Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts

Saturday, 23 September 2017

3D Muscle that could Lift 1,000 times its own weight

Scientists are one step closer to humanoid robots. They have come up with an artificial 3D Muscle that can lift 1000 times its own weight.

The device in 3D Muscle is also known as an actuator can push, pull, bend, twist and even lift weights. This new device will not require a high power outage or even a separate compressor as did previous models.

Scientists are saying that this 3D Muscle is the closest they’ve ever come to a functioning human muscle.

The main goal of such a project is to combine artificial intelligence to control this 3d developed muscle. The 3D Muscle is said to have a range of applications especially in the medicine sector such as surgeries.

The way the 3D Muscle is developed will allow it to perform in high stress and high strain without being high in density. This study was achieved by lead author Aslan Miriyev.

The material derived is easy to make, made with environmentally safe materials and also has a low cost of development. The material developed by scientists combines the elastic properties and volume change attributes of other material systems.

After the desired shape is 3D printed, the muscle is made to expand, contract and rotate using a resistive wire and a low power consumption.

This 3D muscle was then tested in various settings and in each of these settings it was able to demonstrate significant expansion and contraction abilities.

In this testing environment, the 3D muscle was able to expand to up to 900% when heated at 80 degrees.
Via the use of a computer this 3D muscle is able to perform any tasks in almost any setting.

Up and until now no material was capable of replicating the functioning of a human soft muscle. None of the previously discovered materials was capable of showing the desired properties of high strain and stress.

Professor Hod Lipson said that the 3D printed material was capable of showing much promise especially in areas of high human interaction such as manufacturing and healthcare. He continued to say that till date the all materials made were extremely rigid. This limited their applicability. Today with the newly discovered 3D printable material, these soft robots can perform normal functioning such as grasping, manipulating objects, performing delicate tasks and picking up objects. The mobility that such a material affords makes it adept in performing all these tasks.

Scientists have made great strides in developing robot minds but robot bodies have remained altogether primitive. With these newly achieved 3D made muscles, scientists are now making great strides in the right direction. This new actuator can now be shaped in different ways depending on the setting it is to be used and its applicability.

This 3D printed muscle is the closest scientists have come to replicating human muscle. The material is now being used with different materials such as conductive materials are used in place of wire, which is said to increase the artificial muscle’s shelf life and response time.

Dr Aslan further stated that in time these muscles used in combination with artificial intelligence would be a milestone in replicating natural motion.

The 3D printed muscle showed great promise when weighing in merely 13 grams it was able to lift a 1 kg object in the testing environment.

Researchers are now aimed at using artificial intelligence in controlling the muscle, they say this would be the last milestone in achieving natural motion.

With this breakthrough technology, mechanical engineers at Columbia University have said that this 3d muscle will be even stronger than human muscle.

Friday, 22 September 2017

HyperLoop: Futuristic Hyperloop Hitting 200mph


Hyperloop Concept – Innovative Transport

A footage displaying an innovative travel concept that is rolled in altering Britain has been released to the public. Elon Musk, entrepreneur, funding the so-called Hyperloop project tweeted out a video from a test pod that travelled at 200mph on social media. Musk who had in 2013 been the first in coming up with the Hyperloop concept defined the innovative transport as a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.

 The pods are said to be driven by magnets or air expelled through the vessels while the tubes would be suspended off the ground for the sake of protection from weather conditions as well as earthquake. Supporters of the projects have advised the Government to abandon HS2 and build the Hyperloop that could revolutionise London-focused economy of Britain.

The Hyperloop is said to complete the 163-mile journey from Manchester to London in around 18 minutes. Though Musk had been behind the initial concept, he is not included in the two companies competing to make his dream a reality. Hyperloop One known earlier as Hyperloop Technologies had in May 2016, completed the first public test of the propulsion system.

Futuristic Transport System; The Hyperloop

This had come up two months after the opposing start-up Hyperloop Transportation Technologies had got hold of a deal with the Slovakian government in discovering building system in central European country. The President of the think tank Policy North, David Harrison had stated that `Hyperloop could make jobs in London accessible to people living hundreds of miles away, challenging the north-south divide and also create a more balanced spread of wealth all over the country’.

He further added that workers would not need to move to London in order to access the best-paying opportunities, only to have the advantage of those positions wiped out by the soaring cost of living there. Likewise, businesses could locate to the north of England where there seems plenty of space there’. After Dubai had announced a deal with Hyperloop in November last year with a vision of bringing it to the Persian Gulf, the futuristic transport system could be going to the other areas of the world too.

Hyperloop – Vacuum Tube Technology

The space-age system which is developed by business magnate Elon Musk has been termed as the `fifth mode of transport’. The vision of travelling from London to Edinburgh has now been enhanced after Hyperloop One effectively verified a passenger pod travelling at 192 mph.

Visualized by SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk, Hyperloop is said to be the vacuum tube technology which could modernize transportation. Currently the US-based Hyperloop One firm has directed its first pod rocketing along a 500-metre test track in the Nevada desert. The company ultimately intends to hit speeds of more than 700mph, capable of transporting passengers from LA to San Francisco in about 30 minutes or London to Edinburgh in 50 minutes.

The team were capable of restraining air resistance and shoot the soaring pod alongside a magnetised track on developing a vacuum. Made of structural aluminium as well as being lightweight carbon fibre, the pod is said to measure 28 feet long. The pod would be transporting passengers as well as cargo inside the tube utilising electromagnetic force together with magnetic floating.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Great Tech Panic: What You Should Worry About?

Tech Panic – Cause for Worry 

Technology has been making great progress in transforming our lives which has given rise to panic. Experts have been weighing on how much one should be stressed with regards to self-driving cars, malevolent AI etc.

 In cities like San Francisco; Boston, Tempe, Arizona where self-driving cars have been verified on public roads, there have been trained engineers on board to ensure that the emerging tech does not take on the pedestrians. Nidhi Kalra, co-director of the RAND Centre for Decision Making Under Uncertainty, had commented that it is that persons’ task of paying attention to what the vehicle seems to be doing.

As per the most optimistic estimates of experts, fully autonomous cars on the public roads seems to be at least three years away and that technology will never be infallible, people would still die in car crashes.

However, eventually, self-driving vehicles would probably save lives according to Mark Rosekind, chief safety innovation office at Robotaxi start-up Zoox as well as the former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and 94% of the crashes are credited to human mistake.

Would hackers leak my emails? 

To gain access of one’s email is not at all tough. We find phishers who seems to get more refined from the increased power of ransomware attack encountered.

Seth Schoen, senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier foundation commented that `a cleverly composed email which states `I’m your tech support person and need to know your password’, still tends to function as a shocking percentage of the time.

When it comes to leaking those emails, the threat to the average person is quite insignificant and attacks like the DNC leaks, the Panama Papers together with the Macron campaign hack could encourage your sense of paranoia, unless you are a Kardashian or a Trump, your personal correspondence is likely to be of little interest to cyber thieves’.

Are We Prepared for Cyberwar?

Former US counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke in his 2010 book had ranked on how well some countries tend to fare in a digital conflict As per his formula, the US had been placed dead last and on top – North Korea.

Clarke had figured that the US and Russia could have the best offensive hacking capabilities in the world. However, North Korea seemed to have a bigger advantage - absence of digital dependence. The solitary kingdom’s hackers tend to indulge in a scorched-earth cyberwar without risking much since its citizen tends to stay disconnected.

