Showing posts from July, 2018

Are Your Windows Smart and Eco-friendly?

Low Cost, Smart E-Glass

University of  Delaware researchers, led by Associate Professor Keith Goossen,  have developed low-cost, glass panels that selectively allow and block light.  This paves the way for eco-friendly, smart windows that reflect heat in the summer and absorb heat in the winter.

Simple, Brilliant Idea
The idea behind the smart glass is simple.  It has two sheets of plastic separated by a thin cavity.  Tiny, cube-shaped structures are in the plastic.  They make light bounce back to its source.  The other chamber between the plastics is filled with methyl salicylate, an inexpensive wintergreen extract that is also used in over-the-counter pain-killers. This liquid has optical properties that match the optical properties of retroreflective plastic.  When combined the light can pass through and the system becomes transparent.

Smart Glass, Smart Windows, Smart House, E-Friendly
The smart glass system can switch from transparent letting the light shine in to warm the house in…

DARPA's Amazing Hypersonic Vehicle

Falcon HTV-2

This is one of DARPA's most amazing, daring and high risk projects.  It's called the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle or Falcon HTV-2.  It was designed to overcome the many challenges of hypersonic flight, which is something DARPA is committed to developing.  It's a concept vehicle that has helped to pave the way to a hypersonic future.

DARPA's Goal
The end goal is a vehicle that can reach anyplace in the world in less than an hour.  Falcon, designed by Elon Musk's Space X in partnership with DARPA, was designed to go up to Mach 20 or 13,000 miles per hour.  That would take you from NYC to LA in 12 minutes.

Lost in Space
Falcon is an unmanned, rocket-launched maneuverable aircraft. Also it's a data-truck with tons of sensors onboard.  In a test flight several years ago, showing the difficulty and risks of developing this kind of advanced technology, DARPA harvested only 9 minutes worth of data, before losing contact with the vehicle.  The vehicle…

Global Warming's New Ocean at North Pole

North Pole Battle Zone

It sits on the top of the world at the North Pole.  It's a brand new ocean that's just been discovered. It's the result of global warming.  Over the past 30 years, the Artic has melted 2 times as fast as the rest of the world.  And the melting caused by Climate Change has spawned a new ocean.  And, so quickly, it's the object of international battles for ownership and oil, gas and mineral development.

Investment and Development Rights Battle
5 Artic nations are fighting for ownership. The stakes are huge.  As much as 90 billion gallons of oil and 47 trilllion cubic meters of natural gas are at stake, according to the Royal Institute of International Affairs.  Plus, there's a trillion dollars worth of minerals like gold, platinum and titanium. The technological and infrastructure investment to explore and develop the polar ocean is massive.

Global Warming Has Opened Access
Incredibly, global warming has opened access to this hidden oceanographic…

Energy Kites - Google Wind Power

Google's X, Moonshot Factory's Wind Power Technology - Inspired by Flying a Kite

The Makani Energy Kite Update
Google's parent company Alphabet is behind this brilliant innovation incubator.  The X Factory's mission is to develop moonshots that deliver a factor of 10 times positive impact on pressing world problems rather than just 10%.  They have a big focus on developing renewable energy, particularly game-changing wind power technology.  Here's an update on their project Makani, the world's first commercial scale, energy kite that can generate electricity from wind with 8 onboard rotors.

Power of the Wind thru a Flying Wing
X has done at least 8 generations of prototypes on Makani, increasing its size and technical sophistication.  They now have a high performance carbon-fiber kite with the wingspan of a small jet.  It can produce 600 kilowatts of electricity to power 300 homes.  This technology is under development  to further build it out.

Air, Energy Dynamic…

AI IDs Personality Thru Eye Movements

Groundbreaking International AI System-Personality Research
Eye Movements A team of international researchers have developed an Artificial Intelligence system that reveals your personality type through eye movements.  The system uses machine learning algorithms.  It has big potential to improve human-machine interactions and create robots that are socially aware.

Big 5 Personality Traits
The AI system reliably recognizes 4 of the 5 Big Personality traits.  Namely being an extrovert, agreeable, conscientious or neurotic.  The team's findings demonstrate that people's eye movements reveal whether they are sociable, curious and conscientious.

Making Robots and Computers Socially Aware
The researchers believe their findings provide the opportunity to develop robots and computers to become more natural and better at interpreting human social signals.  They believe their AI system could help lead to the creation of social robots and advance the emerging field of social signal processin…

Nuclear Fusion That Travels by Truck

Lockheed-Martin's Compact Fusion Reactors
Nuclear Reactor that Travel by Truck
Lockheed-Martin has been quietly developing a game-changing compact nuclear fusion reactor.  They've patented the tech for potentially fitting it into a fighter jet.  Experts believe the potential for nuclear fusion tech is huge.  It could make other forms of electricity generation obsolete. Lockheed's reactor is so compact it can be transported by truck to locations in need of electricity.

