Skipping stones across water may seem like an innocent children's pastime, but the science behind it has helped to win more than one war. Now, researchers at Utah State University's (USU) College of Engineering are uncovering new insights into the physics of these kinds of water impacts that could have wide applications in the fields of naval, maritime, and ocean engineering.
The danger posed by rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide has seen many schemes proposed to remove a proportion it from the air. Rather than simply capture this greenhouse gas and bury it in the ground, though, many experiments have managed to transform CO2 into useful things like carbon nanofibers or even fuels, such as diesel. Unfortunately, the over-arching problem with many of these conversions is the particularly high operating temperatures that require almost counterproductive amounts of energy to produce relatively low yields of fuel. Now researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) claim to have devised a way to take CO2 directly from the air and convert it into methanol using much lower temperatures and in a correspondingly simpler way.
"Sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite." The relevance of that little bedtime rhyme is growing, with every continent except Antarctica having experienced a resurgence of the critters during the past two decades. Combine that with the fact that bedbugs are becoming more and more resistant to insecticides meant to destroy them, and you can see how serious the issue is becoming.Fortunately scientists have just taken a key step in stopping the bitty blood suckers in their tracks – they've decoded the entire bedbug genome.
Sometimes all virtual reality needs to do to blow your mind is put you in a well-polished sandbox and let you screw around. Owlchemy Labs has mastered this art, with the upcoming title Job Simulator that will launch later this year alongside the Oculus Touch controllers, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. We sat down with CEO Alex Schwartz and CTO Devin Reimer to chat about the game's origins and striking a balance between progression and free-for-all mayhem.
Much scientific effort goes into shoring up both our energy and water supplies for the future, but what if both problems could be addressed by the same technology? Researchers at the University of Illinois have come up with a new battery design that not only relies on salt water to store and release electricity, but removes the salt ions from the water in the process.
When it comes to the price of most products, US$40,000 is pretty high. In the case of powered exoskeletons, however, it's cheap – at least half the typical price. Nonetheless, that's approximately what suitX's Phoenix modular exoskeleton should sell for, bringing the technology to a whole new income class. And at 27 lb (12.25 kg), it's also one of the lightest models ever made.
Renault used the current New Delhi Auto Show to unleash two new models of its popular KWID line – the KWID Climber and the KWID Racer. First introduced as a concept car in 2014, the KWID has sold over 90,000 units since it went on the market in India late last year.
For almost 60 years, Royal Enfield relied on a single-cylinder engine that draws its roots from the heyday of the British motorcycle industry. Now the Indian company has just revealed a brand-new engine designed in-house specifically for its first dual-purpose motorcycle, suitably named the Himalayan.
Old-school gamers will fondly remember the effort it took them to master a new Super Mario level, but thanks to a new development in artificial intelligence the pixelated Italian plumber and his friends are now teaming up to do the job themselves. Researchers from the University of Tübingen in Germany have developed an algorithm that allows videogame characters to learn from each other in human-like ways through observation and imitation, letting agents collaborate to reach a common goal. Future applications could include intelligent social support systems and swarms of modular robots that learn to perform complex actions on little human instruction.