The US on the other hand is in need of the internet than its opponents. Hence Clarke found America more susceptible to what he termed `the next threat to national security’. Seven years thereafter we need to quit worrying that the period of cyberwar is approaching and we need to admit the fact that the digital attacks on infrastructure are unavoidable.

On the contrary we need to focus on how we should recover from them. This would mean bringing down our reliance on digital systems and enhance on maintaining our consistent, out-dated, analog systems, in order that we can fall back on them when digital disaster occurs.

Essential to Hold On to Era of Physical Override 

When a team of hackers had blacked dozens of electrical substations in Ukraine, in 2015, the utility companies had the technician equipped to switch the power back manually, within a period of six hours.

They had been alert since the Soviet-era grid of Ukraine seems to be stiff on a normal day. The modern, highly automated grids of America do not tend to break often. US institutions should develop the readiness of Ukrainian-style, in an event of a grid attack. In case of interference, it is essential for voting machines to have auditable paper ballots as a backup.

 Organisations of all types should be kept updated, offline data backups for speedy recovery when cyber-attacks like the global WannaCry ransomware outburst. There is no need to relinquish on hyper-connected infrastructure though it is essential to hold on to the era of physical override – since when hackers tend to hijack the elevator of your high-rise apartment, one can be glad that the stairs was another option to resolve the issue.

Would Hackers Launch Nuclear Weapons?

Senior researcher at RAND, Bruce Bennett who seems to specialize in counter proliferation and risk management had stated that `in spite of the act flicks imagining that very scenario, it seems highly improbable. Nuclear weapon does not seem to be connected to the internet, making it complex for anyone to hack them.

On the contrary such weapons seems to be organized by standalone computers together with code keys that are distributed by human couriers, which is a method developed and maintained precisely with security in mind according to an aerospace engineer and analyst John Schilling, for 38 North a Korea-focused analysis group.

He informed that there could be a possibility of sabotaging a nuclear bomb by hacking its secondary as well as tertiary guidance system, which is a tactic the US could have utilised on the missiles of North Korea, though there seems little chance that the troublemaker agents could launch bombs.

Would AI Turn Against Humans? 

Paul Christiano, a researcher at the non-profit Open Ai had mentioned that AI ultimately would be capable of directing science experiments executing construction projects as well as develop more AI without human involvement. He together with his colleagues does not seem to worry that the evil robots would destroy us someday.

 Engineers at Google’s DeepMind unit and Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute however are collaborating in understanding which kind of AI systems could take actions in reducing the chance of being turned off. Their concern lies in the fact that as AI tends to progress beyond human understanding, the behaviour of the technology may deviate from our intended goals. Hence it is up to the researchers to construct a foundation which tends to have human values at heart.

Am I Being Spied on Through my Microphone – Equipped Device? 

Third-party developers, cyber-criminals and at times also the companies which tend to develop smart devices could have the means of accessing your audio stream. Mordechai Guri, head of R&D for Cyber Security Research Centre at Ben-Gurion University in Israel had stated that they are always accompanied by high-quality microphones and your smartphone or smart TV can be turned into a spying device for advertising purposes.

It is also the same in the case of smart home devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home with far-field always-on microphones. Furthermore apps are probing to access smartphone microphone in order to feed on hyper-targeted ads.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Supercapacitive Performance of Porous Carbon Materials Derived from Tree Leaves


Converting Fallen Leave – Porous Carbon Material

An innovative system of converting fallen tree dried leaves to porous carbon material which could be utilised in producing high tech electronics have been found by researchers in China. Researchers have defined in a study printed in the Journal of Renewable and sustainable energy, on the procedure of converting tree leaves into a system of integrating into electrodes as active resources. Initially the dried leaves are ground into powder and thereafter heated to 220 degrees Celsius for about 12 hours which formed a powder comprised of small carbon microspheres.

The carbon microspheres are then said to be preserved with a solution of potassium hydroxide and heated on gradually increasing the temperature in sequences from 450 to 800 degrees Celsius. Due to the chemical treatment it tends to corrode the surface of the carbon microspheres which tends to make it tremendously permeable.

The concluding production which is a black carbon powder is said to have a great surface area owing to the existence of several small holes which tend to have been chemically carved on the surface of the microspheres. The great surface area provides the ultimate produce with unusual electrical properties.

Permeable Microspheres

Led by Hongfang Ma of Qilu University of Technology in Shandong, the detectives followed a succession of standard electrochemical test on the permeable carbon microspheres in order to enumerate their possibility for utilisation in electronic devices.

The current-voltage curves for these materials showed that the element tends to make exceptional capacitor. Additional tests indicated that the materials had in fact been super capacitors having precise capacitances of 367 Fards/gram.

 These were said to be over thrice the value seen in some of the graphene super capacitors. Capacitor is said to be an extensively utilised element which tends to store energy on holding a charge on two conductors, which are detached from each other with the support of an insulator.

Super capacitor tend to store 10 to 100 times the energy as an ordinary capacitor and has the tendency of accepting and delivering charges much quicker than a usual rechargeable battery. Hence super capacitive materials have the potentials for an extensive selection of energy storage essential in particular in computer technology as well as hybrid or electric vehicles.

Enhance – Electrochemical Properties

The roadsides of northern China are said to be scattered with deciduous phoenix trees which produce abundant fallen leaves during autumn and these leaves are usually burnt in the colder climate, aggravating the air pollution issue of the country.

The investigators in Shandong, China, had recently found the new system of resolving this issue by means of converting waste biomass into porous carbon materials which could be used in energy storage technology. Besides tree leaves, the team together with the others have also succeeded in changing potato waste, corn straw, pine wood, rice straw as well as other agriculture wastes into carbon electrode materials.

Professor Ma together with her colleagues expects to enhance more on the electrochemical properties of porous carbon materials by augmenting the preparation procedure and enabling fixing or adjustment of the raw materials.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Energy Storage Solution Combines Polymers and Nanosheets

Energy Storage

Fresh Lightweight Composite Material – Energy Storage 


According to a team of Penn State scientists a fresh lightweight composite material for the purpose of energy storage in flexible electronics, electric vehicles and aerospace application has experimentally revealed energy storage at operating temperatures beyond present commercial polymers.

The said polymer-based ultrathin energy storage material can be produced utilising techniques which are already being used in industry. Professor of materials science and engineering, Penn State, Qing Wang had stated that this is part of a series of work which had been done in the lab on high temperature dielectrics for use in capacitors.

 Prior to this work they had developed a composite of boron nitride nanosheets and dielectric polymers, though had realized that there had been significant issues with scaling that energy storage material up economically’. The defining challenge for several of the new, two-dimensional energy storage materials that are being established in academic labs is scalability or making advanced materials in commercially significant quantities for devices.

Wang has mentioned that `from a soft material perspective, 2D materials are fascinating though how to mass produce them is a question. Moreover, being able to combine them with polymeric materials is a key feature for future flexible electronics applications and electronic devices’.

Functional Dielectric Device-


In order to resolve this issue, his lab collaborated with a group at Penn State operating in two-dimensional crystals. Nasim Alem, assistant professor of materials science and engineering as well as a faculty member in Penn State’s Centre for 2-Dimensional and Layered Materials had stated that the work had been conceived in conversations between his graduate students, Amin Azizi together with graduate student of Dr Wang, Matthew Gadinski. He further informed that this was the first strong experiment wherein a soft polymeric material together with a hard 2D crystalline material had come together in order to develop a functional dielectric device.

Azizi who presently is a post-doctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley and Gadinski, a senior engineer at DOW Chemical had generated a technique utilising chemical vapour deposition in order to make multilayer, hexagonal boron-nitride nanocrystal films to transfer the films to both areas of a polyetherimide (PEI) film.

