Technology:

These artificial leaves pull carbon dioxide out of thin air to create fuel

Researchers have designed artificial leaves that suck carbon dioxide out of the air and create oxygen. Well isn’t that what leaves already do, you might be asking? Yes, but where these artificial leaves differ is that they can trap carbon dioxide and turn it into carbon monoxide, which can then be used for a whole range of purposes, such as making synthetic fuels. Oxygen is a by-product as well, which can also be collected or just released back into the outside air like a natural plant would do. What makes these leaves especially impressive is that they can suck up…

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  • New Atlas
  • Date:02/15/2019

This smart shelter uses AI to protect stray cats from the cold

Temperatures in Beijing can drop to 15 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, leaving stray cats in pretty dire conditions. That’s why Baidu, China’s top search engine company, invented a smart shelter to spare cats the winter’s biting temperatures. The shelter uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to identify when a cat is approaching and open its door. Apart from offering the cats refuge from the cold, the shelter provides them with food, water and can also tell whether the cat is sick and needs medical attention. The AI is capable of recognizing 174 different kinds of cats, and the…

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  • The Verge
  • Date:02/13/2019

These gloves convert sign language movements into audio speech

Most people in the world aren't familiar with sign language, making it awfully difficult for deaf people to get their message across. This is something that a young Kenyan inventor by the name of Roy Allela knows all too well. His 6-year-old niece was born deaf and struggles to communicate with her family, none of whom know sign language. That's why he invented a pair of smart gloves which converts sign language movements into audio speech. The gloves work by recognizing various letters signed by sign language users and transmitting this data to a smartphone application where it is vocalized. The…

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  • Business Insider
  • Date:02/12/2019

How a robot could save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef used to be a symbol of the pristine beauty that the ocean offers, but now it represents the terrible mark that human-induced climate change is having on the world as half of the coral that made up the reef has died in the past couple years. Is there still hope? The answer is yes thanks to researchers at two Australian universities who have developed an underwater robot that could help turn the tide in the ongoing struggle to save at-risk reefs. The briefcase-size submersible is designed to move autonomously along damaged sections of reef, seeding them…

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  • NBC
  • Date:02/06/2019

This sociable robot helps nurses offer better care to patients

A startup has developed an endearing robot to help patients suffering from chronic diseases get better care. The robot, roughly the size of a kitchen appliance, checks up on patients and makes conversation with them about their family and the weather while gathering daily details about their health. Through daily conversations, the robot can discover issues that may arise regarding patients’ health while notifying human caregivers.

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  • Fast Company
  • Date:02/04/2019

Peace—not war—will motivate the next wave of technological innovations

Although war is responsible for causing a number of horrible things, over the years it’s also led to many transformative inventions, such as the aircraft, duck tape, and the Internet. Now, according to the president emerita at MIT, the world is on the cusp of a new innovation boom, one that “will be motivated not by the threat of war but the promise of peace.” Here’s how peace will inspire biotech’s biggest breakthroughs in the coming years. 

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  • Quartz
  • Date:02/04/2019

Engineers develop tool to scrub the bias out of algorithms

One of the problems with artificial intelligence is that developers keep programming their own biases into their systems, creating algorithms that reflect the same prejudiced perspectives common in society. For that reason, a team of engineers have developed a tool that audits algorithms for biases and helps re-train them to behave more equitably. In short, the tool works like sensitivity training for algorithms.

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  • Futurism
  • Date:01/31/2019

Scientists created a device that uses Wi-Fi signals in the air to harness energy

Scientists at MIT have invented a remarkable device which can turn ambient Wi-Fi signals into electricity. The breakthrough paves the way for energy-harvesting covers ranging from tablecloths to giant wrappers for buildings that extract energy from the environment to power sensors and other electronics. The mind-bending device could soon revolutionize the way we charge our phones, laptops and other gadgets.

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  • The Guardian
  • Date:01/31/2019

Beginning August, Gatwick airport will have automated robots as parking-valets

Gatwick airport will soon have autonomous valet-parking robots to help mitigate travelers’ daunting parking experiences. Under the trial which begins in August, travelers will leave their car in a dedicated drop-off zone and summon a droid, booked with the help of a smartphone app. The initiative is expected to squeeze one third more vehicles into the same size car park and improve travelers’ overall airport experience.

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  • The Evening Standard
  • Date:01/30/2019

Bluetooth technology will soon let you know the exact location of lost items

Soon enough, Bluetooth will be able to help you know the exact location of your keys, TV remote, phone, and other gadgets. The next generation of the wireless technology will involve proximity sensing which can show you the direction of a signal to give you an idea of where to look and pinpoint objects down to the “centimeter-level”. Not only would you know that your keys fell into the couch, but you'd also know which cushion to check under.

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  • Engadget
  • Date:01/30/2019
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