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European Union

The researchers behind the Ear-IT project say a city's acoustics can help reduce traffic c...

As the Internet of Things starts to take hold, we're seeing the emergence of gadgets equipped with all kinds of sensors to improve the world around us, from energy-saving climate control systems to smart locks for the front door. But have you ever thought about how sound might be measured and used to bring another level of automation? For the last two years, the Ear-IT project has been monitoring acoustics in the Spanish city of Santander, and says the results could improve the lives of its residents in ways ranging from improved traffic flow to energy savings in the home.  Read More

The EU has launched its Sentinel 1A satellite

The EU has launched the first satellite as part of its Copernicus Earth observation program. Copernicus will provide a means of monitoring Earth's sub-systems, the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces. The Sentinel 1A satellite was launched from French Guiana at 23:02 on Thursday April 3rd.  Read More

The Factory-in-a-Day project aims to integrate robots into small and medium enterprise fac...

Industrial robots have proven useful in reducing production costs in large factories, with major enterprises enlisting their services to execute repetitive tasks. The Factory-in-a-Day project, which kicked off in October, aims to also make robotic technology beneficial to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), by developing adaptable robots that can be integrated with workplace systems within 24 hours.  Read More

The ESTOLAS combines features of a plane, helicopter, hovercraft and airship in one aircra...

As evidenced by ongoing efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, getting aid and support personnel in and victims out of disaster-stricken areas is a major problem when infrastructure such as runways has been rendered unusable. A new aircraft concept combining features of an airship, plane, helicopter and hovercraft that is being developed as part of the European Commission's Extremely Short Take Off and Landing On any Surface (ESTOLAS) project could help address the problem.  Read More

Anopheles mosquito after taking a snack (Photo: US Center for Disease Control and Preventi...

A small company in the U.K. is developing an affordable, hand-held device that will not only diagnose malaria in the field, but will also read DNA markers that suggest which antimalarial drugs will be most effective for treatment. If fielded, such a device could help alleviate the 200+ million cases of malaria per year, as well as prevent some of the nearly one million deaths associated with malarial illness.  Read More

The 'smallest complete radar system in the world' could be used in the automotive industry...

Research funded by the European Union has resulted in a new low-cost, fingernail-sized radar chip package that could be implemented in a variety of areas, including the automotive industry, robotics and smartphones. Described as “the smallest complete radar system in the world,” the chip package measures 8 x 8 mm, operates at 120 GHz, and can calculate the distance of an object up to around 3 meters away to an accuracy of within 1 mm.  Read More

The Information Commissioner's Office website contains a cookie prompt

A new law came into effect in the U.K. this past weekend which requires U.K.-based websites to receive consent from visitors before using cookies to store tracking information about them. Though the law originally called for visitors to explicitly opt-in with the use of a checkbox or similar method, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent privacy watchdog, backpedaled just 48 hours before the law was to come into force and watered down the legislation to allow "implied consent" - in other words, websites can assume users have already consented to the use of cookies.  Read More

An envisioned Personal Aerial Vehicle illustrates what our city skies could soon look like...

A European Union project known as myCopter has set aside funds of €4.2 million (US$6.2m) to investigate the possibility of introducing Personal Aerial Vehicles (PAVs) into the skyways of many congested European cities. This coming age of the "flying car" where vehicles leave the roads and launch into the skies promises to solve problems like dramatically rising urban traffic congestion, but it also throws up some formidable challenges - it's these challenges that the myCopter project aims to address.  Read More

The European Commission has released a white paper detailing ambitious plans to transform ...

The European Commission has released a white paper detailing ambitious plans to transform Europe's transport infrastructure by 2050. The roadmap for a Single European Transport Area includes forty initiatives for road, rail and air travel that aim to increase mobility, reduce reliance on oil imports, cut emissions by 60% and combat congestion by halving the use of "conventionally fueled" cars in urban transport by 2030 with a view to phasing them out in cities by 2050.  Read More

Dr. Heike Riel, who leads the nanoscale electronics group at IBM Research-Zurich, is part ...

It has been estimated that in the European Union, about ten percent of the electricity used in homes and offices goes to power computers and other electronic devices that are in standby mode. By 2020, that amount could constitute 49 terawatt hours per year, which is almost equivalent to the combined annual electrical consumption of Austria, the Czech Republic and Portugal. The European Union’s just-announced Steeper research initiative squarely addresses such concerns. Its aim is to develop electronics that operate on less than half a volt when in standby, and that are up to ten times more energy-efficient when active.  Read More

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