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Science, Space & Robotics Posts - Page 1

This new 'computer' makes a grain of rice look big

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 8 hours, 30 mins ago

University of Michigan has reached a new technological milestone, with researchers producing a temperature sensing 'computer' that measures just 0.04 cubic millimeters, which is magnitudes smaller than a single grain of rice.

 

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IBM was the previous record for the world's smallest computer, but U-M researchers had some tricks up their sleeves for reducing the effect of light. The researchers used switched capacitors instead of diodes, where they worked against the relative increase in electrical noise that is created from a device running on low amounts of power.

 

The sensor that the University of Michigan created is capable of measuring changes in super-small regions, such as groups of cells in your body. Scientists have said for a while now that tumors are ever-so-slightly hotter than healthy tissue, but it has been hard to detect that... until now. This new device could be used in cancer treatments, opening the door to very exciting developments.

Continue reading 'This new 'computer' makes a grain of rice look big' (full post)

Oculus founder building 'virtual wall', protects US border

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey is one of largest names in Silicon Valley, but since leaving with his bag of $2 billion after Facebook acquired his VR startup, what has he done? He's created a startup called Anduril Industries and they have been working on a virtual wall.

 

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Wired has an awesome piece on Anduril which reports that the startup has constructed a propotype of its virtual wall down on a ranch in Texas, and is also working on a government-funded test of its technology. The virtual wall uses a mix of cameras, sensors, and VR with the startup looking at US defense contracts and making border security in the US magnitudes cheaper.

 

Lattis is the technology that Anduril is working on, with Luckey talking about the technology earlier in the year, but it has now received the attention of the US government. The startups engineers use open source data to train machine learning systems so that they can tell the difference between people, animals, tumbleweeds, and cars.

Continue reading 'Oculus founder building 'virtual wall', protects US border' (full post)

NASA has found something on Mars, we find out tomorrow

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jun 6, 2018 1:23 pm

Well... NASA has discovered something on Mars after 2054 days on the Red Planet, with the US space agency set to hold a press conference tomorrow to tell the world about their discovery.

 

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NASA said in a statement when they announced the press conference: "The media and public are invited to ask questions during a live discussion at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 7, on new science results from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover. The results are embargoed by the journal Science until then".

 

No one knows what NASA is going to talk about, but we do know that NASA's new drilling technique has worked, and now they're going to talk about something mysterious. The US space agency will have a bunch of scientists and experts on the ready, including:

 

  • Paul Mahaffy, director of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Jen Eigenbrode, research scientist at Goddard
  • Chris Webster, senior research fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
  • Ashwin Vasavada, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist, JPL

YouTube signs Iron Man to narrate its docu-series on AI

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 17, 2018 12:35 am

YouTube is spending "hundreds of millions' of dollars this year on its Red premium platform, with these plans including some greenbacks being flung over to Iron Man himself, Robert Downey, Jr.

 

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Robert will be alongside his wife Susan Downey as they will serve as executive producers on the yet-titled show, which will concentrate on the experts and sciences of AI, and how AI will change Earth. It will be an 8-episode affair that will air on YouTube Red in 2019.

NASA plans autonomous helicopters to land on Mars in 2020

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 14, 2018 12:30 am

The next vehicle that NASA is sending to Mars is going to be an autonomous helicopter of sorts, where the US space agency will bundle in an autonomous helicopter into the Mars 2020 rover in order to test airborne vehicles on Mars.

 

 

The drone itself weighs 1.8kg (just under 4lbs) while the dual, counter-rotating blades will be spinning at 3000RPM, around 10x faster than a regular helicopter. Why the high-speed blade rotation? The autonomous helicopter needs it because of the low atmospheric density on Mars.

 

When the helicopter is on the ground, it will be at an Earth-equivalent altitude of 100,000 feet, which is harder on the helicopter.

Continue reading 'NASA plans autonomous helicopters to land on Mars in 2020' (full post)

Uber, NASA sign Space Act Agreement for flying taxi service

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 9, 2018 2:28 am

We already know that Uber is working on a flying taxi service, but the ridesharing giant has just teamed with NASA to sign the Space Act Agreement that will see them making a traffic control system for flying vehicles.