Thereafter they bonded the films together by utilising force on the three-layer sandwich structure. In the outcome which was surprising to the researchers, pressure itself without the need of any chemical bonding had been adequate in making a free-standing film essentially strong to potentially be manufactured in a high-throughput roll-to-roll process.


Hexagonal Boron Nitride – Wide Band Gap Material


In a recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials in a paper titled `High-performance Polymers Sandwiched with Chemical Vapour Deposited Hexagonal Boron Nitrides as Scalable High-Temperature Dielectric Materials’, the results had been reported. Hexagonal boron nitride is said to be a wide band gap material having high mechanical strength.

 Its wide band gap tends to make it a worthy insulator, protecting the PEI film from dielectric breakdown at high temperatures, the cause for failure in the other polymer capacitors. Above 176 degrees Fahrenheit, at operating temperatures, the prevailing best commercial polymers begins to lose its efficiency though hexagonal-boron-nitride-coated PEI tends to function at high efficiency at above 392 degrees Fahrenheit.

The coated PEI seems to be stable for over 55,000 charge-discharge cycles in testing even at high temperature. Wang has mentioned that `theoretically all these high performance polymers which seem to be so commercially valuable could be coated with boron nanosheets in order to block charge injection. He further added that he is of the opinion that this would make this technology feasible for forth-coming commercialization.


Supported – U.S. Office/National Science Foundation 

Alem has also commented that there are several devices that are made with 2D crystals at the laboratory scale; however the defects tend to make them an issue for manufacturing. With the help of huge band-gap material such as boron nitride, it tends to do a good work in spite of the fact that small microstructural features could not be perfect.

 The first-principles calculations resolute that the electron barrier recognized at the interface of the PEI/hexagonal boron-nitride structure as well as the metal electrodes practical to the structure for the purpose of delivering current was said to be significantly higher than typical metal electrode-dielectric polymers contacts, thus making energy storage materials more complex for charges from the electrode to get injected into the film.

This task had been done by the theoretical research group of Long-Qing Chen, Professor of Materials, Science and Engineering, professor of engineering science and mechanics as well as mathematics – Penn State, Donald W. Hamer. Several others contributing to this work comprise of post-doctoral scholar Qi Li as well as graduate student Feihua Liu in the lab of Wang, undergraduate Mohammed Abu AlSaud in the lab of Alem, senior scientist Jianjun, Wang, post-doctoral scholar Yi Wang together with graduate student Bo Wang who were all from the Chen group at that point of time. This work had also been supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research as well as the National Science Foundation.

Friday, 11 August 2017

The Computer That Know What Humans Will Do Next


Computer Code – Comprehend Body Poses/Movement

A fresh computer code tends to provide robots with the possibility of an improved understanding of humans around them, making headway for more perceptive machines from self-driving cars to investigation. The new skill enables the computer to comprehend the body poses as well as movements of various people even to the extent of tracking parts as tiny as individual fingers.

Though humans tend to communicate naturally utilising body language, the computers tend to be somewhat blind to these interactions. However, by tracking the 2D human form and motion, the new code is said to improve greatly the abilities of the robots in social situations.

A new code had been designed by the researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute by utilising the Panoptic Studio. The two-story dome has been equipped with 500 video cameras developing hundreds of views of individual action for a specified shot. Recording of the system portrays how the system views the movement of humans utilising a 2D model of the human form.

Panoptic Studio – Extraordinary View of Hand Movement

This enables it to trail motion from the recording of video in real time, capturing everything right from the gestures of the hand to the movement of the mouth. Besides this, it also has the potential of tracking several people at once.

Associate professor of robotics, Yaser Sheikh had stated that they tend to communicate mostly with the movement of the bodies as they tend to do with their voice. However computer seems to be more or less blind to it. Multi-person tracking gives rise to various challenges to computers and hand detections is said to be more of an obstacle.

The researchers, in order to overcome this, utilised a bottom-up approach localizing individual body area in an act. Thereafter the areas were associated with certain individuals. Though the image datasets on the hand of the human seemed quite restricted than those on the face or body, the Panoptic Studio provided extraordinary view of hand movement.

 A PhD student in robotics, Hanbyul Joo had stated that a distinct shot provides 500 views of individuals hand and also automatically interprets the position of the hand.

2D to 3D Models

He further added that hands tend to be too small to be interpreted by most of the cameras, but for the research they had utilised only 32 high-definition cameras though were still capable of building a huge data set. The method could ultimately be utilised in various applications for instance helping to enhance the ability of self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movements.

 It could also be utilised in behavioural diagnosis or in sports analytics. Researchers would be presenting their work CVPR 2017, the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference, from July 21 -26 in Honolulu. Up to now they have released their code to several other groups in order to expand on its skills.

Finally, the team expects to move from 2D models to 3D models by using the Panoptic Studio in refining the body, face and hand detectors. Sheikh had mentioned that the Panoptic Studio had boosted their research and they are now capable of breaking through various technical barriers mainly as a result of the NSF grant 10 years back.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

New 4D Camera Designed by Stanford Researchers

4D Camera

Stanford researchers created a new camera to enhance virtual reality and robot vision

Robotics is advancing at a frantic pace and Stanford researchers giving it a new push by bringing such a technology which can play a remarkable role in its future. A new 4D camera has been built by the researchers which have the ability as the name suggests generating four dimensional images. Furthermore this camera can even capture images in 140 degrees which is unbelievable and one of a kind in itself. This camera will find its way in the robots in upcoming days where it will help them in airborne package deliveries by offering a remarkable view of surroundings.

Camera designed specifically with robots in mind

This 4 D camera has been developed by the team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego. This camera is designed with robots in minds therefore it comes loaded with some exquisite features like wider field of view, light weight and single lens rather the multiple lens used in the modern consumer electronics.

This camera will be showcased at the upcoming computer vision conference called CVPR 2017. Researchers had stressed the current demand of the robotics are quite heavy on the robots wherein they are required move around and gather information from different perspectives in order to understand the varied aspects of the environment.

This camera will help robots in gathering large amount of the information from a single image like never before.Researchers believe that this camera will find wider application in the autonomous vehicles along with the ever growing augmented and virtual reality technologies.

Desirable features for the robotics

If robotics and wearable technologies want to grow by leap and bounds then this new 4D camera will be a boon for them. It has some of the most desirable features like detailed depth information, wider field of view and ability to be manufactured in any shape or size. This would give a great boost of the imagining system incorporated in the robotics, augmented and virtual reality as well as the wearables.

When compared to the conventional cameras, the images taken from the 4 D camera offers a refreshing perspective of looking through a ‘window’ rather than a ‘peephole’. In normal 2D images users can move their head to gain more information but the images taken from this camera allows users to identify features such as shape, brightness, transparency and much more.

The best thing about this 4 D camera is that it can also function as the modern conventional camera at far distances. A unique feature about this camera is that it can enhance the close up images to a great extent which means it can be used for a really wide variety of tasks and operations like it can used in the small robots which tends to navigate small areas in the landing drones or self-driving vehicles.

 Its other characteristic of offering incredible depth information will come in handy in the augments and virtual reality system wherein it will be help in seamlessly rendering real scenes. It will also bring support for better amalgamation between the actual scenes as well as the virtual components in an efficient fashion.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Climbing Stairs Just Got Easier with Energy-Recycling Steps

 Energy-Recycling Steps

Scientists make it easier to climb stairs with new age energy recycling steps

If you have trouble walking up and down stairs then researchers from Georgia Tech has a device meant just for you. They had been successful at making the world’s first energy recycling stairs which has the unique features of storing as well as returning the energy to the users while moving up and down the stairs. The working of this device is quite simple and right to the point which makes it easier for anyone to make use of it.

