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Boston Dynamics' humanoid robot ATLAS attempts to put a power drill into a bin in simulati...

Teams vying for a spot in the historic DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) must first prove themselves in the Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC) later this month. The VRC digitally simulates the physical challenges slated to take place at the tail end of the year, where real robots will get down and dirty for the first time. A total of 26 teams qualified to take part in the VRC, but only eight of them will earn the privilege of working with their very own ATLAS humanoid. Others will participate with their own unique robots.  Read More

IBM researchers have simulated a virtual brain comparable in complexity to that of a human...

Using the world's fastest supercomputer and a new scalable, ultra-low power computer architecture, IBM has simulated 530 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses – matching the numbers of the human brain – in an important step toward creating a true artificial brain.  Read More

FIU's wind engineering team poses in front of the Wall of Wind

Seven years after constructing its initial prototype, Florida International University has lifted the lid from its latest and greatest machine: a 15-foot (4.6-m) tall Wall of Wind capable of generating 157-mph (70-m/s) winds. As such the machine is capable of simulating top-tier category five hurricanes according to the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale.  Read More

Left shows galaxies from AREPO simulation, right shows actual galaxies from Hubble image (...

A new approach for simulating the birth and evolution of galaxies and cosmic filaments within the Universe has been developed by researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics together with their colleagues at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies. It's called AREPO, and has been used to simulate the evolution of our Universe from only 380,000 years after the Big Bang to the present. The full variety of spiral, elliptical, peculiar, and dwarf galaxies appear in the simulated Universe.  Read More

Scientists destroy simulated Earths to better understand exoplanets, such as Earth-like pl...

Unlike in old B movies, real scientists don’t scream “Fools! I’ll destroy them all!” before throwing the switch on their doomsday device. At least, most of the them don’t. However, the August 10 issue of the Astrophysical Journal reports that a team of scientists are working on destroying the world - not once, but repeatedly. Fortunately, the world they’re destroying exists only in a computer simulation and its destruction is in the service of learning more about planets revolving around other stars.  Read More

A free-surface simulation of the forces experienced when diving helped in the design of Sp...

A controversy during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics was Speedo's introduction of its drag reducing LZR Racer swimming outfit. The suit worked so well that it was subsequently outlawed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) as the technological equivalent of doping - it gave too large an advantage. Now, with the help of ANSYS simulation software, and just in time for the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Speedo has introduced the Fastskin3 racing system, which offers a new and apparently legal approach to drag reduction during competitive swimming.  Read More

NIST's quantum simulator illuminated by fluorescing ions (Photo: Britten/NIST)

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a quantum simulator that contains hundreds of qubits - quite a jump from the the 2-8 qubits found in state-of-the-art digital quantum computers. The simulator has passed a series of important benchmarking tests and scientists are poised to study problems in material science that are impossible to model using classical computers.  Read More

The TL1 and its 180 degree display

What happens when you bring together cutting edge gaming technology and a legendary automotive company? The answer is one of the most powerful home racing simulators money can buy, the TL1. Motion Simulation has joined forces with the U.K. automaker behind the Ariel Atom, creating a simulator in a class of its own, featuring near panoramic projectors, and a custom built racing cockpit designed in conjunction with the experts from Ariel.  Read More

Air traffic controller and pilot James Price has spent $150,000 and the last 12 years buil...

Like many computer users of my generation, I've notched up many hours of virtual flight time in a number of fairly realistic simulation programs. There are those who are simply not satisfied with keyboard, mouse and joystick control of jet fighters and passenger airplanes on a desktop computer system, though. Air traffic controller and pilot James Price is one such simulation-junkie who has taken his desire for realism to dizzy new heights by having the nose lopped off a veteran Boeing 737, fitting out the gutted cockpit with working controls, dials and monitors and then interfacing the hardware with flight simulation software. It's been a labor of love but we think the result is well worth the enormous amount of time and effort that's gone into the build.  Read More

Sandia's Z-Accelerator in action (Photo: Sandia National Laboratories)

In the beginning, there was the thermonuclear bomb - mankind had harnessed the energy of the Sun. Confident predictions abounded that fusion reactors would be providing power "too cheap to meter" within ten years. Sixty years later many observers are beginning to wonder if billions of dollars of effort has been lost in digging out dry wells. Now a new simulation study carried out at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, suggests that magnetized inertial fusion (MIF) experiments could be retrofitted to existing pulsed-power facilities to obtain fusion break-even.  Read More

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