Will quantum computing deliver a big leap forward for battery cells?

By Michelle Lewis 

The Cologne-headquartered German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Cambridge Quantum Computing(CQC) in the UK is the latest pair to explore how quantum computing could help create better simulation models for battery development. The DLR is Germany’s research center for aeronautics and space.

As IBM defines it, “Quantum computing harnesses the phenomena of quantum mechanics to deliver a huge leap forward in computation to solve certain problems.”

DLR will use CQC’s quantum algorithms for solving partial differential equation systems to render a one-dimensional simulation of a lithium-ion battery cell.

This will lay the groundwork for exploring multi-scale simulations of complete battery cells with quantum computers, which are considered a viable alternative for rendering full 3D models. A multi-scale approach incorporates information from different system levels (e.g., atomistic, molecular, and macroscopic) to make a simulation more manageable and realistic. That, in turn, will potentially accelerate battery research and development for a variety of sustainable energy solutions.

DLR has previously used classical computer modeling to research a range of different battery types, including lithium-ion and other technologies.

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3D Printed ‘Artificial Leaves’ Could Provide Sustainable Energy on Mars

Microalgae 3D printed onto bacterial cellulose allows for a new oxygen-producing material.

By  Chris Young

A group of international researchers led by the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in Netherlands used 3D printing to create a living material made of algae that could lead to sustainable energy production on Mars as well as a number of other applications, a TU Delft press release explains.

The researchers used a novel bioprinting technique to print microalgae into a living, resilient material that is capable of photosynthesis. Their research is published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

“We created a material that can produce energy simply by placing it into the light,” Kui Yu, a Ph.D. student involved in the work, explained in the release. “The biodegradable nature of the material itself and the recyclable nature of microalgal cells make it a sustainable living material.”

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Surgeons Use Self-Navigating Robot to Find Leaky Valve in Pig Hearts

The robotic catheter used for heart surgery on pigs. 

By George Dvorsky

During a recent experiment at Boston Children’s Hospital, bioengineers used a robotic catheter to reach a leaky valve insidepig hearts. But get this—the device was completely autonomous, navigating through the heart all by itself and without the benefit of a surgeon’s guiding hand. Welcome to the future of heart surgery.

New research published today in Science Robotics describes a robotic catheter that’s capable of moving autonomously inside a living body. In tests, the device navigated through beating, blood-filled pig hearts in search of its target—a leaky prosthetic valve. Once at the scene, a surgeon took over to finish the repair. The senior investigator of this project, bioengineer Pierre Dupont from Boston Children’s Hospital, said this proof-of-concept experiment suggests autonomous surgical robots could be used for complex procedures, freeing up surgeons to focus on the most difficult tasks. 

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Staggering approval for Alphabet drone among early customers

By Greg Nichols 

Since October 2019, Alphabet’s Wing has operated a drone delivery service five days per week in the tiny hamlet of Christiansburg, Virginia; a community of just over 20,000. The early testbed has been one to watch for a delivery drone sector that’s just emerging from in a slowly evolving regulatory regime.  

Key to the future of drone delivery is positive consumer sentiment. So how do the people of Christiansburg feel about the delivery drone service that’s made their community one of a small number of canaries in the coal mine for the consumer drone sector?  

In short, they love it.

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Ehang unveils tree-like vertiports for its autonomous passenger drones

Autonomous air vehicle company ehang unveils ‘baobab’, a large tree-like tower and landing platform for its EH216 passenger drones.

Designed by giancarlo zema design group (GZDG) with sustainability at the core, photovoltaic panels on the vertiports will generate energy and independent plug-and-play charging points will recharge the drones wirelessly. currently in the development stage, ehang and GZDG hope to enter the emerging global eco-tourism sector with hubs being planned for a lakeside site in china’s zhaoqing city as well as in the maldives, the united arab emirates, and italy.

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3D biomaterial used as ‘sponge’ for stem cell therapy to reverse arthritis

A new biomaterial scaffold, designed to slowly release stem cells, has worked to ensure implanted stem cells can stick around to relieve pain and reverse arthritis in mice knee joints.

This treatment reduces the quantity of stem cells needed by 90%, thus avoiding the problems of redness, swelling and scar tissue that can arise from large doses of such stem cells. In the near future, it could potentially lead to reversal of osteoarthritis in humans for the first time.

At present, no treatment is currently available that can reverse the course of osteoarthritis, and the sole options are to try to relieve pain. Stem cell therapy potentially offers hope and has been shown to alienate the disease. However, a ‘goldilocks’ dose of stem cells remains out of reach. Too much of a dose and the subject suffers redness, swelling and scar tissue. Too little and the therapy is only successful for a limited period due to gradual cell loss.

To overcome this challenge, researchers from the Department of Orthopedics at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, seeded umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells on a ‘cryogel’ biomaterial.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult stem cells that can differentiate themselves into other types of cells. MSCs are sourced from bone marrow, fat, or umbilical cord tissue. Umbilical cord-derived MSCs (UCMSCs) have emerged in recent years as popular therapeutic transplant cells due to their abundant supply, high proliferative capacity, and non-invasive harvesting procedure, and because they pose relatively minor ethical issues.

Cryogels, meanwhile, are gel matrices formed at sub-zero temperatures. They have interconnected macropores (pores larger than 10 micrometres in diameter), much like a sponge. Because these holes can allow mass transport of small particles in them, cryogel biomaterials potentially have a range of biomedical uses. 

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New blood filtering system claims to use magnetic nanoparticles to remove pathogens

by: Virgilio Marin 

(Natural News) Researchers designed a new blood filtration system that uses magnetic nanoparticles to remove pathogens and cancer cells from the blood. Called MediSieve, the system works by connecting a patient to the same machine used for hemodialysis. As blood passes through the machine, magnetic particles selectively bind to harmful molecules present in the blood.

