Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 204

All the latest Science, Space, Health & Robotics news with plenty of coverage on space launches, discoveries, rockets & plenty more - Page 204.

1000 strong robot swarm can make shapes on command

Shane McGlaun | Fri, Aug 15 2014 8:03 AM CDT

Researchers around the world are working on robotics to make them able to operate on their own and perform complex tasks. In the US, a group of engineers has designed a swarm of 1000 tiny robots that are able to shuffle their way into specific shapes when told to. Each of the bots is given an image of the shape controllers want and then they work together to make the shape.

1000 strong robot swarm can make shapes on command | TweakTown.com

It's not a fast process; it reportedly takes about 12 hours for the bots to take the desired shape. This is the largest swarm of robots to ever be used in a study of this type. Researchers from the group behind the project say that each of the bots is identical and have the exact same program.

The throng of robots is inspired by cells that form organs or ants that are able to build bridges to span water. The team hopes that knowledge gleaned from this study will help develop self-assembling tools and structures in the future. Each of the little bots is 3cm across and said to be about the size of a sushi roll and each has three straight legs. Commands are given using an infrared light overhead and a sensor on the robots.

Continue reading: 1000 strong robot swarm can make shapes on command (full post)

Michael J Fox Foundation and Intel team for Parkinson's research

Tamlin Magee | Thu, Aug 14 2014 9:29 PM CDT

Michael J Fox's charity, the Michael J Fox foundation, has partnered with Intel to examine how wearable technology can be of benefit to people with Parkinson's disease.

Michael J Fox Foundation and Intel team for Parkinson's research | TweakTown.com

Michael J Fox founded the charity after he was diagnosed with the disease. Its cause is not known and there is no cure, however, the symptoms, such as shaking and trouble with co-ordination, can be treated to a degree. The wearable tech will be used to unearth more data, for example, by recording the movements of patients and volunteers. An accompanying smartphone will upload this data to an Intel system, which will then dedicate data scientists to the project.

Ex Intel boss Andy Grove has acted as adviser to the foundation since he was also diagnosed with the disease. Chief executive of the foundation, Todd Sherer, said, according to the BBC: "This opportunity really will allow us the chance to uncover novel breakthroughs in Parkinson's disease by truly understanding how people are living with the disease today, how are they responding to treatments, what are their unmet needs."

Continue reading: Michael J Fox Foundation and Intel team for Parkinson's research (full post)

Robot butler Botlr goes to work in California hotel

Shane McGlaun | Thu, Aug 14 2014 7:02 AM CDT

I'm sure many people out there have imagined having a robot that could bring them stuff when they want it like food or drinks. A hotel in California called Aloft Hotel has started to roll out robotic butlers that can bring things to your room for you. These robot butlers are called Botlr and perhaps the best part for hotel visitors is that all the Botlr wants for a tip is a tweet.

Robot butler Botlr goes to work in California hotel | TweakTown.com

Botlr will bring things to your room like toothpaste, towels, and just about anything else that a person would normally bring you. Botlr will go into use for the first time on August 20 at the Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, California.

The bot will be named A.L.O. and will even wear a butler uniform and nametag. A compartment on top of the robot is where items are stored for delivery. When the robot arrives at your door, the phone in the room will ring. Botlr is the product of a company called Savioki, which is backed by Google Ventures.

Continue reading: Robot butler Botlr goes to work in California hotel (full post)

NASA's New Horizons captures unique footage of Pluto and Charon

Michael Hatamoto | Wed, Aug 13 2014 1:23 AM CDT

Launched by NASA in 2006 and tasked to study Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft captured unique footage of Charon revolving around Pluto, filmed from 265 million miles. Pluto has five moons, but Charon, at 750-miles across and is just 11,200 miles from Pluto.

A total of 12 photos were captured and researchers are using images to help accurately identify where Pluto is and the path it takes around the sun. Only one-third of the dwarf planet's orbit around the sun has been accurately recorded, space researchers have noted.

The New Horizons is expected to arrive at Pluto around 2015, and is finalizing its pre-Pluto annual systems instrument calibration before arriving. The spacecraft will be placed into "hibernation" mode from late August until early December, which is when it will be used for two years to conduct flyby missions while relaying information back to researchers.

Continue reading: NASA's New Horizons captures unique footage of Pluto and Charon (full post)

Follow the ISEE-3 spacecraft using Google Chrome

Shane McGlaun | Mon, Aug 11 2014 7:06 AM CDT

If you are familiar with the ISEE-3 spacecraft we have talked about a few times around here, you might like this. Google has announced that it has launched a new Chrome Experiment that is called "A spacecraft for All" that allows you to follow the incredible odyssey of the ISEE-3 using Chrome interactive WebGL graphics and video.

Follow the ISEE-3 spacecraft using Google Chrome | TweakTown.com

ISEE-3 is a spacecraft that launched in 1978 with the original mission for studying the sun; it was retasked after launch to study a comet. A group of amateur scientists established contact with the satellite to get it back on its original mission, but the spacecraft thrusters failed to get the craft back into the correct orbit. The spacecraft did recently fly past the moon for the first time in decades.

"In a new Chrome Experiment called A Spacecraft for All, you can follow the unlikely odyssey of the ISEE-3 using Chrome's interactive WebGL graphics and video. You can re-live its story, read its re-activated data instruments, learn about its current position and trajectory - and explore space along the way. It's all designed to make space science simple, fun and accessible enough for anyone eager to learn - whether you're a PhD or grade school student", says Suzanne Chambers, executive producer and space cadet, Creative Lab New York.