It has been found that this spring loaded stairs results in saving energy by 26 percent while going up or down the stairs. When some goes up using this device then it releases the stored energy and in the process it makes it 39 percent easier for the subject to move up the stairs. It also remains soft on the knees and seriously limits the amount of energy which is usually wasted while using the conventional stair cases. The best thing about this device is that it can be easily placed on the existing stairs without the need of even installing it permanently.

How this stairs works? 

The working of this energy recycling device has been defined by Karen Liu, an associate professor AT Georgia Tech. She explains that normal walking usually results dissipating energy with each heel strike which can be easily store and utilized in the ascent using this device. In order to achieve this functionality each stair is made up of springs which are equipped with pressure sensors. When a user walks downstairs the steps sinks and lock in a certain position which helps in storing the generated energy and when someone walks upstairs then this stored energy is released. Researchers are going to publish their findings in the journal called Public Library of Science PLOS ONE.

A simple idea with wider future application of Energy Recycling


The idea behind this device came to Liu when she attended a conference and got to see a unique ankle brace which effectively works on the basis on storing and releasing the energy. Secondly she also saw her 72 year old mother having grave walking difficulty and problems associated with climbing the steps. Thereon she got the idea of creating smart stairs rather than the sneakers.

Her device is extremely low cost which means wider number of people suffering from the knee and walking issues will be able to buy it. This energy recycling stairs can be easily installed in the home which isn’t possible when it comes to having stair lifts or elevators at home.

It is also believed that this device will allow users to maintain their mobility by allowing them to keep walking and moving around even through injury and it will eventually help in elevating the quality of life in the long run. When it comes to application this energy recycling stairs can act as the temporary stars at home, hospitals or old age homes where older people or people recovering from surgery are spending their time.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Neural Networks Model Audience Reactions to Movies


Deep learning software models the audience reactions to the movies

Blockbusters and tentpole movies have become a mega event not just for the fans but also for the studios. A huge amount of money is stake when movie are released but for some time now movies are failing to get desired results as per the expectations of studio executives.

Engineers at the Disney Research had developed a new deep learning software which makes effective use of the neural networks to map and access the viewers’ facial expressions to the movies. This particular software is result of collaboration between Disney Research and researchers from the Caltech and Simon Fraser University.

This new age deep learning software will arm studios with the knowledge of how movies are going to perform on box office through utilizing a newly developed algorithm called factorized variational auto encoders (FVAEs).

How it works?

This software makes use of the deep learning to translate the images of highly complex objects automatically. These objects can be anything from the human face, forests, trees to moving objects and this software essentially turns their images into sets of numerical data through a process called encoding or latent representation.

Thereby they were able to understand how human react to the movies by understanding how much they are smiling or how worries they were in a particular scene and so on. In next stage these neural networks are fed with the metadata which helps in bringing better understanding of the audience responses.

Researchers are all set to showcase their findings to the world at the upcoming event called IEE Conference ion Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in July.

Futures prospects and application of this new software

Research team has performed extensive testing of this software to make the best use of the neural networks to unlock how human perceive movies in real life. This software was applied in more than 150 showings of nine blockbusters ranging from The Jungles Book, Big Hero 6 to Stars Wars: The Force Awakens.

In the 400 seater cinema hall researchers made use of four infrared cameras to make out the audience face reactions in the dark. The result of these testing provided highly astonishing findings with the help of some 16 million individual facial images captured by the cameras.

Lead researcher has stressed the amount of data collected by the software is too much for a person to comprehend on its own. The FVAEs effectively understood the nueral networks and brought some of the greatest finding for the researchers. It helped in understanding how audience reacted to certain scenes and how movie making can be enhanced to strike cord with audience hot points.

This software will not be just limited to study the audience reaction to the movies but it can also find application in analyzing varied things or places like forest wherein it can state how trees responds to different climatic and environmental changes. Later on this very finding can be utilized in creating animated simulation of the flora all around us with precision.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Google Blocks Lets You Make Gorgeous Low-Poly VR Art

Google Blocks Latest Virtual Reality App

The latest virtual reality app by Google called Google Blocks allows users to make colourful 3D models in Virtual Reality or VR and has recently been available for free on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. It is supposed to be spontaneous enough for beginners to use, but at the same time it is fully featured to help make artistic models, similar to the ones Google has gathered in a gallery that is online. Users are able to export objects and can view them online itself, or can also place them in 3D scenes both inside and outside virtual reality. Visitors are also able to spin objects around to generate animated GIFs that can be downloaded, on Google’s site.

Blocks is a recent one of the many design tools that work inside VR. It is on the same lines as Oculus’ sculpting app Medium and corresponds to Google’s popular Tilt Brush 3D painting tool. You can also use both of these together as you have the ability to export art from both Tilt Brush and Blocks. However, the art style appearance is very different. On one hand Tilt Brush gives the delusion of sculpting with paint and light whereas Blocks lets you create low-poly art in a colourful style that is used by Google in its Daydream VR interface.

Sadly for Google Daydream users, Blocks is at present restricted to only high-end headsets, which have complicated hand controls and let you move around creations. But this may not always be the case as Google is now making available all-in-one Daydream headsets that could compete with the Rift and Vive’s feature set.

Virtual Reality creators envisage a future in which users can build fantastic environments with beautiful objects in it. But in order to do that, these objects have to be created by somebody and for this a basic knowledge of 3D modelling software is needed. Google, through its design tool Blocks, seems to have found a solution to this setback.

With the help of Blocks, Google aims to give the freedom to its users to use VR and create, share and modify 3D objects promptly and without any hassle. At present, the time it takes to build a 3D object is so tiresome and it is near to impossible to achieve it.

What Google Blocks creators have done is learn about the textures and lighting and just use the most fundamental colours and shapes to see how far one can get. The user interface of Blocks depends on the motion-sensing controllers of the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Unfortunately, it is not available for mobile users at present.

Blocks may appear to be less proficient than Oculus’ own VR sculpting app, Medium, which is powerful, but because of its minimalism it is more user-friendly. Intricately detailed objects have low-poly aesthetics which maintains high visual consistency as well as performance.

A lower count of polygon enables the 3D objects created in Blocks to run on not only powerful VR headsets such as Vive and Rift but also on low-cost, phone-enabled assembles like Google’s Daydream View or Samsung’s Gear VR. Google Blocks is therefore a fun tool to use and like Tilt Brush a brilliant introduction to VR.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Teachers 'Google' Tech Solutions

Google teach Teachers
Image Credit: The Valdosta Daily Times

Google started to teach Tech things to the Teachers

Digital education is the key to success! With a permanent "future workplace" in many european countries, Google wants to build a first solid foundation for its worldwide education initiative and started to teach primarily to teachers. And also the tech giant is planning to provide the permanent “Future Workshops” in many countries. As an initiative, it started to teach the tech things to 250 teachers througout Lowndes County, Valdosta. They have been given training for three days, to learn a lot things about Google App. And also this tech giant has awarded certificates to 60 teachers who were done well.

A Google partner named AppsEvents offered certified faculties from across United States to teach them to make use of Google's Free Software suite. The speciality of this suite is that offers more interactive classroom experience for their students. The teachers are well trained to use Google Classrooms, YouTube Playlists as well as Google Forms.

