Humans produce 660 billion pounds of plastic a year, and the manufacturing process creates three times as much carbon dioxide by weight as actual plastic. “That’s an insane amount of material,” says Newlight Technologies CEO Mark Herrema. “Wouldn’t we be better off using plastic as a conveyor belt for capturing and sequestering carbon emissions instead?”
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A jumping robot — whose design was inspired by small primates known as bush babies — can spring off walls to gain height faster than any previous robot and could one day help rapidly scan urban disaster zones, researchers say. Despite being just 10 inches (26 centimeters) tall and weighing only 0.2 pounds (100 grams),
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From navigating turbulence, to sleeping midflight, to soaring without a sound, animals’ flight adaptations are helping scientists design better flying robots. Airborne drones and the animals they mimic are featured in 18 new studies published online Dec. 15 in the journal Interface Focus. This special issue is intended “to inspire development of new aerial robots
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There’s been a lot of hype coming out of Silicon Valley in recent months about technology that can meld the human brain with machines. But how will this tech help society, and which companies are leading the charge? Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made waves in March when he announced his latest venture, Neuralink,
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A new wireless power system could help people avoid the inevitable jumbled mess of tangled cords and offer a more efficient way to charge electric vehicles on the go, according to a new study. Researchers at Stanford University adapted a concept from quantum physics to produce a wireless charger that does something other wireless chargers
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Assisted walking just got smarter. A new algorithm for an exoskeleton uses direct feedback from the wearer to customize the assistance provided, according to a new study. The exoskeleton is worn on the shin and foot and applies forces to the ankle and toes. In experiments with 11 able-bodied people, the so-called human-in-the-loop algorithm took
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A tiny, paper-thin camera that has no lens could turn conventional photography on its head, according to new research. The device, a square that measures just 0.04 inches by 0.05 inches (1 by 1.2 millimeters), has the potential to switch its “aperture” among wide angle, fish eye and zoom instantaneously. And because the device is
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A tech startup on a mission to make modern commercial and housing estates energy neutral has outfitted the headquarters of a Dutch bank with the world’s first commercial, fully transparent solar-power-generating windows. The windows have solar cells installed in the edges at a specific angle that allows the incoming solar light to be efficiently transformed
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Whether they’re swooping in to deliver packages or spotting victims in disaster zones, swarms of flying robots could have a range of important applications in the future, a new study found. The robots can transition from driving to flying without colliding with each other and could offer benefits beyond the traditional flying-car concepts of sci-fi
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In the sophisticated world of counterfeiting, it can often be difficult to tell fakes from the real deal. But now, scientists have developed a new method that can stamp things with “atomic fingerprints” to keep phony products at bay. “There is no bigger crime than counterfeit crime,” said Robert Young, a professor of physics at
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