Thanks to smoking bans in most states, cigarette smokers are relegated to taking their habits outside, where they can easily meet and mingle with others who share their addiction. But what about the e-cigarette smoker, who gets to puff inside bars, looking smug? Now a special sensor in their pricey habit-forming gadgets can help them meet other smokers, too.
A Chinese official kicked off an international robotics conference in Shanghai this week by confirming China plans to send a robot to the moon within two years and aims to bring a lunar sample home by 2017.
Dolphins can understand more than 100 words, decipher human instructions and even use iPads to learn basic communication skills. But that’s kind of unfair on the part of us humans, don’t you think? Shouldn’t dolphins be able to ask for more smelt without learning our sign language or using our gadgets?
Retinal implants can let blind people see, but to be truly effective, they should be adapted to the human eye’s unique structure, according to one researcher. Tiny clusters of material that self-assemble into fractals could help with this, strengthening the connections between an implant and a patient’s healthy neurons.
De-miners on the hunt for unexploded land mines could get some help from a simple smartphone app that works with their metal detectors.
Students at Harvard University, working with researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT, designed a system called “pattern enhancement tool for assisting land mine sensing” (PETALS). It visualizes the outline of a buried land mine according to the metal detector’s feedback.
We frequently hear about the ways 3-D printing will change the manufacturing industry, allowing greater precision and lower costs in anything from airplane parts to custom chocolates. Now GE is starting a lab at its research headquarters designed to turn 3-D printing into a manufacturing mainstay, using it to make medical equipment and more.
Researchers testing mental illness figured out how to induce schizophrenic symptoms in a computer, causing it to place itself at the center of crazy delusions, such as claiming responsibility for a terrorist bombing. The results bolster a hypothesis that claims faulty information processing can lead to schizophrenic symptoms.
If you could pick just one, would you A) send a new lander to Mars, B) send a robotic visitor to a comet, or C) send a ship to float in the hydrocarbon oceans of Titan?
NASA will pick one winner from these three projects, the space agency announced this week. The project will be capped at $425 million, not including the price of launch.
By the year 2020, when we’re all using ubiquitous organic touchscreens, augmented reality social networks, and ultra-powerful computers to communicate, will we still be using the mail? A group of technology evangelists and postal advocates will gather this summer to talk about that, and what the U.S. Postal Service can do to make sure the answer is yes.