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Showing posts from October, 2018

Robot Pizza Maker Delivers

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Pizza Hut's Pie Maker on the Road with Zero Emissions




As Fresh as It Gets - Green Pizza
Pizza Hut has a prototype robot that cooks pizza on the way to customers' homes.  It's a mobile pizza factory in a Toyota pickup truck.. The pizzas are as fresh as they can get.

Zero Emissions Pizzas
The pizza robot with 4 wheels includes a refrigerator, a pair of robotic arms and a portable conveyor oven.  The system runs on the truck's hydrogen fuel electric powertrain.  It was unveiled at the SEMA show on automotive specialty products in Las Vegas.  It's a green delivery system of green pizzas with zero emissions.

"The Kitchen"
The robotic pizza system is called "The Kitchen" and Pizza Hut thinks it has the potential to deliver fresher pizzas to wider delivery areas.  Futuristic means of food delivery are in vogue. Uber reportedly is looking into delivering food by drones.  And Alphabet, Google's parent, is teamed with Chipotle to deliver burritos by drone…

Pilots Build Trust for Autonomy Flights

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Human and Machine Interactions



DARPA and Sikorsky Autonomy Flights
The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, and Sikorsky are demonstrating ways for pilots to interact with autonomy.  The purpose is to help military pilots build trust and confidence in autonomous flight systems.  The progressive training is being performed in simulated military missions in Virginia. This will have eventual impact on commercial passenger flight too.

Building Pilot Trust for Autonomous Systems
This is part of DARPA's Aircrew Labor in-Crew Automation System (ALIAS) program.  DARPA believes that cockpit assistance builds pilots' trust in autonomy.  The October 2018 flights started introducing pilot inceptors as a way for them to interact with the autonomous system in addition to a tablet interface for interaction.  The pilot is in command and can choose to engage autonomy to help operate, plan, adjust or execute responsibilities to allow the pilot to fully focus on th…

Hyperloop Destination Abu Dhabi

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Musk New Track to United Arab Emirates




Innovators Journeys
Elon Musk's startup Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has announced it has another destination to deliver hyperloops..  It's going to build a commercial Hyperloop track, an XO Square Innovation Center and Hyperloop Experience Center in Abu Dhabi, the capitol city of the United Arab Emirates.  It appears that long train track of innovation is starting at six miles from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.  The trip would take 12 minutes.  What a great journey of innovation and entrepreneurship!

Competition from Virgin
Musk Hyperloop and its competing startup Virgin Hyperloop One have each about $200 million in investment respectively.  They're in competition right now.  The Virgin Group is going to build a test track for its "Kitty Hawk" in Dubai.   All-aboard and stay tuned.

Hyperloop Green Machine
Hyperloop is a highly advanced green means of transportation.  It is composed of pod-like "trains" that levitate a…

Robots Making Robots

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YuMi, the Robot Conductor, to Do Duty on Factory Floor


ABB's New Shanghai  Robot Factory
At the new ABB robot factory in China, the Swiss engineering group will use robots to make robots.  It's a $150 million, state of the art facility in Shanghai that the company just announced today.  ABB is building the factory to strategically secure and defend its place as China's largest maker of industrial robots.  YuMi, the highly acclaimed robot conductor, will be part of the workforce.  YuMi humanoid robots are designed to work side by side with people.

China 2020
The new factory will open in 2020.  It's close to ABB's China robotics campus.  It will build robots for China and for export elsewhere in Asia.  China is ABB's #2 market after the US.

Shanghai Global Technology Center
In a statement announcing the project, ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said:  "Shanghai has become a vital center for advanced technology leadership for ABB and the world."  In 2017, 1 in ev…

Brilliant Crows Building Long Tools

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Innovative Bird Brains


Max-Planck Institute and Oxford University Discoveries
Scientists at the renowned Max-Planck Institute of Science in Germany and Oxford University in the UK have researched and shown how New Caledonian crows combine single wood parts and build long distance stick tools. It's a remarkable discovery. Crows are able to combine individual parts to form a tool to work on what they want at a distance.  It proves a crow's brain is something significant and very special. Only humans and great apes have been able to do this.

Scientific Significance - Brilliant Crows
The tools that the crows create are compound tools and complex, designed solely by them to reach at long distances.  The birds are able to combine two or more otherwise non-functional elements to reach their goal.  Until now, that's a task only humans and great apes have been able to do.

