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Science, Space & Robotics Posts - Page 1

San Francisco deploying paint that causes urine splash back

Urinate on certain walls in San Francisco, and you can expect a bit of splash damage on your legs or pants.

 

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Public Works has painted 10 walls using the custom UV-coated paint that helps repel urine - following a similar move in Hamburg, Germany.

 

To warn potential violators, signs with the following notice also have been included: "Hold it! This wall is not a public restroom. Please respect San Francisco and seek relief in an appropriate place."

Continue reading 'San Francisco deploying paint that causes urine splash back' (full post)

Leading tech experts seek ban on killer robots on the battlefield

Will "killer robots" end up causing harm to humans, especially with militaries interested in developing robots that would be able to engage human forces?

 

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Telsa and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, physicist Stephen Hawking, and more than 1,000 scientists and engineers have signed an open letter to prevent a future open arms race focused on killer artificial intelligence. The idea of robot regulation was mentioned earlier in the year, and there appears to be growing momentum to make sure things are kept within human control.

 

"AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of [autonomous weapons] is - practically if not legally - feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms," according to the letter.

Continue reading 'Leading tech experts seek ban on killer robots on the battlefield' (full post)

Drones have great potential in agriculture, as interest increases

Small drones have great potential for private citizens, but there is higher hope for the aircraft in the agricultural field. If implemented properly, farmers will be able to use equipped cameras on drones to get a better glimpse of their crops.

 

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"Unmanned aircraft vehicles are really going to change the way that we actually do agriculture," said Ian MacRae, professor of entomology at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, in a statement to the StarTribune. "This is really a very exciting time."

 

The US government is now allowing farmers to spray their crops using drones, as land surveying, crop analysis, and other real-world uses are being investigated.

Continue reading 'Drones have great potential in agriculture, as interest increases' (full post)

Will humans be able to recreate living dinosaurs within five years?

Dr. Jack Horner consulted on all Jurassic movies, and believes it's just a matter of "fixing" birds so they look "a little more like a dinosaur."

 

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Horner believes research is about 50 percent there in regards to creating a so-called "chickenosaurus." Researchers would need to give the chicken teeth, a long tail, and turn the chicken's wings into arms and hands. In addition, researchers have already successfully created a modified mouth for the chickenosaurus.

 

It seems like the biological project is "well on its way to becoming reality," and trying to create the tail remains the most difficult challenge. The project requires reverse evolution and a significant amount of trial and error - and researchers will continue trying out new things.

Continue reading 'Will humans be able to recreate living dinosaurs within five years?' (full post)

Panasonic banking on exoskeletons used in factories, to help workers

Panasonic and subsidiary ActiveLink have developed a new exoskeleton suit that is affordable and could find its way to workers in factories and manufacturing facilities. The new technology has already been tested in Osaka, Japan, and forestry workers are now giving it a try.

 

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The suit, which connects to the back, thighs and feet of the wearer, is just 13 pounds and allows a person to carry an additional 33 pounds. The custom exoskeleton suit features a carbon-fiber motor and sensors able to determine when a person is lifting or carrying a heavy load.

 

"We expect that exoskeletons, or power-assist suits, will be widely used in people's lives in 15 years," said Mio Yamanaka, spokesperson for Panasonic, in a statement published by the MIT Technology Review. "We expect that they will be used for tasks that require physical strength, such as moving thinks and making deliveries, public works, construction, agriculture, and forestry."

Continue reading 'Panasonic banking on exoskeletons used in factories, to help workers' (full post)

Woman receives most 'technologically advanced prosthetic' hand

Lizbeth Uzcategui recently received the i-limb quantum from Touch Bionics, a programmable and more precise prosthetic hand. Uzcategui was born without a hand or arm below her right elbow, but the i-limb quantum will give her the ability to live a more normal life.

 

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The i-limb quantum has greatly improved battery life, has more strength when a wearer needs it, and is faster and smarter than other bionic prosthetics. Uzcategui noted that other prosthetic hands she has used were unable to keep up with her daily tasks - a common complaint among patients with prosthetics.

 

"This is the latest and greatest in upper extremity prosthetic hands. It's quicker, it's faster, it's lighter and smaller," said Matthew Klein, from the Hanger Clinic, in a statement to CBS News Miami.

Is radiation from Fukushima to blame for mutated daisies?

The Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan has created countless problems that must be addressed by scientists and researchers - and it looks like the latest story is mutated daisies. The unique looking plants were discovered in Nasushiobara City, located about 70 miles from Fukushima.

 

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The Tweet from @san_kaido noted: "The right one grew up, split into 2 stems to have two flowers connected each other, having four stems of flower tied beltlike. The left one has four stems up to be tied to each other and it had the ring-shaped flower."

 

The Fukushima Daichii Nuclear Power Plant suffered a meltdown in 2011, following a massive magnitude-9 earthquake, which caused a brutal tsunami.

Continue reading 'Is radiation from Fukushima to blame for mutated daisies?' (full post)

Concerns and suspicions of pro cyclists using motors in their bikes

The idea that a professional cyclist in the peloton has a secret electric motor, likely hidden in his seat tube, isn't something new. However, it looks like something the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is taking seriously, after checking bikes following four stages of the 2015 Tour de France.

 

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During the most recent check, which took place after Stage 18, saw yellow jersey Chris Froome, mountains classification leader Joaquim Rodriguez, Peter Sagan, Nairo Quintana, Pierre Rolland, and Romain Bardet all have their bikes inspected.

 

It simply wouldn't be the Tour de France if the media and fans didn't have something new to complain about - and so-called "moto doping" is just the latest trend.

Continue reading 'Concerns and suspicions of pro cyclists using motors in their bikes' (full post)

NPR: US National Guard wants more drones for domestic use

The National Guard has even more drones available for flights in the United States, and it looks like there is increased interest to use military drones in American airspace.

 

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Of specific note, there is interest in using drones for unclassified missions, such as surveillance after natural disasters, fugitive manhunts, and specific police scenarios.

 

"There's no iron, there's no aircraft here in Tennessee. I will say we are working to get iron in the state so they're available for the governor to use in a state of emergency," Said Keith Albritten from the Tennessee Air Guard, in a statement to NPR.

Continue reading 'NPR: US National Guard wants more drones for domestic use' (full post)

TSMC will crank into volume production of 10nm next year

TSMC will be ramping up its 10nm volume production in 2016, something that will see the Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer overtaking Intel when it comes to 10nm. Intel will not be shifting to 10nm until 2017, but that's just on the surface. Things are much more complicated when you begin to peel layers away.

 

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Especially when it comes to 7nm, where TSMC will be using "10nm elements" in its 7nm note, which leads us to believe TSMC's implementation of 7nm will heavily borrow from 10nm. Intel on the other hand, should have a true 10nm node in 2017, and when it scales down to 7nm, we should expect it to not be borrowing much from its delayed 10nm process.

 

KitGuru reports that President and co-CEO of TSMC, C.C. Wei, said: "We ramp up 10nm in the Q4 2016 next year, but the real product shipment will be in Q1 2017". Mark Liu, President and co-CEO of TSMC added: "The recent progress of our 10 nanometer technology development is very encouraging and on track with our plan. Technology risk start qualification is targeted at the end of this year, followed by many customer's product qualifications. Our volume production is planned to start from the end of 2016".

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