March 2017

Hopping rockets and flying washing machines in Google’s wacky race to moon

Five competitors remain in a $20m Google contest to land a probe on the lunar surface by the end of the year, but all their craft are untested, rudimentary, or look like R2-D2

By the end of the year, space engineers hope to fulfil one of their greatest dreams. They plan to land a privately […]

‘Tree-on-a-chip’ passively pumps water for days

Microfluidic device generates passive hydraulic power, may be used to make small robots move

Engineers have designed a microfluidic device they call a “tree-on-a-chip,” which mimics the pumping mechanism of trees and plants. (stock photo)
Credit: © weerapat1003 / Fotolia

Trees and other plants, from towering redwoods to diminutive daisies, are nature’s hydraulic pumps. They are constantly […]

Controlling turtle motion with human thought

A human controller influences the turtle’s escape behavior by sending left and right signals via Wi-Fi to a control system on the back of the turtle.
Credit: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Korean researchers have developed a technology that can remotely control an animal’s movement with human thought.

In the 2009 blockbuster “Avatar,” a […]

November 2016

Kids Play the Way Scientists Work

In an article published last week in Science, psychologist Alison Gopnik reviewed the literature about the way young children learn, and she finds that the way preschoolers play is very similar to the way scientists do experiments: Kids come up with general principles, akin to scientific theories, based on the data of their daily […]

Helping Babies, Evolving, and Copying Einstein: A Busy Week for Robots

Unlike a lot of humans, robots had a great week. They’ve begun to evolve, they’re helping babies with mobility disorders, and one even brought Einstein back to life… sort of.

In the past, for robots to adapt to any physical changes, they needed their control software to be redesigned. Now engineers in the U.K. have […]

October 2016

New material to make computers 100 times more power efficient


NEW YORK: Researchers including one of Indian-origin have engineered a material that could lead to a new generation of computing devices, packing in more computing power while consuming nearly 100 times less energy thant today’s electronics require.

“Electronics are the fastest-growing consumer of energy worldwide,” said one of the study authors, Ramamoorthy Ramesh from Lawrence […]

September 2016

Einstein on Fairy Tales and Education

How far superior an education that stresses independent action and personal responsibility is to one that relies on drill, external authority and ambition.

Albert Einstein, celebrated as “the quintessential modern genius,” is credited with many things — from era-defining scientific discoveries to great wisdom on
everything from creativity to kindness to war to the secret to […]