Energy-harvesting design aims to turn Wi-Fi signals into usable power

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Terahertz waves are pervasive in our daily lives, and if harnessed, their concentrated power could potentially serve as an alternate energy source. Imagine, for instance, a cellphone add-on that passively soaks up ambient T-rays and uses their energy to charge your phone.

Any device that sends out a Wi-Fi signal also emits terahertz waves —electromagnetic waves with a frequency somewhere between microwaves and infrared light. These high-frequency radiation waves, known as “T-rays,” are also produced by almost anything that registers a temperature, including our own bodies and the inanimate objects around us.

Terahertz waves are pervasive in our daily lives, and if harnessed, their concentrated power could potentially serve as an alternate energy source. Imagine, for instance, a cellphone add-on that passively soaks up ambient T-rays and uses their energy to charge your phone. However, to date, terahertz waves are wasted energy, as there has been no practical way to capture and convert them into any usable form.

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This company wants to turn your windows into solar panels

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Ubiquitous Energy solar glass

San Francisco (CNN Business)What if every window in your house could generate electricity? One Redwood City, California-based startup thinks its technology can achieve that by transforming the way solar power is collected and harnessed.

Ubiquitous Energy has developed transparent solar cells to create its ClearView Power windows, a kind of “solar glass” that can turn sunlight into energy without needing the bluish-grey opaque panels those cells are generally associated with. The company, spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012, hopes to use that tech to turn practically any everyday glass surface into a solar cell.

“It can be applied to windows of skyscrapers; it can be applied to glass in automobiles; it can be applied to the glass on your iPhone,” Miles Barr, Ubiquitous Energy’s founder and chief technology officer, told CNN Business.

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Universal cancer blood test detects and locates 50 types of tumors

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A new universal cancer blood test can spot over 50 types of tumors and identify where they are in the body

 Cancer is one of humanity’s leading killers, and the main reason for that is it’s often hard to detect until it’s too late. But that might be about to change. Researchers have developed a new type of AI-powered blood test that can accurately detect over 50 different types of cancer and even identify where it is in the body.

There are just so many types of cancer that it’s virtually impossible to keep an eye out for all of them through routine tests. Instead, the disease usually isn’t detected until doctors begin specifically looking for it, after a patient experiences symptoms. And in many cases, by then it can be too late.

Ideally, there would be a routine test patients can undergo that would flag any type of cancer that may be budding in the body, giving treatment the best shot of being successful. And that’s just what the new study is working towards.

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“I feel weightless”: Nike-backed researchers invent a wearable robot that makes you faster

 

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“It can do things that your muscles can’t do.”

As workout studios close their doors amid a global pandemic, people are left with one of the cheapest and easiest ways to break a sweat: running.

But just because you know you could be running, doesn’t mean you’ll actually go out and jog. That’s where a new Nike-funded research team comes in. They want to help people struggling to go the distance — and invented a wearable ankle “exoskeleton” that makes running 14 PERCENT EASIER AND ENERGY-EFFICIENT compared to normal running shoes.

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Intel is using A.I. to build smell-o-vision chips

While smell-o-vision may be a long way from being ready for your PC, Intel is partnering with Cornell University to bring it closer to reality. Intel’s Loihi neuromorphic research chip, a a powerful electronic nose with a wide range of applications, can recognize dangerous chemicals in the air.

“In the future, portable electronic nose systems with neuromorphic chips could be used by doctors to diagnose diseases, by airport security to detect weapons and explosives, by police and border control to more easily find and seize narcotics, and even to create more effective at home smoke and carbon monoxide detectors,” Intel said in a press statement.

With machine learning, Loihi can recognize hazardous chemicals “in the presence of significant noise and occlusion,” Intel said, suggesting the chip can be used in the real world where smells — such as perfumes, food, and other odors — are often found in the same area as a harmful chemical. Machine learning trained Loihi to learn and identify each hazardous odor with just a single sample, and learning a new smell didn’t disrupt previously learned scents.

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Goodyear invented a new tire that never needs to be changed. Here’s how its self-regenerating tread works.

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Goodyear has unveiled its reCharge Concept tires that are self-regenerating and self-charging with artificial intelligence features.

The tires can change its treads according to the climate and terrain.

Goodyear claims its concept tires keep in line with the trending needs of electric and sustainable mobility.

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Skin-like, flexible sensor lets robots detect us

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A new sensor for robots is designed to make our physical interactions with these machines a little smoother—and safer. The sensor, which is now being commercialized, allows robots to measure the distance and angle of approach of a human or object in close proximity.

