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Science, Space & Robotics Posts - Page 42

Smartphone usage at night can tire you out the next day, study says

A smartphone "hangover" plaguing people that check their smartphones after 9:00 p.m. revealed users tend to be more exhausted the next day, according to a new study from Michigan State University. The drop in energy and productivity level is similar to a drinking hangover suffered the morning after partaking too much at the local pub.

 

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"It can be a double-edged sword," said Russell Johnson, MSU assistant professor of management, in a statement. "The night-time use of smartphones appears to have both psychological and physiological effects on people's ability to sleep and on sleep's essential recovery functions."

 

How everyone feels each day is strongly correlated to healthy sleeping habits, with sleep quality - and quantity - impacting personal health. As more people begin to look for ways to improve sleep, a custom sensor-based inference algorithm is being tested to help educate sleepers and help develop better habits. There also are a growing collection of wearables and accessories that help study - and improve - sleep habits.

 

Smartphones - and other technologies - tend to force users to engage in activities instead of leaving time for the brain to mentally unwind.

Scientists develop 'space cops', satellites that patrol Earth's orbit

US researchers and scientists have developed the Space-Based Telescopes for Actionable Refinement of Ephemeris, or STARE, which is basically a bunch of small satellites that orbit the Earth, helping satellites avoid collisions with space junk - so, really, space cops.

 

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These 'space cops' have the researchers seeing a future of deploying countless satellites into Earth's orbit, with the space cops then relaying information about potential collisions between satellites and space debris back to Earth, which would then send alternative coordinates to the satellites that are in trouble.

 

A ground-based satellite was used to refine the orbit of the NORAD 27006 satellite, which was based on the first four observations made within 24 hours. The team managed to predict NORAD's satellite trajectory to within 50m, in under 36 hours. Considering that current technology is only capable of working out the pace of a space object within a 1km range, which gives ground operators the hard time of weeding through thousands of false alarms, for that one rock that might cause trouble.

Continue reading 'Scientists develop 'space cops', satellites that patrol Earth's orbit' (full post)

HIV vaccine could happen thanks to a free, crowdfunded project

A research team completely crowdfunded, is using a machine learning algorithm to examine the cells of rare individuals who are immune to HIV, and are looking to make a vaccine from their efforts.

 

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The team is known as The Immunity Project, which promises a revolutionary method to reach its goals, vowing to revolutionize how we look at vaccines in general, too. Pharmaceutical companies projects can, and do cost billions of dollars - but this project could solve a very large problem, and is simply crowdfunded.

 

The Immunity Project is run by researchers out of Harvard, Stanford and MIT, with some big names on the roster: the creators of the Internet's first spam filter, an artificial intelligence and machine learning specialist at Microsoft, and the founder of Flow Pharma and drug delivery system specialist.

Continue reading 'HIV vaccine could happen thanks to a free, crowdfunded project' (full post)

Bright super nova appears in M82, 12 million light years from earth

The past few days have been quite exciting for scientist and astronomers world wide due to a very bright super nova appearing in the galaxy M82. While a super nova appearing is not a rare event, one happening in a galaxy as close as M82 is quite the rarity indeed.

 

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M82 is just 12 million light years away making this one of the closest nova events recorded by modern science. Furthermore, this event is quite special for amateur astronomers as well as causal star gazers as the super nova is bright enough for viewing with binoculars and is quite spectacular in even the most modest amateur telescopes. The super nova is expected to brighten to about the 8th magnitude which would last for a few days.

 

In the image above you can see the super nova appear in the bottom image. Nothing is known about the star that exploded, but one thing is for sure... anything orbiting the star pre-nova was vaporized in the blink of an eye. With the galaxy being roughly 12 million light-years away, the star actually went super nova about 12 million years ago, and we are just now begging to see the photons emitted from the explosion. Some scientist say that with a super nova this close, we could even see neutrinos from the event making their way to Earth.

Continue reading 'Bright super nova appears in M82, 12 million light years from earth' (full post)

US Army invests in Linux-powered, Wi-Fi capable 'smart rifles'

It seems that the United States military is investing in some next-gen firearms, which feature an internal computer, sensors that gauge environmental factors to help soldiers aim, and more, according to tech startup, Tracking Point.

