Kelsey D. Atherton
at 09:02 AM Jan 18 2017
Drones // 

The latest bomber to make its debut over Iraq has four engines, no cockpit, and a flight time limited by the length of its battery. ISIS, the radical insurgent group holding territory in both Syria and Iraq, is fighting for its life in Mosul, the large city in Northern Iraq it has held since 2014. Most of the weapons ISIS uses are are familiar, if still horrific: rifles and mortars, artillery and suicidal car bombs. To that arsenal, ISIS recently added commercial drones, converted into tiny bombers.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:30 AM Dec 8 2016
Drones // 

Delivering objects via drone is a tempting notion bound by hard constraints: drones are small, so the cargo has to be small. Drones need power to fly, and any additional weight requires more power to cover the same distance, which further limits the size of the cargo. For a drone delivery to make sense, then, the small cargo has to justify both its weight and the urgency of a drone flight. Pound for pound and ounce for ounce, few cargoes match that limitation better than blood.

Michael Koziol
at 09:19 AM Dec 7 2016
Robots // 

The unparalleled acrobatics of the galago inspired the UC Berkeley team to design their robot in a similar way.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 09:29 AM Nov 18 2016
Robots // 

Walking on two legs is one of the hardest ways to travel. Few creatures do it in nature, and when humans have made walking robots, the two-legged ones tend to fall down a lot. What if, instead of carefully calibrated bodies, a walking robot was simply built around a torso that defied gravity?

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:39 AM Oct 21 2016
Robots // 

If there's one thing missing from modern fashion, it's a flashy accessory that feels like a giant bug is crawling on the wearer at all times. Thanks (?) to the work done by researchers at MIT and Stanford, small robots can now climb all over clothing.

Samantha Cole
at 10:39 AM Oct 21 2016

Speech recognition software isn't perfect, but it is a little closer to human this week, as a Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research team reached a major milestone in speech-to-text development: The system reached a historically low word error rate of 5.9 percent, equal to the accuracy of a professional (human) transcriptionist. The system can discern words as clearly and accurately as two people having a conversation might understand one another.

 
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