Robot Monitors Chicken Houses and Retrieves Eggs
By John Toon – “Today’s challenge is to teach a robot how to move in environments that have dynamic, unpredictable obstacles, such as chickens,” said Colin Usher, a research scientist in GTRI’s Food Processing Technology Division.
“When busy farmers must spend time in chicken houses, they are losing money and opportunities elsewhere on the farm. In addition, there is a labor shortage when it comes to finding workers to carry out manual tasks such as picking up floor eggs and simply monitoring the flocks. If a robot could successfully operate autonomously in a chicken house 24 hours a day and seven days a week, it could then pick up floor eggs, monitor machinery, and check on birds, among other things. By assigning one robot to each chicken house, we could also greatly reduce the potential for introductions of disease or cross-contamination from one house to other houses.”
The autonomous robot is outfitted with an ultrasonic localization system similar to GPS but more suited to an indoor environment where GPS might not be available. This system uses low-cost, ultrasonic beacons indicating the robot’s orientation and its location in a chicken house. The robot also carries a commercially available time-of-flight camera, which provides three-dimensional (3D) depth data by emitting light signals and then measuring how long they take to return. The localization and 3D data together allow the robot’s software to devise navigation plans around chickens to perform tasks. more>
- Real-Time Captcha Technique Improves Biometric Authentication, John Toon
- Data Detectives Shift Suspicions in Alzheimer’s from Usual Suspect to Inside Villain, Ben Brumfield
- Why Bees Soared and Slime Flopped as Inspirations for Systems Engineering, Ben Brumfield
- Asteroid “Time Capsules” May Help Explain How Life Started on Earth, John Toon
- Georgia Tech Trio Selected to National Academy of Engineering, Jason Maderer/Kay Kinard
- Successful SpaceX Launch Clears Way for Historic Georgia Tech Spacecraft, Jason Maderer
- Hatchet Enzyme, Enabler of Sickness and of Health, Exposed by Neutron Beams, Ben Brumfield
- Neurons Get the Beat and Keep It Going in Drumrolls, Ben Brumfield
- Yeast Assay Helps Reveal Genesis of Amyloids and Prions, A. Maureen Rouhi
- Self-assembled “Hairy” Nanoparticles Could Give a Double Punch to Cancer, John Toon
- Manufacturing Disaster Assistance Program to help Georgia companies prepare for natural disasters, Ben Cheeks
- Disclosing Weaknesses Can Undermine Some Workplace Relationships, Josh Brown
- Maelstroms in the Heart Confirmed
- The Next Frontier in Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Parmelee
- Air Force Grant Enables Quantum Simulation Using Cold Atoms, A. Maureen Rouhi
Posted in EARTH WATCH, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, Nature, Net, Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Climate change, Earth, Health, Industrial economy, Physics, Productivity, Technology
Imaging Technique Unlocks the Secrets of 17th Century Artists
By John Toon – The secrets of 17th century artists can now be revealed, thanks to 21st century signal processing. Using modern high-speed scanners and the advanced signal processing techniques, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are peering through layers of pigment to see how painters prepared their canvasses, applied undercoats, and built up layer upon layer of paint to produce their masterpieces.
The images they produce using the terahertz scanners and the processing technique – which was mainly developed for petroleum exploration – provide an unprecedented look at how artists did their work three centuries ago. The level of detail produced by this terahertz reflectometry technique could help art conservators spot previous restorations of paintings, highlight potential damage – and assist in authenticating the old works.
Beyond old art, the nondestructive technique also has potential applications for detecting skin cancer, ensuring proper adhesion of turbine blade coatings and measuring the thickness of automotive paints.
Without the signal processing, researchers might only be able to identify layers 100 to 150 microns thick. But using the advanced processing, they can distinguish layers just 20 microns thick. Paintings done before the 18th century have been challenging to study because their paint layers tend to be thin, Citrin said. Individual pigments cannot be resolved by the technique, though the researchers hope to be able to obtain that information in the future. more>
- Wearable Computing Ring Allows Users to Write Words and Numbers with Thumb, Jason Maderer
- When Physics Gives Evolution a Leg Up by Breaking One, Ben Brumfield
- Advancing the Path to Organic Electronics Beyond Cell Phone Screens, Ben Brumfield
- A Popular Tool to Trace Earth’s Oxygen History Can Give False Positives, Ben Brumfield
- Contribution statements and author order on research studies still leave readers guessing, Josh Brown
- Apprenticeship Program Helps Students Gain Skills, Péralte C. Paul
- Transfer Technique Produces Wearable Gallium Nitride Gas Sensors, John Toon
- Student Teams Compete in Service Academies Swarm Challenge – with GTRI Assistance, John Toon
- The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design Launches on Campus, Lance Wallace
- Creating the Next Code Composers, Stacy Braukman
- Astrobiology Rising at Georgia Tech, A. Maureen Rouhi
- “Instant Replay” for Computer Systems Shows Cyber Attack Details, John Toon
- “Combosquatting” Attack Hides in Plain Sight to Trick Computer UsersExamples of combosquatted domains, John Toon
- Rousing Masses to Fight Cancer with Open Source Machine Learning, Ben Brumfield
- 80 years of the Georgia Tech Research Corporation
- The Force is with Muscle Spindles
- Google Plugs In Georgia Tech Chemistry Team’s Software for its Quantum Computing Product
- National group honors research using lasers and AI to automatically assess health of highway pavement and catalog road signs
Posted in EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, History, Science, Technology
Tagged Earth, Georgia Tech, Health, Physics, Space, Technology
Daydreaming is Good. It Means You’re Smart
By Jason Maderer – A new study from the Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that daydreaming during meetings isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It might be a sign that you’re really smart and creative.
