Optical lace gives robots heightened sensory ability
A new stretchable optical lace could give soft robots an even softer touch. The synthetic material creates a linked sensory network similar to a biological nervous system, which would enable robots to sense how they interact with their environment and adjust their actions accordingly.
Using artificial intelligence to track birds' dark-of-night migrations
On many evenings during spring and fall migration, tens of millions of birds take flight at sunset and pass over our heads, unseen in the night sky. Though these flights have been recorded for decades by the National Weather Services' network of constantly scanning weather radars, until recently these data have been mostly out of reach for bird researchers.
New type of electrolyte could enhance supercapacitor performance
Supercapacitors, electrical devices that store and release energy, need a layer of electrolyte — an electrically conductive material that can be solid, liquid, or somewhere in between. Now, researchers have developed a novel class of liquids that may open up new possibilities for improving the efficiency and stability of such devices while reducing their flammability.
Robot circulatory system powers possibilities
Untethered robots suffer from a stamina problem. A possible solution: a circulating liquid - "robot blood" - to store energy and power its applications for sophisticated, long-duration tasks.
Engineered bacteria could be missing link in energy storage
One of the big issues with sustainable energy systems is how to store electricity that's generated from wind, solar and waves. At present, no existing technology provides large-scale storage and energy retrieval for sustainable energy at a low financial and environmental cost.
Artificial metabolism could open a new frontier in robotics
As a genetic material, DNA is responsible for all known life. But DNA is also a polymer. Tapping into the unique nature of the molecule, engineers have created simple machines constructed of biomaterials with properties of living things.
AI approach optimizes embryo selection for IVF
A new artificial intelligence approach can identify with a great degree of accuracy whether a 5-day-old, in vitro fertilized human embryo has a high potential to progress to a successful pregnancy. The technique, which analyzes time-lapse images of the early-stage embryos, could improve the success rate of in vitro fertilization and minimize the risk of multiple pregnancies.
"Particle robot" works as a cluster of simple units
Taking a cue from biological cells, researchers have developed computationally simple robots that connect in large groups to move around, transport objects, and complete other tasks.
Advances point the way to smaller, safer batteries
People don't ask too much from batteries: Deliver energy when it's needed and for as long as it is wanted, recharge quickly and don't burst into flames.
New cell-sized micro robots might make incredible journeys
Researchers have harnessed the latest nanofabrication techniques to create bug-shaped robots that are wirelessly powered, able to walk, able to survive harsh environments and tiny enough to be injected through an ordinary hypodermic needle.
To conserve energy, AI clears up cloudy forecasts
A new approach predicts the accuracy of the weather forecast using a machine learning model trained with years' worth of data on forecasts and actual weather conditions. Combined with a mathematical model that considers building characteristics including the size and shape of rooms, the construction materials, the location of sensors and the position of windows.
3D imaging technique unlocks properties of perovskite crystals
A team of materials scientists have, for the first time, visualized the 3D atomic and electron density structure of the most complex perovskite crystal structure system decoded to date.
Aquatic animals that jump out of water inspire leaping robots
Ever watch aquatic animals jump out of the water and wonder how they manage to do it in such a streamlined and graceful way? A group of researchers who specialize in water entry and exit in nature had the same question and are exploring the specific physical conditions required for animals to successfully leap out of water.
Two-step training helps robots interpret human language
To robots, humans' instructions are incredibly complex. Even a relatively simple command like "Go to the house, passing the tree on your right," may require hundreds of attempts to learn. And if the command changes to "Go to the house, passing the tree on your left," the robots needs to re-learn the task from scratch.
Shape shifting modular robot
A robot can assemble a car door or pack a box much faster and more efficiently than any human, but such single-purpose machines struggle when asked to perform in challenging environments that contain elements such as stairs or tunnels.