research

New smart skin can sense touch, temperature and more

New smart skin can sense touch, temperature and more

Prosthetic devices are far more advanced than they were even a decade ago, and thanks to technologies like 3D printing we've seen some unusual (and awesome) contenders surface. Of course, movement is only half the battle with prostheses, with touch being the other half of the equation. Different researchers have been working on that issue extensively, and the result has been creations like the touch-sensitive "skin" for robots we saw back in 2013.

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Bats have special cells to help them navigate in 3D say scientists

Bats have special cells to help them navigate in 3D say scientists

A group of researchers studying bats has made an interesting discovery. The team has discovered that bats have specialized cells inside their body that allow them to navigate in 3D. According to the researchers, the bat's have something akin to a metal compass inside their brains thanks to these special cells. The team of neuroscientists is from Israel and made the discovery by studying the brains of bats in mid-flight.

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NASA image shows bizarre circular mound on Mars

NASA image shows bizarre circular mound on Mars

We've seen quite a few pictures snapped beyond our own world -- there's the recent Europa image, for example -- and the newest shot from Mars is no different. What is unique is the natural structure it shows: a circular mound in an otherwise smooth landscape. NASA posted the image yesterday with a statement pondering what the feature might be, and it is leaning toward volcanism as being the cause. As always, we've the rest of the details available after the jump.

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UK gives driverless car cities green light for 2015

UK gives driverless car cities green light for 2015

Google may have had its self-driving cars pounding the streets of Mountain View for years now, but the UK is hoping to overtake the US in real-world autonomous vehicle deployment with a quartet of cities announcing plans for the technology. Greenwich, Milton Keynes, Coventry, and Bristol will each operate a driverless car system, funded both by private companies including insurers and the UK government, with projects covering automatic valet parking and private transportation pods.

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Weather stalls NASA Orion launch

Weather stalls NASA Orion launch

NASA's launch plans for the Orion spacecraft today have been hit with unexpectedly strong winds, leaving the first flight of the new capsule on hold as weather conditions are monitored. Orion was meant to blast off from Cape Canaveral at 7:05am EST today, but an automatic shutdown was triggered when systems caught strong winds whistling past the launch platform. A second attempt less than an hour later was similarly blocked by NASA's safety-conscious systems.

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Researchers create 100 billion fps 2D camera

Researchers create 100 billion fps 2D camera

Researchers have created a camera capable of imaging pulses of light. Using a technology called Compressed Ultrafast Photography, Washington University in St. Louis researchers have created a 2D receive-only camera capable of taking images at up to 100 billion frames-per-second -- something that far eclipses the 10 million or so frames-per-second presently available receive-only cameras are capable of. The researchers hope the camera will lead to new scientific discoveries, with the study's leader Lihong Wang saying, "For the first time, humans can see light pulses on the fly."

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Stephen Hawking’s voice gets a huge tech reboot

Stephen Hawking’s voice gets a huge tech reboot

Professor Stephen Hawking has been given a new voice, with an Intel-made communications system allowing the famed physicist to express himself more quickly, as well as opening the door to similar technology for others affected by similar diseases. Hawking, who has a motor neuron disease (MND) related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which has left him almost completely paralyzed, can now type twice as fast as before, while other tasks like web searches are up to ten times faster. Intel is releasing the new software, three years in the making, under a free open-source license.

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NASA polishes Orion for first test flight Dec 4th

NASA polishes Orion for first test flight Dec 4th

NASA is readying the first flight of its new Orion spacecraft set to take place this week, as it refines the technology that is expected to one day take astronauts to Mars. Due to blast off on Thursday, December 4, Orion - and the mighty United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket it will sit atop - won't be manned this time around, but instead used as a test-bed to see how well it will cosset future human passengers from dangers like radioactivity, heat, and more.

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Xbox One won the Black Friday battle says research

Xbox One won the Black Friday battle says research

Microsoft's Xbox One may be lagging behind the PlayStation 4 when it comes to hitting sales milestones, but the console proved to be the winner when it came to Black Friday demand, with one analysis firm declaring it the clear leader in retail interest. InfoScout crunched the sales numbers on over 180,000 receipts from US shoppers on Friday, November 31, and found that more than half of all consoles bought were the Xbox One. However, while it was forced into second place, the PS4 still had a better year than in 2013.

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