USA Director of AppsEvents Allison Mollica said that nearly 60 million students and teachers got well trained to use Google Apps of Education. She also added that the students who are having the expertise in coding, they will definitely get a job. The students who volunteered in the events Brandon Booker, Cameron Jackson, Carlos Torres, Benny Zhang and Samuel Sandwell has been awarded a free extemporaneous training session in coding smartphone apps during the event.

Google wants to further the digital education in many countries. And the news flare around the net that it has initiated its first permanent training center in Munich. Together with its partners, the company is now offering free training courses on numerous digital topics. Digital education is the key to making everyone fit for change and keeping people internationally competitive. AppsEvents Director, Allison Mollica said, “ We also see ourselves responsible and want to be part of the solution."


Google wants to reach 2 Billion people

In the future workshop, important digital skills will be taught for professionals and non-professionals. The program includes both learning contents for occupational benefit and a range of courses for schools. Such long-term future workshops are also planned to start in many countries. Time training is scheduled to take place in all the federal states. By 2020, Google plans to reach a total of two Billion people.

For further vocational training, Google is working together with the respective volunteers, which also integrates the program into its own initiative. In addition to workshops on online marketing or web analysis, special courses are planned for non-profit organizations as well as for journalists. The future workshop is an ideal complement to meet the enormous need for know-how in the company.

Calliope mini microcontroller board, developed especially for programming learning under third graders, is also part of the offer for students. The hand-held device in the shape of a six-pointed star was the result of an initiative sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Equipped with a number of sensors, the Calliope mini can be programmed on a PC or via an app. Google has already supported the project according to own data with 1.1 million euros.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Google Antes Up Its Own Cloud Migration Appliance

Google Cloud

Google is bringing its own data transfer appliance for cloud migration

When we talk about the cloud migration hen the toughest challenge to overcome is to ensure reliable and consistent migration methodology. Moving databases and data centers are not an easy game even for the proficient administrators. This is faced by almost all the major companies and new start-ups when they are trying to build new application or make use of new data residing in the cloud. Data migration between two points is always seen as tough egg to break due higher costs and huge time consumption this is where cloud vendors come into the play.

Remedy for data to cloud migration problem

The problem faced in the cloud migration is quite incomprehensible even with modern technologies at disposable. If a person has 10 Gbps connection then transferring petabyte of data from any data center will consume as many as 12 days to put it on the cloud. In the old golden days companies used to Sneakernet in the sky wherein a pile of data is loaded on a secure disk and it is shipped off to any of their cloud vendor. Microsoft Azure made use of this system for quite some time before a new system came into being called Snowball and this method is also used by the Amazon AWS. This doesn’t mean that sending secure disks to the cloud vendor has become obsolete.

Google is moving into the enterprise cloud migration business

The tech giant is getting into the enterprise cloud business on a serious note but quite specifically in the migration appliance space. In this end of the business the consumer arc is very similar to online shopping portal. User goes online, orders the device and this particular device is made available for definite set of time after which they have to send it back to the provider.

Cloud migration market is buzzing with immense order in the one petabyte category therefore Google is introducing two models with size of 100 and 480TBytes. On other hand its competitors Amazon tends to work in lower end of the spectrum with 3 models with data size of 50, 80 and 100 TBytes units. Amazon is way ahead in the field of data transfer and it has developed a number of solutions for high end data migration with Amazon Snowmobile wherein it brings a 12 wheeler 45-foot container for transferring 100 PBytes of data.

Pricing will be a key to grab a piece of the cloud migration market

Google is mainly focusing on cornering market for the petabyte cloud migration. Therefore it has brought on par pricing with Snowball for the smaller 100 TByte units and in order to make migration appliance more appealing to the users by keeping it 35% below the rival offerings. When it comes to design Google is going for plug-in based form and function while Amazon brings self-standing units.

However Google has revealed many details of its devices, service offerings, capabilities and benefits but it seems like it is eagerly looking forward to give stiff competition to market leaders namely Amazon and Microsoft Azure.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Someone Made a Working Six Speed Gearbox Out of Lego

Lego and the Gear Box

Lego never fails to surprise people with its frequent new building creativity. They are the most renowned name in terms of its excellence. Whenever we are reminded of those explicit cars enfolded in amazing bricks made of plastics we are filled with exuberance. They never let us down, but now they are back with a different take our expectation to a different level.

Dgustafsson 13 is the new development made in the arena of building by none other than Lego. Some of its features are gaerboc with 6 speed, numerous positive caster angle with front axle, parts of scania, scania cabs bendy suspension parts with rear axle, motorized parts simply usable technical parts and elevator parts.

These parts all together make this machine a remarkable bus. There are several buses available in the market, but this one turns out to be the best of its time. Lego has again taken the notches high by the introduction of these explicit machine which is the most technologically bus of all times. This city bus is the one, which is equipped with best possible equipments to give safety measures and an unhindered journey to its passengers.

Lego with the involvement of gears bestowed with six speeds is the best is what makes this city bus extraordinary. It makes the bus work almost like a real thing. This newly introduced transmission is a new thing, which makes Dgustafsson 13, the most synchronized model of all times with not even an inch of compromise in terms of gears and makes it the best version of the city buses available.

The motor associated with it is the best of all times. The motor is a much developed version of motor available, which helps in stabilizing synchronization. Lego has always something new to offer to its people.

The kit that Dgustafsson 13 it isn’t the official one and when you go into the detailing of Dgustafsson 13, it is then when you are made aware of the Lego technicalities and its development and once you get acquainted with its kit then you understand that how developed Lego is in terms of technicalities. The more you get to know Lego the more updated version of technology you are acquainted with. The technology that Lego offers is not that difficult to build all you need is dedication and the interest to transform technology to a different level.

By looking at Lego Kit, you understand how you can revolutionize the level of gear boxes. It is not that difficult a proper mindset with an enhanced knowledge can make things happen. Once you see the Lego gear box you understand what it is. Lego is the most heard name because it never fails to surprise people with its updated version of all times.

Lego knows the art of taking machine to a different level and the instructions it posts online helps people to develop such kind of techniques to fed into their machines. Lego is here to revolutionize the era of machines.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

iPhone 8 to ditch fingerprint sensor for face scanner, reports say

iPhone 8

iPhone 8 – Refurbished Security System

The upcoming iPhone 8 of Apple would be featuring a refurbished security system wherein the users can unlock the device by utilising their face instead of their fingerprints. The 10th anniversary of iPhones is estimated in having a radical redesign that would comprise of a security system which will scan the faces of the users in order to check who could be using the device.

As per Bloomberg, it is said that the 3D scanning scheme would be replacing the Touch ID as a means of verifying payments, log in to apps as well as in unlocking the phone. It could function at various angles and hence the iPhone has the tendency of getting unlocked by merely looking at it, if the same is flat on the table and also held up right. It has been reported that the scanning system has been designed for the purpose of speed and precision and can scan the face of the user and unlock the device within a few hundred milliseconds.

Since it tends to analyse 3D instead of 2D images, it is likely to be capable of differentiating between a persons’ face and an image of the person. Presently available in Galaxy S8 of Samsung in strengthening the security of the device, Apple could also utilise the eye scanning technology.

Face Scanning Technology

Bloomberg had reported that the face scanning technology could secure more than the Touch ID, first released in 2013 on the iPhone S5 since it tends to draw on more identifiers. Apple has claimed that its fingerprint scanner tends to have only a 1 in 50,000 chance of being unlocked by a stranger’s fingerprint. According to an analyst having reliable track record, Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 8 is said to feature an edge-to-edge OLED screen having the maximum screen-to-body ratio than any smartphone prevailing at the moment.