Crows Calling
What the New Caledonian crows are able to do is an amazing mental feat. The research shows that the…

Fitness Leads to Longer Life

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Cleveland Clinic Landmark Research
Source:  Stock Photo

Cardiorespiratory Fitness is Key Here's another great reason to even more enjoy your favorite exercise like running or biking.  It's now proven to lead to a longer life.  Researchers at the renowned Cleveland Clinic have found that cardiorespiratory fitness leads to a longer life.  And they say there are no limits to the benefits of aerobic fitness.
Substantive, Long Term Research Results This is a very substantive study.  The research team retrospectively studied testing results on 122,007 patients who exercised on treadmills.  The time frame is from January 1, 1991 thru December 31, 2014... almost 2 decades.  The researchers measured all causes of mortality relating to fitness and exercise.
Aerobic Fitness Extends Life The researchers say aerobic fitness is the key to a long life.  And there is no limit on how much exercise is too much.  According to the study's key author, cardiologist Wael Jaber, M.D., all of us shou…

Touching VR Objects: New Ultra Glove

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Breakthru for VR & AR - New Ultra Lite Gloves


Enables Touching Virtual Objects for Real
It's the ultra-lite glove that's less than 8 grams per finger.  The gloves enable you to feel, grasp and manipulate virtual objects.  The system developed by Swiss scientists provides extremely realistic feedback and could run on a tiny battery. That allows unparalleled freedom of movements for VR and AR.  This is a big development in VR, AR tech.

Global Quest for This Tech
Globally for years, scientists, engineers, and software developers have been trying to achieve what the scientists at ETH Zurich and EPFL have just done.  It's the quest for tech that lets users grasp, touch and manipulate virtual objects while feeling they're touching something real.

Swiss Scientific Achievement
The gloves are called DextrES.  They've been successfully tested on volunteers and will be presented at  an upcoming international symposium.  The gloves are composed of nylon with thin elastic stri…

How Dogs Understand Words

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Emory University's Dog Project



Fido's Brain
Scientists at Emory University have concluded that dogs have at the very minimum a basic neural representation of the meaning of words they've been taught.  They differentiate between words they know and those they've never heard before.

Brain Imaging with Owners On Hand Giving Commands
This is one of the first studies using brain imaging to study how dogs process words associated with objects.  We all know dogs learn to understand and obey verbal commands.  But there is no substantive scientific evidence on how they do it.

Eddie and Friends
11 dogs joined Eddie, pictured above, in the Dog Project, along with their owners.  The dogs were trained to voluntarily enter an MRI and remain motionless without any sedation while scanning occured.  2 objects, a stuffed animal and rubber toy, were used to monitor how the dogs associated the objects with words.  The MRI's showed the auditory region of the brain showed greater activatio…

Taking Orders for Flying Cars

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Terrafugia's Transition Goes to Market 



Flying & Driving in 2019
Terrafugia's Transition is the world's first FAA and NTSB approved flying car.  The company is taking orders for it.  The driving/flying vehicle is a smart looking 2-seater that will be delivered to customers in 2019.  The US is one of the first markets where it's available.

MIT Engineering, Now Chinese Owned
Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by a group of MIT engineers.  It's now a wholly owned subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group of China, which also owns Volvo.

Details on  Hybrid Electric Vehicle
The Transition has foldable wings while on the ground and driving.  For driving, a hybrid electric powertrain provides propulsion.  It converts to a flying machine in less than a minute.   Flight is powered by a 4-cylinder petrol engine.

Speed and Altitude
According to the company, the vehicle can fly at a cruising speed of 100 mph to an altitude of 10,000 feet with a maximum range of 398 miles.  On the…

Quantum Leap for Quantum Computing

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First Proof of What Quantum Computing Can Deliver




Global Research Results

Scientists from the Technical University of Munich, IBM and the University of Waterloo have demonstrated that quantum computing offers big advantages over conventional computers.  They've developed a quantum circuit that can solve an unsolvable problem using any equivalent classical circuit. It's being called the first proof of what quantum computing can deliver. This news is just in.

Not Promises, Just Results

Experts believe this is a landmark in the field of what quantum computing can deliver. Many governments, companies, research organizations and universities are investing in quantum technology.  What this team developed is a quantum circuit that solves a specific "difficult" algebraic problem.  It's making news and is quantum computing to be aware of.

Largest Living Thing Dying - Eco Stress

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Utah's Pando Forest at 80,000 Years Old is Dying


Scientific Warning
Utah's Pando Aspen tree forest is ancient and considered to be the largest living thing in our world.  New scientific research says it's dying.

Unique and Beautiful
The Pando aspens are majestic.  They are an expanse of 40,000 trees dating back 80,000 years. The aspen trees are clones identical in composition.  They cover 106 acres in Utah's Fish Lake National Forest.  Scientists believe they have one root system and they are all dying.

Causes
Ecologists from Utah State University say the reasons are drought, fire, climate change, human development and animal encroachments.  The good news is the scientists believe  the decline is reversible if there is a will to do it. They believe reversal is realizable.

Robot Atlas Does Parkour Exercises

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Humanoid Robot Brother of SpotMini,  the Dancing Robot



https://youtu.be/LikxFZZO2sk   for Atlas Doing Parkour

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LikxFZZO2sk" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Boston Dynamics Robotic Innovation

Atlas is a humanoid robot developed by Boston Dynamics.  It's a "brother" robot of SpotMini, the dancing robot also known as Uptown Spot.

