The depths of the world's oceans largely remain a mystery, and learning and mapping more for a variety of purposes is likely to fall increasingly to robots. Melissa Hebert looks at how robotics and artificial intelligence will be applied in ways that advance mining, national security and the environment.
Organic electronics useful in such applications as flexible electronics and solar energy conversion are taking a step forward, thanks to research at Princeton University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Humboldt University of Berlin. The semiconductors used in these electronics are made up of relatively low-conductivity carbon molecules rather than silicon, and researchers have found that doping them with a ruthenium-containing compound greatly increases their conductivity.
The Tesla Semi is an all-electric semitrailer designed to automatically avoid jackknifing and travel 500 miles on a single charge. The battery-powered, nearly all self-driving truck can go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds without a trailer and could be less expensive to operate than trucks that run on diesel.
Those ailing in the world's remote areas are the focus of Ramses Martinez, professor of industrial and biomedical engineering at Purdue University, who has developed a diagnostic lab that fits on a sheet of paper. Connected to a simple electronic device, the paper analyzes blood and saliva samples to detect liver and kidney problems, malnutrition and anemia, with future potential to test for malaria, yellow and dengue fevers, hepatitis and HIV.
Engineered bacteria are being put to work in a wide variety of beneficial situations, but there's danger in the likelihood that they will someday find their way out of their intended environments. That's what a research team at Harvard is working on, with one coded-in kill switch that keeps engineered bacteria from evolving and another that instantly kills the bacteria if they escape.
Technology is beginning to change construction sites long resistant to such advances. Michael Abrams looks at six of the technologies that will bring further transformation in the future, including a robot that fabricates construction mesh out of metal bars and gantry-style 3D printing.
Winding up a port call and planning sessions in the Turkish port of Aksaz, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Donald Cook departed for the Dogu Akdeniz 2017 exercise. The exercise is a multinational affair led by Turkey.
NASA's next Mars rover will need a high-tech parachute to slow its supersonic entry into the thin atmosphere and provide a gentle descent. A nylon-and-kevlar system has passed its first test, deploying at 1,370 mph high in the earth's atmosphere with minimal damage.
An erosion-fighting project that transformed a steep wash into a shallow basin has earned Cochise County an Arizona Association of Counties award. The Horseshoe Draw Erosion Control Project mitigates flooding, prevents soil loss on range land, and curbs sediment and E-coli flow into the San Pedro River.
Mudslides are likely in areas near California's La Tuna fire, which swept over more than 7,000 acres, and officials are warning residents of Burbank. Engineers are examining the area to project where slides are most likely to happen during the rainy season.
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