Apple would probably remove the Home button as well as the Touch ID scanner in order to make provision for the display. Kuo has also predicted that Apple would be releasing three new phones in September, namely the iPhone 8, iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus. The iPhone 8 would be featuring the most vivid redesign among the three, having a 5.2-inch size screen retained in a device which would be the same size as the iPhone 7. Besides that it would also have less colour options and will be available with a glass front with steel edges towards the back.

New Chip Dedicated to Processing Artificial Intelligence

A well-linked Apple blogger, John Gruber had mentioned that the top iPhone could be named as `iPhone Pro’ recommending that the cost could be $1,500 or higher. The remaining two devices would be featuring LCD screens and will be available in sizes of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch. Like the present iPhone 7, these devices would probably have a Home button together with Touch ID.

It is also said that the three phones would be having a Lightning port together with an embedded USB-C equipped with storage of 64GB or 256GB, if the predictions of Kuo tends to be accurate. Moreover they would be available with a new chip that is dedicated to processing artificial intelligence and the same is being verified presently.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Can You Hear Me Now?


Lombard - Split Second Act from Ear to Brain –

It has been observed that humans as well as animals while trying to be heard over sound tend to raise their voices. It is said to be a split-second act from the ear to the brain for vocalization. The first to measure how fast it tends to occur in bats – 30 milliseconds, are researchers from Johns Hopkins University. This is 10 times quicker than the blink of an eye, a record for audio vocal response.

 Since this deed is known as the Lombard, its effect tends to take place very fast; the researchers were capable of solving a long overdue mystery considering the neural mechanism behind it. Recently in a paper publishing in the journal `Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’, they concluded that it could be a fundamental temporal reflex instead of a deeper, thinking behaviour as presumed earlier, which would be time consuming in processing.

The discoveries shedding light on the foundations of human speech control has also disclosed how species as diverse as fish, animals, and frogs together with humans tend to share the ability to be head over the fight. Co-author Ninad Kothari, a graduate student in Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins stated that scientist have been speculating for a century that, could there be a common auditory process in explaining how this phenomenon occurred in fish to frogs to birds to human species with wildly various hearing systems and they had resolved this question.

Lombard Effect

The new statistics could lead to improved treatment for diseases and the Lombard effect could be intensified like Parkinson’s disease as well as support in building assistive medical devices. Studies conducted on bats, animals which tend to depend on sonar-like echolocation, releasing sounds and listening for echoes in order to sense, track and catch prey, had been carried out by the researchers.

In contrast to humans, where the vocalization tends to be reasonably long and slow, bats seems to be perfect for such sensorimotor study since their extraordinary frequency chirps, unnoticeable to the human ear are said to be quick and accurate enabling the researchers to test the parameters of a mammalian brain.

While tracking an insect moving towards the animal on a tether, the team had trained big brown bats to stay balanced on a platform and while the bat hunted for the insect, the researchers had recorded the vocalization of the bat with an array of 14 microphones. The researchers at time permitted the bat to hunt in silence while at other times they played bursts of interfering white noise at different intensities from a speaker which has been placed in front of the bat.

Brain Monitors Background Noise Continuously

It was observed that the white noise had interfered with the echolocation of the bat and had caused the bat to emit louder and louder chirps not different from two neighbours attempting in making a conversation, first over a lurid radio and then over the clamour of a lawn mower and thereafter over the blast of a passing fire engine.

When the noise had stopped, the bat would also stop shouting, to speak and voice at a more usual level. The researchers capable of creating a computational model for the Lombard effect which tends to be applicable to all vertebrate, reached a conclusion that the brain of a bat or a person or a fish tends to monitor continuously the background noise and is inclined to adjust the vocal levels whenever the need arises.

 At first the auditory system is said to notice the background noise. Then the auditory system measures the level of sound pressure and tends to adjust the vocalization amplitude in order to compensate and when the background noise stops, the sound pressure level dissipates as well as the level of vocalization.

Connection Between Hearing & Vocalizations

The author observed that this complete intricate process tends to take place in only 30 milliseconds. In terms of near-instantaneous brain reactions, they name this reflex as `remarkably short’. Lead author Jinhong Luo, a Johns Hopkins postdoctoral colleague had stated that `typically, we breathe every three to five seconds, our heart beats once per second and eye blinking takes one third of a second.

If we believe that eye blinking is fast, the speed at which an echolocating bat responds to ambient noise is truly shocking – 10 times quicker than we blink our eyes’. Scientists are of the belief that the Lombard effect seems to be much slower, around 150 to 175 milliseconds for humans.

Johns Hopkins professor of Psychological and Brian Sciences and Neuroscience and a co-author, Cynthia Moss commented that their study features echolocating bats as valuable animal models for understanding connections between hearing and vocalizations, including speech control in humans.

 The research has been supported by the national Science foundation IOS-1010193 and IOS-1460149, the Human Frontiers Science Program RGP0040 and LT000279/2016-L, the Office of Naval Research N00014-12-1-0339 and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research FA9550-14-1-0398

Monday, 10 July 2017

Watching Cities Grow

Great Resolution Civilian Radar Satellite

Major cities in the world have been increasing and as per the estimates of United Nations, presently half of the population of the world tends to be living in cities. Towards 2050, the figure is expected to mount to two thirds of the population of the world.

 Professor for Signal Processing in Earth Observation at TUM, Xiaoxiang Zhu has informed that this growth has given rise to high demands on building and infrastructure safety since destruction events could threaten thousands of human lives at once. Zhu together with her team had established a method of early detection of probable dangers for instance; subterranean subsidence could cause the collapse of buildings, bridges, tunnels or even dams.

The new system tends to make it possible in noticing and visualizing changes as small as one millimetre each year. Data for the latest urban images tends to come from the German TerraSAR-X satellite which is one of the great resolution civilian radar satellite in the world. Since 2007, the satellite, circulating the earth at an altitude of approximately 500 kilometres tends to send microwave pulses to the earth and collects their echoes. Zhu has explained that at first these measurements were only in a two dimensional image with a resolution of one meter.

Generate Highly Accurate Four-Dimensional City Model

The TUM professor worked in partnership with the German Aerospace Centre – DLR and was also in charge of her own working team. The DLR tends to be in control of the operation and use of the satellite for scientific purposes.

The consequence of the images is restricted by the statistic that reflections from various objects which are at an equivalent distance from the satellite, will layover with each other and this effect tends to decrease the three-dimensional world to a two-dimensional image. Zhu had not only created her own algorithm that tends to make it possible in reconstructing the third and also fourth dimension, but also set a world record at the same time.

 Four dimensional point clouds having a density of three million points for each square kilometre had been reconstructed. This rich recovered information gave rise to generate highly accurate four-dimensional city models.

Radar Measurements to Reconstruct Urban Infrastructure

The trick was that the scientists utilised images taken from slightly various viewpoints. Every eleven days, the satellite tends to fly over the region of interest but its orbit position does not always seem to be precisely the same. The researchers utilise these 250 meter orbital variations in radar tomography to localize each point in three-dimensional space.

This system utilises similar principle used by computer tomography that tends to develop a three-dimensional view of the inner area of the human body. Various radar images taken from different viewpoints have been linked in creating a three-dimensional image. Zhu states that since this system processes only poor resolution in the third dimension, additional compressive sensing system which makes it possible for improving the resolution by 15 times is applied.

