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Communications

Scientists from the School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln, UK are using expressive robot ERWIN (Emotional Robot with Intelligent Network) to study how long-term relationships may form between robots and humans. In its current form, the robot has the ability to display five distinct emotions whilst interacting with humans via the manipulation of its mouth and eyebrows. Read More
Smart dust. Utility fog. Programmable matter. Grey and blue goo. Cooperating swarms of micron-sized devices (motes) offer completely new solutions and capabilities that can hardly be imagined. However, cooperation requires communication, and conventional radio or optical networking simply isn't practical at this size. Now researchers at Georgia Tech have invented a plasmonic graphene nano-antenna that can be efficiently used at millimeter radio wavelengths, taking one more step toward smart dust. Read More
As some readers may already know, Volvo recently developed a system that uses an in-vehicle radar system to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians and cyclists on the road in front of them. Now, Germany's Technische Universitaet Muenchen has come up with a system of its own, that can even detect pedestrians that aren't within line of sight of the car. Read More
Volvo has announced a partnership with fellow Swedish company POC, which specializes in helmets and other protective sports gear. The two partners will leverage their respective safety design experience toward developing new concepts in transportation safety. The first order of business is a car-to-cyclist communication system designed to increase cooperation between two- and four-wheelers. Read More
This week, NASA released the results of its Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration’s (LLCD) 30-day test carried out by its Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) that is currently in orbit around the Moon. According to the space agency, the LLCD mission proved that laser communications are practical at a distance of a quarter of a million miles and that such a system could perform as well, if not better, than any NASA radio system. Read More
A molecular messaging system capable of transmitting data over several meters has been built using off-the-shelf materials costing around US$100 and some vodka. The system mimics chemical signalling seen in nature and has potential applications for communications in environments not compatible with conventional wireless technologies, such as underwater, in tunnels and pipelines, as well as at the nano scale and within the body. Read More
It could be assumed that the most effective way to safeguard your computer against the threat of cyber attacks would be to disconnect it from all networks: wireless, LAN, network cards or the internet. However, research from the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics (FKIE) has demonstrated a malware prototype with the ability to jump the "air gap" – meaning even that once surefire security measure might not be enough to ensure the protection of your computer. Read More
As the volume of data carried around the world via optical fibers continues to increase, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have found a way to increase data throughput capacity by ten times. Because it is based on changing the shape of light pulses to reduce the space between, the breakthrough would work on existing optical fiber infrastructure. Read More
Like many other parts of the world, Spain's Basque Country is currently faced with an increasing population of senior citizens placing strain upon the limited resources of the health care system. That's why the Teki project was instituted. It allows patients with chronic conditions to quickly check in with their doctors via an internet-connected Microsoft Kinect unit, thus reducing the number of time-consuming office visits, and catching problems before they require hospitalization. Read More
Two Portuguese designers based in Sydney have come up with a practical idea for facilitating communication between people when sign language is involved. Catarina Araujo and Sofia Santos’ project, still at the development stage and looking for financial backers, taps Leap Motion technology to create a wearable sign language translator to be worn as a necklace. Read More
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