Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

Sep 12, 2019

Is the Universe Actually a Giant Quantum Computer?

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, humor, quantum physics, space

According to MIT professor Seth Lloyd, the answer is yes. We could be living in the kind of digital world depicted in The Matrix, and not even know it.

A researcher in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, Lloyd is one of the leaders in the field of quantum information. He’s been with the field from its very conception to its sky-rocketing rise to popularity. Decades ago, the feasibility of developing quantum computing devices was challenged. Now, as quantum computation is producing actual technologies, we are only left to wonder—what kind of applications will it provide us with next?

But, first things first. In a round-table discussion with undergraduates, Lloyd speaks of his early days in the field with a touch of humor, irony, and most surprisingly—pride. When he just started to research quantum information in graduate school, most scientists told him to look into other areas. In fact, out of the postdoctoral programs he considered, not many were too invested in researching of information in quantum mechanics. Most universities and institutes were reluctant to take up quantum computing, but Murray Gell-Mann accepted Lloyd for a position at the California Institute of Technology. This is where many ideas behind quantum computation were born, and Lloyd is “excited by the popularity of the field today.”

Sep 11, 2019

A smart artificial hand for amputees merges user and robotic control

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, engineering, robotics/AI

EPFL scientists are developing new approaches for improved control of robotic hands—in particular for amputees—that combines individual finger control and automation for improved grasping and manipulation. This interdisciplinary proof of concept between neuroengineering and robotics was successfully tested on three amputees and seven healthy subjects. The results are published in today’s issue of Nature Machine Intelligence.

The technology merges two concepts from two different fields. Implementing them both together had never been done before for robotic hand control, and contributes to the emerging field of shared control in neuroprosthetics.

Continue reading “A smart artificial hand for amputees merges user and robotic control” »

Sep 11, 2019

New metamaterial morphs into new shapes, taking on new properties

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, nanotechnology

A newly developed type of architected metamaterial has the ability to change shape in a tunable fashion.

While most reconfigurable materials can toggle between two distinct states, the way a switch toggles on or off, the new material’s shape can be finely tuned, adjusting its as desired. The material, which has potential applications in next-generation energy storage and bio-implantable micro-devices, was developed by a joint Caltech-Georgia Tech-ETH Zurich team in the lab of Julia R. Greer.

Greer, the Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering in Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science, creates materials out of micro- and nanoscale building blocks that are arranged into sophisticated architectures that can be periodic, like a lattice, or non-periodic in a tailor-made fashion, giving them unusual physical properties.

Sep 10, 2019

This Startup Raised $15 Million To Reduce Errors In Quantum Computing

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, quantum physics

Q-CTRL, an Australian-based quantum computing software company that makes “quantum firmware,” on Tuesday announced a $15 million series A funding round led by Square Peg Capital. Sierra Ventures also participated in the round, joining existing investors Horizons Ventures, Main Sequence Ventures, and Sequoia Capital.

The primary purpose of the round, says founder and CEO Michael Biercuk, is to expand and grow the company. It currently has 25 employees and aims to double that number in the next 12 to 18 months. It’s also opening an office in Los Angeles where it hopes to add more employees and will expand its product offerings in the field of quantum sensing.

Biercuk is a professor at the University of Sydney and has been conducting research in quantum computing for over a decade. He’s particularly interested in combining the principles of control engineering to quantum computing and other systems such as quantum sensing.

Sep 9, 2019

125 Women in STEM Selected as AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors

Posted by in categories: education, engineering, mathematics

Women innovators across the United States have been selected as AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Lyda Hill Philanthropies to share their stories and serve as high-profile role models for middle-school girls.

Information about the 125 women selected as AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors can be found at

IF/THEN®, a national initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, seeks to further women in science, technology, engineering and math by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers.

Sep 8, 2019

Caltech Faculty Honored with Breakthrough and New Horizons Prizes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, engineering, physics

Caltech’s Katherine L. (Katie) Bouman has been named a recipient of the 2020 Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics as part of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team that generated the first-ever image of a black hole, while Xie Chen and Xinwen Zhu have each received 2020 New Horizons prizes from the same foundation for their work in physics and mathematics, respectively.

The Breakthrough Prize, now in its eighth year, is considered the world’s most generous science prize. Each Breakthrough Prize is $3 million and the 347 authors of the six EHT papers will divide the award.

“I was stunned and absolutely thrilled to hear the news,” says Bouman, assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences and Rosenberg Scholar in Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science. “I’m so lucky to work with an amazingly talented group of individuals that continues to push the boundaries of science every day. It is such a privilege and an honor to share this award with each one of them.”

Sep 7, 2019

Rimac Bumps Tesla’s New Roadster To Second Place With New Concept_Two

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, engineering, sustainability, transportation

When Elon Musk and the team at Tesla unveiled the Tesla Roadster 2.0, a new stake was pounded into the tarmac, cementing the new Roadster and electric cars as the performance kings in nearly every meaningful category. It puts supercars to shame and at a fraction of the price.

With such a high bar being set at such a low price point, a no holds barred electric supercar seemed to be the only thing that could possibly top the high marks set by the new Tesla Roadster. Travel with me over to unlikely Sveta Nedelja, Croatia, where Mate Rimac and his motley crew of twisted engineering geniuses at Rimac Automobili assemble battery powered beasts that shake the boots off even the most seasoned track driver.

Continue reading “Rimac Bumps Tesla’s New Roadster To Second Place With New Concept_Two” »

Sep 5, 2019

How America’s First Digitally Operated Reactor Could Push Nuclear Technology Forward

Posted by in categories: education, engineering, geopolitics, internet, nuclear energy

“We can send signals to areas, such as schools in developing countries, that do not have the luxury of their own nuclear reactor facility and the associated educational infrastructure.” said Seungjin Kim, head of the Purdue’s School of Nuclear Engineering, in a July announcement. “As long as they have internet and this partnership with Purdue, they can see and study how the reactor works.”

PUR-1’s completion comes amidst a hunt for the next generation of nuclear tech. There are traveling wave reactors, which would hypothetically consume today’s nuclear waste and has garnered the interest of investors like Bill Gates. Then there are thorium reactors, which would would use less uranium and produce far less waste in the first place and has been promoted by Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Neither technology has been put into civilian practice yet.

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Sep 4, 2019

Professor Eric Laithwaite: Magnetic River 1975

Posted by in category: engineering

This proves that anti gravity devices existed even back in 1975.

The wonders of magnetism and the linear motor are captured in this 1975 presentation by Professor Eric Laithwaite (1921−1997) former Professor of Heavy Electrical Engineering at Imperial College London.

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Sep 2, 2019

Tilly Lockey, the “Real Alita” / Bionic Girl on ideaXme

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, bionic, biotech/medical, business, electronics, engineering, exoskeleton, health, transhumanism
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