Continue reading: Follow the ISEE-3 spacecraft using Google Chrome (full post)

US Navy successfully recovers Orion capsule in splashdown test

Shane McGlaun | Fri, Aug 8 2014 11:00 AM CDT

The Orion capsule is the spacecraft that will help American astronauts get back into space in the future. It's first flight is set for December, but preparations for other aspects of Orion operations are underway. One of those practice aspects is the recovery of the capsule after a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

US Navy successfully recovers Orion capsule in splashdown test | TweakTown.com

This week, US Navy dive teams aboard the USS Anchorage recovery vessel successfully recovered the Orion capsule during a practice test using a cradle and winch system. This test is the last time the Navy and NASA get to practice before the Orion is sent 3600 miles above the earth.

During that unmanned test flight, Orion will land in a splashdown in the ocean where it will be recovered and used again. NASA hasn't performed an at sea recovery of a spacecraft in a real mission since 1975.

Continue reading: US Navy successfully recovers Orion capsule in splashdown test (full post)

Elon Musk says that AI could be 'more dangerous than nukes'

Anthony Garreffa | Mon, Aug 4 2014 12:31 AM CDT

Elon Musk has founded some of the biggest companies involving technology, such as PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors. Musk thinks we need to build a home for humans on Mars as soon as possible, but when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), he has his reservations.

Elon Musk says that AI could be 'more dangerous than nukes' | TweakTown.com

Over the weekend, Musk tweeted about a book recommendation, but after that he said: "We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes." Musk isn't new to his stance on AI, where back in June the SpaceX founder said he has even considred the possibility of a 'Terminator'-like scenario. Musk has also admitted that he's even invested money into AI companies, where he wants to keep an eye on where AI is going.

Continue reading: Elon Musk says that AI could be 'more dangerous than nukes' (full post)

Cappuccino and fuel among items heading to ISS on ESA resupply ship

Shane McGlaun | Thu, Jul 31 2014 9:02 AM CDT

The International Space Station requires a constant stream of new components, food, and water to remain in operation. Sometimes the US send up supplies and scientific gear and sometimes the resupply ships come from Europe. A new supply mission is underway from the ESA that sent an Ariane 5 rocket into space with a cargo ship aboard to resupply the ISS.

Cappuccino and fuel among items heading to ISS on ESA resupply ship | TweakTown.com

This particular resupply mission had something onboard that astronauts on the ISS will really appreciate, cappuccino and tiramisu. The resupply ship is set to dock with the ISS on August 12 at about 9:30 am. This is the last resupply mission that the ESA will perform.

After this resupply mission all future resupply will be handled by Russian Progress spacecraft and the Japanese HTC cargo ships. In the US resupply, missions will be handled by SpaceX and Orbital Sciences. Among the 5941 pounds of material on the resupply ship are cappuccino, water, oxygen, air, research gear, and spare parts. The cargo ship also contains 1896 pounds of fuel to be used by the Russian thrusters aboard the ISS.

Continue reading: Cappuccino and fuel among items heading to ISS on ESA resupply ship (full post)

Detailed Moon analysis determines it to be slightly lemon-shaped

Shane McGlaun | Thu, Jul 31 2014 8:00 AM CDT

There has been a bit of debate over the years amongst scientists and astronomers on how exactly the Moon was formed. A detailed study of the shape of the moon has revealed some new details on its shape, which in turn shed a bit of light on how the moon may have formed.

Detailed Moon analysis determines it to be slightly lemon-shaped | TweakTown.com

When you look at the night sky, the moon appears to be a sphere. However, the analysis of the shape of the moon shows that it is actually slightly lemon-shaped. This study looked at the Moon as it would be if millions of meteorites hadn't hit the surface and knocked chunks off it.

"If you imagine spinning a water balloon, it will start to flatten at the poles and bulge at the equator," Ian Garrick-Bethell said. "On top of that you have tides due to the gravitational pull of the Earth, and that creates sort of a lemon shape with the long axis of the lemon pointing at the Earth."

"The moon that faced us a long time ago has shifted, so we're no longer looking at the primordial face of the moon," Garrick-Bethell said. "Changes in the mass distribution shifted the orientation of the moon. The craters removed some mass, and there were also internal changes, probably related to when the moon became volcanically active."

Continue reading: Detailed Moon analysis determines it to be slightly lemon-shaped (full post)

Scientists discover origin of 18th century wood ship under WTC

Shane McGlaun | Wed, Jul 30 2014 10:00 AM CDT

One of the big mysteries that remained after the September 11 attacks was an old wooden ship that was discovered under where the towers once stood during clean up. While excavating the site, a wooden ship was discovered in the earth leaving scientists to wonder where the ship came from and what it was doing there.

Scientists discover origin of 18th century wood ship under WTC | TweakTown.com

Scientists have used tree rings in the lumber used to build the ship to learn something about where it came from and when it was built. The rings in the lumber reveal that the trees matched other lumber that was cut down about 280 years ago near Philadelphia. The researchers believe the wood was harvested in 1773 and was cut down somewhere around the time of the Boston Tea Party.

The rings in the lumber help the scientists pinpoint its year and location of origin while providing a bit of history about the climate in the area where it was harvested. The ship is believed to have been constructed by a small shipyard, because details in the design of the ship are unlike those used by larger shipyards. The ship is believed to have been retired in the city, coved by garbage and landfill, and then the Twin Towers were built over it.

Continue reading: Scientists discover origin of 18th century wood ship under WTC (full post)

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