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Jul 13, 2020

Coronavirus: Llamas provide key to immune therapy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

As Fifi the llama munches on grass on a pasture in Reading, her immune system has provided the template for a coronavirus treatment breakthrough.

Scientists from the UK’s Rosalind Franklin Institute have used Fifi’s specially evolved antibodies to make an immune-boosting therapy.

The resulting llama-based, Covid-specific “antibody cocktail” could enter clinical trials within months.

Jul 13, 2020

SkyDrive readies eVTOL ‘flying car’ for its first public sortie

Posted by in category: transportation

Japanese start-up SkyDrive is preparing to fly its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) test aircraft in public for the first time in August, as it sets its sights on building a thriving air taxi and urban air mobility market in the country on the back the developmental battery-powered design.

SkyDrive says it began flight testing a proof of concept model at its test centre in Toyota in December 2019, and the aircraft” completed its technical verification phase” in March.

Jul 13, 2020

Dangerous raccoon dogs spotted in Britain as public urged not to approach them

Posted by in category: futurism

People in Wales are alarmed as the invasive and ‘extremely smelly’ beasts have been spotted roaming the wild. The creatures previously placed a village in England ‘under siege’, terrorising locals and attacking their animals.

Jul 13, 2020

US Air Force gears up for first flight test of Golden Horde munition swarms

Posted by in categories: information science, military

That in turn enables a massive software upgrade known as the “autonomy module,” a playbook of algorithms that tell the weapon how to respond to specific changes on the battlefield, whether that means the sighting of a new threat or the destruction of some of the collaborative weapons.

Jul 13, 2020

A grapefruit-sized black hole may be hiding in our solar system

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

Quantum radar can find it.

The hunt for the ever-elusive “Planet Nine” has taken scientists down some very strange roads. The idea that a planet exists in the outer reaches of our solar system and can’t be easily seen has been floating around for some time, and observations of other objects in the area suggest that there’s something big generating a gravitational pull. The easiest explanation would be a planet, but it’s not the only possibility.

Jul 13, 2020

A Vietnam Helo’s New Robot Brain Will Help Fight a Different Kind of Enemy

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

On January 2, 2020, the state of New South Wales declared a state of emergency as Australia’s bushfires continued their deadly rampage. The next day the Australian state’s former fire commissioner urged the prime minister to call in back-up. The country needed more fire bombers from North America and Europe.

But one machine already hard at work was the S-64E Air Crane, operated by Oregon-based Erickson Inc. Six of its huge helicopters had been already been dousing the fires that put Australians—and the continent’s indigenous wildlife—at risk.

Continue reading “A Vietnam Helo’s New Robot Brain Will Help Fight a Different Kind of Enemy” »

Jul 13, 2020

Fires could be extinguished using beams of electricity

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics

Circa 2011

It’s certainly an established fact that electricity can cause fires, but today a group of Harvard scientists presented their research on the use of electricity for fighting fires. In a presentation at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, Dr. Ludovico Cademartiri told of how they used a unique device to shoot beams of electricity at an open flame over one foot tall. Almost immediately, he said, the flame was extinguished. On a larger scale, such a system would minimize the amount of water that needed to be sprayed into burning buildings, both saving water and limiting water damage to those buildings.

Apparently, it has been known for over 200 years that electricity affects fire – it can cause flames to change in character, or even stop burning altogether. According to Cademartiri, a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. George M. Whitesides at Harvard University, what hasn’t been looked into much is the science behind the relationship. It turns out that soot particles within flames can easily become charged, and therefore can cause flames to lose stability when the local electrical fields are altered.

Continue reading “Fires could be extinguished using beams of electricity” »

Jul 13, 2020

Watch these modular robots transform into a chair

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Need an extra chair? No problem: These robots will turn into one for you.

Jul 13, 2020

The new tattoo: Drawing electronics on skin

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

One day, people could monitor their own health conditions by simply picking up a pencil and drawing a bioelectronic device on their skin. In a new study, University of Missouri engineers demonstrated that the simple combination of pencils and paper could be used to create devices that might be used to monitor personal health.

Their findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Zheng Yan, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering, said many existing commercial on-skin often contain two major components—a biomedical tracking component and a surrounding flexible material, such as plastic, to provide a supportive structure for the component to maintain an on-skin connection with a person’s body.

Jul 13, 2020

Panasonic launches mobility service at Tokyo transportation hub

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI, transportation

Panasonic has begun testing robotic mobility devices at the newly constructed Takanawa Gateway train station in Tokyo.

The effort is art of a plan to bring a series of automated services to the airport and surrounding facilities that are part of a massive redevelopment project in the surrounding Shinagawa business district.

Three mobility devices, essentially intelligent electric wheelchairs, will be used as a single group in the trial. The experiment will focus on ensuring the safety of passengers with mobility issues as they are transported throughout the huge facilities.