Articles

The 1,000-robot swarm

The first 1,000-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University. “Form a sea-star shape,” directs a computer scientist, sending the command to 1,024 little ’bots simultaneously via an infrared light. The robots begin to blink at one another, and then gradually arrange themselves into a five-pointed star. “Now form the letter K.” The “K” stands for...

Scientists develop pioneering new spray-on solar cells

Experts from the University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering have previously used the spray-painting method to produce solar cells using organic semiconductors - but using perovskite is a major step forward. Efficient organometal halide perovskite based photovoltaics were first demonstrated in 2012. They are now a very promising new...

Stable lithium anode may triple battery efficiency

Stanford University researchers claim to have created the first stable pure lithium anode in a working battery by using carbon nanospheres as a protective sheath to guard against degradation. As a result, the researchers predict that commercial developments may eventually result in anything up to a tripling of battery life in the not-too-distant future. At a basic level, a battery is composed of...

Stanford researchers develop self-cooling solar cells

Scientists may have overcome one of the major hurdles in developing high-efficiency, long-lasting solar cells—keeping them cool, even in the blistering heat of the noonday Sun. By adding a specially patterned layer of silica glass to the surface of ordinary solar cells, a team of researchers led by Shanhui Fan, an electrical engineering professor at Stanford University in California has...

New device generates electricity from condensation

Last year, MIT researchers discovered that when water droplets spontaneously jump away from superhydrophobic surfaces during condensation, they can gain electric charge in the process. Now, the same team has demonstrated that this process can generate small amounts of electricity that might be used to power electronic devices. The new findings, by postdoc Nenad Miljkovic, associate professor of...

More Than Glitter: How Gold Nanoparticles easily Penetrate Cells, Making them Useful for Delivering Drugs

A new study from MIT materials scientists reveals that these nanoparticles enter cells by taking advantage of a route normally used in vesicle-vesicle fusion, a crucial process that allows signal transmission between neurons. In the July 21 issue of Nature Communications, the researchers describe in detail the mechanism by which these nanoparticles are able to fuse with a membrane. The findings...

Honda's latest ASIMO humanoid robot makes European debut

The latest generation of Honda’s humanoid robot, ASIMO, has made its European debut in Brussels.  The all-new ASIMO, which Honda hopes in the future will be able to help people in need, incorporates several significant technological advancements over its predecessors. These include improved intelligence, enhanced hand dexterity (enabling it to open a bottle and pour a drink or express...

Cambridge team breaks superconductor world record

A world record that has stood for more than a decade has been broken by a team led by University of Cambridge engineers, harnessing the equivalent of three tonnes of force inside a golf ball-sized sample of material that is normally as brittle as fine china. The Cambridge researchers managed to ‘trap’ a magnetic field with a strength of 17.6 Tesla - roughly 100 times stronger than...

Urban Skyfarm concept would provide inner city farming space

Two problems caused by increasing overpopulation in cities are how to use space productively and how to feed everyone. A new concept design suggests a means of addressing both these issues. Aprilli Design Studio's Urban Skyfarm is a tree-like skyscraper that provides space for crop farming. Aprilli designed the Skyfarm with Seoul, South Korea, in mind, but it could be deployed in any major...

Researchers Regrow Human Corneas: First Known Tissue Grown from a Human Stem Cell

Boston researchers have identified a way to enhance regrowth of human corneal tissue to restore vision, using a molecule known as ABCB5 that acts as a marker for hard-to-find limbal stem cells. This work, a collaboration between the Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research Institute (Mass. Eye and Ear), Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the VA Boston...

A step closer to bio-printing transplantable tissues and organs

Researchers have made a giant leap towards the goal of 'bio-printing' transplantable tissues and organs for people affected by major diseases and trauma injuries, a new study reports. Scientists from the Universities of Sydney, Harvard, Stanford and MIT have bio-printed artificial vascular networks mimicking the body's circulatory system that are necessary for growing large complex...

'MacGyver' Robots Use Their Environment to Solve Problems

MacGyver could make a rocket-powered harpoon gun/zip line out of some moth balls, cleaning fluid, rope, pulley, and an old telescope. Robots can't do that. But hey, neither can you. What you can do is use objects in your environment to help you complete tasks that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do on your own, and robots are learning how to do the same thing. Yes, this means that soon...

100% Renewable Electricity Will Be Achieved In German State Soon

From Clean Technica website (Jake Richardson): Germany’s windiest area, Schleswig-Holstein, will probably achieve “100% renewable electricity” sometime this year. That is, its clean energy production will be able to supply all of its electricity consumption. Schleswig-Holstein has a goal to generate 300% of its electricity consumption with renewables eventually. This mostly...