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Robotics

Asus aims for the heart of the home with cute do-it-all robot

At Computex today, Asus revealed the Zenbo home robot. Kind of like Echo meets Keecker with a bit of Pepper sprinkled in the mix, it's been created to offer busy modern family members a helping hand with everyday tasks like keeping the kids entertained, controlling connected smart devices and providing recipe inspiration for mealtimes. The company also sees it acting as a remote guardian for the elderly.Read More

Space

Rosetta discovers building blocks of life in comet atmosphere

How exactly life got started here on Earth is a great mystery that has spawned countless scientific theories. The possibility that at least some of the vital building blocks for life were delivered by comets is one such line of thinking, and is also one of the reasons the Rosetta spacecraft has been circling comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko since 2014. The probe has now discovered evidence that key amino acids and molecules do indeed exist in the comet's atmosphere, throwing further weight behind the idea that these icy trailblazers can double as life-giving space couriers. Read More

Medical

3D hydrogel biochips offer better diagnosis of early-stage bowel cancer

Early detection is paramount to survival from bowel cancer, but doing so is difficult because most symptoms don't present until the cancer matures. Worse, existing diagnostic tests tend to be invasive and traumatic. Russian scientists hope to change this with a new biochip technology that can gather better, more precise data for diagnostic analysis. The scientists report that their new method far outstrips traditional methods of diagnosing bowel cancer. Read More

Space

Simulations suggest Kepler 62-f is "a strong candidate for a habitable planet"

It's been over 20 years since the first planet orbiting a Sun-like star outside our solar system was discovered, and at last count the grand total stands at 3,268. Unfortunately, only a handful of exoplanets orbit within the habitable zone around their stars. A team of astronomers has set their sights on one such exoplanet, and through computer simulations determined that it could harbor a rocky composition, oceans and, potentially, even life.Read More

Space Feature

Leap into the lunar unknown: Fifty years since the landmark launch of Surveyor 1

Space travel can still be dramatic in 2016, but it's a cakewalk compared to half a century ago. Today marks 50 years since the unmanned Surveyor I probe lifted off from Cape Canaveral, and when it landed in the Oceanus Procellarum on June 2, 1966, it was more than the first US soft landing on the Moon, it was a leap into the unknown. Launched at the height of the Space Race and the depth of the Cold War, the stakes for the first of seven Surveyor missions were incredibly high, as NASA wrestled with untried technologies and questions about the basic nature of the Moon that could make or break any hope of a manned landing.Read More

Robotics

Jumping cockroach robot leaps tall obstacles in a single bound

For such a reviled creature, the cockroach has some pretty impressive abilities. It can slide through incredibly narrow gaps, has great acceleration and can cling to overhanging surfaces like a gecko. But something you won't see them doing is launching more than a meter into the air – at least not in the natural world. But researchers have developed a new springing mechanism for small robots that enables them to jump many times their own height at just the right time, a technology they have demonstrated in their so-called JumpRoACH leaping milli-scale robot.Read More

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