the hydrogel skin reduces the friction by more than 10 times. We demonstrate the capability of navigating through complex and constrained environments, such as a tortuous cerebrovascular phantom with multiple aneurysms. We further demonstrate additional functionalities, such as steerable laser delivery through a functional core incorporated in the robot’s body. Given their compact, self-contained actuation and intuitive manipulation, our ferromagnetic soft continuum robots may open avenues to minimally invasive robotic surgery for previously inaccessible lesions, thereby addressing challenges and unmet needs in healthcare.

Small-scale soft continuum robots capable of navigating through complex and constrained environments hold promise for medical applications (13) across the human body (Fig. 1A). Several continuum robot concepts have been commercialized so far, offering a range of therapeutic and diagnostic procedures that are safer for patients owing to their minimally invasive nature (46). Surgeons benefit from remotely controlled continuum robots, which allow them to work away from the radiation source required for real-time imaging during operations (5, 6).

Despite these advantages, existing continuum robots are often limited to relatively large scales due to miniaturization challenges inherent in their conventional actuation mechanisms, such as pulling mechanical wires or controlling embedded rigid magnets for manipulation. Tendon-driven continuum robots (7–10) with antagonistic pairs of wires are difficult to scale down to submillimeter diameters due to increasing complexities in the fabrication process as the components become smaller (11–13). The miniaturization challenges have rendered even the most advanced form of commercialized continuum robots, mostly for cardiac and peripheral interventions (14), unsuited for neurosurgical applications due to the considerably smaller and more tortuous vascular structures. Magnetically steerable continuum robots (15–19) have also remained at large scale because of the finite size of the embedded magnets required to generate deflection under applied magnetic fields.

Aug 28, 2019

Google Keynote (Google I/O‘19)

Posted by in category: innovation

Learn about the latest product and platform innovations at Google in a Keynote led by Sundar Pichai.

Watch more #io19 here:

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Aug 28, 2019

Metabolic perceptrons for neural computing in biological systems

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, neuroscience

Synthetic biological circuits are promising tools for developing sophisticated systems for medical, industrial, and environmental applications. So far, circuit implementations commonly rely on gene expression regulation for information processing using digital logic. Here, we present a different approach for biological computation through metabolic circuits designed by computer-aided tools, implemented in both whole-cell and cell-free systems. We first combine metabolic transducers to build an analog adder, a device that sums up the concentrations of multiple input metabolites. Next, we build a weighted adder where the contributions of the different metabolites to the sum can be adjusted. Using a computational model fitted on experimental data, we finally implement two four-input perceptrons for desired binary classification of metabolite combinations by applying model-predicted weights to the metabolic perceptron. The perceptron-mediated neural computing introduced here lays the groundwork for more advanced metabolic circuits for rapid and scalable multiplex sensing.

Aug 28, 2019

US Military Urgently Seeking Enormous Underground Complex for Undisclosed Experiments

Posted by in categories: government, military


ATTENTION owners of truly massive, human-built tunnels and subterranean complexes: The US military’s secretive research agency urgently needs your underground lair for some undisclosed experiments.

DARPA tweeted on Wednesday that within the next 48 hours it must find a “human-made underground environment spanning several city blocks with complex layout & multiple stories, including atriums, tunnels & stairwells. Spaces that are currently closed off from pedestrians or can be temporarily used for testing are of interest.”

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Aug 28, 2019

Police urge residents in Texas town to vacate homes during nearby SpaceX rocket launch

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, habitats, health, space travel

Police in a small Texas community have recommended that residents temporarily vacate their homes on Monday while Elon Musk Elon Reeve MuskUS Space Command: A vision for the final frontier The paradox of superstars Hillicon Valley: US, France reach deal on tech tax | FEC vice chair resigns | Move leaves agency unable to vote on actions | Groups seek net neutrality pledge from 2020 Dems | Australia eyes blocking extremist content MORE ’s SpaceX attempts an experimental launch of a Mars rocket prototype.

A public safety notice was issued to residents of Boca Chica, a town on the southern tip of Texas with houses within two miles of SpaceX’s launch pad for the Starhopper rocket, Business Insider reported on Sunday.

A county sheriff reportedly went door-to-door on Saturday to deliver the notice to approximately 20 households, warning of possible shattered windows and “potential risk to health and safety.”

Aug 28, 2019

Worm robot could wiggle its way through arteries in the brain

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

Just imagine what types of treatments, human enhancements, and other disorders could be solved with this technique. No more invasive GBM surgeries, Dystonia is finally treated and no longer a problem as well as other diseases and disorders that are located in areas like the basal ganglia area of the brain.

By Chris Stokel-Walker

A tiny robotic worm can wiggle its way through a model brain. It could eventually be used to make brain surgeries less invasive.

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