research

This hairy “mirror” is both fascinating and unnerving

This hairy “mirror” is both fascinating and unnerving

If you have issues with clumps of fur or hair that seemingly move on their own, now would be a good time to look away. Otherwise, proceed at your own risk and be mesmerized, or revolted, by this one of a kind mirror. Not only does it not accurately reflect objects placed in front of it, it actually doesn't have any reflective material at all. Instead, it creates a silhouette "reflection" made up of only two colors and created by an array of 928 faux fur pom poms.

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Sonar-based haptic feedback glove lets users feel distant objects underwater

Sonar-based haptic feedback glove lets users feel distant objects underwater

A pair of Ph.D. candidates in Japan have developed a glove that lets wearers "feel" distant objects underwater, even without making physical contact. Dubbed "IrukaTact," the glove uses a combination of haptic feedback and sonar to detect items from a distance, and apply increasing pressure to the fingertips as the wearer moves closer. It seems inspiration for the device was drawn from dolphins and their use of echolocation, as the name IrukaTact is a combination of the words "tactile" and "iruka," the Japanese word for dolphin.

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Ninja lanternshark discovered in Central America

Ninja lanternshark discovered in Central America

Despite all of the time that we've spent exploring our world, there are still many places that we humans have simply never seen. That's because so much of our world is covered in water. In those places we can still find fascinating new creatures that surprise us. Such is the case with the recently-discovered ninja lanternshark.

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HyQ2Max robot can stand back up when knocked down

HyQ2Max robot can stand back up when knocked down

There’s a new four-legged robot on the block, and it doesn’t care if you kick it over — the quadruped can stand back up on its own in just a few seconds and continue on its merry way. This is in stark contrast to most other four-legged robots we’ve seen, and makes it especially suitable for rough terrains, such as rocky landscapes where footing isn’t reliable and travelers — including robots — are likely to stumble every so often.

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Researchers create breakthrough light-based microprocessor

Researchers create breakthrough light-based microprocessor

Researchers working together from the University of Colorado Boulder, University of California, Berkeley, and MIT have developed a new and groundbreaking microprocessor that uses light rather than electricity to move data at very high speed. While moving that data around very quickly, the light-based processor consumes very little energy making it much more power efficient than current processors.

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Hitachi Maxell has a Li-on battery with twice the capacity

Hitachi Maxell has a Li-on battery with twice the capacity

With most smartphone and tablet components becoming standard and processors getting more powerful, the next frontier in mobile technology will be batteries. Making batteries contain even more energy while still keeping their sizes manageable has been a puzzle that spans the fields of engineering, physics, and chemistry. So far, there have been many possible solutions, ranging from the conservative to the eccentric, and Hitachi Maxell, one of the most popular battery makers, is throwing in their own two cents as well.

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UCLA researchers create very strong and lightweight metal

UCLA researchers create very strong and lightweight metal

Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have created a new type of metal that is very strong and light. The metal has an extremely high specific strength and modulus also known as stiffness-to-weight ratio. The researchers created the new metal using magnesium infused with dense and even dispersal of ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles.

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Oculus-backed Finexus uses magnets to track fingers in VR

Oculus-backed Finexus uses magnets to track fingers in VR

Virtual reality headsets might be hot and all that, but they only represent part, though the biggest part, of the entire virtual reality experience. For non-interactive content, headsets might be all that you need. But for a fully immersive and interactive VR world, you'll have to take into account user input. Oculus, one of the most recent pioneers of the modern day VR push, is working with the University of Washington to develop a magnet and sensor combo that will let VR users more naturally use their hands and fingers instead of using sticks or gloves that require line of sight.

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Two new system can help driverless cars see better

Two new system can help driverless cars see better

Self-driving cars, in order to perform their seemingly magical feats of technological marvel, need to be able to answer three critical questions: where the car is, what's around the car, and what should the car do next based on the first two questions. That third question can be sufficiently answered by complex algorithms and software. Two different but related researches at the University of Cambridge are seeking to answer the other two.

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Dwindling bee numbers put crucial U.S. crops at risk

Dwindling bee numbers put crucial U.S. crops at risk

Bee populations are changing and decreasing in many places around the world, and studies indicate that humans are largely to blame. According to a new national bee-mapping study, which for the first time looks into wild bee populations across the States, the nation’s crucial crops are at risk of destabilization due to the drastic reduction in bee populations.

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