Scientists could utilise the radar dimensions to restructure urban organization on the surface of the earth with great accuracy, from TerraSAR-X, for instance the 3D shape of individual buildings. This system has already been utilised in generating highly precise 3D models in Berlin, Paris, Las Vegas and Washington DC.

The Secret to a Perfect Selfie


Trailblazing Self-Portrait – Over £6 Million

Though selfies are said to be a basic of our technology-fanatical generation they do not always seem to be creative. Andy Warhol had takes what could have been some of the most well-known selfies in the world portraying that the artist seems to be much ahead of his time.

 Tom van Laer, a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at City University of London and Stefania Farace, a PhD Candidate in Marketing at Maastricht University in an article for The Conversation, had studied Warhol’s popular photo revealing the three simple rules to the perfect selfie for social media. Andy Warhol, in 1963 had walked in a New York photobooth and had taken what could have been the most famous selfies in the world.

One of the trailblazing self-portrait had been sold for just over £6 million. These selfies seemed to suit effortlessly Warhol’s vision of the pop art era of the late 1950s and 1960s and are typically all-American, mechanical and democratic. Although photobooth images did not go viral like social media images tend to do now, the use of a photobooth in making art was in 1963 fiercely innovative as well as added to the aura of technical invention which surrounded Warhol like it surrounds selfie together with social media presently.

Selfies – Holy Grail of Social Media

Selfies are said to be the holy grail of social media a kind of self-portraying images which tend to be posted on social networking site with details to involve large number of audience. According to latest study it had been revealed that three things could assist the user in taking images which are worth, if not millions of pounds but at least a thousand words and without the need of one risking their life for them.

 Three online experiments had been conducted by their team with workers from Amazon Mechanical Turk that had crowdsource expertise in a range of fields, one with students on computers in the university laboratory and one corpus analysis. It involved a method of looking at a body of evidence jointly with self-governing coders. To define precisely what people involve with, when they view images online, the participants various images were portrayed.

These images were rated on various photographic elements, point of view, content, artsiness and the like. Moreover they also specified how likely they were to comment on the images if they viewed them on social media. With these studies it became possible to segregate the things which seemed to affect people in stopping from caring about an online image and to locate images which would involve them.
Enthusiastic Selfie-Portrait Artist - Awareness –

Besides that they also helped to determine the type of images on which people possibly tend to comment. There are three things which enthusiastic selfie-portrait artist should be aware of:

1. People favour you before the camera

Point of view – POV, in photography is said to be a question of who it is people `see’ taking the image. The unassuming difference is that of `person’ of which there seems to be two principle types namely third person – Warhol taking an image of Marilyn Monroe for instance and first person – Warhol’s selfie.

In the case of Warhol’s time, several of the photographs had been taken from a third person point of view. However this has changed and research does not find much interest for third person images in social media age. From the point of view, it tends to add elaborately to how individuals feel and think as they view the images and just as the point of view could be from one within or outside the image, people then to pick up various feelings and thoughts.

Warhol has contributed immensely in the pictured story of his selfie than in his famous image of Marilyn Monroe and just he is more involved in the story he is conveying with his selfie, so also others are statically likely to get involved with the content of selfies.

2. People get bored of just you

Since the portrait had first been invented, painters and photographers seemed to set priority of importance to person or action. Several of the selfies are said to be about themselves, though our research recommend that this is a poor strategy for drawing attention since people are 15-14% likely in commenting on selfies of individuals doing that which is meaningful than on only selfies. Selfie-takers tend to have agency beyond only being the subject of their own images and tend to do things like eating of drinking of waving their free hand. Warhol had done something else; he had appeared as adjusting his tie.

3. Realistic images put people off 

The selfie of Warhol had been designed not for portraying or depict the truth but to accept the artifice and deception in-built to any kind of illustration. If the creative flexibility in reality and image had been wide in the photograph of Warhol, it would be vast since photography arrived in social media and this is essentially the case. Photographers, who tend to complain that selfies seem to be poor illustration of reality, overlook the fact that taking selfies is not illustration of anything but the unattached sense.

Research has shown that not changing images could wind up in failure and a variation could be silly or serious, unprofessional or professional and so on. Modern photographers need to organize the full power of procedure like emoji, lenses, filters as well as tools since selfie sticks to turn the original into something artful. These selfies tend to be superior with regards to engagement and it was observed that people tend to be 11.86% more likely in commenting on adapted selfies.

As users tend to become more sophisticated in their choice of images, it tends to pay to being more people-centric and to think harder regarding the value an image tends to provide the audience instead of just yourself. The outcome seems to be a renovated selfie of one doing something, an image which is worth a thousand words. In 1968, Warhol had written that `in future everyone would be world well-known for 15 minutes and that future is now.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Hot Electrons Move Faster Than Expected

 Hot Electrons

Ultrafast Motion of Electrons

A new research has given rise to solid-state devices which tend to utilise excited electrons. Engineers and scientists at Caltech have for the first time, been in a position of observing directly the ultrafast motion of electrons instantly after they have been excited by a laser. It was observed that these electrons tend to diffuse in their surroundings quickly and beyond than earlier anticipated.

This performance called as `super-diffusion has been hypothesized though not seen before. A team headed by Marco Bernardi of Caltech and the late Ahmed Zewail had documented the motion of electrons by utilising microscope which had captured the images with a shutter speed of a trillionth of a second at a nanometer-scale spatial resolution and their discoveries had appeared in a study published on May 11 in Nature Communications.

 The excited electrons had displayed a diffusion rate of 1,000 times higher than earlier excitation. Though the phenomenon had lasted only for a few hundred trillionths of a second, it had provided the possibility for operation of hot electrons in this fast system in transporting energy and charge in novel devices.

Assistant professor of applied physics and materials science in Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science, Bernardi had informed that their work portrayed the presence of fast transient which tends to last for a few hundred picoseconds at the time when electrons move quicker than their speed of room temperature, indicating that they can cover longer distance in a given period of time when operated with the help of lasers.

Ultrafast Imaging Technology

He further added that this non-equilibrium behaviour could be employed in novel electronic, optoelectronic as well as renewable energy devices together with uncovering new fundamental physics. Nobel Laureate Ahmed Zewail, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry, professor of physics as well as the director of the Physical Biology Centre for Ultrafast Science and Technology at Caltech, colleague of Bernardi had passed away on 2nd August 2016.

The research had been possible by scanning ultrafast electron microscopy, which is an ultrafast imaging technology initiated by Zewail, with the potential of creating images with picosecond time with nanometer spatial resolutions. The theory and computer models had been developed by Bernardi which clarified the tentative results as an indicator of super-diffusion.

Bernandi has plans of continuing the research by trying to answer the fundamental questions regarding the excited electrons, like how they equilibrate among themselves as well as with atomic vibrations in material, together with applied ones like how hot electrons could increase the efficiency of energy conversion devices such as solar cells and LEDs.

Super Diffusion of Excited Carriers in Semiconductors

The paper has been entitled `Super Diffusion of Excited Carriers in Semiconductors’. Co-authors comprise of former postdoc Ebrahim Najafi of Caltech, who is said to be the main author of the paper and a former graduate student, Vsevolod Ivanov. The research has been supported by the National Science foundation, together with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Gordon and Betty Moor Foundation as well as the Caltech-Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology – GIST, program.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

L2 vs. L3 cache: What’s the Difference?

The cache is a special buffer memory that is located between the memory and the processor.

