Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A use for your dirty household foil: Breakthrough technique converts binned aluminium into a chemical that speeds up the creation of biofuels


A pioneering technique to convert binned aluminium foil into an ingredient in biofuel production could help solve global waste and energy problems.

Scientists have developed a method to transform dirty household foil, discarded after cooking, into a chemical catalyst that can rapidly speed up the process of making green fuels such as dimethyl ether.

Around 20,000 tonnes of aluminium foil packaging is wasted each year - enough to stretch to the moon and back.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The first self driving cargo ship will take to Norwegian seas in 2018 complete with robocranes to load and unload itself


Researchers have developed the world's first autonomous, zero-emissions cargo ship. 

The vessel, dubbed Yara Birkeland, will be fully battery-powered and capable of autonomous mooring and route planning.

The vessel could dramatically reduce diesel emissions from conventional cargo ships. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

"THOR" hybrid UAV hovers like a helicopter, flies like a plane


Conventional multicopter drones are excellent at hovering and VTOL, but they can't cover long distances as efficiently as fixed-wing aircraft. A team of students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design is trying to get the best of both worlds with the Transformable HOvering Rotorcraft (THOR).

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Watch Stanford’s Freaky New Soft Robot Grow Itself


The nineties were full of toys and consumer products that were, in hindsight, so bad it’s a wonder we as a society haven’t facepalmed ourselves to death yet. The road to marketing hell is paved with good intentions. One memorable toy from the collective childhood of my generation is the water wiggler — otherwise known as the water tube toy, water snake, or those weird squidgy jelly tube things. Remember these? Sometimes they had glitter in them, or tiny plastic fish. You’d try to hold them, and they’d slip right through your hands even though you had a secure grip on the outside.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Walmart developing smart camera that can spot unhappy and frustrated shoppers and alert staff


Walmart is developing a facial recognition system to monitor customers at its checkouts for signs of anger and dissatisfation.

The technology uses video cameras at store checkout lines that monitor customers' facial expressions and movements to try and identify varying levels of dissatisfaction, according to a patent filing.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

HIV breakthrough as researchers create incredible simulation that shows how the virus senses its environment and attacks cells


This structure, called the capsid (illustrated above), plays a critical role in the virus’s ability to infect human cells, but the freedom of its components to arrange asymmetrically makes it extremely difficult for scientists to study

A stunning 64-million-atom supercomputer simulation has revealed a look into the life of the ‘protein cage’ that carries HIV through the body.

This structure, called the capsid, plays a critical role in the virus’s ability to infect human cells, but the freedom of its components to arrange asymmetrically makes it extremely difficult for scientists to study.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Scientists discover all quantum particles can travel BACKWARD in breakthrough that could pave the way for ultra-secure encryption


Scientists have discovered that all quantum particles exhibit a property known as ‘backflow,’ allowing them to travel in the opposite direction from which they are pushed.

While it’s long been known that particles can move in this way when there are no external forces at play, a study has now found that it also applies in more realistic situations, when such forces are present.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cheetah 3 robot by MIT is made to save lives


MIT’s cheetah 3 robot has been revealed at TC sessions: robotics in cambridge, massachusetts. 

Previous versions have been able to run at speeds up to 14 miles an hour and to bound over objects, this model however has been designed to save lives. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Fitbit of the future? Soft and stretchy computerised fabric could transform any piece of clothing into a fitness tracker


Computerised fabric that could one day transform any piece of clothing into a Fitbit-like fitness tracker has been developed.

The fabric is made using soft and stretchy sensors that can transmit data on a wide range of human body movements.

The highly sensitive technology could be used to create 'smart apparel' in which your clothes double up as digital devices. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Blood-Monitoring Device Inspired by Mosquitoes


The mosquito is responsible for more deaths than any other animal on earth, thanks to its habit of spreading diseases like malaria and dengue fever. But studying the mosquito’s bloodsucking jab might just help scientists save lives at risk from another disease: diabetes.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Non-toxic, stretchy artificial spider silk created by Cambridge University scientists could be used to make bulletproof vests


A new artificial spider silk that is super strong and stretchy has been developed by Cambridge University scientists.

The fibres that make up each strand work like miniature bungee cords and could one day be used to make bike helmets and even bulletproof vests.

The web-like fibres are non-toxic and are made by stretching a strand of 'silk' out from a soupy material called a hydrogel.

The silk is woven at room temperature using mostly water, meaning it is made using sustainable methods, the researchers said.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Electric glove translates sign language into text messages in real-time to help deaf people communicate


An electric glove which can convert sign language into text messages has been unveiled by scientists.

The $100 (£77) device will will allow deaf people to instantly send messages to those who don't understand sign language, according to its inventors.

Researchers fitted a standard sports glove with nine flexible strain sensors which react when a user bends their fingers to create the new device.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Dutch researchers reveal radical plans for mile-wide 'floating islands' to combat rising sea levels


Made up of 87 floating triangles of different sizes, the huge, flexible island made of concrete or steel would eventually stretch 1.5 to two kilometres (one to 1.2 miles), or a total of three square kilometres.

Squeezed for space in this tiny northern European country, 'some cities are starting to look into floating solutions, like a floating park on the river for example, where they want to have an area for recreation close by the city centre,' Olaf Waals from the Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands (MARIN) told AFP.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Meet the DrunkBots: Watch Google's AI learning to get around obstacles


A hilarious new video reveals the clumsy progress of AI 'parkour,' as scientists work to teach computer systems how to navigate ‘challenging terrains and obstacles.’

DeepMind researchers have trained a number of simulated bodies, including a headless ‘walker,’ a four-legged ‘ant,’ and a 3D humanoid, to learn more complex behaviours as they carry out different locomotion tasks.

Monday, July 10, 2017

£380 foldaway sun-powered parasol can charge gadgets as you lounge on the beach


Beachgoers will never have to worry about their mobile phones going dead on a day out again, after a renewable energy expert invented a solar powered umbrella.

The entrepreneur has come up with the Solarbrella, a lightweight fold-away solar panel that fits over a beach umbrella.

It allows people to charge their devices while catching some rays.