What's Nuclear Fusion and Why Call it a Star In A Jar?
Here's an example and explainer.  UK based Tekamak Energy has heated a plasma of hydrogen to 27 million degrees fahrenheit within its own  reactor.  That's hotter than the core of the sun.  Essentially the reactors convert hydrogen into helium, then to electrical energy.  It's the same nuclear reaction that makes the sun and stars shine for billions of years. The process creates high volumes of electricity cheaply with very low carbon emissi…

Out of Star Wars - China's Laser Gun

Tech That Zaps with a Silent, Carbonizing Beam

It's straight out of Star Wars but it's real.  Chinese researchers have developed a laser gun that can set a target on fire from 1/2 mile away.  It's called the ZKZM-500.  And, it's a 15mm caliber assault rifle that weighs 6.6 pounds.  According to the South China Morning Post, it's ready for production.

Immense Fire Power and Laser Tech
The laser gun can fire more than 1000 laser shots, with each lasting up to 2 minutes.  It produces a silent, invisible energy beam making it a stealth weapon that would be very difficult to spot or trace.

Powered by Lithium Battery and "Non-Lethal"
The gun is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery very similar to what's found in a smart phone.  According to the Chinese government, it's a "non-lethal" weapon as it was not designed as lethal.  At any rate, it's breakthrough tech to be aware of that is supposed to be sold only to Chinese police and milita…

RoboFly - Flying Free with Sense of Smell

Tiny, Laser Powered and Wireless Flier

University of Washington mechanical engineers have cracked the code on tiny, flying robots.  Their creation RoboFly is the first tiny robot to fly free, untethered to a power source.  It's remarkable tech so tiny it can sit on your finger and then takeoff powered by laser light.

Teaching RoboFly to Smell
The University of Washington team has a goal and mission for RoboFly.  It's tiny and highly maneuverable.  They want to teach it to smell.  So that it can fly into crevices and detect, for instance, the smell of gas.  In effect, it's a tiny search robot that initially through smell can serve as an early warning system that there's a gas leak.

Tech on the Fly
This flying robot is just like its insect inspiration.  It has delicate, transparent wings.  It contains a photovoltaic cell that converts laser light into electric power that lets it fly.  A microcontroller in an onboard circuit acts as a brain.  It sends pulses of voltage to t…

Winning Skills for Emerging Tech Economy


The future of work is rapidly changing due to emerging technology.  Unemployment is expected to rise as a result of automation and the robotic workforce.  There are forecasts that by 2030, mid-level jobs will be obsolete.  What's the outlook and are there some smart moves to make?

Robo-Doctors, Robo-Brokers On the Horizon
The Economist forecasts that computers will be compiling and analyzing massive data to make financial decisions, legal arguments and medical diagnoses in upcoming years.  That suggests the emergence of robot professionals including robo-bankers, brokers, doctors and lawyers among other professions.

Bankable Skills to Add to Your Resume
By 2020, employers will be looking for a different set of skills.  They will value creative, critical thinking, complex problem solving, creative people management and cognitive flexibility.  The emphasis will be on skills that technology can't deliver - creative minds.

Advice from Two Visionary Business Leaders

New Tech GrimeProofs Phones, Walls, Floors

Cleaner than Clean:  University of Michigan's Omniphobic Coating 

It's a durable, transparent coating that repels water, oil, grime and alcohols. And it's paving the way for grime-free smart phones, laptops, other electronics along with for your walls, floors, and tables.  It has widespread household and industrial use.  All I can say is bring it on!

Grime-proof for Good
It's an omniphobic coating developed by a University of Michigan scientist with a 2 year old child.  Associate Professor Anish Tuteja says for him this was personal, not just science.  The result is a tech breakthrough with wide application.  His lab is known for breakthroughs.  This coating repels any liquid.

Math & Great Deal of Discovery Behind This
Tuteja and his team mapped out the fundamental properties of a library of substances.  They mathematically predicted how any 2 would work together.  They came up with the perfect combo for grime-proofing.

Magic Ingredients
They've made a versatile c…

Self-Healing Robots & Electronics

Carnegie Mellon University's "Miraculous" Liquid Metal Droplets Enable Self-Healing Electronics

This is a tech wonder.  Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have created a substance that spontaneously repairs itself under extreme mechanical damage.  The scientists say it could be used to build self-repairing robots and wearable computing, among other leading-edge tech.

Breakthrough New Material
The soft-matter composite material is composed of liquid metal droplets suspended in a soft elastomer. When damaged the droplets rupture to form new connections and they reroute electrical signals without any interruptions.  Circuits made of traces of the material remain fully operational even when severed.

Exciting Uses Like Wearable Computing
The differentiators in this self-healing material are its flexibility and softness just like natural skin.  That primes it for wearable computing and soft humanoid robots that are safe with human. Other applications are bio-inspired robot…

Hot Jobs in Next Decade

Your Hot Job in the Future Robotic & AI Workplace

It's clear that automation is disrupting the global workplace and workforce.  There are forecasts that by 2030, 1/3rd of US workers could be jobless and replaced by robots.  So, what are the most in-demand job skills that will keep you working through 2028 and well beyond.  We'll give you expert insights.

Follow Mega-Tech Trends for Mega Job Growth
Tech that is hot, emerging and sorely needed to solve pressing global needs is where to focus.  Here are some sectors that expert forecasters believe provide huge career opportunities:
Climate Change Reversal Specialists:  engineers, technologists, oceanographers, physicists, chemists, environmentalists, mathematicians,  E-scientists, researchers to solve climate change while meeting global energy needs.Space Tourism Specialists:  Space-pilots, tour guides, space architects, aerospace & aeronautical engineers for the emerging orbital business of Space TourismNano-Medicine Exper…

China's AI Detects Prostate Cancer

Medical Tech Breakthrough From China

Prostate Cancer Scientists in China have developed a learning artificial intelligence software that can detect prostate cancer.  This tech breakthrough may lead to the diagnosis of other forms of cancers.

