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Jul 28, 2016

Versatile microrobotics using simple modular subunits

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

The realization of reconfigurable modular microrobots could aid drug delivery and microsurgery by allowing a single system to navigate diverse environments and perform multiple tasks. So far, microrobotic systems are limited by insufficient versatility; for instance, helical shapes commonly used for magnetic swimmers cannot effectively assemble and disassemble into different size and shapes. Here by using microswimmers with simple geometries constructed of spherical particles, we show how magnetohydrodynamics can be used to assemble and disassemble modular microrobots with different physical characteristics. We develop a mechanistic physical model that we use to improve assembly strategies. Furthermore, we experimentally demonstrate the feasibility of dynamically changing the physical properties of microswimmers through assembly and disassembly in a controlled fluidic environment. Finally, we show that different configurations have different swimming properties by examining swimming speed dependence on configuration size.

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Jul 27, 2016

Electricity captured in glass

Posted by in category: futurism

Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet.

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Jul 27, 2016

The Atomki anomaly

Posted by in category: particle physics

A result from an experiment in Hungary catches the attention of a group of theorists in the United States.

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Jul 27, 2016

A stunning prediction of climate science — and basic physics — may now be coming true

Posted by in categories: climatology, physics, science

NASA researchers suggest sea levels may be plunging around Greenland because of ice loss and a resulting decline in gravitational pull.

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Jul 27, 2016

Anti-Drone Rifle

Posted by in category: drones

This anti-drone rifle can shoot down any drone.

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Jul 27, 2016

How eco-friendly communes could change the future of housing — By Autumn Spanne | The Guardian

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, economics, energy, engineering, environmental, ethics, food, government, habitats


“An increasing number of US landowners want to build commune-style villages that are completely self-sufficient and have a low carbon footprint”

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Jul 27, 2016

Transistors will stop shrinking in 2021, but Moore’s law will live on

Posted by in categories: computing, futurism

Gear & Gadgets —

Transistors will stop shrinking in 2021, but Moore’s law will live on.

Final semiconductor industry roadmap says the future is 3D packaging and cooling.

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Jul 27, 2016

Did the LIGO gravitational waves originate from primordial black holes?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Binary black holes recently discovered by the LIGO-Virgo collaboration could be primordial entities that formed just after the Big Bang, report Japanese astrophysicists.

If further data support this observation, it could mark the first confirmed finding of a primordial black hole, guiding theories about the beginnings of the universe.

In February, the LIGO-Virgo collaboration announced the first successful detection of gravitational waves.

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Jul 27, 2016

Mars Colonists Must ‘Live Off the Land’: NASA Report

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Long-term human colonization of Mars is feasible, as long as Red Planet pioneers “live off the land,” a recent NASA report concludes.

“There are massive resources on Mars obtainable from the atmosphere and extracted from the regolith which are capable of supporting human colonization,” write the authors of the report, which is called “Frontier In-Situ Resource Utilization for Enabling Sustained Human Presence on Mars.”

Using Martian resources, existing technologies could supply water, oxygen, fuel and building materials, the report adds, “to relax the dependence on Earth during the buildup of a colony on Mars.” [Red Planet or Bust: 5 Crewed Mars Mission Ideas].

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Jul 27, 2016

SpaceX spending about $300 million on Red Dragon mission

Posted by in category: space travel

WASHINGTON — NASA estimates that SpaceX is spending on the order of $300 million on its Red Dragon Mars lander mission, a down payment on the company’s long-term ambitions for human Mars missions.

At a meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s technology committee in Cleveland July 26, Jim Reuter, deputy associate administrator for programs in NASA’s space technology mission directorate, provided an overview of NASA’s agreement with SpaceX, announced in April, to support that company’s plans for an uncrewed Mars landing mission that could launch as soon as May 2018.

That agreement, in the form of an unfunded Space Act Agreement, does not include any exchange of funds between NASA and SpaceX. Reuter said NASA estimates it will spend approximately $32 million over four years, primarily in the form of NASA personnel providing technical support for SpaceX. About $6 million of that will be spent this fiscal year, he added.

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