Gadgets – TechCrunch Devin Coldewey

 While some spacecraft get the chance to go out in a blaze of glory, others are in it for the long haul – Voyager 1 more so than any other. The mission celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, but it’s not just a lump of metal floating through interstellar space: that baby still runs. Thrusts, rather. Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch Devin Coldewey

 The RoboBee, a thimble-sized flying robot platform from Harvard’s Wyss Institute, has been gaining improvements for years. The latest trick of this diminutive robo-creature is to dive into the water, then emerge and blast itself upwards using a strange and clever mechanism for a safe landing nearby. Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch Devin Coldewey

 Robots increasingly have to interact with ordinary (that is to say, human-focused) objects and environments, and part of that is imitating the extremely delicate and complex human grip. A new type of electronic skin allows a robot to feel not just the pressure from its grip, but whether and in what direction an object is sliding or slipping. Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch Devin Coldewey

 Intel’s quantum computing efforts have yielded a new 17-qubit chip, which the company has just delivered to its partner in that field, QuTech. It’s not a major advance in the actual computing power or applications — those are still in very early days — but it’s a step towards production systems that can be ordered and delivered to spec rather than experimental… Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch Devin Coldewey

 I don’t know if you’re into baroque music, but I can tell you that Germans sure are. So it’s no surprise that German R&D outfit Fraunhofer has turned its considerable resources towards learning about and conserving every little detail of the instruments for which the likes of Bach and Handel composed their music. Specifically, they’re putting them into an enormous… Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch Devin Coldewey

 Taking care of a cut or scrape usually means swapping out the bandage a few times, and maybe putting a little healing cream or hydrogel on there. But what if the dressing could dispense that stuff on its own? That’s the idea behind a smart bandage now being tested by engineers from the University of Nebraska, Harvard and MIT. Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch Devin Coldewey

 When there’s a problem in the brain, it pays to be precise — every millimeter counts with something like a tumor or blocked artery. But it can be extremely difficult to understand the exact shape and size of these things, which makes them difficult to diagnose and treat as well. But 3D printing a replica of the growth or damage may make doctors may be better able to do so. Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch Devin Coldewey

 Making sure fresh food is kept at the right temperature during transit is a harder problem than one might think — but the Swiss are on the job. Not only did they create robo-fruit to mix in with the real ones, but another research team has created a biodegradable temperature sensor that sticks to food all the way from its starting point to the inside of your mouth. Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch Darrell Etherington

 MIT’s Computers Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has created a new robot that’s designed to be as adaptable as possible, with the ability to use different “outfits” that each provide different “powers” to the robot. These could include optimizing its ability to walk, for instance, as well as navigating water and even taking to the skies.… Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch Devin Coldewey

 Robots are going to have to work together if they want to destroy us, their soft, fallible masters. But the current paradigm of having a Skynet-like (or rather, Zerglike) overmind control a set of semi-autonomous drones is too easy to beat — take out the brain and the rest fail, right? Not if they’re all the brain, which is the idea demonstrated in a wonderful new paper in Nature. Read More