Accurate Diagnoses
The AI diagnosis and identification of the cancerous prostate samples were as accurate as that of any pathologist. The accuracy rate is 99.3%.  Researchers at Nanjing University, who developed it, say the AI won't replace pathologists but help them make better and faster diagnoses. Additionally, this breakthrough may streamline and eliminate variations in the process of cancer diagnosis.  And, eventually it may lead to an automated prostate cancer diagnosis.

Most Common Form of Cancer in Men
Prostate cancer has become the most common form of cancer in men.  1.1 million are diagnosed with it every year.  The Chinese software can accurately identify and classify the level of malignancy of the cancer.  This can eliminate the varia…

Global Research - Food for Thought

Your Diet, Your Life

Global research by two renowned scientific organizations has concluded that you can cut your risk of cancer with a specific regimen of dietary and lifestyle changes.  The recommendations have just been published in the journal Cancer Research.  They come from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, based in the UK.

Specific Recommendations
The scientists, after extensive technical analysis, reached consensus on the lifestyle most likely to reduce the risk of cancer.  The cancers include breast, colorectal and prostate, which are the most common forms of cancer.  Here's the lifestyle they've identified:

No smokingHealthy weightFrequent exerciseDiet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beansMinimal amounts of fast food, red and processed meat, sugary drinks and alcoholAvoid dietary supplements like vitamins and mineral pillsSimple Changes
These are simple lifestyle and dietary guidelines identified by global experts …

Tourist Spaceplane Crushes Altitude Records

Virgin Galactic Spaceplane Readies for Takeoffs
Tech in Sub-orbit with Tourists Onboard
Just last night, Virgin Galactic's spaceplane climbed 32 miles over California's Mojave Desert in its latest test flight.  That crushed all of its previous records.  This is the 3rd rocket powered test flight of VSS Unity spaceplane.  It brings Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space tourism company very close to taking its first tourism customers into space.

Amazing Flight
The spaceplane was released from under the wing of its carrier plane at 46,500 feet.  VSS Unity fired its rocket motors for 42 seconds to propel itself and the 2 pilots at Mach 2.47 or 2&1/2times the speed of sound.  The spaceplane reached an altitude of 170,800 feet or essentially halfway to outer-space before safely descending to its spaceport in the Mojave Desert.  Mission accomplished.

Get Ready for Tourist Takeoffs
Branson is indicating that Virgin Galactic could start commercial flights for space tourists …

Submarine Wonder - Propels with No Engine

Robo-Sub Developed by Caltech and ETH Zurich University
It's a motor-less, mini-sub, with no power or propulsion supply, created by engineers at California Institute of Technology and ETH Zurich.  The 3D printed tech wonder moves through water without any engine.  It's utilizing a new propulsion concept designed for swimming robots.  The sub paddles through the water without motor power.
Strokes like Rowing By responding to water temperature changes, the robo-sub moves its paddles back and forth.  The motion is very similar to rowing.  The swimming sub propels itself by driving its oars back. The oars are activated by "shape memory polymer strips" that act like muscles.  The tech developments in this 7.5 centimeter mini-sub with paddles is awesome.  And it was created by 3D printing.
Future Journeys The scientists intend to scale up their mini-sub and develop it for ocean exploration.  They also expect to be able to activate the propulsion not just by changes in water …

Israeli Chip Makes Computers 100X Faster

Reaching THz

At the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, scientists have developed a technology that could enable computers and all optic devices to run 100 times faster.

Mega Fast Chips
They're called terahertz chips.  The scientists say this could fill "the THz gap" and create new and much more powerful wireless devices that transmit data at significantly higher speeds than currently possible. According to lead researcher Uriel Levy:  "In the world of hi-tech advances, this is game-changing technology."

Obstacles Overcome
Up to this point, there have been 2 major pitfalls that blocked the way to creating terahertz chips. One was overheating.  The other was scalability.  Uriel Levy and his team at Hebrew University seem to have overcome the key challenges.  They've published proof of concept documentation in the journal Laser & Photonics Review and are now developing it.

Israel's Silicon Valley
Using a metal-oxide-nitride-oxide silicon structure, the Hebre…

Revolutionary Lithium Air Batteries Real Now

Scientists Say They've Cracked the Code

University of Illinois at Chicago scientists say they've cracked the code to make lithium air batteries a real option.  That includes powering popular devices like cellphones and laptops.  Its next G beyond lithium-ion batteries.  For battery experts, creation of lithium air batteries has been a tantalizing tech goal for many years.

"Revolutionary" Tech - 5 Times More Energy
The new batteries hold up to 5 times more energy than the lithium ion batteries that power our phones, electronics and electric vehicles. It works in a natural air environment bringing it very close to everyday use.  University of Illinois Asst. Professor Amin Salehi-Khojin, who leads the team, called it " a revolution in the battery community that's going to take the industry beyond lithium-ion batteries."  The team is now working on commercializing it.