Industrial robots often work autonomously to complete tasks. But increasingly, collaborative robots are working alongside humans. To avoid collisions in these circumstances, collaborative robots need highly accurate sensors to detect when someone (or something) is getting a little too close.

Many sensors have been developed for this purpose, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Those that rely on sound and light (for example, infrared or ultrasonic time-of-flight sensors) measure the reflections of those signals and must therefore be closely aligned with the approaching object, which limits their field of detection.

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3D-Printed Homes: The concept is now turning into something solid

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Homes of the future, made through 3-D printing

In a Northeast Austin neighborhood, new 3-D-printed homes are taking their distinctive shape on the grounds of the Community First Village, where about 180 formerly homeless people have found shelter and camaraderie in the most expensive city in Texas. (Regan Morton Photography)

AUSTIN — Tim Shea is counting the days until he can move into a new 3-D-printed house. Shea, 69, will be the first to live in one of six such rentals created by what some in the housing industry call a futuristic approach that could revolutionize home construction.

Shea is among a growing number of seniors in America who have struggled to keep affordable housing. He has, at times, been homeless. He has arthritis and manages to get around with the aid of a walker. He said he looks forward to giving up the steep ramp he’s had to negotiate when entering or exiting the RV he’s called home.

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Honeywell says it will soon launch the world’s most powerful quantum computer

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“The best-kept secret in quantum computing.” That’s what Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) CEO Ilyas Khan called Honeywell‘s efforts in building the world’s most powerful quantum computer. In a race where most of the major players are vying for attention, Honeywell has quietly worked on its efforts for the last few years (and under strict NDA’s, it seems). But today, the company announced a major breakthrough that it claims will allow it to launch the world’s most powerful quantum computer within the next three months.

In addition, Honeywell also today announced that it has made strategic investments in CQC and Zapata Computing, both of which focus on the software side of quantum computing. The company has also partnered with JPMorgan Chase to develop quantum algorithms using Honeywell’s quantum computer. The company also recently announced a partnership with Microsoft.

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Quantum researchers able to split one photon into three

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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo report the first occurrence of directly splitting one photon into three.

 The occurrence, the first of its kind, used the spontaneous parametric down-conversion method (SPDC) in quantum optics and created what quantum optics researchers call a non-Gaussian state of light. A non-Gaussian state of light is considered a critical ingredient to gain a quantum advantage.

“It was understood that there were limits to the type of entanglement generated with the two-photon version, but these results form the basis of an exciting new paradigm of three-photon quantum optics,” said Chris Wilson, a principle investigator at IQC faculty member and a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Waterloo.

“Given that this research brings us past the known ability to split one photon into two entangled daughter photons, we’re optimistic that we’ve opened up a new area of exploration.”

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Why America is losing the toilet race

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I just got back from my first trip to Japan, and I’m now in love with the country. The ramen, yakitori and sushi. The gorgeous volcanoes. The fascinating people and culture. But of all the things I fell in love with, there’s one that I can’t stop thinking about: the toilets.

Japanese toilets are marvels of technological innovation. They have integrated bidets, which squirt water to clean your private parts. They have dryers and heated seats. They use water efficiently, clean themselves and deodorize the air, so bathrooms actually smell good. They have white noise machines, so you can fill your stall with the sound of rain for relaxation and privacy. Some even have built-in night lights and music players. It’s all customizable and controlled by electronic buttons on a panel next to your seat.

In Japan, these high-tech toilets are everywhere: hotels, restaurants, bus stations, rest stops and around 80% of homes. It’s glorious. Then, I come back to the United States, and our toilets are stuck in the age of dirty coal mines and the horse and buggy. They basically have one feature: flush. No heated seats. No nice smells and sounds. No sanitizing blasts of liquid. It’s like cleaning your dishes without water. It’s gross. And it got me thinking: Why can’t we have high-tech toilets too?

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Researchers combine lasers and terahertz waves in camera that sees ‘unseen’ detail

 

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The time-resolved nonlinear ghost imaging camera uses a nonlinear crystal to convert standard laser light to terahertz patterns, allowing the reconstruction of complex samples using a single terahertz pixel.

A team of physicists at the University of Sussex has successfully developed the first nonlinear camera capable of capturing high-resolution images of the interior of solid objects using terahertz (THz) radiation.

Led by Professor Marco Peccianti of the Emergent Photonics (EPic) Lab, Luana Olivieri, Dr. Juan S. Totero Gongora and a team of research students built a new type of THz camera capable of detecting THz electromagnetic waves with unprecedented accuracy.

Images produced using THz radiation are called ‘hyperspectral’ because the image consists of pixels, each one containing the electromagnetic signature of the object in that point.

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