Seoul Robotics’ autonomous ‘Control Tower’ remotely manages self-driving vehicle fleets

BMW is currently testing the system at its Munich manufacturing facility.

By A. Tarantola

Despite Tesla’s ambitious claims of its vehicles’ Full Self-Driving capabilities, today’s autonomous navigation technology generally tops out at Level 2. More advanced self-driving systems are in development but likely still years away from being safe and cost-effective enough for everyday use. Seoul Robotics, however, has developed a mesh network that reportedly imparts Level 5 autonomy to vehicle fleets, if only for the “last mile.”

The company’s Level 5 Control Tower system sidesteps some technical challenges of self-driving technology by embedding sensors in the surrounding infrastructure — traffic lights, nearby buildings, freeway overpasses, etc — rather than on the vehicles themselves. Instead of each vehicle looking out for itself and responding autonomously to surrounding traffic, the Level 5 Control Tower uses its meshed sensor network to collect data on the overall traffic situation and automate vehicles in the area accordingly, using V2X communications and 4/5G radios.

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Researchers Use Machine Learning To Repair Genetic Damage

By:Tanushree Shenwai

DNA damage is constantly occurring in cells, either due to external sources or as a result of internal cellular metabolic reactions and physiological activities. Accurate repair of such DNA damages is critical to avoid mutations and chromosomal rearrangements linked to diseases including cancer, immunodeficiencies, neurodegeneration, and premature aging. 

A team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and the National Cancer Research Centre have identified a way to repair genetic damage and prevent DNA alterations using machine learning techniques. 

The researchers state that it is possible to learn more about how cancer develops and how to fight it if we understand how DNA lesions originate and repair. Therefore, they hope that their discovery will help create better cancer treatments while also protecting our healthy cells.

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Self-Healing Nanomaterials: Self-Repairing Electronics Are on the Way

Self-healing nanomaterials usable in solar panels and other electronic devices are being explored at the Technion.

From the Terminator to Spiderman’s suit, self-repairing robots and devices abound in sci-fi movies. In reality, though, wear and tear reduce the effectiveness of electronic devices until they need to be replaced. What is the cracked screen of your mobile phone healing itself overnight, or the solar panels providing energy to satellites continually repairing the damage caused by micro-meteorites?

The field of self-repairing materials is rapidly expanding, and what used to be science fiction might soon become reality, thanks to Technion – Israel Institute of Technology scientists who developed eco-friendly nanocrystal semiconductors capable of self-healing. Their findings, recently published in Advanced Functional Materials, describe the process, in which a group of materials called double perovskites display self-healing properties after being damaged by the radiation of an electron beam. The perovskites, first discovered in 1839, have recently garnered scientists’ attention due to unique electro-optical characteristics that make them highly efficient in energy conversion, despite inexpensive production. A special effort has been put into the use of lead-based perovskites in highly efficient solar cells.

The Technion research group of Professor Yehonadav Bekenstein from the Faculty of Material Sciences and Engineering and the Solid-State Institute at the Technion is searching for green alternatives to the toxic lead and engineering lead-free perovskites. The team specializes in the synthesis of nano-scale crystals of new materials. By controlling the crystals’ composition, shape, and size, they change the material’s physical properties.

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John Deere says its autonomous tractor is ready for production

The self-driving Deere 8R can operate without a pilot when covering a field.

By D. Cooper

Agricultural hardware giant and scourge of right-to-repair advocateseverywhere John Deere is ready to show off its finished, fully-autonomous tractor. Here at CES, the company is saying that this unit is going to be put into large-scale production, and will be made available to farmers later this year. When in use, a farmer can set the hardware to work and then leave it running, allowing them to tend to vital work elsewhere. The idea, so the company says, is to help make farming more efficient and more robust in the face of ever-increasing demand and dwindling resources.

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Quantum Operation Non-Invasive Glucose Monitor: World’s First-Ever Non-Invasive Needle-Less Wearable

By Nica Osorio 

Key Points

  • Quantum Operation Inc., announces a medical miracle at the CES 2022
  • The Japanese IoT startup claims it has developed a non-invasive glucose monitor
  • Called the Noninvassive Glucometer Wristband, the device promises to revolutionize diabetes management

Blood glucose monitoring is crucial in managing diabetes as it keeps track of the changes in a person’s blood sugar levels, which in effect, provides vital information on how food, exercise, stress and habits affect the disease.

Over the years, scientists, engineers and even tech giants have tried to come up with a non-invasive blood glucose monitoring device that diabetics can use, but to no avail. Interestingly, Quantum Operation, a Japanese healthcare IoT startup, claims that it has developed a Noninvasive Glucometer Wristband — a needle-less and accurate blood glucose monitoring wearable that is capable of non-stop monitoring.

Advanced medical technology

Quantum Operation’s Noninvasive Glucometer Wristband offers a far simpler and easier solution that will not require patients to prick their finger for a blood sample that would then be used on test strips of traditional glucose meters. But how is this even possible?

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H2 Clipper Will Resurrect Hydrogen Airships to Haul Green Fuel Across the Planet

By Edd Gent

Airships might seem like a technology from a bygone era, but a startup says their new design could become a crucial cog in the green hydrogen supply chain.

While transitioning away from fossil fuels will prove crucial in our efforts to combat climate change, it’s easier said than done for some industries. While road and rail transport are rapidly electrifying, in aviation, batteries are a long way from being able to provide the weight-to-power ratio required for aviation. And even the largest batteries are still not big enough to power a container ship on long-distance crossings.