Tech Works
The new battery works by combining lithium on the anode with oxygen from the air …

Cornell's Popcorn Powered Robots

Unorthodox Popcorn Robot that's Powered by Pop

Break out the popcorn for this one.  Researchers at Cornell University have demonstrated that it's possible to use nothing but popcorn-popping-kernels to make a robot mechanism, like a gripper spring into action.  They just presented their research "Popcorn-Driven-Robotic-Actuators" at the International Robotics Conference in Australia.

Positive Robotic Pops
Popcorn is cheap, biodegradable and has impressive physical attributes, which is why the Cornell scientists chose it.  It pops at high force, can expand up to 15 times it size and changes viscosity.  It's that action of the popcorn kernel going from rigid to 15Xs expandability when it pops that's the key dynamic driving the popcorn robot.  The researchers heat the kernels.  The kernels pop and spring into action.  They've demonstrated their popcorn robot working with grippers.  To quote the Cornell team:  "The ability of the kernels to rapidly expand …

Diamonds Are Nanotech's Best Friend

Bending Diamonds

World's Strongest Material Now Bendable
Researchers have been able to bend and stretch the strongest of all natural materials, diamonds.  The international team led by Dao Ming of MIT showed that narrow diamond needles, similar in shape to rubber tips on toothbrushes, could flex and stretch by as much as 9% without breaking.  These narrow diamond needles are just a few 100 nanometers across.  The team was able to bend them like rubber and let them snap back to their original shape. That's an important first.

Significance and Importance
The importance of this breakthrough is the potential multi-uses.  The door is now open to a variety of diamond based devices for future electronics, drug delivery directly into cells, data storage where lasers could encode data into diamonds.  Also MRI imaging far more accurate, sensing, optoelectroncs and biocompatible in vivo imaging.  That's just to name a few.

Unique Breakthrough and Approach
The team developed a unique nan…

Smart Oceans - Internet of Things

Wednesday Series:  Innovation Addressing Pressing Global Needs - Saving Our Oceans

DARPA's Smart Oceans Initiative
The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, DAPRA currently has a program underway to deploy an ocean based, "Internet of Things" on the open oceans.  DARPA's Ocean of Things consists of thousands of small, low cost, floats with sensors for real time monitoring of maritime activity.  Most parts of the open ocean are essentially unmonitored and on radio silence which is amazing because oceans comprise 71% of the earth's surface.

Open Sea Communications
The goal is to form a distributed sensor network.  The small floats will have a suite of commercially available sensors to collect environmental data such as ocean temperature, sea conditions, locations as well as commercial vessels, aircraft and marine mammals moving in the monitored areas.

Satellite Transmissions to the Cloud
The floats would send the data via satellites to a clou…

Stanford Battery With Renewable E-Power

This Water-based Tech Could Forward Renewable Solar and Wind Energy
A Stanford University research team has developed a water-based battery that could provide an inexpensive way to store excess wind and solar energy.  They believe the energy can be fed back to the electric grid and redistributed on high demand.   The team is led by Stanford Professor Yi Cui. This could be very important for expanding the use of renewable energy.

Water-Based Battery Grid
Water-based batteries are becoming a reality and could be part of future power plants.  The scientists believe they can build their table top technology  into an industrial grade system that could charge and re-charge up to 10,000 times.  That would create a grid scale battery with a lifespan in excess of 10 years.

The Missing Link in the Energy Puzzle
Professor Cui believes this water-based battery could be one of the missing links in the energy puzzle. Essentially, it's a way to store unpredictable wind and solar energy in order to…

China's Super Intelligent Road

 Smart Cars on Smart Roads

Electric Cars Recharged by Smart Highways
The Chinese are leading the way to the future of your transportation.  It's autonomous vehicles on "intelligent" highways.  The smart roads are paved with electric battery rechargers, mapping sensors and solar panels.  The rechargers will repower electric cars as they drive along. Some call China's super intelligent highway  "the Solar Expressway".

Tests Now Underway on the Solar Expressway
China's smart road has been built in the city of Jinan.  It's 3,540 feet long and the technologies are being embedded under transparent concrete.  The solar panels that are already embedded generate enough electricity to power highway lights and 800 nearby homes.  45,000 vehicles barrel down the smart highway daily.

Made in China 2025 Masterplan
This Chinese smart highway is the road to our transportation future.  It's part of President Xi Jinping's plan to make China an advanced manufactur…

MIT Makes Water From Desert Air

Tech Water First

Water from dry deserts.  A research team from MIT has developed an instrument that can extract water from the driest of desert air. It's never been done before at a humidity level of 10%. MIT just did it. Previous technology to harvest water from fog requires 100% humidity and from dew 50% humidity plus refrigeration.  This is a breakthrough.

It's Proven Tech
The scientists have proven that their water extraction system works. Even the most arid places in the world have some moisture in the air.  The MIT device was tested in the very dry air of Tempe, Arizona and it extracted drinkable water.  What's breakthrough is that it's a practical way to harvest water from the air in bone-dry locations.

