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Harvard’s RoboBee Flies Using Solar Power

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. In the future, you may have to wonder if that insect buzzing around your head is even an insect at all. Researchers at the Harvard Microrobotics Lab have developed a new version of their amazing RoboBee, a micro-drone based on the flight mechanisms of bees. Past versions of the RoboBee needed external power to fly,

Engineers Are Using AI to Predict How New, Unknown Materials Will Perform

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. Materials engineering is critical to the modern world in ways we almost never stop to think about. Understanding how solid structures behave at the nanoscale level is critical to modern advances in many fields, including semiconductors. Researchers working at MIT and in Russia and Singapore are using AI to predict how strain will impact material

Modders Are Using AI to Overhaul Old Games Textures, With Gorgeous Results

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. One of the promises of AI is its ability to enhance pre-existing visual detail rather than requiring the painstaking creation of all-new work. While there have been plenty of technical demos on this topic, including prototypes that actually deliver the ‘Enhance’ function TV shows have been claiming already exists for decades, consumer applications remain fewer

Nintendo Is Using Streaming to Push Games to Switch That It Otherwise Can’t Run

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. Ever since the Wii, Nintendo has pursued a fundamentally different hardware strategy than Sony or Microsoft. Where both of those companies focused on improving graphics and technical capabilities, Nintendo has often targeted lower price points or emphasized different aspects of their devices. This worked extremely well for the Wii and Switch, remarkably poorly for the

Researchers Claim Neanderthals Could Start Fires Using Stone Tools

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. Scientists have known for years that our Neanderthal cousins made use of fire to cook and make tar from birch bark, but we didn’t know much about where they got the fire. Were they simply at the mercy of mother nature, collecting fire from lightning strikes, or could they start their own fires whenever they

Most Gamers Hate Buying Loot Boxes, So Why Are Games Using Them?

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. Over the last few years, we’ve seen an increasing number of games locking desirable content behind the digital operant conditioning chambers known as “loot boxes.” The basics of how loot boxes work are common to all games that use them. Players are presented with the opportunity to spend real money, in exchange for an in-game

IBM Announces 5nm Breakthrough Using Silicon Nanosheets

IBM researchers announced a new manufacturing breakthrough yesterday that could clear the way to 5nm device scaling and the implementation of next-generation transistor design technologies. The company has used silicon nanosheets — sheets of 2D silicon stacked on top of one another — to assemble a test chip with 30 billion transistors, compared with a 7nm, 20-billion transistor chip the research team debuted several years ago. According to the research

Baidu AI achieves ‘zero shot learning’ ability using natural language

Given the glut of AI “breakthroughs” and wannabe “breakthroughs,” it’s sometimes tough to pinpoint events that if not seismic of themselves, are the kind of incremental advances that portend an “a-ha!” moment to come — such as the evening you realize Netflix’s recommendation system understands your movie tastes better than your spouse. Last week, we covered recent advancements made by the OpenAI group in creating reinforcement algorithms that led to grounded, compositional language

Nanocubes of this metal can generate fuel from CO2 using only sunlight

Researchers from Duke University have discovered a way to use nanocubes of rhodium as a cheap solar-powered catalyst, converting carbon dioxide into methane quickly and with high efficiency. The development stands to see use in fields as diverse as space travel and environmental chemistry. Rhodium behaves like platinum and iridium in a lot of respects; along with platinum, in fact, it’s a common component in three-phase automotive catalytic converters. In

Why are we still using lame lithium-ion batteries after so many promising alternatives?

There’s a lot of research going on around battery technology as devices as diverse as smartphones and cars are increasingly held back by limited energy storage. Naturally, we report on interesting advancements in batteries frequently. There are lithium-air batteries, aluminum-graphite batteries, and even bacterial batteries. Rarely do we have to dredge up one of those old posts to talk about the next step toward commercialization because there isn’t one. Most