research

Google’s delivery drone prototype fails, new design in the works

Google’s delivery drone prototype fails, new design in the works

Google's drones were part of its drone-delivery system Project Wing, under the Google Project X research lab. The goal was for these delivery drones to be capable of vertical take-off and landing. Such a feature would be useful in busy commercial and residential areas, but Google hasn't quite perfected it yet. The prototype used a single-winged design spanning five feet. Google announced at SXSW that it has actually scrapped the design completely, opening the door for new designs and engineering innovation. This, honestly, sounds like they put a positive spin on an expensive failure.

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Researchers create machine capable of assembling complex molecules

Researchers create machine capable of assembling complex molecules

One of the more complex and time consuming tasks that researchers perform in the laboratory is the synthesizing of complex small molecules. Sometimes it can take years for a chemist to figure out how to build the molecule and describe its functionality. A group of researchers from the University of Illinois have created a machine that aims to make the process of creating these complex molecules much easier.

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Bloodhound SSC 1,000 mph car gets a bullet-proof exterior

Bloodhound SSC 1,000 mph car gets a bullet-proof exterior

The world's first 1,000 mph car, the Bloodhound SSC, just became bullet-proof. This car isn't going to hit the highway in a hail of gunfire, obviously. It plans to break the World Land Speed Record in 2016. At 1000 mph, the wheels will be doing 10,000 rpm, which is 167 revolutions per second. Going that fast, any tiny rock kicked up from the car could become a lethal projectile, derailing the entire run and killing its driver, Andy Green. The Bloodhound's design team is most concerned that a chunks of metal could get dislodged from the wheels themselves and then fly towards the cockpit at incredible speeds.

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Delphi’s self-driving Audi to make SF to NYC trip

Delphi’s self-driving Audi to make SF to NYC trip

Automobile technology company Delphi Automotive showed of its autonomous Audi Q5 back at CES in January, but now they are set to release their latest self-driving car project on its very own cross-country road trip. That's right, Delphi's Audi crossover will travel from San Francisco to New York over the week starting March 22nd, but no one will be driving! Well, someone will be sitting behind the steering wheel. But they won't be touching it!

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JAXA beams solar energy from space to Earth with accuracy

JAXA beams solar energy from space to Earth with accuracy

The problem with gathering solar energy here on Earth via solar panels is that a lot of the energy that the sun produces doesn't make it through the atmosphere to the solar panels. Scientists have been working to design a method that would allow the solar panels to be in space where they have unfettered access to solar energy and then beam the power back to Earth for use.

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Liquid metal robots might be more than science fiction soon

Liquid metal robots might be more than science fiction soon

It's as if all the pieces are falling in place to give birth to the SkyNet nightmare that haunts us in the Terminator universe: self-driving cars, a fleet of interconnected Internet-bearing satellites, and now, shape-shifting and self-propelling metal. This last one was a recent discovery of a group of researchers in Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, who stumbled upon a peculiar behavior of a certain mix of metals that, in the end, could change its shape to fit moulds and paths and propel itself forward as well.

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Chameleon color changing abilities unlocked by science

Chameleon color changing abilities unlocked by science

A paper has been published this week in Nature Communications which shows how chameleons are able to swiftly and radically alter their exterior colors. Believe it or not, this study is brand new - science did not know how a creature like the Panther Chameleon was able to change colors based on emotion or surroundings. In addition to uncovering the secrets of miniature nanocrystals for color change, these scientists also uncovered another reason for their existence: passive thermal protection (made to keep cool).

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Google researchers work around Quantum Computing errors

Google researchers work around Quantum Computing errors

Quantum computers can solve problems that would take an ordinary computer millions of years to complete. It would take not thousands, but millions of years to create solutions to complex equations. Google and researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) have just tackled the latest roadblock that was holding back quantum computing. They created program groups called qubits, which use delicate quantum physics to represent information. They programmed these qubits to identify and prevent calculation errors. Qubits haven't actually prevented initial bit-flip errors, but they prevent the mistake from derailing a calculation.

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