H/t reader kevin a.
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Tired of your barista giving you attitude, spitting in your coffee if you only mention Trump, or misspelling your name on your morning cup of joe? Surely a robot could do better. Well, we are about to find out, because on Monday, Cafe X opened its very first robotic cafe in San Francisco’s Metreon shopping center Digital Trends reports. Promising “precision crafted specialty coffee in seconds, the way the roaster intended,” Cafe X thinks that anything a human can do, its machines can do better. Or rather just one machine.
Nicknamed Gordon, after a Cafe X employee, this robot mans, or robots, two standard professional coffee machines in order to serve up espressos and lattes. In the San Francisco location, customers can grab a cup of coffee with beans from AKA Coffee, Verve Coffee Roasters, or Peet’s. While the coffee itself may not make Cafe X stand out from the competition, the startup hopes that the robot’s efficiency and utility will. Continue reading »
(TechXplore)—Most of the sodium-ion batteries that have been developed so far have been half-cell batteries, meaning that the anode is made of a standard sodium metal. However, this standard sodium metal becomes highly active when exposed to oxygen or moisture, creating a safety hazard. For this reason, researchers have been exploring sodium-ion batteries in a full cell format, in which the anode is made of an alternative material.
In a new study, researchers have designed and fabricated a sodium-ion full-cell battery that uses sodium titanium oxide nanotubes as the anode material. In addition to greatly reducing the safety risks compared to sodium-ion half-cell batteries, the new battery can store nearly the same amount of energy in a given volume as today’s state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries. Although the new battery’s energy density (220 Wh/kg by itself, or an estimated 130 Wh/kg when fully assembled) is not as high as that of the best sodium-ion half-cells, it is the highest achieved so far for sodium-ion full-cell batteries. A high energy density ultimately translates to longer battery lifetimes and—when used in electric vehicles—longer driving ranges.
H/t reader kevin a.
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Metallic hydrogen, a bizarre form of the element that conducts electricity even at low temperatures, has finally been made in the lab, 80 years after physicists predicted its existence.
Scientists managed to create the elusive, electrically conductive hydrogen by squeezing it to incredibly high pressures between two ultrapure diamonds, the researchers reported in a new study.
“No one has ever encountered metallic hydrogen because it’s never existed on Earth before,” Isaac Silvera, a condensed matter physicist at Harvard University, told Live Science. “Probably the conditions in the universe are such that it has never existed in the universe.” Continue reading »
A six-year-old girl from Dallas, Texas, became one happy little lady recently after her family’s Amazon Echo, an always-listening speaker device that’s gradually being implemented into thousands of consumer electronic products, responded to a simple voice command she made and ordered her both a tin of shortbread cookies and a large dollhouse — both of which were automatically delivered to the family’s home without so much as the click of a mouse or the press of a touchpad.
Reports indicate that Brooke Neitzel simply spoke to “Alexa,” the Ai-like, voice-command response system built into the Amazon Echo, about her desire for a dollhouse when the machine went ahead and processed an order through the Amazon portal for the products without her family’s permission. Within days, both the dollhouse and the cookies that Brooke casually mentioned out loud to Alexa were sitting on the family’s doorstep, much to the surprise of her parents.
“Alexa ordered me a dollhouse and cookies,” young Brooke gleefully told CBS 11 news when the incident was first reported, prompting other little girls who saw it to do the same exact thing. Within days, many children throughout the country had ordered their own dollhouses through Alexa, revealing not only the exceptional ease with which this increasingly popular tech device can purchase products without people’s permission, but also how clearly and constantly it listens to what people are saying around it. Continue reading »
‘The first time we can really say we expect offshore wind to be in the next decade on the same sort of cost structure as other power generators’
The cost of electricity produced by offshore wind turbines has fallen by a third in just four years, according to a new report.
The analysis, by Dong Energy and other firms, found that the average cost during 2015/16 was £97 per megawatt hour (mwh), according to the Financial Times.
In 2012, the industry was asked by the UK Government to reduce prices to £100 per mwh within eight years, but the target has been reached in about half that time.
H/t reader kevin a.
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8. Free Piston Engine
Sometimes, owning a smartphone feels pricey. There’s the hefty chunk of change you’ll need to spend on the phone itself, and then the monthly fee you’ll need to fork over to operate it. But for just $US400 ($530) and the cost of a few old Zack Morris-style brick phones, you can avoid those expenses and build your own damn 1G mobile phone network.