 

 

Tracking Point has announced that the US military purchased six of its "smart" rifles, which are priced at between $10,000 and $27,000 each. The smart rifles feature technology so advanced that the initial investment should pay itself off over and over again in the future. A soldier equipped with a smart rifle would simply need to tag a target viewable on a screen, which is found on the gun's scope. The internal computer will then tell the shooter exactly how to hold the gun, and when to press the trigger.

 

Oren Schauble, a Marketing Official for the company: "Rifles can communicate with each other. We can enable a more information-driven combat in the sense that you can tag targets. You can pass off those targets to someone else with a scope. There's a whole layer of communication that comes with having a rifle that can designate and track targets."

Continue reading 'US Army invests in Linux-powered, Wi-Fi capable 'smart rifles'' (full post)

Brain-computer interface shows great potential over next 12 years

Intel and other established tech companies are showing interest in the blossoming brain-computer-interface (BCI) market, according to Mind Solutions. BCI is a dedicated communication pathway between the human brain and a device - with early focus on helping medical patients recover from severe physical injuries.

 

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With the help of Intel and other companies, Mind Solutions hopes to see BCI become more common place over the next few years. As the number of transistors powering PCs and mobile devices increases, especially as technology surpasses neurons in the human brain, there is great potential for long-term development.

 

"We will finally remove the fiction from the science fiction," said Mooly Eden, Intel head of perceptual computing, during CES. It will be possible to "open a car door with our finger, receive constant information about our health" along with using devices that "interface directly with your brain."

 

Ultimately, Mind Solutions hopes a major tech company enters the market and hopes to acquire the smaller boutique firm.

Burger-flipping robot makes 360 gourmet burgers per hour

Don't you hate it when you see an advertisement for a burger, but when you buy it, it looks nothing like it? Well, Momentum Machines has unveiled the 'Smart Restaurants' machine, a robot that is capable of making 360 gourmet burgers, per hour.

 

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These burgers can be customized, which is nothing for this robot. The robot is 24 square foot machine, which is pictured above. Momentum Machines has said: "Fast food doesn't have to have a negative connotation anymore. With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices. Our alpha machine replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant. It does everything employees can do except better."

 

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Better yet, it will make custom orders like a pro. The robot will only slice the toppings seconds before it places them onto the burger, ensuring you get the freshest burger possible. It will slide up specific slices of meat and toppings, and is a more sanitary, cleaner way of making gourmet burgers. Momentum Machines says that because of these robots' efficiency, restaurants can cut down on labor costs, and spend more on better quality ingredients.

Startup company snaps HD video of the Earth from space

San Francisco-based Skybox Imaging has snapped some gorgeous imagery of the planet we all live on, all the way from space. The footage was taken at 600km above the ground, where you can easily make out cars, trucks, shipping containers and more.

 

 

Skybox Imaging's SkySat-1 was launched in November as part of the Ukraine's Dnepr-1 rocket program. Skybox Imaging's official website stated that the SkySat-1 is capable of capturing 1920x1080 at 30FPS, and up to 90 seconds per clip. The video above gives you a good look at what the Full HD-capable satellite is capable of.

Continue reading 'Startup company snaps HD video of the Earth from space' (full post)

Google's X team meets with US regulators who oversee medical devices

The Google X team has met with the FDA's medical device team, with the FDA staff involved in the meeting specializing in devices that target the eyes and heart, and one of the three Google X team members being Brian Otis, who holds a patent on a wireless contact-lens biosensor.

 

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The FDA classified the meeting with the Google X team as a "meet and greet," so we probably won't know what they actually talked about. We do have something to take away from this: Google met with the FDA, which would lead us to believe the Mountain View-based search giant is looking to move into the medical field, with Glass maybe?

Withings announces wireless blood pressure monitor, with Android app

Electronics company Withings showed off a new Smart Blood Pressure Monitor, providing users with a wireless product with Google Android compatibility. High blood pressure tends to be overlooked, and can prove to be extremely dangerous - and sometimes easily avoidable - which is what Withings is hoping for in this case. The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor will be available soon with a $129.95 MSRP.

 

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"At-home monitoring, when done in conjunction with a health care provider, is an important way patients can measure, monitor, and improve their high blood pressure," said Donald Fisher, American Medical Group Associated President and CEO, in a statement. "AMGA and our Foundation look forward to working with our medical groups and Withings to improve patient health and learn more about the effectiveness of home blood pressure monitors."

 

There is a growing demand for connected medical devices that make it easy to carry out at-home tests - and collect information that can be shared with doctors.

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