So that the processor does not have to get every program command from the slow memory individually, a whole command block or data block is loaded into the cache. The probability that the subsequent program instructions are in the cache is relatively high. Only when all program instructions have been executed or a jump command to a jump address outside the cache, the processor must access the memory again. Therefore, the cache should be as large as possible so that the processor can run the program instructions one after the other without waiting.

Typically, processors work with multi-level caches that are different in size and fast. The closer the cache is to the computing core, the faster it works.

Inclusive cache and exclusive cache

With the multicore processors the terms inclusive and exclusive cache came up. Inclusive cache means that data in the L1 cache is also present in the L2 and L3 cache. This makes data consistency between the cores more secure. Compared to the exclusive cache, some storage capacity is given away because the data is redundant in the caches of several CPU cores.

Exclusive cache means that the cache is available to a processor core exclusively, that is, for it alone. It does not have to share the cache with another core. A disadvantage of this is that several processor cores can then exchange data with one another only by way of a detour.

L1 cache / first-level cache

As a rule, the L1 cache is not particularly large. For reasons of space it moves in the order of 16 to 64 kByte. Usually, the memory area for commands and data is separated from each other. The importance of the L1 cache increases with the higher CPU speed.

In the L1 cache, the most frequently used commands and data are buffered so that as few accesses as possible to the slow memory are required. This cache avoids delays in the data transfer and helps to optimally utilize the CPU.

L2 cache / second-level cache

In the L2 cache, the data of the working memory (RAM) is buffered.

The processor manufacturers supply the different market segments with specially modified processors via the size of the L2 cache. The choice between a processor with more clock speed or a larger L2 cache can be answered in a simplified manner as follows: With a higher clock, individual programs, especially with high arithmetic requirements, run faster. As soon as several programs run at the same time, a larger cache is an advantage. Typically, normal desktop computers with a processor that has a large cache are better served than with a processor that has a high clock rate.

When the memory controller was shifted from the chipset into the processor and the processor was able to access memory much faster, the importance of the L2 cache decreased. While the size of the L2 cache has decreased, the L3 cache has been properly upgraded.

L3 cache / third-level cache

As a rule, multicore processors use an integrated L3 cache. With the L3 cache, the Cache Koheranz protocol of Multicore processors can work much faster. This protocol compares the caches of all cores to maintain data consistency. The L3 cache thus has less functions of a cache, but is intended to simplify and speed up the cache coherency protocol and the data exchange between the cores.

As modern processors now contain several data cores - so-called cores - the manufacturers have already donated a third cache, the L3 cache, to these multi-core processors. All processor cores work together, which is particularly beneficial in parallel processing. This allows data shared by different CPU cores to be retrieved from the fast L3 cache. Without it, these data would always come from the slow main memory. In addition, the L3 cache also facilitates data management with multiple CPU cores and caches (data coherency).

Monday, 3 July 2017

Peering Into Fish Brains to See How They Work


Transparent Fish – Work in the Dark

The main focus in the research of the latest group at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience is transparent fish and the capability to work in the dark. One of the important challenges faced by neuroscientists wanting to comprehend how the brain works is essentially reckoning out how the brain is wired together and how neurons tend to interact.

NTNU neuroscientists and Nobel laureates May-Britt and Edvard Moser resolved this issue by studying how to record from individual neurons in the rat brain when the rats tend to move freely in space. They utilised the recording in order to make the findings that had attained them the Nobel Prize.

They were in a position to understand that certain neurons in the entorhinal cortex fired in a manner that created a grid pattern which could be utilised in navigating like an internal GPS. Emre Yaksi, the latest teamhead of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience utilised a diverse approach to the issue of viewing what tends to go on within the brain.

Rather than studying rats or mice, Yakshi resorted to around 90 various types of genetically modified zebra-fish which he could breed in creating various fish with preferredphysiognomies.

Comprehending Universal Circuit Architectures in Brain

Young larval zebra-fish are said to be totally transparent and hence Yakshi needed only a systematic optical microscope to view what tends to occur inside their heads. Some of the fishes of Yakshi seem to have a genetic modification which makes their neurons light up while they direct signal to another neuron and he has informed that this is what tends to make circuits and connections visible to researchers.

He commented that they are interested in comprehending the universal circuit architectures in the brain which can perform interesting computation. Though fish are quite different from humans, their brains tend to have identical structures and in the end fish also have to find food, they also have to find a mate, they have to avoid dangers and they build brain circuits which can generate all these behaviours just the way humans tend to do.

When Yaksi had come to Kavli Institute in early 2015 together with a team of researchers they had a 900 kg anti-vibration table which was the size of a billiards table. The table had been big and heavy and was needed in the laboratory to reduce vibration when they had to use the highly sensitive optical microscopes to peer into the brains of the zebra-fish.

Zebra-Fish Genetically Adapted

The larval fish tend to be quite small that a slight vibration from cars or trucks passing by the streets could make the microscopes bounce away from their miniature brain targets. Zebra-fish brains are quite small, around 10,000 to 20,000 neurons which is a figure dwarfed by the human brain that tends to have an estimated neurons of 80 billion.

However the measurement that Yaksi together with his colleagues tend to make marks in huge quantities of data. According to him, a 30 minute of recording could generate data which tends to take about a week to process the same. It was for this purpose, the research group of Yaksiis a multi-disciplinary team of engineers, physicists and life scientists who seemed to be trained to develop and utilise computational tools in analysing these huge datasets.

Since few of the zebra-fish tend to be genetically adapted in order that their neurons light up with a fluorescent protein when the neurons are active, Yaksi and his colleagues tend to work frequently in low light or darkness. This is particularly obvious when he takes visitors in the subdued darkness of the laboratory where several of the fanciest microscopes are confined in boxes open towards the front, developed to restrict the amount of external light.

Research – Causes of Seizures/How Seizures Prevented

Yaksi had informed that other zebra-fish are genetically modified to shine a blue light in their brain which tends to activate certain neurons enabling the researchers to plan connections between neuron. Major part of the study being done by the group of Yaksiis basic research with findings which tend to improve our understanding of the brain computation though does not specifically have any instant clinical implications.

However, Nathalie Jurisch-Yaksi, wife and colleague of Yaksi is working with medical doctors in order to develop genetically modified zebra-fish which could be helpful in shedding light on brain disease like epilepsy.According to Yaksi, most of the people in his lab are doing basis research attempting to ask how does the brain works, how is it connected, how is it built.

 Nonetheless, Nathalie is working at NTNU with medical doctors and they are trying to reach out to clinicians. For instance he stated that if a brain disorder like epilepsy tends to have a genetic component, that same genetic mutation could be developed in the transgenic group of zebra-fish facility in order that the team could research on the causes of seizures in a diseased brain and how the seizures can be prevented.

Kavli Institute – Excellent Science Environment

The Kavli Institute had been on an institute-wider retreat, when he had come to Trondheim for interview for the position, so Yaksi had the opportunity of meeting not just group leaders but also technicians, master’s students, PhD candidates and everyone. He informed that what was most impressive besides the excellent science environment was that people had been happy and satisfied with what was being done and it was a good atmosphere.

 Though the science had been the most serious part of his decision to move to Trondheim, he informed that he was excited to be a part of the Kavli Institute since he and his wife desired to live in a smaller town as well as close to nature.

He had stated that Trondheim seems to be a unique place and one can do really good science and yet be close to nature, which was a big thing for him and his wife. Going to London or another big city was never an option and they did not desire to deal with big city life. He also informed that when May-Britt Moser had asked him at the time of his interview on what he knew regarding Scandinavia. His reply had been that he did not know much though he had added that he and his wife loved being outdoors.