research

Spiders’ sticky ‘glue’ also acts as microscopic web spools

Spiders’ sticky ‘glue’ also acts as microscopic web spools

Spiders create a special sort of ‘hybrid’ substance for their web that keeps the silky threads taunt even after they’re stretched out, according to researchers, and that discovery has been used to create a so-called liquid wire with the same properties. The spider’s substance is described as a watery glue deposited in tiny drops onto the threads; when a piece of silk is pulled on or stretched out, it spools within the droplets, keeping the threads taunt and thusly maintaining the structure of the web.

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Soft and stretchable power pack has tiny lithium-ion batteries

Soft and stretchable power pack has tiny lithium-ion batteries

Normally when we talk about power packs or batteries for electronic devices we are looking at large rigid structures that take up lots of space inside the device. That sort of battery works just fine for gadgets like phones or laptop computers, but when you are talking about thin wearable sensors and other electronics meant to be actually on the skin powering the devices is a challenge.

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Israeli divers find ancient Roman treasure in shipwreck remains

Israeli divers find ancient Roman treasure in shipwreck remains

A team of Israeli divers have discovered a cache of ancient Roman treasure within the remains of a shipwreck, the nation has announced. A pair of divers made the discovery back in April, finding the remains of a shipwreck in an ancient Roman port, and further investigation by the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed a cache of ancient treasures…most of which is in surprisingly good shape considering how long it spent underwater.

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Study: many Americans limit Internet use over a roster of fears

Study: many Americans limit Internet use over a roster of fears

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) has published a new study that found a combination of concerns about security and privacy are causing some Americans to limit their online activities, something that could, over time, impact the economy and more. The lack of trust in online safety comes at a time when report after report details mass government spying against citizens and cybersecurity breaches that leave ordinary users exposed and vulnerable.

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70,000 OKCupid users’ data leaked from dating site

70,000 OKCupid users’ data leaked from dating site

In this age of technology, looking for love often means using some sort of online dating service. After all, what could be easier than filling out a profile, adding some pictures, and sending out a few messages? Well, it might be easy for you to fill out all of that information, but it turns out it's just as easy for someone to post all of that information for all the world to see.

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Disney Research shows off haptic telepresence robot

Disney Research shows off haptic telepresence robot

If you have ever been to a Disney park, you can understand why the company would be working on different types of robots. The part is filled with mechanical actors that move around and perform in many of the rides. Disney Research has unveiled a new telepresence robot that will have a much wider range of use than lip-synching "It's a Small World" in a creepy ride for kids. What the researchers at Disney Research have created is a new type of hydrostatic transmission that uses a hybrid air-water configuration.

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Doppio: a smartwatch prototype with a removable 2nd screen

Doppio: a smartwatch prototype with a removable 2nd screen

We're still waiting for some manufacturer, probably Samsung, to finally deliver the foldable, dual screen smartphone of our dreams. In the meantime, however, someone else is dreaming up the same thing for smartwatches. That someone is Xing-Dong Yang and his fellow researchers from Dartmouth College who presented the prototype of a smartwatch with two displays, one of them removable. In addition to showing a different or supplementary information, the position of the second display affects what is displayed on the primariy screen as well.

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This quadcopter drone can land on ceilings and walls

This quadcopter drone can land on ceilings and walls

We've seen consumer drones of various sizes, as well as those with varying camera and photography capabilities, but what about when it comes to landing on surfaces other than the ground? Research students at Stanford University have been exploring that exact idea, and have developed a quadcopter that can perch on the ceiling, as well as walls in a vertical position, just like a spider or insect.

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Audi is teaching its self-driving car human manners

Audi is teaching its self-driving car human manners

Audi is teaching its autonomous cars some thoroughly human road-manners, acknowledging that safe self-driving is about more than just sticking to the Vehicle Code. The German automaker has been running real-world tests of its autonomous fleet for several years now, most recently taking a self-driving A7 - dubbed "Jack" - out onto the A9 Autobahn.

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Origami robot is able to unfold and treat stomach injuries when swallowed

Origami robot is able to unfold and treat stomach injuries when swallowed

Researchers from the University of Sheffield, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and MIT have teamed up to demonstrate a new foldable origami robot that can be ingested and then controlled inside the stomach to treat internal wounds or remove things like button batteries from the stomach. Button batteries are at times swallowed by children and can cause great injury if left alone. The ingestible robot starts in a digestible capsule that is swallowed.

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Disney Researchers found a way to make faster RFID toys

Disney Researchers found a way to make faster RFID toys

Disney might have officially called it quits in publishing its own digital games, but it isn't completely throwing in the towel in researching the best ways to make those. Either that or the researchers at Disney got the memo too late. Teaming up with researchers from Carnegie Mellon and MIT, Disney Researchers have come across a solution that would make RFID-based toys and games faster but also more efficient, by doing away with the need to even include batteries just to keep track of objects.

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Google AI pens dark poems after being force-fed 11k books

Google AI pens dark poems after being force-fed 11k books

How do humans make an artificial intelligence system better at conversations? One method-in-testing is a project in which a Google AI was force-fed 2,865 romance books, about 1,500 fantasy books, and more. The work was done by researchers with Google Brain, and involved feeding a total of 11,000 unpublished books to the neural network, then testing whether it could take a couple sentences from the book and create its own corresponding phrases. The results sound like cryptic, dark poems.

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