Parkour, Software and Computer Vision

Atlas does parkour military exercises with ease.   The robot's software uses the entire body including arms, legs and torso to jump over a log and leap up stairs without breaking stride.  It uses computer vision to position itself accurately as it runs and jumps to target destinations.   Thought you might enjoy seeing one of the world's most agile and dynamic robots in action.  The link is enclosed above.

SpotMini Robot Can Dance

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Boston Dynamics "I've Got Talent" Robot


SpotMini Dancinghttps://youtu.be/kHBcVlqpvZ8
https://youtu.be/kHBcVlqpvZ8


Making Musician Bruno Mars Proud

SpotMini the robot not only wows when it opens doors.  It wows dancing to Bruno Mars' 2014 hit song Uptown Funk.  SpotMini even does a moonwalk.  It's brilliant robotics and the stuff superstars are made of.

Uptown Spot

The video is called Uptown Spot. I've embedded it for you to see.   If you have a minute to see Spot dance, you'll be delighted and mesmerized.  Boston Dynamics hasn't disclosed how they achieved the robot's natural movements and tremendous agility.

Spot Goes on Sale in 2019

SpotMini goes to market and up for sale to customers in 2019.  Boston Dynamics was recently purchased from Google by SoftBank.  This is the first time in Boston Dynamics' 26 year history that it's offered a robot for purchase. They say SpotMini is for home and office.  It certainly likes to rock around the clock.�…

Smart Stickers that Monitor Health

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Purdue University Celebrates 150 Years of Innovation



Personal Health Monitoring that Costs 5 cents to Make
Scientists and engineers at Purdue have created a wearable, flexible, electronic sticker device that's easily attached to the skin.  It monitors physical activity and can alert the user in real-time about possible health problems and risks.  It can be used for patients, athletes and anyone who wants to monitor their health.

Personalized Medicine Made from Paper
It's made out of paper and costs only 5 cents to make.  Not only is it wearable;  it's nearly invisible.  And it's biodegradable.  This is the latest health innovation that Purdue has contributed over the past 150 years.....a history it's marking with its "Giant Leaps" celebration.

Available Very Soon
The smart stickers are composed of cellulose.  They are biocompatible and breathable.  They can also be implanted in the body for monitoring.  They are expected to hit the market quickly as they are…

Chinese Nuclear Stealth Bomber

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Aviation Innovation Chinese Style


Official Unveiling of the H-20 in 2019

Chinese media are reporting that Beijing will unveil its H-20 nuclear stealth bomber in 2019.  The event to highlight the 70th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army Air Force.

Maiden Flight Very Soon

There are also reports that the H-20, also known as the Hong-20, will soon make its maiden flight. It's a much anticipated piece of Chinese aviation innovation and the object of much speculation.  It's debut will be epic.  It's compared to the US' B-2 stealth bomber but the specifications are relatively unknown.

Expert Opinion

Military experts say it's a 4-engine, stealth bomber with a dual nuclear and conventional role.  China's goal is for it to have a 7500 mile range and a 20 ton payload.  Some experts think a range of 5000 miles and 10 ton payload are more likely.  Even that would pose a threat to Taiwan and US aircraft carriers in the Pacific.  It could also boost China's domin…

Why STEM Fascinates: Flying Cars

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Innovation's Core - STEM


Biggest Jobs of the Future:  STEM

At the core of innovation is expertise in science, technology, engineering and math.  Experts believe STEM will be the biggest job generator of upcoming decades.  A fascinating example of STEM expertise is the prototype flying car, the TF-X designed by a young MIT Ph.D in Engineering, Dr. Carl Dietrich.  The TF-X is a marvel of engineering.  It drives like a car and flies like a helicopter with vertical takeoffs and landings.  In about 5 years it will be on the market and enable you to take-off and land from your driveway.

STEM Classroom Resource

In order to excite the public and particularly students about the marvels of innovation being created by expertise in STEM, there's an e-book on Amazon's Kindle Select.  "Important Innovations:  Transportation".  It can be borrowed for free.  It's a great resource for the classroom and motivator for STEM.  It can be found in the Technology and Engineering, Gene…

Teaching AI Common Sense

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The Holy Grail - AI with Common Sense



DARPA's New Initiative

It's so ironic.  AI can identify objects in nanoseconds, enable cutting edge robotics and perfectly mimic the human voice.  But most machine intelligence doesn't understand the basics of everyday life like actions and objects.  The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA is on a mission to teach AI basic common sense.

Not So Fast and Not So Easy

DARPA calls the initiative the Machine Common Sense Program.  They're teaming up with Seattle-based The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.  The team is facing a profoundly daunting task.  They acknowledge it probably won't be solved in a year to two.

