At the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) will present a new lane-change algorithm that splits the difference. It allows for more aggressive lane changes than the simple models do but relies only on immediate information about other vehicles' directions and velocities to make decisions.
If you want to know how to make a sneaker with better traction, just ask a snake. That's the theory driving the research of Hisham Abdel-Aal, PhD, an associate teaching professor from Drexel University's College of Engineering who is studying snake skin to help engineers improve the design of textured surfaces, such as engine cylinder liners, prosthetic joints - and yes, maybe even footwear.
A 10-fold increase in the ability to harvest mechanical and thermal energy over standard piezoelectric composites may be possible using a piezoelectric ceramic foam supported by a flexible polymer support, according to Penn State researchers.
Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed new technologies that can be used to convert industrial plants to produce fossil-free heat, electricity, fuel, chemicals and materials. The technical potential is enormous -- using only Sweden's currently existing power plants, renewable fuels equivalent to 10 percent of the world's aviation fuel could be produced.
Rutgers University-New Brunswick engineers have created a 3D-printed smart gel that walks underwater and grabs objects and moves them. The watery creation could lead to soft robots that mimic sea animals like the octopus, which can walk underwater and bump into things without damaging them. It may also lead to artificial heart, stomach and other muscles, along with devices for diagnosing diseases, detecting and delivering drugs and performing underwater inspections.
A new MIT autonomous glider can fly like an albatross, cruise like a sailboat.
Researchers at Houston Methodist and Rice University have made a discovery that will impact the design of not only drug delivery systems, but also the development of newer applications in water filtration and energy production. They made this discovery while investigating how the drug molecules in solution travel through a nanochannel drug-delivery system. The findings are described in Nature Communications.
Nagoya University researchers found that zinc sulfide crystals were brittle under normal lighting conditions at room temperature, but highly plastic when deformed in complete darkness. Deformation of zinc sulfide crystals in the dark also narrowed their band gap, which controls electrical conductivity. The team's findings showed the mechanical and electronic properties of inorganic semiconductors are sensitive to light, revealing a possible route to engineer the performance of inorganic semiconductors, which are important in electronics.
Researchers at MIT's Little Devices Lab have developed modular blocks that can be put together in different ways to produce diagnostic devices. These 'plug-and-play' devices can test blood glucose levels in diabetic patients or detect viral infection, among other functions.
Engineers have created a soft robot that does not rely on a motor to propel itself through the water.