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Personal Robots Group - MIT Media Lab

Personal Robots Group - MIT Media Lab
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New solar fuel device that ”mimics plant life” Scientists have unveiled a prototype solar device that mimics plant life, turning the Sun’s energy into fuel. The device uses the Sun’s rays and a metal oxide called ceria to break down carbon dioxide or water into fuels, which can be stored and transported. The prototype, which has been devised by researchers in the US and Switzerland, uses a quartz window and cavity to concentrate sunlight into a cylinder lined with cerium oxide, also known as ceria. If as in the prototype, carbon dioxide and/or water are pumped into the vessel, the ceria will rapidly strip the oxygen from them as it cools, creating hydrogen and/or carbon monoxide. Hydrogen produced could be used to fuel hydrogen fuel cells in cars, for example, while a combination of hydrogen and carbon monoxide can be used to create “syngas” for fuel. It is this harnessing of ceria’s properties in the solar reactor, which represents the major breakthrough, said the inventors of the device. “It’s very much tied to policy.

robot adapts to injury Lindsay France/University Photography Graduate student Viktor Zykov, former student Josh Bongard, now a professor at the University of Vermont, and Hod Lipson, Cornell assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, watch as a starfish-like robot pulls itself forward, using a gait it developed for itself. the robot's ability to figure out how it is put together, and from that to learn to walk, enables it to adapt and find a new gait when it is damaged. Nothing can possibly go wrong ... go wrong ... go wrong ... The truth behind the old joke is that most robots are programmed with a fairly rigid "model" of what they and the world around them are like. If a robot is damaged or its environment changes unexpectedly, it can't adapt. So Cornell researchers have built a robot that works out its own model of itself and can revise the model to adapt to injury. "Most robots have a fixed model laboriously designed by human engineers," Lipson explained.

Ten of the Best Movie Robots | Robots in movies has always been a fascinating subject. On the one hand Robots carry that machine like mystique that enables them to do things that we humans can’t. And that factor alone leads us to curiosity and amazement. With this in mind, I think it was fine time to identify some robots who were revolutionary, who carried thematic weight, who were lovable (or frightening), or who were just cool as hell. Here are ten of the best movie Robots C-3PO – Star Wars Until the Star Wars movie, most robots were portrayed as cold, emotionless, subservient, and speech impaired machines. The Terminator The Arnold Schwarzenegger terminator (a T-800) is one of the most cold, calculating and unstoppable machines ever—at least until the creepily persistent liquid-metal T-1000 (Robert Patrick) shows up in T2. Johnny 5 – Short Circuit Robot Number Five is one of several advanced Nova Robotics military robots created to be the perfect soldiers. Robocop Probably the most badass movie robot of all time.

Best iPad 2 apps So you've got an iPad 2, and now you need to fill it with lovely iPad apps. But with 65,000 apps available just for the iPad what are the best ones to get and are there any that take advantage of the new features of the iPad 2. We've scoured the massive collection of iPad apps available (mid March) on iTunes to see what's on offer and what you should download. We've tried, tested and reviewed all of the following free iPad apps ourselves, rather than just guessing whether they're good or not. READ: Best new iPad apps to show off the Retina Display GarageBand Let’s get it out of the way from the start. You get to play piano, guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and if you’ve got the right dongle, even record your own guitar playing as well. The whole experience is incredibly easy, and depending on your musical skill rather than computer skills, you can create a track in minutes rather than hours. Playing music is one thing, but you probably want to record it too, and here Apple makes it very easy.

Nerve-Electronic Hybrid Could Meld Mind and Machine | Wired Science Nerve-cell tendrils readily thread their way through tiny semiconductor tubes, researchers find, forming a crisscrossed network like vines twining toward the sun. The discovery that offshoots from nascent mouse nerve cells explore the specially designed tubes could lead to tricks for studying nervous system diseases or testing the effects of potential drugs. Such a system may even bring researchers closer to brain-computer interfaces that seamlessly integrate artificial limbs or other prosthetic devices. “This is quite innovative and interesting,” says nanomaterials expert Nicholas Kotov of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. To lay the groundwork for a nerve-electronic hybrid, graduate student Minrui Yu of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and his colleagues created tubes of layered silicon and germanium, materials that could insulate electric signals sent by a nerve cell. “They seem to like the tubes,” says biomedical engineer Justin Williams, who led the research. See Also:

Nanotechnology Basics Home > Introduction > Nanotechnology Basics Nanotechnology Basics Last Updated: Friday, 14-Jun-2013 09:28:04 PDT What is Nanotechnology? Answers differ depending on who you ask, and their background. Broadly speaking however, nanotechnology is the act of purposefully manipulating matter at the atomic scale, otherwise known as the "nanoscale." Coined as "nano-technology" in a 1974 paper by Norio Taniguchi at the University of Tokyo, and encompassing a multitude of rapidly emerging technologies, based upon the scaling down of existing technologies to the next level of precision and miniaturization. Foresight Nanotech Institute Founder K. In the future, "nanotechnology" will likely include building machines and mechanisms with nanoscale dimensions, referred to these days as Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT). Click image for larger version. This image was written using Dip-Pen Nanolithography, and imaged using lateral force microscopy mode of an atomic force microscope. "We know it's possible.

Silicon Chips Wired With Nerve Cells Could Enable New Brain/Machine Interfaces It's reminiscent of Cartman's runaway Trapper Keeper notebook in that long-ago episode of South Park, but researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison may be scratching the surface of a new kind of brain/machine interface by creating computer chips that are wired together with living nerve cells. A team there has found that mouse nerve cells will connect with each other across a network of tiny tubes threaded through a semiconductor material. It's not exactly clear at this point how the nerve cells are functioning, but what is clear is that the cells seem to have an affinity for the tiny tubes, and that alone has some interesting implications. To create the nerve-chip hybrid, the researchers created tubes of layered silicon and germanium that are large enough for the nerve cells' tendrils to navigate but too small for the actual body of the cell to pass through. What isn't clear is whether or not the cells are actually communicating with each other they way they would naturally.

No Light Work: Researchers Claim to Have Created World’s Lightest Solid Scientists are breaking new ground in the eternal quest to create ever lighter materials – this time forging a metal so weightless it can sit atop a dandelion. Yahoo News reports that the team of U.S. researchers from University of California at Irvine, HRL Laboratories and the California Institute of Technology has developed the metal, which is about 100 times lighter than Styrofoam. They constructed a metallic lattice of hair-thin pipes to show off their latest creation, beating out the previously lightest substances in the world, aerogels. (LIST: The 50 Best Inventions) The work is significant because the strategy employed by the team could lead to the development of more materials of extraordinary strength and lightness, according to detailed findings in the Nov. 18 issue of the journal Science. LIST: All-TIME 100 Gadgets

Controlling Computers with Your Mind November 8, 2010 Scientists used a brain-computer interface to show how the activity of just a few brain cells can control the display of pictures on a computer screen. The finding sheds light on how single brain cells contribute to attention and conscious thought. Patients were asked to focus on 1 of 2 superimposed images, here of Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe. Researchers have been making great progress in developing brain-computer interfaces—devices that let a person's thoughts guide the actions of a computer. A team of scientists led by Dr. The scientists recruited 12 patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. In a previous study, the researchers found that individual brain cells respond more strongly to certain images than to others. For this study, the scientists first identified neurons in each person that responded selectively to 4 different images. The results appeared in the October 28, 2010, issue of Nature.