Goals

DARPA wants to define the problem and make progress on it.  AI works extremely well and at warp speeds, for instance on the classification of very specific areas.  According to DARPA:  "The absence of common sense prevents an intelligent system from understanding the world…

Shelled Sea Creatures Survival Fight

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Rising Acidification of the Oceans Dissolving Shells




Climate Change's Relentless Pace
Another startling sign of climate change.  The ocean is getting increasingly acidified.  To the point that in sea regions with high level of carbon dioxide the shells of sea snails are dissolving from it.  Marine biologists say shelled sea creatures are fighting for survival.

International Research
Marine scientists from the University of Tsukuba, Japan and University of Plymouth, UK studied the impact of rising carbon dioxide levels on shellfish.  They found those living off Japan with high levels of carbon dioxide are 1/3 the size of their counterparts.  They also found shell deterioration in terms of thickness, strength, density, structure and in some cases shells totally dissolved.

Scientific Warning
The UK and Japanese university scientists warn that if carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise unchecked, it poses a clear threat to marine life.  Their study was published in the journal Frontier…

Multitalented Robot Does Parkour Exercises

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Boston Dynamics' Atlas - YourTough Companion at the Gym



Humanoid Extraordinaire

Boston Dynamics' humanoid robot Atlas is a multi-talented, multi-tasker.  His latest feat is to bound up multi layers of platform, shifting his weight from right foot to left and back to the right foot as it runs upstairs.  In other words, it can do parkour training, using exercise movements developed from military course training.

Backflips Too

Atlas can backflip, run through the snow without falling, bound up stairs.  It's athletic prowess is being constantly upgraded to manage its way in the world and assist humans as a humanoid robot walking, running and jumping among us.

Exciting Future of Robotics

Robotic technology is advancing leaps and bounds.  Robots are clearly a growing part of our future, whether on 2 legs like Atlas, 4 legs like Boston Dynamics' Spot Mini or flying through the air like DARPA's flying robotic insects.

Window into the Mind

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Human Brain Cell Transplant Provides Incredible Detail on How Brain Operates




Breakthrough Neuroscience by Imperial College London
Scientists have created a window into the brain, which allows them to watch in real-time and with incredible details how human brain cells develop, connect and communicate with each other. The potential of their approach may result in better understanding of brain conditions like autism and provide eventual cures.

Volunteer Donators
Researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge transplanted human brain cells from volunteers into a mouse brain.  It allowed them to study the way human brain cells interact in a natural environment.

Down Syndrome
The team used the technique to model Down Syndrome using brain cells donated by 2 individuals with the condition.  They saw significant differences in the brain cells from those with Down Syndrome and those without it.  They noted the cells are not as active as normal cells at a crucial stage of…

Exercise Pumps Up Brain Power

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New Research:  Aerobics Improve Cognitive Performance



Running to Prime Your Mind
Our brains are at their best when our bodies are in motion, like running, walking, biking rather than sedentary and sitting at a desk.  A new study by German scientists just confirmed it.  As a runner, I've always thought that I do my most deliberative thinking during a morning run.  Now science confirms it.  Wondered if as a jogger, biker, runner, walker and exerciser, you've had the same instincts?  Do you do your best thinking in motion?

Active Motion Works
Scientists from Ludwig-Maximilian University in Germany took electroencephalogy brain readings on 24 participants when exercising and at rest.  They found that exercise and upright posture improved visual working memory (that's the ability to maintain visual info to do ongoing tasks) significantly over passive and seated positions.

Counterintuitive From Centuries of Scholars Laboring at their Desks
This finding is fascinating and counte…

IQ & Emotion Brain Circuits MRI'd in Babies

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Infant's Brain Foreshadows the Adult's Emotional Control and Cognition




UNC's Breakthrough Neuroscience Research
Medical researchers at University of North Carolina Health Care have made a remarkable series of discoveries. Using MRI's, they've shown that the brain circuits needed for successful emotional regulation in adults emerge in babies one to two years old.  These brain circuits are the foundation of successful emotional development and IQ.

Predictors of Future Behavior and IQ
The growth rates of the emotion circuits in the brain during the child's second year "predict", according to the scientists, anxiety and emotional regulation at the age of four.  It also predicts the child's IQ at the age of 4.  Abnormal processing in the circuits is associated with depression, anxiety and schizophrenia in adults.

From the MRI's of Babies
The importance of these discoveries is the ability to foresee the individual's emotional control later in life…

Type 2 Diabetes Reversed by Fasting

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Potential Weapon Against Diabetes




Fasting Cuts Need for Insulin
Medical findings reported in the BMJ Case Report document that planned intermittent fasting may help to reverse Type 2 Diabetes.  Three patients in the care of doctors who fasted were able to cut the need for insulin completely and quickly.  With planned, intermittent fasting their blood glucose levels were back in control.

