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Helping soft robots turn rigid on demand

Imagine a robot.
Perhaps you’ve just conjured a machine with a rigid, metallic exterior. While robots armored with hard exoskeletons are common, they’re not always ideal. Soft-bodied robots, inspired by fish or other squishy creatures, might better adapt to changing environments and work more safely with people.
Roboticists generally have to decide whether to design a hard- or soft-bodied robot for a particular task. But that tradeoff may no longer be necessary.
Working with computer simulations, MIT researchers have developed a concept for a soft-bodied robot that can turn rigid on demand. The approach could enable a new generation of …

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New generation of tiny, agile drones introduced

If you’ve ever swatted a mosquito away from your face, only to have it return again (and again and again), you know that insects can be remarkably acrobatic and resilient in flight. Those traits help them navigate the aerial world, with all of its wind gusts, obstacles, and general uncertainty. Such traits are also hard to build into flying robots, but MIT Assistant Professor Kevin Yufeng Chen has built a system that approaches insects’ agility.
Chen, a member of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Research Laboratory of Electronics, has developed insect-sized drones with unprecedented dexterity …

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A robot able to ‘hear’ through the ear of a locust

Researchers at Tel Aviv University report that they have successfully connected the ear of a dead locust to a robot that receives the ear’s electrical signals and responds accordingly. The result is extraordinary: When the researchers clap once, the locust’s ear hears the sound and the robot moves forward; when the researchers clap twice, the robot moves backwards.
The interdisciplinary study was led by Idan Fishel, a joint master student under the joint supervision of Dr. Ben M. Maoz of the Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering and the Sagol School of Neuroscience, Prof. Yossi Yovel and Prof. Amir …

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Survey Finds Many Companies Do Little or No Management of Cloud Spending  

A heat map showing peaks and valleys of cloud computer use can be used to set schedules for better management of costs. (Credit: Getty Images)   
By John P. Desmond, AI Trends Editor  
Cloud computing “sticker shock” is on the rise as the monthly bills come in, the customers may not be sure what they are paying for, and the bills are trending upwards. 
J.R. Storment, executive director, the FinOps Foundation
That was a finding of a recent survey by the FinOps Foundation, a non-profit trade association focused on cloud financial management best practices, of more than 800 FinOps practitioners spending $45 …

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Convergence of AI, 5G and Augmented Reality Poses New Security Risks 

The convergence of AI, 5G and augmented reality poses new security and privacy risks, challenging organizations to keep pace. (Credit: Getty Images) 
By John P. Desmond, AI Trends Editor  
Some 500 C-level business and security experts from companies with over $5 billion in revenue in multiple industries expressed concern in a recent survey from Accenture about the potential security vulnerabilities posed by the pursuit of AI, 5G and augmented reality technologies all at the same time.  
Claudio Ordóñez, Cybersecurity Leader for Accenture in Chile
To properly train AI models, for example, the company needs to protect the data needed to train the …

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How to Meet the Enterprise-Grade Challenge of Scaling AI 

Scaling AI for the enterprise involves challenges around customization, data, talent and trust, suggest experts with experience. (Credit: Getty Images) 
By AI Trends Staff  
Organizations that have made a commitment to developing AI projects and have experienced some success next face the challenges around successfully scaling the project for the enterprise.   
To experience all the benefits, the organization needs to align the AI to the business strategy, ensure cross-functional collaboration, invest in the right talent and training, and apply strong data practices, suggests a recent account in Tech Wire.   
These are no small tasks. A recent global survey on AI …

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Enhancing Drug Discovery Research with AI

Pharmaceutical companies and researchers pour years of effort and billions of dollars into drug design and development. At every phase of drug discovery, see how artificial intelligence is accelerating workflows to cut costs, save time, and enable new drugs going to market faster than ever before. Learn about how AI is enhancing protein structure determination, chemoinformatics, molecular simulations, and more in this industry brief.
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New machine learning theory raises questions about nature of science

A novel computer algorithm, or set of rules, that accurately predicts the orbits of planets in the solar system could be adapted to better predict and control the behavior of the plasma that fuels fusion facilities designed to harvest on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars.
The algorithm, devised by a scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), applies machine learning, the form of artificial intelligence (AI) that learns from experience, to develop the predictions. “Usually in physics, you make observations, create a theory based on those observations, and …

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Artificial emotional intelligence: a safer, smarter future with 5G and emotion recognition

With the advent of 5G communication technology and its integration with AI, we are looking at the dawn of a new era in which people, machines, objects, and devices are connected like never before. This smart era will be characterized by smart facilities and services such as self-driving cars, smart UAVs, and intelligent healthcare. This will be the aftermath of a technological revolution.
But the flip side of such technological revolution is that AI itself can be used to attack or threaten the security of 5G-enabled systems which, in turn, can greatly compromise their reliability. It is, therefore, imperative to …

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New wearable device turns the body into a battery

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a new, low-cost wearable device that transforms the human body into a biological battery.
The device, described today in the journal Science Advances, is stretchy enough that you can wear it like a ring, a bracelet or any other accessory that touches your skin. It also taps into a person’s natural heat — employing thermoelectric generators to convert the body’s internal temperature into electricity.
“In the future, we want to be able to power your wearable electronics without having to include a battery,” said Jianliang Xiao, senior author of the new …

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