New technology from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm is teaching a household robot a more efficient way to get around a house, for example. The method was recently awarded a prize for the best contribution among 500 others at IROS, one of the world’s largest robot conferences.
Philipp Althaus describes the concept in his dissertation, to be defended on November 21. Robots are making their way into our homes, toy robots and simple household robots. This is a clear trend, and by 2005 the market estimates that more than twice as many household and toy robots will be sold in the world compared to today.
A major problem for a household robot is how to get around in an unknown environment. A chair that has been moved or a person standing in the way can easily confuse a robot. Several earlier attempts have involved programming an enormous amount of map data about the environment: Where are the walls? What does every obstacle look like in detail? How far is it between this thing and that thing? This is not an efficient way to go, since the amount of data grows exponentially with the surface the robot is to navigate. The more data there is, the more the robot has to think, and the slower it moves. Nor is a robot especially good at improvising when unexpected obstacles turn up. Computing power is no guarantee of success.
Jacob Seth-Fransson | alfa
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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