Diabetes is a Big Health Problem
1 in 10 people in the US and Canada have diabetes.  It costs the US economy alone $245 billion per year.  Drugs help patients control their diabetes but they don't stop the progression of the disease. Medical researchers have been searching for a cure for decades.

First, Preliminary but Impressive Results on Fasting
The findings are an informational study as only 3 patients, all men, are involved.  The men have Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Under their doctors' care, they tried fasting intermittently - essentially every other day.  The…

Going Solar with Gold

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University of Californa - Berkeley Creates Solar Fuel from Gold + Bacteria




The Midas Touch
University of California Berkeley researchers have just demonstrated a novel and efficient means of creating biofuels.  They've placed gold nanoclusters that absorb light into a bacterium.  A biohybrid results that produces a high yield of chemical products like biofuels.  It's a new source of sustainable energy.

High Value Biohybrid
The biohybrid captures sunlight and carbon dioxide to make chemicals useful both on earth and in space.  It's a breakthrough discovery and has just been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Artificial Photosynthesis Producing Solar Fuels
The bacterium is photosensitive and is named Moorella thermoacetica.  It has an appetite for gold.  The researchers feed it a nanocluster of 22 gold atoms.  The gold slips through the cell wall.  With great efficiency, it produces solar fuels through artificial photosynthesis.  It's a first.  The researchers …

Time Traveling - Caltech Research Breakthrough

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Findings:  Caltech Time Traveling Illusions Trick the Brain




How the Brain Retroactively Computes Rapid Audio & Visual Stimuli
Researchers at California Institute of Technology have developed 2 new illusions to document time travelling.  The illusions, called The Rabbit Illusions as tracked above, reveal how the senses influence each other as they are received at rapid speed by the brain.  In particular, how sound can trigger and create visual illusions after the fact.

Time Travel through "Postdiction" by the Brain
With the onrush of sensory perceptions to the brain, the illusions occur so rapidly that they trigger a brain phenomenon called postdiction as opposed to prediction.  Postdiction happens when a stimulus that occurs later can retroactively affect our perception of an earlier event.  That's time-traveling at the pure scientific research level.

Innovative and Breakthrough Neuroscience
The Caltech research is the first to show this type of time travelling illusion…

Bioelectric Medicine: First Example

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Biodegradable, Wireless, Tiny Implants




Pulses of Electricity to Accelerate Nerve Regeneration
Northwestern University researchers and Washington University neurosurgeons have developed the first example of bioelectric medicine.  It's an implantable, biodegradable, wireless device.  It speeds nerve regeneration and improves healing by pulses of electricity targeted directly at the site.

Size of a Dime
The implant is tiny.  It's the size of a dime and has the thickness of a piece of paper.  It delivers pulses of electricity to damaged nerves.  In lab tests on post-operative animals, it proved very successful in accelerating the regeneration of nerves and enhancing the recovery of muscle strength and control.

Naturally Disappears
In a week or two, the implant biodegrades, is naturally absorbed into the body and totally disappears.  The next steps will be testing it on humans.  The research team believes that such temporary, short term, engineered devices, applied directly to the pro…

Green Sustainable Beer

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Sustainable Breweries


A Toast to a Cleaner Environment
Beer, especially craft beers, are a growing, energy intensive industry.  The number of US breweries grew 200% in the past decade and production has increased 12% per year.

Saving the Planet Per 6-Pack
To cut greenhouse emissions and save energy, a growing number of breweries are investing in sustainable production technologies.  But will it pay off?  New research by Indiana University says yes it will.  A majority of US beer drinkers are willing to pay the extra cost.  In fact, according to the University's survey, 59% are willing to pay extra.  On average, sustainable beer production practices tack on an extra $1.30 per 6 pack.

Sustainable Innovation
Innovative, energy saving, sustainable practices now being implemented by a growing number of breweries include solar power, onsite wastewater treatment plants, insulated brewery vessels and recaptured steam from the brewing process.  Beer is one of the world's oldest and most p…

Global Sea Levels on the Rise

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Rutgers' New Coastal Research Numbers


Climate Change's Big Impact on Global Coastal Communities
Rising seas pose a rising risk to global coastal populations, ecosystems, economies and infrastructure around the world.  Researchers at Rutgers University have zeroed in on flooding in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Singapore in particular and have delivered an alarming set of projections if greenhouse gas emissions aren't reduced.

Rising High Tides
Here are the latest projections by scientists at Rutgers. There will be a global average sea level rise of up to 8 feet by 2100.  And the sea rise will hit another 50 feet by 2300 if greenhouse gas emissions aren't cut.

