Ramped-up research efforts at IBM and other labs in the U.S. and Europe could lead to more powerful and more prevalent quantum computers in the near future.
IBM is breathing new life into a quantum computing research division at its Thomas J. Watson Research Center, reports New York Times. The computer giant has hired alumni from promising quantum computing programs at Yale and the University of California-Santa Barbara, both of which made quantum leaps in the past year using standard superconducting material.
Perhaps in the past we’ve held back from having robots administer sponge baths for fear that they would just be too forceful. Now there’s Cody – a robotic nurse proven to be gentle enough to bathe humans.
In yet another setback for Boeing’s much anticipated – and anticipated, and anticipated – 787 Dreamliner, a test flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Texas last night after smoke began clouding the cabin. Boeing is evaluating flight data and trying to pinpoint the origin of the smoke aboard its next-gen jetliner, which is now almost three years behind schedule.
A Harvard astronomer and his team have turned up something quite big while running publicly available data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and by big we mean both in scientific magnitude and in astronomical size: two massive gamma-ray emitting bubbles extending 25,000 light-years both north and south of the Milky Way's center. The researchers aren't sure where they come from or why they're there, but the discovery of this massive new structure in the heart of our own galaxy is being equated to discovering a new continent on Earth.
Keeping tabs on nuclear material is both increasingly important and increasingly difficult these days, but researchers at the University of Maryland have devised a mechanism that may make it a lot easier to ensure unchecked radioactive materials don’t make it illicitly ashore. A novel approach to gamma ray detection could make it easier for customs officials to test shipping containers for radioactive payloads without searching them one by one.
DARPA’s Transformer – sometimes referred to as the flying Humvee – seems to be moving right along, even if only on paper at this point. The DoD’s out-there tech incubator has awarded Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute $988,000 to develop an autonomous flight system for the vehicle, which would go a long way toward helping the proposed military vehicle get off the ground in both the literal and figurative senses.
Most of the robots currently serving in the U.S. military are simply mechanized extensions of soldiers; They can execute dangerous maneuvers and keep people from high-risk situations, but they're usually tethered to operators working remotely, and don't cut down on manpower so much as they take it out of harm's way.
But a machine named Octavia, which can respond to visual and verbal commands could pave the way for a fleet of self-sufficient bots that can be as receptive to a commander as a human soldier.
Peeing on your phone seems like an all-around pretty bad idea, but British researchers have managed to find an upside. They claim that by urinating on a computer chip and plugging it into a phone or computer, people will soon be able to easily self-diagnose sexually transmitted diseases.