Science

MIT’s vacuum-driven origami soft gripper lifts 100x its own weight

MIT’s vacuum-driven origami soft gripper lifts 100x its own weight

MIT has been working on advancing robotics for many uses for many years now. Some of the robots it creates might one day help in disaster situations, while others may one day replace humans for tasks like picking items and placing them into boxes for shipping. The challenge for robotic arms that could be used for things like packing online orders is in creating a gripper that can lift enough weight to be useful and grasp objects with odd proportions.

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Australia may have no more winter by 2050

Australia may have no more winter by 2050

Depending on where you live, winter can either be a time to escape the heat for a bit or a sad string of months spent buried in snow with bitter cold. If you are in Australia, a new tool created by Dr. Geoff Hinchliffe and Associate Prof. Mitchel Whitelaw from the School of Art & Design with help from the ANU Climate Change Institute predicts you may only have a few more decades to worry about winter. According to the tool, there will be no more winter in Australia by 2050.

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Study warns ‘inactive’ ingredients in pills may harm some people

Study warns ‘inactive’ ingredients in pills may harm some people

A new study warns the 'inactive' ingredients often featured in pills and capsules may have a negative effect on some people who consume them. The fillers may include lactose, fructose, and other substances that result in an allergic reaction or symptoms related to an existing condition, such as gluten in supplements impacting people with celiac disease. The lack of information about these fillers makes it difficult for patients and doctors to make informed decisions, however.

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Scientists discover 83 super old supermassive black holes

Scientists discover 83 super old supermassive black holes

Scientists have discovered 83 supermassive black holes nearly as old as the known universe. These black holes in this study were identified by their luminosity - the red dots of light in the image at the head of this article. Each of these dots is a super bright, super luminous active nucleus of energy, forming a supermassive black hole. Gas accretes onto the center, light blasts out.

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NASA Mars Helicopter prepares for flight – and UAVs on Earth could benefit

NASA Mars Helicopter prepares for flight – and UAVs on Earth could benefit

NASA's 2020 mission to Mars won't just depend on landing on the red planet to be successful: the Mars Helicopter also plans to take off again. The space agency has been discussing its plans to send a groundbreaking helicopter into space, and while the spindly drone may not be scaled to accommodate a human passenger, the technology behind it could well have implications for transportation back on Earth.

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NASA’s research finds dust rings in the inner solar system

NASA’s research finds dust rings in the inner solar system

Dust can be a problem in homes and offices here on Earth, but dust isn't an Earth-bound phenomenon. Dust also gathers in the solar system and space in general, and NASA data has been used in a couple of new studies that report newly discovered dust rings in the inner solar system. One of the studies used NASA data to outline evidence of a dust ring around the Sun at Mercury's orbit.

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NASA chooses teams that will study decades-old moon samples

NASA chooses teams that will study decades-old moon samples

The last time a human stepped foot on the moon was during the Apollo era moon landings. The Apollo missions returned samples of moon rocks and soil for further study on Earth. NASA opted to leave some of the moon samples untouched, and they have sat that way for nearly 50 years.

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NASA Opportunity rover’s last panorama shows its final resting place

NASA Opportunity rover’s last panorama shows its final resting place

NASA's Opportunity rover is dead, but its final images live on in the form of a beautiful 360-degree panorama. The space agency shared this final image today, explaining that it features Perseverance Valley, which is the inside slope of the Endurance Crater and the spot where Opportunity fell silent. The images composing the panorama were taken over the course of 29 days.

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Smart2Go project will create wearables that never need recharging

Smart2Go project will create wearables that never need recharging

German company Fraunhofer FEP is leading Smart2Go, a new collaborative project that will involve the development of a flexible power supply for wearable devices under the EU's Horizon 2020 program. The company anticipates the creation of an 'autonomous energy-supply platform' intended to power the growing number of wearable technologies in development, including medical gadgets and trackers.

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New 50p coin in UK is a Stephen Hawking black hole

New 50p coin in UK is a Stephen Hawking black hole

This black hole Stephen Hawking coin is bonkers. The United Kingdom's Royal Mint just started a collection of real-deal coins that'll be able to be used in the wild - but you'll far more likely be keeping in your private collection. The collection is centered on British Science, and if Stephen Hawking's black hole coin is any indication, it's about to get wacky in here.

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AI algorithms could allow robots to learn to move without programming

AI algorithms could allow robots to learn to move without programming

Human babies are unique in the animal world in that they are born with no ability to care for themselves or walk. Other animal species have offspring that are ready to run with the herd within a very short time of being born. Animals like giraffe or wildebeests need no instruction to walk; they just do it. Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have created an AI-controlled robotic limb that requires no programming to learn to perform tasks.

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23andMe adds new genetic test for type 2 diabetes predisposition

23andMe adds new genetic test for type 2 diabetes predisposition

Genetics company 23andMe has announced plans to start offering a test that'll help reveal whether the customer is predisposed to developing type 2 diabetes. The test targets one of the most common preventable diseases in the United States, potentially serving as a motivational tool to help spur some customers into making important lifestyle changes. The test looks at a number of potential factors.

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