 

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Uber and NASA were already working together, but these new plans will see NASA will take Uber's plans to dominate the skies, and then test them in Texas airspace. Uber will provide NASA with everything they need, with the US space agency simulating issues like air traffic and collisions with routes flying over the skies of Dallas to Fort Worth, and LA.

 

Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate explains: "NASA is excited to be partnering with Uber and others in the community to identify the key challenges facing the UAM market, and explore necessary research, development and testing requirements to address those challenges. Urban air mobility could revolutionize the way people and cargo move in our cities and fundamentally change our lifestyle much like smartphones have".

Little Caesars new patent teases pizza-making robots

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 16, 2018 12:31 am

I can see a pizza-making robot in our very near future, but now Little Caesars has received a new patent for an "automated pizza assembly system". Yeah, a pizza-making robot.

 

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Little Caesars' robot would, according to the patent, be a "robot including a stationary base and an articulating arm having a gripper attached to the end is operable to grip a pizza pan having pizza dough therein". After the robot rotates the pizza pan through "the cheese spreading station" and then the "pepperoni applying station". Automated pizza making, awesome.

 

You shouldn't expect to walk into Little Caesars anytime soon and watch a robot make your pizza, but for the future (think 10-15 years) we could expect more robotic and autonomous machines making not just our pizzas, but food in general. Robotic kitchen assistants will be a thing in the future.

Nissan shows off self-parking robotic slippers in Japan

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 13, 2018 5:27 am

This stuff seriously only comes out of Japan, but completely blows my mind every time that it does: in order to market their self-driving car and self-parking technology, Nissan has infused an inn in Hakone, Japan with a bunch of next-level stuff.

 

 

We're talking about self-parking slippers, that 'drive' themselves back into position, autonomous flood cushions, and even a self-parking TV remote.

 

It might be a marketing gimmick but this is totally awesome and makes me #wanttostay there just to see my slippers park themselves. I want to go to Japan (for the first time ever) during the 2020 Olympics, and this is now on my bucket list: I want to see my pillow and slippers park themselves.

Pornhub bans AI-generated faces on porn actors

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 7, 2018 3:35 am

Pornhub is on the offensive, with the site to delete something that I've never heard before - "deepfakes", which are AI-generated videos that "realistically edit new faces onto pornographic actors - under its rules against nonconsensual porn, following in the footsteps of platforms like Discord and Gfycat", reports The Verge.

 

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The company recently spoke with Motherboard, where they said: "We do not tolerate any nonconsensual content on the site and we remove all said content as soon as we are made aware of it". They added that non-consensual content includes "revenge porn, deepfakes, or anything published without a person's consent or permission".

 

Think of deepfakes as porno photoshops, where the faces of porn actors and actresses can be replaced. These videos, as The Verge points out, can get close to copyright infringement or defamation, so this is where lawyers step in and go after big sites like Pornhub to stop deepfakes.

Tesla to slap Powerwall on 50,000 homes in South Australia

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 4, 2018 7:33 am

Tesla has been using my home state of South Australia as its testing grounds for the future of its solar and lithium ion battery technology, with the SA government working out a deal with Tesla that would see at least 50,000 homes have their Powerwall technology installed.

 

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SA Premier Jay Weatherill is running for the March state election, teasing that Tesla's next-gen solar systems and batteries would be supplied, and installed free of charge. The entire project would be financed through the sale of electricity, given that the solar panels would be taking in the power generated by the sun, with Weatherill saying it would be the largest project of its kind.

 

The retailer involved would have the ability of using the household batteries that would be installed, and use that power to throw it back into the state power grid. There will be a trial scheme run using Housing Trust properties (government owned), something that has already started, with 100 homes receiving Tesla Powerwall systems by June 30, and another 1000 properties in the next 12 months.

 

After the trial, there will be another 24,000 solar systems installed on Housing Trust properties, with another deal that would follow that would be offered to all South Australian properties - up to 50,000 systems over four years in total. Mr Weatherill explains: "We will use people's homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid, with participating households benefitting with significant savings in their energy bills".

 

Remember that South Australia is home to the most expensive electricity in the world, so these deals are hopefully going to lead to lowered energy prices to SA residents.

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