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Dartmouth contests showcase computer generated creativity

July 7, 2015 12:07 pm | by Holly Ramer, Associated Press | News | Comments

The competitions are variations of the Turing Test, named for British computer scientist Alan Turing, who in 1950 proposed an experiment to determine if a computer could have humanlike intelligence.

Autonomous taxis would deliver significant environmental, economic benefits

July 6, 2015 3:30 pm | by Julie Chao, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Videos | Comments

Imagine a fleet of driverless taxis roaming your city, ready to pick you up and take you to your...

New tech using silver may hold key to electronics advances

July 6, 2015 9:40 am | by David Stauth, Oregon State Univ. | News | Comments

Engineers at Oregon State Univ. have invented a way to fabricate silver, a highly conductive...

Better memory with faster lasers

July 6, 2015 8:37 am | by Jessica Stoller-Conrad, Caltech | News | Comments

DVDs and Blu-ray disks contain phase-change materials that morph from one atomic state to...

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New micro-supercapacitor structure inspired by the intricate design of leaves

July 2, 2015 10:58 am | by Institute for Basic Science | News | Comments

Researchers have devised a new technique for creating a solid-state micro-supercapacitor (MSC) that delivers high electrochemical performance. Sometimes the best inspiration is one already found in nature. The team modeled their MSC film structure on natural vein-textured leaves in order to take advantage of the natural transport pathways which enable efficient ion diffusion parallel to the graphene planes found within them.

New method of quantum entanglement vastly increases how much information can be carried in a photon

June 30, 2015 8:51 am | by UCLA | News | Comments

A team of researchers led by UCLA electrical engineers has demonstrated a new way to harness light particles, or photons, that are connected to each other and act in unison no matter how far apart they are  — a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement.

Opening a new route to photonics

June 29, 2015 8:35 am | News | Comments

A new route to ultrahigh density, ultracompact integrated photonic circuitry has been discovered by researchers. The Berkeley Lab team has developed a technique for effectively controlling pulses of light in closely packed nanoscale waveguides, an essential requirement for high-performance optical communications and chip-scale quantum computing.

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Tactical throwable cameras

June 26, 2015 11:40 am | by Rob Matheson, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Unseen areas are troublesome for police and first responders: Rooms can harbor dangerous gunmen, while collapsed buildings can conceal survivors. Now Bounce Imaging, founded by an Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumnus, is giving officers and rescuers a safe glimpse into the unknown.

All-plastic solar cell could help power future flexible electronics

June 26, 2015 7:06 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

If you picture a solar panel, it’s most likely dark blue or black, and rigid and flat. Now imagine one that’s semi-transparent, ultra-thin and bendable. Scientists are closing in on making the latter version a reality. They report in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces the development of a see-through, bendable solar cell made entirely out of plastic. The device could help power the coming wave of flexible electronics.

New conductive ink for electronic apparel

June 25, 2015 10:45 am | by Univ. of Tokyo | News | Comments

Univ. of Tokyo researchers have developed a new ink that can be printed on textiles in a single step to form highly conductive and stretchable connections. This new functional ink will enable electronic apparel such as sportswear and underwear incorporating sensing devices for measuring a range of biological indicators such as heart rate and muscle contraction.

Spintronics advance brings wafer-scale quantum devices closer to reality

June 24, 2015 4:00 pm | by Carla Reiter, Univ. of Chicago | News | Comments

An electronics technology that uses the "spin" of atomic nuclei to store and process information promises huge gains in performance over today's electron-based devices. But getting there is proving challenging. Now researchers at the Univ. of Chicago's Institute for Molecular Engineering have made a crucial step toward nuclear spintronic technologies.

World’s first full-color, flexible, skin-like display

June 24, 2015 12:30 pm | by Univ. of Central Florida | News | Comments

Imagine a soldier who can change the color and pattern of his camouflage uniform from woodland green to desert tan at will. Or an office worker who could do the same with his necktie. Is someone at the wedding reception wearing the same dress as you? No problem—switch yours to a different color in the blink of an eye.

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Nanostructure design enables pixels to produce two different colors

June 24, 2015 10:30 am | by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore | News | Comments

Through precise structural control, A*STAR researchers have encoded a single pixel with two distinct colors and have used this capability to generate a 3-D stereoscopic image. Figuring out how to include two types of information in the same area was an enticing challenge for the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering team.

Mirror-like display creates rich color pixels by harnessing ambient light

June 23, 2015 10:03 am | by The Optical Society | News | Comments

Using a simple structure comprising a mirror and an absorbing layer to take advantage of the wave properties of light, researchers at Qualcomm MEMS Technologies Inc. have developed a display technology that harnesses natural ambient light to produce an unprecedented range of colors and superior viewing experience.

Toward tiny, solar-powered sensors

June 23, 2015 8:18 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

The latest buzz in the information technology industry regards “the Internet of things”, the idea that vehicles, appliances, civil-engineering structures, manufacturing equipment and even livestock would have their own embedded sensors that report information directly to networked servers, aiding with maintenance and the coordination of tasks.

Discovery paves way for new superconducting electronics

June 22, 2015 12:15 pm | by Kim McDonald, Univ. of California, San Diego | News | Comments

Physicists have developed a new way to control the transport of electrical currents through high-temperature superconductors. Their achievement, detailed in two separate scientific publications, paves the way for the development of sophisticated electronic devices capable of allowing scientists or clinicians to non-invasively measure the tiny magnetic fields in the heart or brain, and improve satellite communications.