Coastal Communities Globally at Big Risk
11% of the world's population now lives in areas that are less than 33 feet above sea level.  That means rising seas, stoked by storms, pose an ever growing risk year after year.  Sea levels of course vary by location and time but between 2000 and 2050 average sea levels a…

MIT Robot Thinks Like Humans

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Robots Navigating Like Humans





Going from A to B with a Motion Plan


MIT researchers have developed a way to enable robots to navigate environments in the same way that humans do.  In simulations the robot moves through a crowded room by exploring the environment, observing what others are doing and exploring what it's learned from other situations.

Robot with Hybrid Brain

They've done this by combining a  planning algorithm with a neural network that learns to identify paths to best outcomes and uses the knowledge to guide the robots actions.   It's a novel motion planning model.  Until now, robots have struggled with navigational concepts.

CSAIL & McGovern Brain Institute Research

The MIT researchers are from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and the McGovern Institute for brain, mind and machine research.  They just presented their discoveries to the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.  The "hybrid brain" model works …

Space Quest for "Gold"

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Mining the Skies


Targeting Asteroids

It may sound like Star Trek but some US companies, innovators and dreamers are looking skyward to a future of mining highly valuable minerals in space, along with human colonization of space.  A favorite mining target is asteroids known to be rich in high value metals like platinum.

Planetary Resources

Planetary Resources, based in Redmond, Washington, is an American company that has been advised by Google's Larry Page and film director James Cameron.  It's deeply involved in the world's first commercial deep space exploration mission.  It's targeting asteroid mining because the company believes that is the key first step to establishing the groundwork for human colonization of space.

Satellite Probes Underway

The company has launched satellite probes and has selected the most promising asteroid targets for water resources that they intend to mine. They say the first need is to unlock water resources to sustain human life and also use …

Smart Intersections Auto Co's Push

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Knowing What's Around the Corner




Smart Tech for Smarter, Safer Driving

Audi and Honda are setting up and testing smart intersections in the US.  The approach involves display alerts on your dashboard and cameras positioned at intersections.  Audi's technology sends an alert to the driver warning that a light is going to turn red before you get through it.  Honda's sends an alert of an oncoming emergency vehicle, car or pedestrian that are not yet in sight.

Audi's Pilot Program

Audi is working in Washington, DC and Las Vegas to outfit intersections to work with Audi's countdown traffic lights system.  The system is designed to give the driver ample warning that they aren't going to make it through a light before it turns red.

Honda's Pilot Program

Honda has a Smart Intersection pilot program underway in Marysville, Ohio.  The system flashes a yellow image of an unseen vehicle on the HUD - heads-up display - on the dashboard for the driver.  Honda's testing …

Vaccine Breakthrough Innovation

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Universal, Cheaper, Stable Vaccines




DNA Vaccines that Could Impact World Health

Scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston have developed a universal vaccine platform.  It cuts production and storage costs by 80%.  It can be stockpiled at room temperature for years.  And the new vaccines are as effective and safe as current vaccines.

DNA Based Immunizations

The breakthrough is that the scientists engineered the vaccines in DNA form.   According to the scientists, testing proved a resounding success with the desired immunizations resulting.

Global Health Impact

The scientists' findings and their new vaccine methodology was published in EBioMedicine.  This is of particular importance to hot, 3rd world countries where 80% of the vaccine cost comes from refrigeration.

Bendable Mobile Phones & Displays

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New Semiconductor with Organic & Inorganic Materials Enables Bendability




Bendable Phones, Displays, Electronics

Australian National University engineers have invented a breakthrough semiconductor.  The innovation is composed of organic and inorganic material.  It converts electricity into light very efficiently.  And it's so thin and flexible it can help to make cellphones and display screens bendable.

Biodegradable Electronics Potentially Cutting E-Waste 

This breakthrough could also enable a new generation of electronic devices made from organic material that's biodegradable or easily recycled.  This could greatly reduce E-Waste which is a huge and growing threat to the global environment.

Scientific Specifics

The organic component of the semiconductor is made of hydrogen and oxygen and has the thickness of just 1 atom.  The inorganic component has the thickness of 2 atoms.  According to the ANU scientists, their hybrid has the potential to make mobile phones as powerful as…

MIT's AI that Deletes

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Deep Angel



Part Art, Tech & Philosophy

MIT's Media Lab has created artificial intelligence that deletes.  It's called Deep Angel.  It erases objects from photographs.  MIT says it's part art, part technology and part Philosophy.

Disappearing Act

With this new artificial intelligence, you can explore the future of automated media manipulation by uploading your own photo or submitting a public Instagram account to the AI. As you can see in the photo, Deep Angel disappears things from  images.  It also detects fakes.

Aesthetics of Absence

To quote MIT:  "Beyond manipulation Deep Angel enables you to uncover the aesthetics of absence.  What happens when we can remove things from the world around us?"  Intriguing AI and a unique vision of the future.