Hydrogen is increasingly being seen as a promising alternative for these hard to decarbonize sectors. It has a higher energy density than natural gas and can either be burned in internal combustion engines or combined with oxygen in a fuel cell to create electricity.

While much of today’s hydrogen is derived from natural gas and therefore not much better than fossil fuels, in theory you can also make it by using renewable electricity to power electrolyzers that split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Producing green hydrogen economically is still a huge challenge, but there are hopes that it could help wean hard to electrify sectors off polluting fossil fuels.

But transporting hydrogen remains a sticking point: Areas that are abundant in renewable energy such as sun and wind are not always close to where the hydrogen is needed. Shipping large amounts of the gas around the world will clearly be a major logistical challenge, but a start-up called H2 Clipper has an ingenious workaround.

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A HUMAN SKIN ‘BAND-AID’ PRINTER IS LAUNCHING INTO SPACE

By Matthew Hart

In December of 2021 SpaceX sent its 24th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). On board the mission were various experiments—including ones involving plants and potential cures for cancer. A bioprinter that uses “viable cells” to print tissue structures was also aboard. And it makes human skin “band-aids.”

Design Taxi reported on the delivery of the bioprinter, or Bioprint FirstAid, which is a handheld device. The device, in the images above and below, uses a patient’s own skin cells to create tissue-forming patches to cover wounds. And, simultaneously, accelerate the healing process.

NASA notes the device—which kind of looks like a tape dispenser with a bendy syringe instead of tape—uses prepared bio-inks consisting of a patient’s own cells. The collection of human skin cells, coupled with a “crosslinking” material, form a “band-aid patch” in the case of an injury. (Unfortunately, it’s unclear what the cell band-aid looks like as it heals. Or after it has healed. Although it seems to spread as a clear, viscous liquid.)

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THIS AUTOMATED WALL-CLIMBING ROBOT WAS DESIGNED BY HAUSBOTS TO STREAMLINE HOME-CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

BY SHAWN MCNULTY-KOWAL  

HB1 is an automated wall-climbing robot that was designed to streamline home construction projects.

No matter the size, location, style, or chosen building material–when it comes to constructing houses, it can be a dangerous job. Even with bulky construction vehicles, building homes requires a lot of finesse and attention. As our technological worlds evolve, so do our tools and that includes those used for home construction. Home-building robotics company Hausbots developed an automated, climbing construction robot called HB1 to help get home projects done.

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No Mo’ ’Splosions? Nanotech Energy Unveils Fireproof Graphene Battery

Nonflammable OrganoLyte electrolyte promises to last longer and charge faster.

By Frank Markus

Wow, the claims Nanotech Energy makes for its new graphene battery, just presented at CES Unveiled, are impressive: It retains more than 80 percent of its rated capacity through 1,400 cycles, can charge “18 times faster than anything that is currently available on the market,” maintains performance at extreme temperatures (-40 to 140 degrees F), holds charge at temperatures as high as 350 degrees and won’t catch fire when penetrated with a nail or heated to more than 1,300 degrees, don’t require exotic materials, can be manufactured on existing equipment in various form factors (cylindrical, pouch, etc. ), and is going to be produced in a new plant in Nevada slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Given all that, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that driving an EV powered by such batteries also promoted weight loss and prevented tax audits. Here’s what we know about the Nanotech Energy graphene battery.

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Self-Driving Cab-Less Delivery Van Can Carry Up 2,000 Lbs of Cargo, Make 80 Stops Per Run

by Florina Spînu

California-based startup Udelv unveiled the first cab-less electric delivery van virtually at CES 2022. Called the Transporter, the vehicle will use Mobileye’s vision-sensing technology that will allow it to achieve Level 4 autonomous operation for last- and middle-mile delivery of goods. 

The Transporter features a modular pod that is capable of carrying up to 2,000 lbs (907 kg) of cargo that includes anything from convenience goods, e-commerce packages, and auto parts to electronics and medical supplies. 

“The Transporter is transformative for two of the world’s largest industries: automotive and logistics. It was created to solve two great challenges of commercial fleets: the shortage of drivers and the electrification of fleets,”said Udelv CEO Daniel Laury.

The vehicle can make up to 80 stops per run at speeds that reach 70 mph (113 kph). It has a battery capacity between 90 and 160 kWh. The cab-less van can cover between 160 and 300 miles (257-483 km) depending on the chosen battery pack. The company says that it will take less than an hour to add up to 220 miles (322 km) of range when recharged at a DC Fast Charging station.

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Stem cells instead of drugs? Northwestern trial testing a way to help strengthen transplant patients’ immune systems

By MADELINE BUCKLEY

Before her mother’s kidney transplant, Arianna Barrett watched a medical professional carefully extract stem cells from her own neck with a feeling that she was observing scientific developments in real time.

Since her mother was diagnosed with kidney disease, Barrett, a 36-year-old Chicago teacher, always knew she wanted to donate a kidney to her mother, even though her mother, Margaret Rainey, had reservations about her daughter having a major surgery.ADVERTISEMENT

But the mother-daughter pair did more than share an organ. Doctors transplanted stem cells from Barrett into her mother to teach Rainey’s immune system to recognize her new kidney.

“It was a little daunting, but so cool to see how far the medicine has come,” Barrett said.

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