It's Solar Powered
The new device is based on new, high surface area materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOF's), that can extract potable water from extremely dry air. It's powered solely by the sun.   The device has no moving parts and can be op…

What's In a Smile? New AI Identity

Smiling Biometrics

Your Smile, Your Identity What's in a smile? Beauty, kindness, friendship and now a lot of tech identifiers. Scientists at the University of Bradford in the UK have developed a computer based artificial intelligence system that maps the dynamics of a smile through facial muscle movements.  Out of the box, it has 86% accuracy in identifying if the smile is that of a male or female. That's a first, but the potential is way beyond that.

Next G Biometrics: Tech Dynamics of Smiling
There are 49 landmarks on the face around the eyes, mouth, and down the nose when someone smiles.  An algorithm has been created and tested by the University of Bradford team on 109 smiling faces.  What's fascinating is that because the system measures underlying muscle movements of the face during a smile, the dynamic remains the same even if some physical features change following surgery. That means it's a potentially big biometric identifier.

Future of Smiles
The UK team belie…

Dubai Goodby to Ag for Vertical Farming

World's Largest Vertical Farm Being Built in Dubai

By 2019, the emirate of Dubai will have the world's largest vertical farm.  A no-pesticide, veggie source that will be the envy of the green-friendly world.  Ironically, it's being built by a tiny Silicon Valley, CA startup company Crop One. The company's partner is Emirates Flight Catering, one of the world's largest catering operations.

Great Veggies for the Super-Rich that's E-Friendly
It's a 130,000 sq ft. V-farm that will produce 6000 pounds of veggies daily.  Greens and herbs will be used for inflight meals at Dubai International Airport, the world's largest airport by international passenger traffic.  Construction starts in November 2018.  Veggies will be provided by December 2019 to 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges..

Vertical is Farming's Future
Dubai wants to be a global center of innovation and is financially backing it. Programs include the world's 1st robo-cop and fully robotic poli…

The Robot Olympics

DARPA's Going for the Gold with Tiny Robots 

DARPA, the US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, has just announced a bug sized Olympic Robot competition.  They're asking for innovative designs for robots that measure a fraction of an inch.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go
This isn't fun and games.  This research program is serious and potentially life-saving work.  DARPA's mission is to provide the US military with overwhelming technological advantages.  It's storied history of innovation includes GPS, cloud computing, the internet and most of the world's most advanced robots.  The tiny bots are going to compete against each other for agility, strength and speed for dangerous missions.

SHRIMP is the name of the tiny robot program. It's DARPA's Short-Range Independent Microrobotic Platforms.  The bots are going to be tested for use in locations people can't navigate or are dangerous and inaccessible to humans.  DARPA sees the pot…

Creative, Collaborative Robot YuMi

Bot Conductor with Gigs that Also Works the Assembly Line
YuMi, the creation of ABB robotics of Switzerland, is the world's first bot conductor.  The Maestro received thunderous applause and rave reviews when he conducted Italy's Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra and internationally acclaimed opera tenor Andrea Bocelli. The robot, who can lead an orchestra playing Verdi, is one in a series of collaborative, industrial robots ABB is developing.

New YuMi's the Multi-Tasker
ABB just introduced a new version of YuMi that can work side by side with humans on assembly lines.  The robotic co-worker is part of the "Factory of the Future", working alongside humans doing the same tasks.  Hence the term "collaborative" robots.  The new YuMi has a single arm - not 2-armed like the Maestro.  The company says it can easily integrate into any factory production.

Robotic Specs
New YuMi is small, lightweight and agile.  It's built on a flexible, new modular design platform…

Orbital Economy

British Spaceport in Scotland

The UK is building its 1st commercial spaceport in northern Scotland.  They expect it to bring new jobs and billions of pounds to the British economy.  The vertical launch commercial facility is being built by Lockheed Martin along with a delivery vehicle to deploy up to 6 small satellites.  A British company is building a rocket for the site.

Race to Riches
Space is viewed as one of  the next big things for commercial development.  That's spurring a lot of plans to get a piece of the orbiting economy.  10 spaceports have been approved in the US. Locations include Texas, Georgia and Alaska.  In Canada, a spaceport is cleared for Nova Scotia with an initial launch set for 2021.

British First
The UK's spaceport is Europe's 1st one-stop location for building, launching and operating satellites.  They're putting up $66 million to develop their base to capitalize on commercializing space.  They believe their strategic, northern latitude location …

Penn State's Hexacopter - New Tech Flying

The Blue Sparrow - Next G Flying
It definitely looks like a highly advanced helicopter.  It's a hexacopter created by a team of Penn State engineers led by Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering Jack Langelaan. It's their winning design concept and technical specifications that landed them in a top ten contender spot in Boeing's GoFly International Competition for safe, small personal flying machines with vertical takeoff and landing and minimal noise. The competition underscores Boeing's belief that personal flight vehicles are part of the transportation future.
Rotor Power 6 rotors give the Blue Sparrow thrust.  The team gets flight control by modulating the rotor speeds.  That changes the thrust from each rotor and the torque from each rotor.  The total thrust controls acceleration.  Differential thrust and torque gives them control over pitch, roll and yaw. 
Take off Time The rubber is now hitting the road for the Blue Sparrow.  Team Captain Langelaan says the …

Stanford's New Tech Detects Cancer Early

Early Cancer Detection and Precision Treatment
Magnetic Wire
Stanford University researchers have developed a new magnetic method for early cancer detection.  The method involves a tiny magnetic wire which is used to capture cancer cells from blood vessels.  The wire is threaded into the vein and can attract special magnetic nanoparticles, which are engineered to glom onto tumor cells.  Tumor cells roam the blood stream if you have a tumor somewhere in the body.

