Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 408

All the latest Science, Space, Health & Robotics news with plenty of coverage on space launches, discoveries, rockets & plenty more - Page 408.

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Want to make $750K? Turn CO2 into other molecules for NASA

Anthony Garreffa | Sep 4, 2018 12:30 AM CDT

If you are in need of a large injection of funds, you can always put your white coat on and work something out for NASA in their newly-announced CO2 Conversion Challenge.

Want to make $750K? Turn CO2 into other molecules for NASA

NASA's new CO2 Conversion Challenge will see a team of scientists and inventors discover a way to convert CO2 into molecules that can be used to produce many other things... if this discovery happens, there will be a winner who secures a huge $750,000.

The initial focus NASA has on the CO2 Conversion Challenge is for teams to convert CO2 to Glucose, in any way they can. NASA explains: "Help us discover ways to develop novel synthesis technologies that use carbon dioxide (CO2) as the sole carbon source to generate molecules that can be used to manufacture a variety of products, including "substrates" for use in microbial bioreactors".

Continue reading: Want to make $750K? Turn CO2 into other molecules for NASA (full post)

DeepMind's AI can play Quake III Arena like a human

Anthony Garreffa | Jul 8, 2018 10:37 PM CDT

I pumped in some serious hours into Quake III Arena when it first launched, so I hereby challenge the DeepMind AI to a game of Quake III and I know I'll destroy it.

DeepMind's AI can play Quake III Arena like a human

As for the story itself, the OpenAI bots were playing Dota 2 last week and moved into the FPS world with Quake III where their training agents were able to beat humans in a game of capture the flag in Quake III Arena. The training agents had to run through the 3D environment of Quake III which isn't the easiest for code to do, but DeepMind's researchers train the AI through reinforcement learning: training by trial and error, in a larger scale.

The AI bots aren't provided instructions on how to play the game in question, so it's serious trial and error on how to win. It takes up to 500,000 games lasting 5 minutes each to train the DeepMind AI bots, and they don't just learn the basic rules of CTF, they'll also define strategies like guarding their flag, camping enemies' bases, and following teammates so that you can attack the enemy in larger numbers.

Continue reading: DeepMind's AI can play Quake III Arena like a human (full post)

Chinese firm laser rifle burns clothes and skin at 800m

Anthony Garreffa | Jul 3, 2018 9:39 PM CDT

I didn't think we'd be here already but here's where we are now: we're living in a world where a Chinese firm has the aspirations to arm the country's police forces with the next generation of weapons: an assault rifle that fires lasers that burn clothes and skin at 800m away.

Chinese firm laser rifle burns clothes and skin at 800m

If that wasn't scary enough the lasers themselves are silent, and invisible, and they can pass through glass windows as well. ZKZM Laser developed the laser in collaboration with Xi'an Institute Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The purposes of this rifle if were in the hands of the good guys would be the police in hostage situations, where they could use a precision laser to take the kidnapper down, without hurting the victim.

A research that worked on the super-powered ZKZM-500 rifle said that "the pain will be beyond endurance" and that it will be "non-lethal" as it doesn't kill on impact. The laser rifle weighs around the same 6.6lb of an AK-47, with a lithium battery that is good to fire over 1000 'shots' that last for two second each.

Continue reading: Chinese firm laser rifle burns clothes and skin at 800m (full post)

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

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 25, 2018 12:35 AM CDT

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.

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

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

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 12, 2018 10:41 PM CDT

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.

Oculus founder building 'virtual wall', protects US border

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

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 6, 2018 8:23 AM CDT

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.

NASA has found something on Mars, we find out tomorrow

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:

Continue reading: NASA has found something on Mars, we find out tomorrow (full post)

NASA plans autonomous helicopters to land on Mars in 2020

Anthony Garreffa | May 13, 2018 7:30 PM CDT

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.

NASA plans autonomous helicopters to land on Mars in 2020

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

Anthony Garreffa | May 8, 2018 9:28 PM CDT

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.

Uber, NASA sign Space Act Agreement for flying taxi service

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".

Continue reading: Uber, NASA sign Space Act Agreement for flying taxi service (full post)

Little Caesars new patent teases pizza-making robots

Anthony Garreffa | Mar 15, 2018 7:31 PM CDT

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.

Little Caesars new patent teases pizza-making robots

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.

Continue reading: Little Caesars new patent teases pizza-making robots (full post)

Nissan shows off self-parking robotic slippers in Japan

Anthony Garreffa | Feb 12, 2018 11:27 PM CST

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.

Nissan shows off self-parking robotic slippers in Japan

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.

Continue reading: Nissan shows off self-parking robotic slippers in Japan (full post)