Hackaday first pointed us to the DIY 1G project this past weekend at Shmoocon, a Washington, DC-based hacker convention. The scheme is the brainchild of Brandon Creighton, who previously helped build a small GSM-based phone network at DEF CON, an annual hacker conference in Las Vegas. But unlike GSM — which is currently used as the standard for phone networks in Australia — his 1G phone network is a tad less sophisticated. Continue reading »
Electric, driverless shuttles with no steering wheel and no brake pedal are now operating in Las Vegas.
There’s a new thrill on the streets of downtown Las Vegas, where high- and low-rollers alike are climbing aboard what officials call the first driverless electric shuttle operating on a public U.S. street. Continue reading »
- Experts isolated the brain circuits that coordinate predatory hunting
- Switching on targeted neurons signalled mice to use their jaws to bite
- Mice took on qualities of ‘walkers’ from The Walking Dead
- But the analogy is limited – mice only wanted to bite when hungry and did not attack their peers
They’re known for their timidity and love of cheese, but scientists have tapped into the ‘killer instinct’ of mice, to turn them into aggressive ‘zombies’.
Researchers isolated the brain circuitry in mice that coordinates predatory hunting, including one set of neurons in the amygdala – the brain’s centre of emotion and motivation, making the animal pursue prey.
They also ‘switched on’ another set in the brain region signalling the animal to use its jaw and neck muscles to bite anything in its path – a little like a fictional zombie…
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A father and son team in the START-UP NY program have invented a liquid metal printing machine that could represent a significant transformation in manufacturing. A breakthrough idea five years ago by former University at Buffalo student Zack Vader, then 19, has created a machine that prints three-dimensional objects using liquid metal.
Vader Systems is innovating and building the machines in a factory in the CrossPoint Business Park in Getzville. Zack’s father Scott, a mechanical engineer, is the CEO. Zack is the chief technology officer. His mother, Pat Roche, is controller. Continue reading »
It all sounds so futuristic and exciting, this concept of driverless cars, but the reality is, our society may not be nearly as ready for it as other people in other lands may be. That’s because if there is one thing Americans are infatuated with, it is the automobile.
And yet, the technology is here and it is getting better every year. So we may have little choice about whether or not we want our vehicle to do the driving for us in the near future.
A few of days ago I reported on a spate of wind turbine collapses occuring in Germany and Europe. Well the folly appears to be continuing as the online German Tageblatt here reports how yet another has come crashing down, with a passerby witnessing it live.
The fourth collapse in four weeks!
German news site NTV here writes:
South of Hamburg an approximately 100-meter tall wind turbine collapsed. The turbine in Neu Wulmstorf fell during the morning, a police spokesman said. A passerby observed the incident and called the fire department.”
The NTV reports it’s still unknown why the bolted connection 20 meters high came apart at around 11 a.m, but was probably due to brisk winds at the time. Continue reading »
Watchmakers have so far used 3D printing only to prototype parts, and their customers may baulk at loss of handmade tradition. Swiss chocolatiers look like beating them to market with a 3D product – instant chocolates
H/t reader kevin a.
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Taylor Wilson believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our future energy needs, and that kids can change the world. And he knows something about both of those: When he was 14, he built a working fusion reactor in his parents’ garage. Now 17, he takes the TED stage at short notice to tell (the short version of) his story.
Not many 13-year-olds would describe themselves as an “amateur nuclear scientist.” That’s precisely what Jamie Edwards calls himself. When most kids his age are off playing video games, Edwards stays late after school to work on a control panel for a nuclear fusion reactor. He just reached his goal of becoming the youngest “fusioneer” in history, narrowly beating out the previous record-holder, who pulled it off at 14.
Carl Greninger isn’t afraid of a little nuclear fusion. And thanks to the reactor he’s built in his garage — yes, he has a nuclear reactor in his garage — dozens of the Pacific Northwest’s brightest high school students are finding their place in the exciting world of science and engineering. Continue reading »
Japan’s decision to open up its retail electricity market to new entrants is expected to lead to the construction of as many as 43 coal-burning power stations in the next 12 years, an expansion of almost 50% on its current number.
The Environment Ministry gave the green light to the construction of new coal-fired power plants in February, and at least 43 projects have already been announced. Continue reading »
The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, has been studying for decades to unlock the mystery of antimatter. Just recently, they made a breakthrough, but some religious groups are not happy, saying CERN has created a “hell on earth”.
Scientists believe that the Big Bang produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter. They cancel each other out until only a relatively small amount of matter remained and antimatter vanished.
Scientists At CERN Were Able To Tickle Antimatter Atoms And Make Them Shine Continue reading »