Engineers develop micro-tentacles for tiny robots

June 22, 2015 9:50 am | by Mike Krapfl, News Service, Iowa State Univ. | News | Comments

The tiny tube circled an ant's thorax, gently trapping the insect and demonstrating the utility of a microrobotic tentacle developed by Iowa State Univ. engineers. While most robots squeeze two fingers together to pick things up, these tentacles wrap around items gently.

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Adapting nanoscience imaging tools to study ants’ heat-deflecting adaptations

June 19, 2015 7:41 am | by Alasdair Wilkins, Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

The tiny hairs of Saharan silver ants possess crucial adaptive features that allow the ants to regulate their body temperatures and survive the scorching hot conditions of their desert habitat. According to a new research paper, the unique triangular shape and internal structure of the hairs play a key role in maintaining the ant’s average internal temperature below the critical thermal maximum of 53.6 C (128.48 F).

Scientists create computational algorithm for fact-checking

June 18, 2015 8:32 am | by Indiana Univ. | News | Comments

Network scientists at Indiana Univ. have developed a new computational method that can leverage any body of knowledge to aid in the complex human task of fact-checking. In the first use of this method, the scientists created a simple computational fact-checker that assigns "truth scores" to statements concerning history, geography and entertainment, as well as random statements drawn from the text of Wikipedia.

A simple yet clever way to boost chip speeds

June 18, 2015 8:08 am | by Tom Abate, Stanford Engineering | News | Comments

A typical computer chip includes millions of transistors connected with an extensive network of copper wires. Although chip wires are unimaginably short and thin compared with household wires, both have one thing in common: In each case, the copper is wrapped within a protective sheath. For years a material called tantalum nitride has formed a protective layer around chip wires.

NASA: International satellite studying oceans stops working

June 17, 2015 8:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NASA says an international satellite studying the world's oceans has stopped working after four years. The space agency said Wednesday that the Argentine-built satellite ceased operations last week after a hardware failure. The satellite carried a NASA instrument called Aquarius that measured the concentration of dissolved salt at the sea surface.

New fog chamber provides testing that could improve security cameras

June 17, 2015 8:21 am | by Heather Clark, Sandia National Laboratories | Videos | Comments

Fog can play a key role in cloaking military invasions and retreats and the actions of intruders. That’s why physical security experts seek to overcome fog, but it’s difficult to field test security cameras, sensors or other equipment in fog that is often either too thick or too ephemeral. Until now, collecting field test data in foggy environments was time-consuming and costly.

Heartbeat on a chip could improve pharmaceutical tests

June 17, 2015 7:57 am | by Gabe Cherry, Univ. of Michigan | Videos | Comments

A gravity-powered chip that can mimic a human heartbeat outside the body could advance pharmaceutical testing and open new possibilities in cell culture because it can mimic fundamental physical rhythms, according to the Univ. of Michigan researchers who developed it.

Amplifying small motions in large motions

June 17, 2015 7:40 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Videos | Comments

For several years now, the research groups of Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors of computer science and engineering William Freeman and Frédo Durand have been investigating techniques for amplifying movements captured by video but indiscernible to the human eye. Versions of their algorithms can make the human pulse visible and even recover intelligible speech from the vibrations of objects filmed through soundproof glass.

World’s thinnest light bulb

June 15, 2015 11:25 am | by Columbia Univ. | Videos | Comments

Led by Young Duck Kim, a postdoctoral research scientist in James Hone’s group at Columbia Engineering, a team of scientists have demonstrated, for the first time, an on-chip visible light source using graphene as a filament. They attached small strips of graphene to metal electrodes, suspended the strips above the substrate, and passed a current through the filaments to cause them to heat up.

Collecting lost light

June 15, 2015 10:15 am | by Joint Quantum Institute | News | Comments

Optical fibers are hair-like threads of glass used to guide light. Fibers of exceptional purity have proved an excellent way of sending information over long distances and are the foundation of modern telecommunication systems. Transmission relies on what's called total internal reflection, wherein the light propagates by effectively bouncing back and forth off of the fiber's internal surface.

Centimeter-long origami robot

June 15, 2015 7:18 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Videos | Comments

At the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers presented a printable origami robot that folds itself up from a flat sheet of plastic when heated and measures about a centimeter from front to back. Weighing only a third of a gram, the robot can swim, climb an incline, traverse rough terrain and carry a load twice its weight.

Longstanding problem put to rest

June 11, 2015 9:51 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Comparing the genomes of different species is the basis of a great deal of modern biology. DNA sequences that are conserved across species are likely to be functionally important, while variations between members of the same species can indicate different susceptibilities to disease. The basic algorithm for determining how much two sequences of symbols have in common is now more than 40 years old.

Research reveals how computer chips could beat the heat

June 11, 2015 8:07 am | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

The heat that builds up in the shuttling of current in electronics is an important obstacle to packing more computing power into ever-smaller devices: Excess heat can cause them to fail or sap their efficiency. Now, x-ray studies have, for the first time, observed an exotic property that could warp the electronic structure of a material in a way that reduces heat buildup and improves performance in ever-smaller computer components.

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