Technology

AI for Detecting Texting while Driving

Using cameras and other sensors, researchers at University of Waterloo have developed an AI system that can determine if a driver is texting while driving. The machine learning system classifies hand movements to make its assessment. (Sep 8, 2017)

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Development in Converting CO2 to Fuel

In a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy, scientists from Berkeley Lab have created a method to convert CO2 into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using “record-low inputs of energy.” Peidon Yang, on the research team, is quoted: “What we are reporting here is much more challenging. We discovered a catalyst for carbon dioxide reduction operating at high current density with a record low overpotential that is about 300 millivolts less than typical electrocatalysts.” (Sep 18, 2017)

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X-37B Space Plane is in Orbit

SpaceX launched the X-37B into orbit today, ahead of the impending hurricane. Click here for more on the launch and successful rocket recovery. (Sep 8, 2017)

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China Looks to Take Lead in Floating Nuclear Reactors

From the news story: "China National Nuclear Power (CNNP) is partnering with Chinese shipyards and electric machinery companies to develop a $150 million project. The combination of nuclear reactor suppliers and a shipyard suggests that floating nuclear reactors are...

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Robogami! Design Your 3D Robot from a 2D Design

Researchers from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT describe their “Interactive Robogami” where you design a robot in two dimension and then use a 3D printer to create it in hours. (Aug 23, 2017)

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NTSB Report on the Air Canada Near Miss at SFO

On July 7, 2017, an Air Canada flight arriving at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) lined up on approach with the taxiway on the right instead of the intended runway, 28R. What transpired was nearly an incredibly tragic calamity, as four planes were on the taxiway waiting for clearance to take the active runway. The NTSB reports “The incident pilots advanced the thrust levers when the airplane was about 85 feet above ground level. Flight data recorder data indicate the airplane was over the taxiway at this time. About 2.5 seconds after advancing the thrust levers, the minimum altitude recorded on the FDR was 59 feet above ground level.” In case you’re curious, that’s lower than the tail height of a 747 (at 63 feet 8 inches). Here’s the NTSB report. (August 2, 2017)

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European Gravitational Wave Detector Is Up and Running

The massive (3 km arms) European gravitational wave detector, known as Virgo, is up and running again. Its data will be shared with data from LIGO in the USA to more accurately detect gravitational waves, as may occur when black holes interact and alter space. (Aug....

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