Apr 30, 2013

Detector in South Pole’s ice cap spots rare high-energy neutrinos

posted by Larra Morris

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Some of the earliest and most successful neutrino detectors were based on enormous tanks of water. For example, Japan's Super Kamiokande held 3,000 tons of water, and researchers used the detector to watch for a sign that a neutrino had bumped up against one of the water molecules. A recently constructed detector takes a similar approach, observing about a cubic kilometer of water using over 5,000 optical sensors. It just relies on nature to provide the water. The detector is called IceCube, and its detectors are buried in the South Pole's ice cap.

Ice Cube has now scored its first big success, detecting the highest-energy neutrinos ever spotted. Odds are good that these neutrinos originated from an event distant from Earth, but remaining uncertainties mean that we can't conclude that with certainty.
via Ars Technica

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Apr 30, 2013

IBM developing robot assistance for technicians

posted by Larra Morris

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If you've ever tried typing while talking to technical support with the phone crammed between ear and shoulder, then you know the meaning of frustration. Now imagine doing that upside down inside an airplane wing while juggling wires, crimps and a schematic printout. For some field engineers, that sort of thing is an everyday occurrence, so IBM in collaboration with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in the UK is developing a mobile maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) prototype robot. It's a combination of a smartphone app and a camera/projector mounted on a robot arm, that allows supervisors and experts to have a more active presence on the job.
via Gizmag

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Apr 30, 2013

Cheetah-Cub quadruped robot learns to walk, trot using gait patterns from real animal (video)

posted by Larra Morris

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Developing walking gaits for multi-legged robots can be tricky. To solve the problem, many robots use a simple neural network called a Central Pattern Generator, or CPG, to produce rhythmic leg motion. The aim is to obtain robust locomotion patterns that exhibit stable limit cycles—periodic patterns that can resist perturbations. The robustness is obtained by providing feedback to the CPG from sensors in the legs or feet of the robot to compensate for irregularities and obstacles on the ground. It's a bit like a simple cockroach that, despite its size, is quite capable of crawling over most any terrain.

In recent years researchers have developed a way to break down the CPG into what are called kinematic Motion Primitives (kMPs). With some work, the kMPs found in the walking gaits observed in animals can be adapted to robots with the same number of limbs—a kind of refined CPG.
via IEEE Spectrum

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Apr 30, 2013

Space hurricane! NASA's Cassini records super cyclone on Saturn (video)

posted by Larra Morris

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If the crashing sound of lightning striking Saturn wasn't enough to excite your inner-meteorologist, then perhaps footage of a raging extraterrestrial hurricane will win you over. After orbiting the ringed planet for nine years, NASA's Cassini probe has managed to snag video of a super storm on the celestial body's north pole. Cloaked by the darkness of winter, the hurricane's eye became visible as Saturn's northern hemisphere transitioned into spring.
via Engadget


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Apr 30, 2013

Conceptual double wheeled Ferris wheel

posted by Larra Morris

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This is the Attraktsionus Double Ferris Wheel concept developed by Art Lebedev Studios. It's like a normal Ferris Wheel, except attached to another, smaller one.
via Geekologie

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Apr 29, 2013

The best-looking U.S. money ever was designed in the 1890s

posted by Laura Domela

A brief history (with lots of images) here on Core77

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Apr 29, 2013

The new $100 bill

posted by Laura Domela

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US currency is already embarrassing and this new design for the $100 bill is not helping.
via Kottke 

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Apr 29, 2013

10 3D printing technologies bringing you the future of medicine

posted by Laura Domela

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We love our 3D printing here at DVICE, because printing whatever objects you want whenever you want is just awesome. We loved 3D printing when it only existed in awesome sci-fi films, like The Fifth Element. We loved it when it was only a DIY kit. And we really loved it when it went mainstream.

3D printing has become a part of everything from the national gun debate to movie props and cars. 3D printing is becoming so ubiquitous that no matter what it is that you desire, you can print it for yourself. People are even going so far as to compare 3D printing favorably with the replicators of Star Trek fame. And while that might be going a bit far, 3D printing has been leaping forward in a number of astonishing ways.
via DVICE

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Skull implant image: Oxford Performance Materials

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Apr 29, 2013

Google Glass gets jailbroken, Google replies by saying they totally wanted it to get jailbroken

posted by Laura Domela

Remember in elementary school when someone did something you didn’t like, but you couldn’t really stop them so you just pretended like it’s what you really wanted them to do all along? That’s pretty much how Google responded to the news that hackers are already rooting Google Glass. Google’s Dan Morrill fired off a post on Google+ saying that rooting was the plan all along.
via Geekosystem

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Apr 29, 2013

Snake robot teams up with search-and-rescue dog (video)

posted by Larra Morris

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US researchers working on a snake-like robot have tested pairing it with a search-and-rescue dog.

The engineers sent two dogs fitted with harnesses containing the robot into a simulated collapsed building. The dogs then released the equipment, allowing the robot to wriggle free.

The researchers hope the technology will one day be used to locate people trapped in places inaccessible to dogs.
via BBC News

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