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Robotics, emerging technology, space exploration -- if it starts in a lab, you'll read about it here
  • Outdoor technology gone wrong, or about to

    Posted November 16, 2010 - 12:26 pm

    I usually like anything technology can do to improve the outdoor experience -- though I'm continually disappointed no one has commercialized this anti-mosquito system.
  • Symantec sees Iranian nukes in Stuxnet worm

    Posted November 15, 2010 - 4:38 pm

    Nuclear fuel plants aren't the only potential target for attacks that slow centrifuge controls, but they're far more likely than most other plants.
  • Tetris Tames Trauma, Doctors Say

    Posted November 12, 2010 - 12:09 pm

    Who says video games are a waste of time? Playing Tetris may help reduce memory flashbacks associated with traumatic images, according to a new study by Oxford University researchers.
  • Robot Powered by Rat Neurons Learns to Avoid Walls

    Posted November 10, 2010 - 3:02 pm

    Ever wanted to build a robot brain out of actual neurons? (Uh, don't answer that.) In a story straight out of something from Dr. Who or other science fiction tales, Kevin Warwick of the UK's University of Reading--a cyborg in his own right--has been developing electrode arrays with rat brain cells growing on them in order to control simple robots. After being placed on electrodes, embryonic rat neurons begin growing and forming branched projections called axons and dendrites, and ultimately form neural pathways between different portions of neurons.
  • Video

    MIT: High-tech cars can mellow you out

    Posted November 5, 2010 - 12:01 pm

    Letting the sort of automatic parking systems now available from Ford and Toyota take over doesn't just ensure a better parking job; according to a study from MIT, they can actually reduce stress. Of course, it's still undetermined if that stress is a good thing (because it keeps you more alert) or if the stress drop-off will still happen when such systems are standard equipment on all cars.
  • Video

    Happy 10th birthday Asimo!

    Posted November 3, 2010 - 5:03 pm

    In its 10 years of "life" the Asimo humanoid robot has learned to deliver drinks, move office supplies and conduct an orchestra.
  • Driverless Robotic Vans Cross Asia, Pick up Hitchhikers

    Posted November 2, 2010 - 9:33 pm

    Last month, Google surprised us when it demonstrated that current automation technology is reliable enough to drive a car for you. Even more impressive is that not one, not two, but four robotic vans using technology similar to Google's have crossed from Italy to Shanghai, China, all completing the 8,000-mile trek without drivers just in time for Shanghai Expo.
  • NASA puts automated software code patents on auction block

    Posted October 28, 2010 - 8:38 pm

    NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center this week said it is set to auction an exclusive license to five patents it holds for automated software development on Nov. 11, 2010.
  • Artificial Intelligence Trumps Human Judge in Test

    Posted October 28, 2010 - 3:16 pm

    Maybe humans will eventually meet their match in manipulation one day. The New Scientist recently reported a winner for the Loebner Prize, an annual contest that puts artificial intelligence machines through one version of the Turing Test.
  • Nightmare robots: 20 real and creepy androids

    Posted October 28, 2010 - 12:14 pm

    Happy Halloween: These 20 creepy robots are guaranteed to give you the heebie-jeebies.
  • Physicists Find Mass Created 'Inside' Graphene

    Posted October 27, 2010 - 1:28 pm

    Graphene: what can't it do? Those atom-thick sheets of carbon atoms packed honeycomb-shaped crystal lattices can act as zero-gap semiconductors, biodevices, transistors, and now can perhaps create mass, simply by rolling up atom-thick sheets of this material.
  • NASA shield may protect Earth's power from the Sun

    Posted October 26, 2010 - 3:45 pm

    A few minutes warning could let utilities defend against surges that melt transformer cases and once set telegraph offices on fire
  • Get Snooping With a Nosy Japanese Robot

    Posted October 26, 2010 - 2:11 pm

    If you're a homeowner and have done any sort of do-it-yourself home projects, chances are you've had to get into the crawlspace beneath your home on some occasion. It's a dirty job, sure, but somebody's got to do it. However, a robot out of Japan can save the hassle.
  • NASA: Moon may have enough water for human base

    Posted October 22, 2010 - 11:10 am

    A little more than a year after slamming two spacecraft into a crater on the moon, NASA scientists are reporting that they've found not only some water but possibly enough to sustain human explorers.
  • Would Batteries Still be a Pain if It Were Easier to Lose Them Than Use Them?

    Posted October 21, 2010 - 11:16 am

    Three-dimensional meshes of nano-wires coated with electrolyte might keep energy density high at very small sizes.
  • Are Robots Really Stealing Human Jobs?

    Posted October 20, 2010 - 4:21 pm

    Finding it hard to find even the most basic of jobs these days? Blame it on the robots then, says MIT economist, David Autor. In his (working) Spring paper, Autor conducted a study into the affect of rising technological advances on low- and high-skilled jobs. He found that robots were replacing humans where there were more routine tasks involved, such as in manufacturing, banking, or medicine.
  • This Is Why You Get the CFOs Signature on the Project Sheet

    Posted October 19, 2010 - 4:00 pm

    English shipmakers will continue for nine years building 6 billion worth of aircraft carriers even after the government cancelled every attack jet that could have flown off them. It's apparently cheaper to finish building, then send them to mothballs.
  • Father of Fractal Geometry Passes at Age 85

    Posted October 18, 2010 - 1:19 pm

    French-American mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot has died of cancer at the age of 85 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • NIST Lays Out Spec to Turn Power Grid to Network Grid

    Posted October 15, 2010 - 2:59 pm

    The federal government has committed billions to enhancing national power grids to load balance, save power and, eventually, use the same cables to carry data and power.
  • Slovenian Vending-Machine Assembly Robot Beats Assemblers

    Posted October 14, 2010 - 8:54 pm

    Some allege robot was programmed for beating; no hint the
  • Nobel winner in physics is also an Ig Nobel Laureate

    Posted October 5, 2010 - 4:49 pm

    It was bound to happen eventually. An Ig Nobel Prize winner has become an actual Nobel laureate.
  • Doctors Warn of 'Toasted Skin' from Prolonged Laptop Use

    Posted October 4, 2010 - 8:40 pm

    It's been a joke among computer users that working too long with a notebook PC on your lap can lead to a laptop tan. Swedish researchers aren't laughing. They say using a hot laptop that rests on your legs can give you mottled, discolored skin that could lead to a condition called "toasted skin syndrome".
  • Graphene Nanobubbles Could Mean More Powerful Gadgets

    Posted October 4, 2010 - 8:39 pm

    After some hubbub this summer about graphene-coated lithium batteries that charge in minutes, some scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have found another (cooler?) use for the single-atom-thick carbon material. It turns out that they've been able to make the electrons in graphene react as if they were exposed to a very strong magnetic field--something that has big implications for how we build the smallest, most basic parts of electronic devices.
  • NSF funds research to make the Internet more secure, robust

    Posted September 27, 2010 - 2:23 pm

    The National Science Foundation late last month announced four research projects focused on developing a more robust and secure Internet.
  • Artificial 'E-skin' May Soon Help Robots 'Feel'

    Posted September 13, 2010 - 9:57 am

    Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new technology that may help robots feel, give the sense of touch back to those with prosthetic limbs, and ultimately help robots do the dishes without breaking them (and while they're at it, maybe make a sandwich without turning it into land of the flatlanders).
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