UN: Hold International Talks on ‘Killer Robots’ (New York) – All governments should support international talks to address the threat posed by fully autonomous robotic weapons, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic on October 21, 2013, issued a question-and-answer document about the legal problems posed by these weapons. Representatives from the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, including Human Rights Watch, will present their concerns about fully autonomous weapons at a United Nations event in New York on October 21. “Urgent international action is needed or killer robots may evolve from a science fiction nightmare to a deadly reality,” said Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch. “The US and every other country should support holding international talks aimed at ensuring that humans will retain control over decisions to target and use force against other humans.”
Smart tattoo generates electricity from sweat, could power future wearable computers Smart tattoos are the hottest thing since mood rings. When they become commonplace, they will be a great way to eavesdrop on both vital signs and not-so-vital signs. The only thing that seems to be holding them back, is getting power to them. Joseph Wang, a researchers from UCSD, has now come up with a way to generate power for these devices without using any external equipment. The secret, is to harness electrons from lactate acid secreted in sweat. New bone-like material is lighter than water but as strong as steel Materials shape human progress – think stone age or bronze age. The 21st century has been referred to as the molecular age, a time when scientists are beginning to manipulate materials at the atomic level to create new substances with astounding properties. Taking a step in that direction, Jens Bauer at the Karlsruher Institute of Technology (KIT) and his colleagues have developed a bone-like material that is less dense than water, but as strong as some forms of steel. "This is the first experimental proof that such materials can exist," Bauer said. Material world
Marsupial Robot Team Monitors Rivers From Water and Air I know what you're thinking right now, because I was thinking it too as soon as I saw the phrase "marsupial robot team:" you're thinking about robot koalas. Or robot kangaroos. Or maybe robot wombats. icists show unlimited heat conduction in graphene Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz and the National University of Singapore have attested that the thermal conductivity of graphene diverges with the size of the samples. This discovery challenges the fundamental laws of heat conduction for extended materials. Davide Donadio, head of a Max Planck Research Group at the MPI-P, and his partner from Singapore were able to predict this phenomenon with computer simulations and to verify it in experiments.
The "bizarre experiment" that became a flying jellyfish robot I don't see any advantage that this design could have over a copter and I bet it consumes more energy to fly than a copter of the same size/weight, because it doesn't exploit the lift that aerodynamics grant a wing. Am I missing something? A helicopter would require extra weight for counter-rotation, either through a second main rotor or an anti-torque rotor. New 3D Modeling Technique – Will it make 3D scanners obsolete? What happens when you want to take a tangible object and replicate it through the process of 3D printing? If you are like most, you will either try and find a CAD file for that object somewhere on the internet, which will probably end up leaving you empty handed, or you will use the most common method currently available — 3D scanning. 3D scanners, however, are quite pricey and unless you are using a really high quality device, you probably will need to modify the virtual version of the object quite a bit, once scanned into your computer. Researchers at the Centro de Investigaciones en Optca (CIO) in Mexico, appear to have come up with a better solution; a solution that could be quite a bit more affordable, yet even more reliable than current 3D scanning technology. The process which is referred to as “Co-phased 360-degree profilometry” involves 5 things: A camera, 2 light projectors, the subject (positioned and able to be rotated 360 degrees), and a computer.
Mexico City Building Exterior Eats Smog What can your building do? This latticework exterior on a surgery building in Mexico City has the ability to react with smog, breaking it down into smaller, safer substances. Intense traffic there is putting the new facade to the test. Top Wacky Wind Turbines: Photos Berlin-based design firm Elegant Establishments developed the facade for the Torre de Especialidades building at the Hospital General Dr. Manuel Gea González. Modular Robotics' MOSS Kit Makes Building Robots a Snap Building robots is hard. Seriously hard. Not only do you have to construct them physically, but even after you've got them all wired up with motors and sensors and batteries and whatnot, they won't actually DO anything until you've spent most of the rest of your life writing code. It's kind of depressing, when it comes down to it, because for those of us who aren't already professional roboticists, we have to deal with a learning curve like that really steep bit on the north face of the Matterhorn. Back in 2010, a company called Modular Robotics introduced Cubelets, a system of robotic modules that could be magnetically snapped together.
Upsalite Electron microscopy images of Upsalite — scale bar length: (A) 1 μm (B) 200 nm (C) 50 nm Upsalite is an anhydrous form of magnesium carbonate first reported in July 2013. With a surface area of 800 m² per gram, Upsalite is reported to have the highest surface area measured for an alkali earth metal carbonate ever created. It is found to absorb more water at low relative humidities better than the best materials previously available — the hygroscopic zeolites. Further, upsalite can release that water at lower temperatures than zeolites, requiring less energy.
Captured: The Acrobatics of a Fruit Fly in Flight At breakneck speed, a fruit fly veers off course and rolls into a precise bank. As the fly dips and dives around a miniature arena inside a laboratory in Seattle, three high-speed cameras shooting at 7500 frames per second capture its every twist and turn. Michael Dickinson, biologist and fruit fly expert at the University of Washington, has spent years studying insect flight, and converting static images into dynamic models. NASA Invents a Folding Solar Panel Inspired by Origami A prototype of a new solar panel inspired by origami. Twenty years ago Brian Trease was a high school exchange student in Japan. It was there that he first learned the art of paper folding. “I’d be folding subway ticket stubs, baseball game lineups; there’s a picture of me in McDonalds in the city of Kobe holding a big origami crane that I had just folded [out of a hamburger wrapper],” he recalls. “Now it’s come full circle—I’m doing this as my career.”
Professors' super waterproof surfaces cause water to bounce like a ball In a basement lab on BYU’s campus, mechanical engineering professor Julie Crockett analyzes water as it bounces like a ball and rolls down a ramp. This phenomenon occurs because Crockett and her colleague Dan Maynes have created a sloped channel that is super-hydrophobic, or a surface that is extremely difficult to wet. In layman’s terms, it’s the most extreme form of water proof. Engineers like Crockett and Maynes have spent decades studying super-hydrophobic surfaces because of the plethora of real-life applications. And while some of this research has resulted in commercial products that keep shoes dry or prevent oil from building up on bolts, the duo of BYU professors are uncovering characteristics aimed at large-scale solutions for society.