Your Eco-Burger is Ready

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Burgers from the Lab, Not the Farm





More Sustainable, Energy & Environmentally Friendly Meat
It's the future of food.  Experts believe a big change in food production is cooking.  Your burger of the future will be an eco-burger.  It will come from the lab, not from the farm.

Food Innovation
Eco-burgers are being developed in vats by using animal stem cells, feeding them nutrients and growing them into meat.  The process may not sound tasty but the potential is.

Sustainable Meat Sources for a Growing Global Population
The world needs to increase food production by 50% to feed the global population by 2050.  Lab grown meat could be part of the solution as animal production currently uses 80% of the world's agricultural land.

Benefits, Opportunities & Costs
Lab grown meat, also known as cultured or clean meat, doesn't use slaughtered animals.  It also requires 200 times less land, 30 times less water and half the energy to raise a cow for 2.2 pounds of beef.  Innovators ar…

Green Big Rigs

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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks Coming to a Highway Near You


Zero Emissions and Sustainable
Hyundai and Toyota are launching hydrogen fuel cell trucks.  The trucks are green, no greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable and quiet.

Hyundai Plan
The South Korean automaker plans on deploying 1000 hydrogen fuel cell trucks in Switzerland between 2019 and 2020.  Hyundai says the commercial trucks have an estimated range of 248 miles fueled by 8 onboard hydrogen storage tanks. Refueling takes 7 minutes.

Toyota Trucks on the Road
Toyota just deployed a big freight truck powered by hydrogen fuel cells.  The truck has a range of 300 miles. Toyota has 3 partners in the project:  the Port of Los Angeles, Shell and Kenworth. They're developing 10 zero emissions trucks.  Toyota is providing fuel cell stacks and tanks, batteries and electric motors that will be put into Kenworth's Class 8 trucks.  Toyota is also providing powertrains and operational support.  The partners are setting up several hydrogen…

Self-Guiding, Smart Bullets

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DARPA's EXACTO for US Military



US Government Bulls-Eye Project with Classified Technology

The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA is developing a smart bullet for the US Military.  The project EXACTO ammunition is a matter of public record.  But the guidance system, that's apparently so successful, is top secret.  It's a bullet that changes and corrects its direction after being fired and in flight to accurately hit the target.

No More Misfires 

This is a real-life project that could soon end misfiring problems caused by shooter errors, bad weather conditions and wind.  The goal is to save the lives of US troops by arming them with smart bullets with bulls-eye guidance systems.

EXACTO Ammunition

EXACTO uses a built-in guidance system to keep the bullet on target and be bulls-eye.  The specifics on how the guidance system works are classified.  This is a DARPA government project to provide the US military with technological advantages in combat …

Supercharging Human Strength

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Harvard's Soft Exosuit




Enhancing Strength, Speed and Endurance

Every individual has their distinct physical limits.  For instance, the maximum weight you can lift and the time and distance you can run.  But, thanks to researchers at Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, physical limits are being overcome.

Lightweight Exoskeleton

Working in conjunction with the Pentagon's advanced research projects agency DARPA, Wyss has developed a soft Exosuit  for soldiers.  It's a lightweight skeleton frame that enhances the person's abilities, including faster speeds, greater strength and endurance.

Very Smart Suit

This is state of the art innovation.  It's a smart suit, loaded with built-in sensors and a microcomputer to intelligently calibrate and match exactly what the user needs.  DARPA and Wyss researchers continue to build on the Exosuit's capabilities.

How the Brain Computes

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New Revealing Research - Rockefeller University



In Tiny Worms, Spiking Neurons and Clues to Brain Function
The brain isn't a computer but it does compute.  To process data the human brain uses a digital code.  The cells produce bursts of electric current known as  "action potentials".  They are the 0's & 1's of the nervous system.  The code is assumed to be vital also to animals.

Breakthrough Research on a Tiny Creature
Researchers at Rockefeller University have made an amazing discovery.  They have had their 1st chance to observe "action potentials" in the brain cells of a tiny worm, the C elegans roundworm.  It wasn't expected to be there.  It's a first and experts say it's disrupting decades of dogma about the brain.  And, it could help scientists understand fundamentals of brain computation.

Advancing Scientific Understanding of the Brain
The research team mapped all 302 neurons that make up the nervous system of  C elegans and document…

New Discovery to Halt Aging

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The Fountain of Youth in Fruits and Vegies


Natural Substance Fisetin
University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have discovered a natural substance that intervenes and halts the aging process.  The substance is called Fisetin and is found in many fruits and vegetables.  It gives you all the more reason to eat lots of them.

Their Research Findings
The scientists treated aging mice with Fisetin.  It has significant positive effects on health and lifespan.  They published their study in EBioMedicine.

Healthspan Expansion
Their results suggest that the natural substance can extend the period of health called healthspan even late into life.  But they do have a lot of questions to address such as proper dosage for individuals.

