Teaching robots to write and draw
An algorithm enables robots to put pen to paper, writing words using stroke patterns similar to human handwriting. It's a step, the researchers say, toward robots that are able to communicate more fluently with human co-workers and collaborators.
New smart material with potential biomedical, environmental uses
By combining seaweed-derived alginate with the nanomaterial graphene oxide, researchers have developed a new material that's durable and can respond dynamically to its environment.
New, durable catalyst for key fuel cell reaction
The new catalyst exceeds Department of Energy targets for performing the oxygen reduction reaction, a key step in generating an electric current in a hydrogen fuel cell.
Nanotube rebar makes graphene twice as tough
Rebar graphene is the nanoscale analog of rebar (reinforcement bars) in concrete, in which embedded steel bars enhance the material's strength and durability. Rebar graphene, developed by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour in 2014, uses carbon nanotubes for reinforcement.
Graphene forms electrically charged crinkles
Gently compressed stacks of graphene form sharp crinkles that carry an electric charge, which could be useful in nanoscale self-assembly and other applications.
3D printed biomaterials that degrade on demand
Engineers have demonstrated a technique for making 3-D-printed biomaterials that can degrade on demand, which can be useful in making intricately patterned microfluidic devices or in making cell cultures than can change dynamically during experiments.
Helping robots learn to see in 3D
Autonomous robots can inspect nuclear power plants, clean up oil spills in the ocean, accompany fighter planes into combat and explore the surface of Mars. Yet for all their talents, robots still can't make a cup of tea.
Towards a high-resolution, implantable neural interface
The goal of The Neural Engineering System Design program is developing an implantable system able to provide precision communication between the brain and the digital world.
Teaching robots manners
Advances in artificial intelligence are making virtual and robotic assistants increasingly capable in performing complex tasks. For these "smart" machines to be considered safe and trustworthy collaborators with human partners, however, robots must be able to quickly assess a given situation and apply human social norms.
Robot uses social feedback to fetch objects intelligently
By enabling them to ask a question when they're confused, an algorithm helps robots get better at fetching objects, an important task for future robot assistants.
Researchers design one of the strongest, lightest materials known
The new configurations have been made in the lab using a high-resolution, multimaterial 3-D printer.
Graphene templates to make new metal-oxide nanostructures
Researchers have found a new method for making ultrathin metal-oxide sheets containing intricate wrinkle and crumple patterns.
Flexible and thin battery technology enables integrated sensors
Joint project aims at developing a multipurpose sensor, which is flexible and simple for its user.
Flipping a chemical switch helps perovskite solar cells beat the heat
Thin films of crystalline materials called perovskites provide a promising new way of making inexpensive and efficient solar cells. Now, an international team of researchers has shown a way of flipping a chemical switch that converts one type of perovskite into another — a type that has better thermal stability and is a better light absorber.
Wrinkles and crumples make graphene better
New research shows that repeatedly crumpling sheets of the nanomaterial graphene can actually enhance some of its properties.
Solar energy from discarded car batteries
A simple procedure for making a promising type of solar cell using lead recovered from discarded lead-acid car batteries — a practice that could benefit both the environment and human health.
Anelastic nanowires could enable stretchable electronic devices
Researchers have found that nanoscale wires (nanowires) made of common semiconductor materials have a pronounced anelasticity - meaning that the wires, when bent, return slowly to their original shape rather than snapping back quickly.
Ultrasound test echoes with battery charge
Researchers have shown that ultrasound echoes can indicate density changes to provide a simple and non-invasive method for measuring charge within any battery.