Released video shows robot capable of changing wheel, using tools
DARPA has demonstrated the results of its research into creating low-cost robotic hands. A clip released by the agency shows a robotic torso using an ordinary electric screwdriver to remove the screws mounting a wheel to a frame, before removing the wheel and attempting to re-mount a second wheel in its place.
Funding promises to help "pressing challenges"
The Obama administration has announced a "Big Data" research and development initiative. The endeavor aims to improve the ability to "extract knowledge and insights" from large data sets and help solve some of the nation's "most pressing challenges."
QLogic's InfiniBand purchased by Intel for $125m
Computer chipmaker Intel revealed on Monday that it has began talks with QLogic to buy some assets of its InfiniBand division. For the $125 million cash price, the deal may also involve a large number of InfiniBand employees coming over to Intel. The move is part of Intel's commitment to create an Exascale supercomputer to meet DARPA's challenge by 2018.
Lightest material created is 99.99 percent empty
A new metallic material that is nearly 100 times lighter than Styrofoam has been created by scientists, according to a paper published in Science. It has a density of 0.9mg/cm3 and is 99.99 percent open volume. Its micro-lattice design is similar to that of the Eiffel Tower, which is very weight-efficient.
NVIDIA in a four-way bid for super graphics chip
NVIDIA is involved in a bid to create a graphics chip for a supercomputer by 2018 and has described the device at the Supercomputing 2010 show. Three other teams are involved in the race that is funded by the US Department of Defense. NVIDIA's project, called Echelon, would mostly advance through its use of memory on many cores. The chip will have 256MB of SRAM that can be dynamically configured based on an app's requirements.
Google testing camera-guided robotic cars
Google provided an unusual surprise on Saturday as it revealed that it's testing fully automated robot cars. The modified Toyota Priuses and lone Audi TT are significantly more advanced even than the DARPA Challenges cars and use a combination of video cameras, radar and laser sensors to find both the road and other vehicles on the road. Test cars have driven over 140,000 miles of real traffic, going distances as far as San Francisco to Los Angeles where earlier robots have only driven short distances.
NIST evaluating phone-based translation systems
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has recently revealed that it's reviewing a universal translator system for soldiers in Afghanistan based on smartphones. The devices, made by three manufacturers who hope to get the contract, have been undergoing testing over the last four years by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The project, called TRANSTAC, from TRANSlation system for TACtical use, will reduce the need on human translators, who are not always available and may not be trustworthy.