Solar farms made of multiple large-scale panels are becoming increasingly efficient. This, in turn, is influencing their popularity as an alternative energy source for regional and national power grids. Despite this, a range of environmental particles and dirt types can impact on the ability of solar panels to gather energy. When this material comes into contact with solar cells, they may disrupt the panels, by either reflecting or absorbing sunlight, which in either case reduces the efficiency of the panel as a whole.
Recent joint research efforts in the fields of intelligent robotics and autonomous agents has focused not only on the emergent intelligence of a single device, but also on their capability to work together, and coordinate activity in specific contexts. A robot designed and constructed by a joint group of researchers from Osaka University, Kobe University, Tohoku University, the University of Tokyo, and Tokyo Institute of Technology, has an impressive ability to assess and assist in disaster relief situations.
Scientists at Harvard University have demonstrated the first autonomous, untethered, soft robot. It is named “Octobot” and is a revolutionary idea in the field of robotics. It was named after the octopus, an animal that inspires scientists working on soft robotics, since it can use its arms with strength and dexterity despite having no internal skeleton.
As you sit in your garden on a summer’s day, you may well enjoy the gentle humming of honey bees diligently collecting pollen in the background. Would you miss that sound if it was no longer there, or think about the consequences? Whilst many of us are now aware that a wide variety of bee species are in decline, we don’t often think about the implications of their potential extinction.
But, if we don’t protect these little insects the future may not look that bright for us either.
It has been established that robots can easily perform tasks that we give them. But, it was noticed that the digits of their robotic arms were missing a certain dexterity when the bots held or picked up objects with odd structures and those of smaller configurations, sometimes squashing or destroying them.
In recent years, researchers have created automatic planners. The International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling hosts a competition, in which machines try to give the best solutions for planning problems. Now, we can have scheduled a flight, taken a drive or coordinated tasks for teams of autonomous satellites, which is so important for the automated process of machines.
Infertility and a struggle to conceive can result in emotional and mental stress on affected couples and their families. Endless Doctors’ appointments, rounds of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and the threat of miscarriage all weigh heavily on people’s minds.
One of the leading causes of this problem has been found to be slow swimming or abnormal male gametes, or sperm. Medical treatments such as artificial insemination and IVF have improved chances of conception but also have their own problems including high costs and average success rates reportedly under 30%.
Ever observed the agility of an insect? Mimicking the locomotion of bees, cockroaches, earthworms, larvae etc, presents immense potential and application in the world of technology and robotics. The ability of these creatures to navigate challenging environments in their biological state has awed and (bio)inspired scientists!
Many of us might assume that with the arrival of the digital age, the function of libraries will naturally cease to exist. Although this is partly true and in some ways a worrying trend, there is hope for these institutions. Many book enthusiasts, children, college students and professors still insist on the sanctity of libraries and visit them frequently for educational purposes, leisure reading or otherwise. There’s nothing like a good old book in hand!
One of the most ambitious smart-road projects, the Cooperative ITS Corridor, started about one year ago in Europe, and it is expected to shepherd cars from Rotterdam through Munich, Frankfurt, and on to Vienna without a single interruption, by warning drivers of upcoming roadwork and other road obstacles. Within the project, technically cooperative systems relying on V2X-communication (vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication) are tested under real traffic conditions.
The Cooki robotic chef, together with the food ecosystem Foodi from the small startup company Sereneti Kitchen, is the technology that many are waiting for to gain confidence when entering the kitchen. All you have to do is to provide the ingredients to Cooki and just wait for your ready meal! The main idea is that Foodi ecosystem will bring back into our kitchen the fresh ingredients and the exploration of the food world, and to start to forget the frozen pre-packaged meals and non-healthy food delivery.
The mindset of children, aged about 0-14, requires intricate nurturing and support in order for them to flourish into well-rounded individuals, complete with a certain social behavior and knowledge to match current day progress. Research data shows that in some cases parents are unable to spend a good amount of quality time tutoring their young ones because of heavy schedules and the rate of one-on-ones in schools between most teachers and students appear to be diminishing owing to larger classroom sizes.
What if your clothes doubled as a modern computer? Indeed a thought provoking idea that is on its way to becoming reality and truly defining the term ‘wearable electronics’!
When thinking of arts, words like tradition, culture, inspiration, feelings and talent come into our mind, and are automatically linked to the human condition. For Human Computer Interaction (HCI) researchers, performing arts translates into just another means to learn, evolve, express oneself and… communicate with an artificially intelligent entity, either a robot or a software agent.
In the future, it is anticipated that robots may have to traverse some pretty inhospitable terrain, either to clear a war-torn region of landmines or scope out a location on Mars for a potential landing site. Many robots designed for remote work are either wheeled or have tracked systems. Whilst this is obviously an advantage for stability, problems arise when the robot encounters any sort of challenging terrain such as steep, potentially unstable rocks.
Over the years, anthropomorphism, the process of giving life to non-humans, has developed into a genre in plastics and medicine that one could have never imagined before!
Engineers from Seattle, Zhe Xu and Emanuel Todorov, challenged this idea by building a complex 3D printed biomimetic robotic hand that was detailed and highly accurate in function, designed to fully substitute it for a human hand. Their scientific work was published as ‘Design of a Highly Biomimetic Anthropomorphic Robotic Hand towards Artificial Limb Regeneration’ in 2016.