The researchers are currently testing the technology on malaria, a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite. But the technology can also be used to treat other conditions, such as sepsis, leukemia, drug overdose and COVID-19.

“In theory, you can go after almost anything. Poisons, pathogens, viruses, bacteria, anything that we can specifically bind to we can remove. So, it’s a very powerful potential tool,” said George Frodsham, a British engineer and the CEO of MediSieve, the company he founded in London to develop and market the technology.

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A scientist created emotion recognition AI for animals

“Emotion recognition” might be too strong a term. More like pain recognition

BY Tristan Greene

A researcher at Wageningen University & Research recently published a pre-print article detailing a system by which facial recognition AI could be used to identify and measure the emotional state of farm animals. If you’re imagining a machine that tells you if your pigs are joyous or your cows are grumpy… you’re spot on.

Up front: There’s little evidence to believe that so-called ’emotion recognition’ systems actually work. In the sense that humans and other creatures can often accurately recognize (as in: guess) other people’s emotions, an AI can be trained on a human-labeled data set to recognize emotion with similar accuracy to humans.

However, there’s no ground-truth when it comes to human emotion. Everyone experiences and interprets emotions differently and how we express emotion on our faces can vary wildly based on cultural and unique biological features.

In short: The same ‘science‘ driving systems that claim to be able to tell if someone is gay through facial recognition or if a person is likely to be aggressive, is behind emotion recognition for people and farm animals.

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Say ‘hei’ to Trombia, the robot cleaning up Helsinki’s streets

Is this the end of trash collectors?

by Sarah Wray 

The City of Helsinki is trialing a quiet, emission-free robot in a bid to find new ways to keep streets clean with minimal disruption to residents.

The Trombia Free vehicle will run from today until April 27 on weekday evenings on a busy street (Välimerenkatu) and bicycle path (Baana) in the Jätkäsaari area of Helsinki.

“The autonomous and electric street sweeper is so quiet that it makes it possible to sweep the streets at night, hindering traffic as little as possible,” said Antti Nikkanen, Managing Director, Trombia Technologies. “For us, Jätkäsaari is an ideal smart city test location and a reference for the world’s major cities, as Jätkäsaari at night will show what can really be achieved with automation in an urban environment.”

In particular, the pilot will monitor the noise level and efficiency of the street sweeper as well as broader benefits and limitations. The machine can detect obstacles and pedestrians in its path and stop, but during the pilot it will always be accompanied by an operator.

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AI, captain! First autonomous ship prepares for maiden voyage

The Mayflower 400 autonomous trimaran during sea trials in Plymouth this week

by Anna Cuenca

The “Mayflower 400″—the world’s first intelligent ship—bobs gently in a light swell as it stops its engines in Plymouth Sound, off England’s southwest coast, before self-activating a hydrophone designed to listen to whales.

The 50-foot (15-metre) trimaran, which weighs nine tonnes and navigates with complete autonomy, is preparing for a transatlantic voyage.

On its journey the vessel, covered in solar panels, will study marine pollution and analyse plastic in the water, as well as track aquatic mammals.

Eighty percent of the underwater world remains unexplored.

Brett Phaneuf, co-founder of the charity ProMare and the mastermind behind the Mayflower project, said the ocean exerts “the most powerful force” on the global climate.

Rosie Lickorish, a specialist in emerging technologies at IBM, one of the partners on the project, said the unmanned craft provided an advantage in the “unforgiving environment”.

“Having a ship without people on board allows scientists to expand the area they can observe,” she told AFP.

A variety of technology and service providers have contributed to the project with hundreds of individuals involved from nations including India, Switzerland and the United States, said Phaneuf.

The project would have cost 10 times the roughly $1 million (820,000 euros) invested by ProMare without the “global effort,” he added.

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Doosan Hydrogen Drones Take Flight in the Netherlands

Posted By: Miriam McNabbon:

Doosan hydrogen drones will take flight in the Netherlands, testing offshore solutions including drone delivery, marine monitoring, and search and rescue.

South Korean Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI) has penned a deal with Dutch government agency NHN (Development Agency Noord-Holland Noord, NHN), a regional development organization and governing agency for maritime economic development support project METIP.

As part of the METIP project, METIP partner DroneQ Aerial Services will be the local drone services provider, operating the Doosan hydrogen drones.   The Doosan solutions feature hydrogen fuel cell “powerpacks” which give their commercial platforms a flight endurance of more than 2 hours.  Projects will include drone delivery, lifesaving applications like search and rescue, environmental monitoring, facility inspections and reconnaisance.

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Self-driving cars will force Highway Code to ‘change entirely’ with major new law changes

By LUKE CHILLINGSWORTH

SELF DRIVING cars will force the Highway Code to “change entirely” as most of the rules “will be redundant” under the new technology, according to solicitors.


Legal experts say road rules will have to be “changed entirely” to ensure the laws are relevant to the new driverless technology. Specialists warn drivers may not need to be taught things like stopping distances or how to indicate as cars will do this automatically.

Hojol Uddin, Head of Motoring and Partner at JMW Solicitors said the new technology will help the car do “everything else we were taught to do”.

He said: “The Highway Code will have to be changed entirely to determine the relevance of certain rules.

“For example will the driver really need to know stopping distances and times if the computer is going to do the thinking for you as well as the stopping.

“In addition, will it be necessary for mirror signal manoeuvre being drilled into every student when cars of the future will do this for you?

“Most of the Highway Code will be redundant, as cars will be able to read signs and everything else we were taught to do.”

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