Early Treatment
The magnetized wire can loosen tumor cells out of the blood stream because the cells are essentially magnetized.  It enables early detection of tumor cells which allows early treatment.  The earlier cancer is treated, the better the results.

Precision Therapies
Another very exciting aspect of this new tech tool.  The technique helps doctors evaluate a patient's response to cancer treatments.  If the cancer therapy is working, the tumor cell level should rise as the cells die and breakaway.

Treatment for Other D…

Smart Phone With Electronic Nose

Israeli App with Sense of Smell for Smart Phones

This one is a first.  Israeli researchers are developing an app to give Smart Phones a sense of smell.
The purpose of the sensor is to help users choose products.  The applications are many including alerting those with allergies what products are safe or not for them and warnings about toxins in the air.

The Israeli company Nanoscent is developing the app and sensor that can analyze and identify scents in products that are most useful and suitable for the user or not.  The sensor acts as an electronic nose.  The sensor is made up of nanoparticles.  It emits signals based on the scent it's exposed to.

Soap, Cosmetic, Perfume Compatibility
The system can determine users' scent profiles and help them select products like cosmetics, detergents, perfumes and soaps most compatible to them.  The technology uses the interaction between the sensor and chemical substances emitted from our bodies to generate a distinctive pattern …

U of Kansas, Female Led Flying Vehicle

The Mamba with Female Leadership, Ingenuity & Design

There's an elegance to the design of this exceptional flying vehicle. And a focus on safety.  It's Team Mamba's Device Mamba.  The team started off with the idea of creating a vehicle to be sold as a flying motorcycle. That morphed into what they say looks like the head of a snake, according to University of  Kansas team leader Lauren Schumacher.  Hence, it's the Mamba with style, design and vertical lift .

Mamba is a winning flying snake.  It's a hexacopter with 6 ducted fans to enable it to hover. To move forward, 2 aft ducts provide thrust.

Safety First
Team Mamba has put safety as its' #1 component for design.  They think one failure or death could shut down this newly emerging industry of personal flying vehicles.   Their design is a top ten contender in Boeing's Go Fly International Competition.  They think they have the safety edge among the ten competitors for the $2 million prize awa…

Chinese Rainmakers

Cloud Seeding Tech Right as Chinese Rain

With rising temperatures, researchers in China are working on a new, low-cost weather modification system.  The goal is to increase rainfall in the Tibetan plateau by 10 billion cubic meters a year.  The rain making technology will produce 7% of China's total water consumption.

Asia's Water Tower
The Tibetan plateau is the largest freshwater reserve in Asia.  It feeds Asia's biggest rivers such as the Yangtse, Yellow and Mekong Rivers.  These rivers serve as a lifeline to nearly half the world's population.

Cloud Seeders
On steep mountain ridges facing the direction of the prevailing winds, the Chinese are building chambers.  They'll burn solid fuel to produce silver iodide, a cloud seeding agent that will produce rain and snow.  When the wind hits the chambers, it creates an upward draft and sends particles of silver iodide into the atmosphere.  Just one chamber can create a swath of thick clouds stretching more than 3 miles.

Your Very SMART Walls

Dumb Walls Painted Smart
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research have developed a conductive paint that can turn any wall smart.  The paint makes the walls interactive and context aware sensing.  The walls can sense human ouch, gestures and appliances being used.
Electrodes Across the Walls
The conductive paint allows placement of electrodes across the walls. And that opens up a whole new world.  For instance, the walls can control video games when given a human gesture.  They can serve as household monitors such as letting you know your laundry is done or turning off lights.

Tech Vision
The researchers have a vision for this tech. Given the Internet of things and ubiquitous computing coming on fast, it's giving walls an active part in our living and work environment.  In terns of cost, they convert dumb to smart walls on the cheap.  About $20 per sq. meter and use simple tools and techniques like a paint roller.

Aesthetics and Energy
The electrodes in the walls…

Cat Hearing Inspires Next G Tech

Cat-Like Hearing Enabling Next G Communications

There's a tech breakthrough out of Case Western Reserve University that gives humans "cat-like hearing", which is much more acute than ours.   It's exciting because it could lead to the next generation of ultra low power communications and sensory devices.  Devices that are smaller, with greater detection and timing ranges.

Drumroll for the "Drumhead"
The Case Western team is developing the "Drumhead" device.  It's a trillion times smaller and 100,000 times thinner than the human eardrum. The device can transmit and receive signals across a radio frequency much greater than current human capacity. It's the start of conversations about new forms of communications.

Drumhead Results
The scientists are demonstrating that miniaturized, atomically-thin, electromechanical drumhead resonators can offer a remarkably broad & dynamic range of radio frequencies for humans.  These devices can receive an…

OffRoading Hits New Tech Heights with FlyKart 2

The FlyKart 2
This vehicle was inspired by go-carts.  It's the creation of Trek Aerospace, a California engineering firm that specializes in fan powered watercraft and aircraft. FlyKart 2 is an off-road vehicle that can also takeoff and fly.  The company calls it a fun off-roader that soars.

