JPL's Design for a Clockwork Rover to Explore Venus

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

It's not just the temperature that makes Venus a particularly nasty place for computers--the pressure at the surface is around 90 atmospheres, equivalent to the pressure 3,000 feet down in Earth's ocean. The majority of ideas for Venus surface exploration have essentially been the same sort of thing that the Soviets did with the Venera probes: Stuffing all the electronics inside of an insulated container hooked up to a stupendously powerful air conditioning system, probably driven by some alarmingly radioactive plutonium-powered Stirling engines. With funding from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program, the JPL team wants to see whether it might be possible to build a Venus exploration rover without conventional sensors, computers, or power systems. A Strandbeest operates off just a couple simple sensors, which control whether the legs move backwards or forwards, and it has built-in logic to avoid soft sand and water.

Alphabet Sees Power in Molten Salt, a New Moonshot

Wall Street Journal

Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOGL 0.58% is pitching an idea to store power from renewable energy in tanks of molten salt and cold liquid, an example of the tech giant trying to marry its far-reaching ambitions with business demand. Alphabet's research lab, dubbed X, said Monday that it has developed plans to store electricity generated from solar panels or wind turbines as thermal energy in hot salt and cold liquids, such as antifreeze. The lab is seeking partners in the energy industry, including power-plant developers and utilities, to build a prototype to plug into the electrical grid. X says its system works by sending electrical power from solar panels or wind turbines through a heat pump that converts the power to thermal energy, splitting it between hot and cold, which is then stored in tanks of molten salt or a cold liquid, such as antifreeze.

Artificial brains save the Earth


The new-generation interactive tools that increasingly pervade our daily lives, such as cameras, sensors, drones, recording devices, satellites and electronic maps, work wonderfully in rough and extreme conditions. As a subfield of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things forms a network of objects, devices and sensors that enable data gathering, processing and exchange. Only a few years ago, reports on how man and other living organisms cooperate closely to save the environment might have sounded like futurology. With rapid advances in nanotechnology, a field dedicated in part to integrating living organisms with electronic systems, such reports no longer raise eyebrows.

Ocean-spanning drones could attack the US from Africa

Daily Mail

A company called Advanced Aircraft Company has created a drone called Greased Lightening which combines the best bits of drone and aeroplane design. Over the next few years experts believe electric UAS will need more powerful electric motors, lighter solar cells and flight management systems that require a minimum of human input. One of these companies, Advanced Aircraft Company, has created a drone called Greased Lightening which combines the best bits of drone and aeroplane design. Over the next few years experts believe electric UAS will need more powerful electric motors, lighter solar cells and flight management systems that require a minimum of human input.

The Tech World Is Convinced 2021 Is Going to Be the Best Year Ever

MIT Technology Review

According to an array of predictions from tech companies and market researchers, plenty of changes are coming, including many more developments in transportation, lots of people spending time in virtual reality, lab-grown chicken, and, just maybe, male birth control. A report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts that electric vehicles will make up a little less than 4 percent of all car sales in the U.S. and 5 percent of all car sales in Europe that year, up from 1 percent and 2 percent, respectively, this year. Clean energy has been getting cheaper for a while now, and in the not-so-distant future of 2021, it is expected to finally become cheaper to use renewable power sources like solar and wind rather than coal in a number of key countries. While solar power--which is pricier than the other big renewable source, wind--is already comparable price-wise to coal in countries such as the U.S., Italy, and Germany, a recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that by 2021, solar power will be cheaper than coal in China, India, Mexico, Brazil, and the U.K. That would be bad news for the already declining coal industry, but potentially good news for the environment, especially in China, India, and other countries where air pollution is a constant concern.

Infographic: A Timeline of Future Technology


Making predictions about future technology is both fun and notoriously difficult. The confluence of robotics, artificial intelligence, and increasing levels of automation is a prevailing trend throughout the projected timeline of future technology. Later on, it's also expected that the next wave of AI will be a reality: by 2036, predictive AI will be able to predict the near-future with impressive precision. The future of battery technology will include carbon-breathing batteries that turn CO2 into generate electricity, as well as diamond-based "nuclear batteries" that run off of nuclear waste.

Grant Gochnauer: Awesome Humans -- Issue #100 – Awesome Humans – Medium


Dementia: Mediterranean Diet Could Help Stop Alzheimer's -- New research suggests a Mediterranean diet could cut the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's. Despite executing the best growth practices, picking the low hanging fruit, and having a great team, they struggle to grow. AI investment has turned into a race for patents and intellectual property (IP) among the world's leading tech companies. "If you wanted to power the entire United States with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah; you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States," Musk said during his keynote conversation on Saturday at the event in Rhode Island.

China announces goal of Artificial Intelligence leadership by 2030 - Khaleej Mag


Artificial intelligence is one in every of the rising fields at the side of renewable energy, AI and electrical cars wherever communist leaders hope to require an early lead and facilitate remodel China from a nation of factory employees and farmers into a technology pioneer. "By 2030, our country can reach the world leading level in computing theory, technology and application and become a principal world center for computing innovation," the statement same. That will facilitate to form China "in the forefront of innovative countries associated an economic power," it said. Beijing proclaimed plans in 2009 to become a leader in electric cars with annual sales of five million by 2020.

Nasa admits it can't afford to land humans on Mars

The Independent

The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. Japan's On-Art Corp's CEO Kazuya Kanemaru poses with his company's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' and other robots during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan Japan's On-Art ...

Machine-Learning Solar Tracking Technology Nudges PV Field Production Nearer Optimum Levels


Development and use of an expanding range of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and "Internet of Things" devices – wireless network sensors and "smart," network-connected inverters, meters and other devices – along with high-reliability wireless/mobile networking and cloud software- and infrastructure-as-a-service (SaaS and IaaS) platforms are enabling vendors and their customers to collect, analyze and act upon continuous streams of digital data and approach ideal maximum electrical power and energy production while coincidentally minimizing installation, operations and maintenance costs. On July 11, the company introduced its latest innovation to the market, a "first-of-its-kind intelligent, self-adjusting tracker control system for solar power plants." In addition to significantly reducing the time and cost of constructing and commissioning solar PV plants, NEXTracker's TrueCapture system can deliver gains in solar energy output ranging from two to six percent per year, thereby boosting returns for project owners and investors, management touts. Machine-learning algorithms embedded in the TrueCapture platform lie at the core of what amounts to a "hybrid, closed-loop" system capable of monitoring and analyzing continuous streams of data collected via wireless network sensors and smart metering devices for self-learning.