Intelligence and monitoring

ExtremeTech - by Ryan Whitwam - 04/01/2019

Boston Dynamics robots are always impressive pieces of engineering, and often unsettlingly humanoid. They don’t usually have a specified purpose, though. The latest creation from Boston Dynamics is aimed squarely at warehouses. The redesigned Handle robot looks like a mechanical ostrich that can stack and unstack boxes. Unlike a human, Handle never gets tired or needs a break. 

xeconomy - by Sarah Schmid Stevenson - 04/01/2019

Silicon Valley startup FarmWise this week announced a new partnership with Livonia, MI-based Roush, a legacy manufacturer and engineering services firm, to develop and test an autonomous machine that weeds row crops. FarmWise co-founder and chief technology officer Thomas Palomares declined to disclose the monetary value of the partnership.

A team of researchers at the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) have found a new inspiration for designing a robot that can move more like a human: an Olympic gymnast.

cnet - by Shelby Brown - 03/20/2019

The country is reportedly taking high-tech steps to make sure "smartphone zombies" don't walk into traffic.

Optics & Photonics News - by Sarah Michaud - 02/27/2019

Researchers from Penn State University, USA, have drawn inspiration from the glowing bellies of fireflies to design a more efficient light-emitting-diode (LED) bulb (Optik, doi: 10.1016/j.ijleo.2019.01.043). The design includes asymmetrical micropyramid structures, similar to those found on the surface of a firefly’s glowing abdomen, etched onto the outer surface of an LED.

Stanford News - by Erin I. Garcia De Jesus - 03/18/2019

Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen presents an alternative to fossil fuels, but purified water is a precious resource. A Stanford-led team has now developed a way to harness seawater – Earth’s most abundant source – for chemical energy.

The Verge - by Andrew J. Hawkins - 03/20/2019

Volvo said on Wednesday it will use cameras installed inside its vehicles to monitor driver behavior and intervene if the driver appears to be drunk or distracted. It’s a risky move by an automaker, even one with a reputation for safety like Volvo, which could raise concerns among privacy advocates.

TechRepublic - by James Sanders - 03/05/2019

USB 4 is built on top of Intel's Thunderbolt 3 specification, but isn't expected to be in products until at least 2020. USB 3.2 is intended to bridge the gap, but suffers from terrible naming.

The Verge - by Chaim Gartenberg - 02/27/2019

he new spec promises up to 20Gbps speeds, but the names are more complicated than ever.

First, the good news: USB 3.2, the upcoming specification that the USB Implementers Forum announced back in 2017, is finally coming out this year. The bad news is that the group has also brought with it a slate of new names not only for the new standard, but also for the old versions of USB 3.0, too.

Tech Xplore - by Cécilia Carron - 02/19/2019

The solar panels developed by startup Insolight boast an impressive 29 percent yield – a record for the retail market. These systems, which have now been standardized for mass production, contain lenses that focus sunlight on tiny high-yield photovoltaic cells, employing what is a pioneering approach for the solar-power industry.