Very High Tech
The vehicle is all-electric.  10 ducted propellers provide vertical takeoff.  The entire aircraft leans forward to cruise inflight.  All of the vehicle's movements are controlled through the thrusts from the propellers.

On the Cusp of the Flying Future
Team Trek Aerospace believes the FlyKart 2 is one of many potential flying vehicles in the future.  They believe we're just at the start of what electric aircraft with distributed propulsion can do. The FlyKart 2 placed top ten in Boeing's GoFly international competition and they're now competing for the $2 million prize.

Chip Sniffs Out Cocaine

Effective and Inexpensive Chemical Sensor Chip

It's a low cost chemical sensing chip that's as quick as a breathalyzer for alcohol to detect drugs. It's been developed by researchers at the University of Buffalo.  It's something that's long been on the wish list of law enforcement agencies to stop dangerous driving. It's spot-on for cocaine by simply sniffing it out within minutes.

Ready and Portable 
The chip can be packed into a portable, hand-held device that could test people real-time thru breath, blood, saliva or urine.  The chip gives results within minutes.  There's a great deal of demand for this kind of technology from police departments globally.

Low-Cost and Effective
According to researchers, the chip tests can be produced from raw materials costing 10 cents and the fabrication techniques are also inexpensive.  They hope to expand the test to drugs beyond cocaine such as opioids and marijuana.

The new test is an engineered nanostructure t…

Latvia's Affordable Flying Machine with Sizzle

Populist Personal Flight Latvian Style

It's called ERA Aviabike. Team AEROXO LV of Latvia approached Boeing's GoFly international competition with practicality.  They wanted to create a personal flying machine with sizzle and appeal that would sell to global bikers. The global motorbike market is huge.  Their concept design and technical specifications have won them a top ten spot in the contest.  Like the 9 other competitors, they're now building their concept into a real, flying prototype to win the $2 million prize in March.  After that, the journey to global sales.

Combo Bike, Helicopter & Plane
The team describes it as a "tilt rotor aerial vehicle".  It takes off like a helicopter then tilts its motors so it flies like a fixed wing plane.  It looks like a science fiction motorcycle that's ready to fly.

Green, Affordable and Autonomous if You Like
ERA Aviabike is all-electric right now.  But other power sources going forward are options.  Also, you can …

First Portable 3D Skin Printer

Tech & Medical Breakthrough - Hand-Held 3D Skin Printer

University of Toronto scientists have developed a portable 3D skin printer that prints layers of tissue to cover and heal deep wounds in minutes. The potential of this technology is life-saving.  Deep wound patients may have heavy damage to all three layers of skin:  epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.  That can lead to hemorrhaging.  This is the 1st 3D skin printer that deposits even layers of all three layers of tissue and improves the skin healing process.

Current Practice
Currently, treatment for deep wound injuries involves skin grafting with healthy donor skin.  This can require large amounts of healthy donor skin, which is not always available.  As a result, sometimes a portion of the grafted area is left uncovered.

3D Bioprinters
At this time, most 3D bioprinters are bulky, expensive and work at low speeds.  Current 3D printers are incompatible with clinical application, perhaps until now.

Technology and Medical Breakthrou…

Jeeves with AI

VirtualHome AI System

A new VirtualHome Artificial Intelligence system has been developed to help household robots complete their household chores.  Scientists from the University of Toronto and MIT have developed "VirtualHome".  The AI system has virtual agents completing simple household tasks in a simulated environment like a video game. It's the AI-robotic version of the British comedy Bertie and Jeeves and is paving the way for robots to take care of your home.

Coffee Please, Jeeves
They're training the system using nearly 3000 programs of tasks and interactions such as making coffee along with getting the cup to put it in.  The system's AI agent can complete 1000 different tasks and interactions in 8 different locations ranging from the kitchen to home office.  The very detailed programs the team is developing can instruct robots to perform the tasks.

Step-by-Step, Methodical Process
To accomplish this, the team first collected verbal descriptions of househol…

Netherland's S1 Flying Motorbike

Dutch S1 -  Boeing GoFly Winning Concept

Dutch team SILVERWING designed this personal flying machine that's an international winner.  It's another top ten contender in Boeing's GoFy International Competition. They've created a flying motorcycle made airborne by 2 large rotors.  The rotors are driven by 2 electric motors.

Increased Comfort Level
Team SILVERWING designed S1 from the rider's comfort level perspective and to clear the rigorous competitive standards set by Boeing GoFly.  The standards include safety, vehicle size, vertical takeoff and landing, noise level, payload and line of sight.  SILVERWING says the biggest challenge was to keep the noise level minimal while being able to carry a person.

S1 Specs
S1 takes off vertically.  The thrust for liftoff is provided by the 2 rotors, powered by electric motors.  It then transitions to horizontal flight like a plane.  To win GoFly, it has to fly non-stop for at least 20 miles with no battery recharging.

You Can Fl…

AI Detects Skin Cancer Better than Top Dermatologists

Summer Sun Effects
Skin Cancer
An artificial intelligence system detects skin cancer better than leading dermatologists.  That's the conclusion of a study done by researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.  The accuracy of the AI system and the opportunity it provides to detect skin cancer early is highly significant. Globally, 232,000 new cases of melanoma are reported every year.