Science of Aging
As people age, they accumulate damaged cells.  A younger person's immune system clears the cells.  As people age, the cells aren't cleared as effectively.  The accumulation results in deteriorating tissue and aging.  The scientists found F…

Drones at Sea

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US Navy's Huge Drone Sea Hunter



The Drone Sea Hunter Ship

The US Navy's Office of Naval Research is developing a huge drone ship.  It's called the Sea Hunter.  The prototype ship is undergoing sea trials.  It's a fully autonomous behemoth built to roam and surveil the 7 seas.

No Humans Onboard

The 140 ton drone ship has been built for the US Navy to autonomously track enemy submarines.  It also is being used to detect mines in the open ocean.  It can operate with no human intervention for up to 90 days.  Following more successful sea trials, it will be fully operational.

Giant Airships - Aviation Innovation

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The Walrus Project - US Pentagon



Can It Take Off?

This is a high flying and heavy load research project being spearheaded by the US Government.  The Walrus, pictured above, is probably the world's largest airship.  It's designed to fly millions of pounds of troops, gear and equipment quickly to breaking incidents thousands of miles away for the US Military.

DARPA's Walrus

The US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA is leading this program.  The purpose is to design a giant air vehicle that can haul a payload of 500 to 1000 tons in under a week to a destination up to 12,000 nautical miles away.  You can understand the importance of this technology to the US Military.  It would provide the ability to quickly deploy huge numbers of troops with all their gear and equipment to breaking military and other incidents globally.

HULU

Walrus is still waiting to take-off. It's a huge and heavy load aviation concept.  But, DARPA continues the research in…

Robot Insect Spies

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Ambitious US Government Robotic Program



Spying Insects

You might call them Cyborg Insect Spies.  The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA has a novel, science fiction like robotic research program underway.  It's called the HI-MEMS program.

Insect Controlled in Flight by Implants

Scientists have explored using a variety of insects as part of the program.  They have put implants on flying moths and beetles.  Using the implants, researchers are able to stimulate insect brains and actually control them in flight.

End Game

The potential use of these robotic insects is fascinating.  The goal is to deploy them on missions in the field to gain access to areas not reachable by traditional robots and humans.  This is an important scientific research program that DARPA is actively pursuing.

Ultimate Robotic Challenge

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DARPA's Subterranean Robotic Olympics



Robotic Race to Win

DARPA, the US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, gathered leading roboticists in a Kentucky cave recently and issued its most daring challenge yet.  Design robots to navigate some of the most unforgiving environments - a grueling course of tunnels and caves.

Triathlon

DARPA has split the competition into 3 fields.  Tunnel environments with a lot of passageways.  Caves with crags, slopes and tight squeezes.  And, an urban, bunker like environment with lots of stairs.  The winning robot will be the fastest at overcoming all 3 environments.

Prestigious Competing Teams

NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, Caltech and Carnegie Mellon are among the competitors.  The race starts in August 2019.  The key to winning is developing a robot flexible enough to overcome cave, tunnel and urban environments.  Some uses of this emerging robotic tech:  search and rescue and urban warfare.

Implantable Health Trackers

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24/7 Highly Advanced Medical Biomarker Monitoring



Connects to Devices Like Smartphones
You know when you don't feel well. But this advanced research would take monitoring your health to a whole new level. Implantable health trackers are futuristic technology being developed right now for delivery ASAP.  It's called tissue-integrated biosensor technology and it's being developed by the US Army Research Office and DARPA, the US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Biosensors
The biosensors are tiny, soft, hydrogel-based sensors implanted under the skin.  The purpose is to use them to measure biomarkers related to oxygen, lactate, urea, glucose and ion levels.  The sensors can stay in the human body for up to 2 years.  They can read out information to connected devices such as smartphones.

General Public Use
Every project that DARPA undertakes is aimed at providing the US military with overwhelming technological advantages against adversaries.  Like many o…

3000 Yr Old Mayan Empire Revealed by Lidar

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3-D Laser Mapping Unveils 61,000 Structures from 3000 Years Ago




Ancient Mayan Civilization Comes to Light

Archeologists have uncovered 61,000 ancient Mayan structures hidden by rainforest overgrowth in the tropical lowlands of Guatemala.  They used highly advanced 3-D mapping to do it.  The tech is called lidar, which is similar to sonar & radar.  But lidar uses bursts of laser light to map an area.  It's a case of breakthrough technology unmasking the ancient past.  The discovery was led by University of Houston researchers.

Rewriting History

There are farms and canals in the swampland.  Huge fortresses and hidden pyramids in the jungle.  There are roads through the rainforest.  These are among the 61,000 structures discovered essentially by laser beams being shot from a plane.  The Mayan civilization lasted 2500 years from 1000 BC to 1500 AD.  The finding were just published in Science.  And it's altering what archeologists thought they knew about the ancient society.

Milli…