New search tool for inactive patents

Credit: Michigan Technological University A new patent search tool developed by engineers at Michigan Technological University makes it easier to discover and track inactive patents. Many innovators and inventors feel they have squandered hours fruitlessly rifling through old patents on … Continue reading

Enabling wireless virtual reality

A new cordless virtual reality device consists of two directional “phased-array” antennas, each less than half the size of a credit card. Future versions could be small enough for users to have several in a single room, enabling multi-player gameplay.Photo: … Continue reading

Faster programs, easier programming

A system developed by researchers at MIT and Stony Brook University should make it easier for researchers to solve complex computational problems using dynamic programming optimized for multicore chips — without the expertise that such programming typically requires.Image: MIT News … Continue reading

Make America tweet again

We know how Donald Trump feels about everyone through Twitter, but how do Twitter users feel about Donald Trump? Computer scientists from the University of Utah’s College of Engineering have developed what they call “sentiment analysis” software that can automatically … Continue reading

Making energy-harvesting computers reliable

Image Credit: Carnegie Mellon University Electrical and Computer Engineering A revolutionary and emerging class of energy-harvesting computer systems require neither a battery nor a power outlet to operate, instead operating by harvesting energy from their environment. While radio waves, solar … Continue reading

Making computers explain themselves

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have devised a way to train neural networks so that they provide not only predictions and classifications but rationales for their decisions.Illustration: Christine Daniloff/MIT New training technique would reveal the … Continue reading

Weakness found in common computer chip

Researchers from Binghamton University — State University of New York and the University of California, Riverside have found a weakness in the Haswell central processing unit (CPU) components that makes common computer operating systems vulnerable to malicious attacks. Computer hackers … Continue reading

Learning Morse Code without Trying

The findings demonstrate silent, eyes-free text entry on a mobile device without a keyboard (participants touched on Glass’s touchpad to enter Morse code during quizzes). Many mobile or wearable devices cannot accommodate a full keyboard, so it is a challenge … Continue reading

Finding patterns in corrupted data

A team, including researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, has created a new set of algorithms that can efficiently fit probability distributions to high-dimensional data.Image: MIT News   New model-fitting technique is efficient even for data sets … Continue reading

Making it easier to collaborate on code

“Gitless” removes complicated concepts like “staging” and “stashing,” without fundamentally changing Git’s core functionality.Image: Santiago Perez De Rosso   CSAIL team’s “Gitless” fixes Git’s biggest issues — and suggests their approach could help improve systems like Gmail and Dropbox. Git … Continue reading

The quantum sniffer dog

The laser (on the right) sends its light through a gas container, then the beam is reflected by a mirror (left). Credit: TU Wien As humans, we sniff out different scents and aromas using chemical receptors in our noses. In … Continue reading

Automating big-data analysis

“The goal of all this is to present the interesting stuff to the data scientists so that they can more quickly address all these new data sets that are coming in,” says Max Kanter MEng ’15. Credit: Massachusetts Institute of … Continue reading

Designing the Future Internet

This century, our world will be flooded with hundreds of billions of smartphones, gadgets, sensors and other smart objects connected to the internet. They will perform myriad services, such as monitoring our health, helping run households and boosting driver safety. … Continue reading

Soft robots that mimic human muscles

Credit: Marc Delachaux/2016 EPFL Robots are usually expected to be rigid, fast and efficient. But researchers at EPFL’s Reconfigurable Robotics Lab (RRL) have turned that notion on its head with their soft robots. Soft robots, powered by muscle-like actuators, are … Continue reading

New 3D design for mobile microbatteries

In the race towards miniaturization, a French-US team-mostly involving researchers from the CNRS, Université de Lille, Université de Nantes and Argonne National Laboratory (US) as part of the Research Network on Electrochemical Energy Storage (RS2E)1-has succeeded in improving the energy … Continue reading

World’s Biggest Radio Ear

Credit: SETI Institute It’s now the biggest single-dish radio telescope on Earth.  Settled down in the bumpy karst of China’s Guizhou province, about 1200 miles southwest of Beijing, this newest instrument for studying the heavens is very similar in design to … Continue reading

Smallest. Transistor. Ever.

Schematic of a transistor with a molybdenum disulfide channel and 1-nanometer carbon nanotube gate.Credit: Sujay Desai/UC Berkeley For more than a decade, engineers have been eyeing the finish line in the race to shrink the size of components in integrated … Continue reading

Glucose-sensing contact lens invented

This illustration shows the schematic procedure for the fabrication of a surface-enhanced Raman scattering contact lens via transfer printing.Credit: Image courtesy of University of Houston Blood testing is the standard option for checking glucose levels, but a new technology could … Continue reading

Optical fiber transmits one terabit per second

TUM researchers (l-r) Fabian Steiner, Georg Böcherer, and Patrick Schulte with the statue of Claude Shannon, father of information theory.Credit: Denise Panyik-Dale/Alcatel-Lucent Nokia Bell Labs, Deutsche Telekom T-Labs and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have achieved unprecedented transmission capacity … Continue reading