AI Deep Learning
The researchers trained a form of artificial intelligence or machine learning known as a deep learning convolutional neural network (CNN). The system was trained to identify skin cancer by showing it more than 100,000 images of malignant melanomas, which is the most deadly form of skin cancer, as well as benign moles.

Revealing Results
The CNN was tested on 300 images to determine if they were melanomas or benign.  58 top international dermatologists from 17 nations made the same evaluations.  The AI CNN system was 95% accurate in diagnosing melanoma and more accurate in diagn…

MIT's Fantastic Driverless Boat Fleet

Very Hi-Tech Drone Boat Fleet for Many Global Uses

A MIT team has developed a fleet of driverless boats. They can ferry goods, people and monitor traffic and the environment.. This could help free-up road congestion in waterway enriched areas like Venice, Amsterdam, Miami and Bangkok.  The autonomous boats operate with precise control and high maneuverability.

Autonomous Waterways
Scientists envision a future where driverless boats can perform city services overnight, further reducing congestion.  For instance, deliveries and waste management could be performed at night, which would reduce daytime traffic. But, there's a lot more than that.

3D Printed Boats that Can Self-Assemble Into Bridges &  Concert Stages
The boats are roughly 4 by 2 meters.  They are extremely high-tech.  They contain location trackers, sensors, microcontrollers and other hardware.  They can be programmed to self-assemble into platforms for food markets, floating bridges, connect stages and forums in just …

USA's Pegasus 1 - Tilt Rotor Goes 70 Knots

The Pegasus 1 - Winning Personal Flying Machine

It's a Y6 tilt rotor with wing, hybrid powertrain and a cruising speed of 70 knots.  The Pegasus 1 is a top 10 winner in Boeing's GoFly International.  It's the creation of USA Team Scoop and captain Alex Smolen, who is a self-taught programmer with experience flying and building multicopters.

Personal Flight
Smolen sees the Pegasus as the first step toward fun and simple personal flight.  He thinks anyone can fly the vehicle for 30 minutes and will find it a wonder to fly.

Tech Specs
The vehicle has 6 propellers.  When it hovers, they lift Pegasus off the ground, slowly and in any direction like a drone.  To cruise, the propellers tilt giving it lift and thrust.  As it accelerates, the wings give additional lift making it fly like a plane.

Pegasus 1 Promise
Team Scoop and Alex Smolen are now building their concept into a flyable prototype to compete against 10 other teams in the GoFly competition for the $2 million prize to be …

Bold Genetic Tech to Save White Rhinos

Reversing Extinction

Through artificial insemination, a southern white rhino named Victoria is pregnant at the San Diego Zoo.  This pregnancy is a major triumph for a species tettering on extinction.  Researchers hope Victoria can save the northern white rhino sub-species.

Poaching Decimated the Herds
The last northern white male rhino died 2 months ago of old age and illness in Kenya.  But the northern white herd has been decimated by poachers.  Victoria needs to carry her calf to term 16 to 18 months.  If she does, she could serve as a surrogate mother for the northern white rhino. She's one of 6 female southern white rhinos at the Zoo whom scientists hope can serve as surrogate mothers for the northern white.  There are only 2 female northern white rhinos left in existence.  They're in Kenya but incapable of bearing a calf.

Genetic Technology at Work to Save a Species
There are no northern white rhino eggs.  Scientists are using genetic technology to convert frozen skin cells…

Star Wars Revisited

Japan's Tetra 3 for Personal Flying

This Boeing GoFly, Top Ten winner is so cool it looks like its ready for Star Wars adventures.  It's called Tetra 3 and is the concept design created by Team Tetra of Japan.  It clearly looks like a flying motorbike.  The operator rides it like a motorcycle. And according to Team Tetra Captain Tasuka Nakai, the operator can work it and fly it like a video game.

Fun and Easy to Fly
The Japanese team says the Tetra 3 is easy for anyone to fly.  An electric motor powers the propellers.  The device can hover, take off and land vertically and fly horizontally, much like a plane with fixed wings.  To win the competition, it also has to fly non-stop at least 20 miles, safely, with minimal noise and comply with the international competition's size standards.

Takeoff Time
The rubber is hitting the road.  The futuristic, Star Wars-like Tetra 3 is now being built into a working prototype to fly for the gold.  $2 million in prize money to be awarded …

Blue Sea - Global Marine Protection Results

International Study Finds Global Marine Protected Areas Inefficient

Unbelievably, 36 years after global marine protected areas were established, international experts have just concluded they are inefficient.  Global conservation targets set back in 1982, that provide today's foundation, are inadequate, too expensive, inefficient and at times just not working.

Global Expert Evaluation
A collaboration involving University of Hamburg, Wildlife Conservation Society, University of Queensland and the Nature Conservancy assessed the efficiency of marine protected areas, which equal 16% of national waters around the world.

Findings At Times Disappointing
They found protected areas missed many unique ecosystems and have greater impact on fisheries than necessary.  Many protected areas are too expensive and in the wrong places. International targets call for protection of at least 10% of all the world's oceans and all marine ecosystems.  Right now, half of all marine ecosystems fall shor…