Here's a heartwarming story about one of our favorite robots, the adorable PR2. We've already seen it performing cute household tasks like folding laundry and baking cookies, but now PR2 is serving a decidedly more useful function: helping a paraplegic man help himself.
A sub-centimeter mapping technology used by the Mars rovers and other robots is now on the iPad, where it can be used to build real-time 3-D maps of your environment. What better use for this than an augmented-reality first-person shooter game?
Police in England will soon deploy 3-D laser scanners to the scene of car crashes, saving time and allowing wreckage to be cleared from roadways more quickly. The 3-D accident reconstruction will also be more accurate than human-generated reports.
A new “find-and-replace” genome editing method enables scientists to make large-scale changes to the genetic code of a living cell, faster than previous editing technology by a factor of two. The new method could be used to engineer cells that produce new proteins, or to design genetic “firewalls” that would prevent engineered cells from spreading their DNA.
This is a fairly common scenario during the conflict in Afghanistan: A forward operating base along the Khyber Pass needs supplies, and a C-130 cargo plane is dispatched to deliver them. The plane aims to drop several 2,000-pound pallets carrying food, water and ammunition.
Enemy fire in the area will make a supply recovery mission risky, however. An Army convoy must risk IEDs and sniper fire to retrieve the goods. If only the pallet would only drop more precisely, much closer to the base''s boundaries, the soldiers could stay out of harm's way.
When self-communicating connected cars start appearing on roadways, what will it be like for the humans? Will we tolerate our cars talking behind our backs, deciding when to swerve or apply the brakes? The U.S. Department of Transportation is hosting some test drive clinics to help people prepare. Test drives on racetracks!
A new ultra-wideband antenna printed on paper or plastic can harvest ambient energy, enabling wireless sensors to tap into electromagnetic currents in the air around them. The device captures energy from a wide spectrum of frequencies, converts it to direct current, and stores it in capacitors or batteries.
It’s been brutally hot here in the Midwest, with heat indices hovering in the 110-112 range for the past few days and signs pointing to another heat wave this weekend. So this new flower-based ice cream from Fraunhofer Labs sounds mighty appealing.
It has no dairy, gluten, animal fats or protein, and it’s cholesterol-free, says Fraunhofer. The ice cream is now on sale at a German supermarket chain.
Headphones on, everyone. The moaning mouth 'bot is back, this time to sing you a Japanese nursery rhyme. (Freaking you out is a side effect, not the main goal.) Hideyuki Sawada of Kagawa University in Japan brought the mouthbot to Robotech 2011 to demonstrate its new powers. You can watch it below singing "Kagome Kagome," a children's song.
A new genetically engineered grass variant won't be subject to federal regulation, because it was modified with a gene gun rather than bacteria, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The new strain of Kentucky bluegrass will likely be growing on American lawns very soon, where it will withstand prodigious amounts of the herbicide Roundup. The decision has provoked concern about a new generation of suburban superweeds.