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University of Konstanz

Robotics

Robot artists compete for cash

While people sometimes worry about robots taking away human jobs by automating and executing various tasks, it's been generally accepted that in the realm of creative endeavors like art and music, the machines will always lose to the man (or woman, of course). But, as we reported last year, robots paired with ever-more advanced algorithms are starting to become quite the painters. A robot even created a brand-new Rembrandt work earlier this year. To recognize this burgeoning field of robot art, a new contest has been launched by website RobotArt.org, and you can help determine which mechanical painter will win.Read More

Electronics

World's first light-activated, molecule-sized switch gets turned on

In the pursuit of ever-shrinking circuitry for nanotechnology electronics, increasingly smaller devices and components are being developed. Now researchers at the University of Konstanz and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) claim to have micro-miniaturized the humble electrical switch all the way down to molecule size and proven its operation for the very first time. Unable to flick such a tiny switch mechanically, however, the researchers instead used light to turn it on. Read More

Science

Scientists use fruit flies to detect cancer

Scientists from the University of Konstanz, Germany, are the first to demonstrate that fruit flies can distinguish cancerous cells from healthy ones via their sense of smell. The team has genetically modified fruit flies so that their antennae glow when they detect a cancerous odor. In an experiment, scientists directed smells at fruit flies. The fruit flies' appearance was monitored via a microscope. Read More

Robotics

eDavid the robot painter excels in numerous styles

The line between art and technology isn't just being blurred, it's being erased altogether. Painting and sketching from photographs and life, for example, is a technique that is now being mastered by robots. The latest, called eDavid, combines a camera, computer vision software, and a standard welding robot arm to skillfully recreate (in a variety of styles no less) any image you feed its software. It seems that even art, a cornerstone of human ingenuity since the dawn of man, isn't safe from a robot takeover.Read More

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