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Science

Subterranean drone mapping startup Emesent raises $2.5M to autonomously delve the deep

By | Artificial Intelligence, Australia, Automation, csiro, drones, Funding, Fundings & Exits, Gadgets, Hardware, Robotics, Science, Startups, TC

Seemingly every industry is finding ways to use drones in some way or another, but deep underground it’s a different story. In the confines of a mine or pipeline, with no GPS and little or no light, off-the-shelf drones are helpless — but an Australian startup called Emesent is giving them the spatial awareness and intelligence to navigate and map those spaces autonomously.

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Reef-rejuvenating LarvalBot spreads coral babies by the millions

By | climate change, conservation, Gadgets, GreenTech, Robotics, Science

The continuing die-off of the world’s coral reefs is a depressing reminder of the reality of climate change, but it’s also something we can actively push back on. Conservationists have a new tool to do so with LarvalBot, an underwater robot platform that may greatly accelerate efforts to re-seed old corals with healthy new polyps.

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Inspired by spiders and wasps, these tiny drones pull 40x their own weight

By | drones, Gadgets, Robotics, Science, stanford, Stanford University, UAVs

If we want drones to do our dirty work for us, they’re going to need to get pretty good at hauling stuff around. But due to the pesky yet unavoidable restraints of physics, it’s hard for them to muster the forces necessary to do so while airborne — so these drones brace themselves against the ground to get the requisite torque.

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The future of photography is code

By | Artificial Intelligence, Gadgets, Photography, Science, TC

What’s in a camera? A lens, a shutter, a light-sensitive surface and, increasingly, a set of highly sophisticated algorithms. While the physical components are still improving bit by bit, Google, Samsung and Apple are increasingly investing in (and showcasing) improvements wrought entirely from code. Computational photography is the only real battleground now. The reason for […]

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This 3D-printed prosthetic hand combines speed and strength with simplicity

By | 3d printing, Gadgets, Hardware, Prosthetics, Robotics, Science

Prosthetic limbs have come a long way from the heavy, solid hands and legs of yesteryear, but it’s still difficult to pack a range of motion into them without complex or bulky machinery. But new research out of Cornell uses a cleverly designed 3D-printed mechanism to achieve speed and strength with simple construction — and it costs a lot less, too.

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Mars Rover Curiosity is switching brains so it can fix itself

By | Gadgets, jpl, mars rover, NASA, Robotics, Science, Space, TC

When you send something to space, it’s good to have redundancy. Sometimes you want to send two whole duplicate spacecraft just in case — as was the case with Voyager — but sometimes it’s good enough to have two of critical components. Mars Rover Curiosity is no exception, and it is now in the process of switching from one main “brain” to the other so it can do digital surgery on the first.

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How aerial lidar illuminated a Mayan megalopolis

By | Gadgets, History, Lidar, Science, TC

Archaeology may not be the most likely place to find the latest in technology — AI and robots are of dubious utility in the painstaking fieldwork involved — but lidar has proven transformative. The latest accomplishment using laser-based imaging maps thousands of square kilometers of an ancient Mayan city once millions strong, but the researchers make it clear that there’s no technological substitute for experience and a good eye.

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