“People with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering,” said Eric Schumacher, the Georgia Tech associate psychology professor who co-authored the study.
Schumacher says higher efficiency means more capacity to think, and the brain may mind wander when performing easy tasks.
How can you tell if your brain is efficient? One clue is that you can zone in and out of conversations or tasks when appropriate, then naturally tune back in without missing important points or steps.
“Our findings remind me of the absent-minded professor — someone who’s brilliant, but off in his or her own world, sometimes oblivious to their own surroundings,” said Schumacher. “Or school children who are too intellectually advanced for their classes. While it may take five minutes for their friends to learn something new, they figure it out in a minute, then check out and start daydreaming.” more>
- Synthetic Hydrogels Deliver Cells to Repair Intestinal Injuries, John Toon
- Wriggling Microtubules Help Explain Coupling of “Active” Defects and Curvature, John Toon
- ‘Y’ a Protein Unicorn Might Matter in Glaucoma, Ben Brumfield
- International Patients Increasingly Seek In Vitro Fertilization Treatment in U.S., Jason Maderer
- Forest Service Funds Georgia Tech Project Using Georgia Timber for Stronger Army Barracks, Jonathan Bowers
- Navigational View of the Brain Thanks to Powerful X-Rays, Ben Brumfield
- Scientists Make First Detection of Neutron Star Collision, Jason Maderer
- Army Grant Supports Development of Intelligent, Adaptive and Resilient Robot Teams, John Toon
- Ceramic Pump Moves Molten Metal at a Record 1,400 Degrees Celsius, John Toon
- New Software Speeds Origami Structure Designs, Josh Brown
- Novel Circuit Design Boosts Wearable Thermoelectric Generators, John Toon
- Paper-Based Supercapacitor Uses Metal Nanoparticles to Boost Energy Density, John Toon
- Fight Against Top Killer, Clogged Arteries, Garners Acclaimed NIH Award, Ben Brumfield
- Georgia Tech Researchers Support DARPA’s New “CHIPS” Initiative, John Toon
- Ammonia Emissions Unlikely To Be Causing Extreme China Haze, Josh Brown
- The Next Frontier in Cybersecurity, Georgia Parmelee
- Annabelle Singer Named Packard Fellow, Jerry Grillo
- The Next Frontier in Medicine, Georgia Parmelee
- Georgia Tech researchers take aim at a super-multi-tasking waste treatment system, A. Maureen Rouhi
Posted in Business, Economic development, Education, Healthcare, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Climate change, Georgia Tech, Health, Manufacturing, Physics, Skills, Technology
A Bright Idea: How LEDs Are Helping JPMorgan Chase Become Carbon Neutral
By Bruce Watson – When Mike Norton took over as managing director of real estate at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in 2015, he took on a weighty responsibility that included finding an efficient and sustainable way to oversee the branding, maintenance, upkeep and design of 6,000 branches and commercial properties around the world. It was a complex task that turned on a simple item: the light bulb.
Norton started talking to the energy management company Current, powered by GE. They devised a plan for a system focusing on improving energy efficiency, productivity and sustainability in nearly 4,500 Chase branches across the U.S. In 2016, that proposal turned into a deal for the world’s largest LED lighting installation, a project covering 25 million square feet of real estate that would eventually lead to energy savings equivalent to taking 27,000 cars off the road.
One year later, Current by GE has installed LEDs in 2,500 Chase branches. The original plan estimated that the installation would lead to 12 percent energy savings. But in reality, the savings have ranged from 15 to 50 percent, depending on the branch.
“It’s common sense: You take a 100-watt phosphorus light bulb and replace it with a 4-watt LED, and it’s going to lower energy usage by quite a bit,” Norton says. more> https://goo.gl/1UiEwV
Posted in Banking, Business, Economy, Energy & emissions, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, Electronics, GE, LED lighting, Physics, Technology
Driving Cassini: Doctoral Student Controls Spacecraft in Mission’s Final Days
By Jason Maderer – When the Cassini spacecraft plunges into Saturn on September 15 to end a nearly two-decade mission, Georgia Tech student Michael Staab will have a front row seat. It’s almost literally the driver’s seat.
Staab is working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California while pursuing his aerospace engineering doctoral degree in the distance learning program. He’s a Cassini Spacecraft Flight Controller, which means he’s one of only three people authorized to tell the machine what to do and where to go as it orbits Saturn.
The job is almost finished. Just before 8 a.m. (Atlanta time) on Friday, Staab will hear Cassini’s signal for the final time before it dives into the planet’s atmosphere, becoming a part of Saturn.
Prior to attending Georgia Tech, I was a flight test engineering intern at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California and, later, a test requirements and analysis engineer for Boeing in St. Louis. I had a lot of control room and operations experience, which is exactly what JPL was looking for.
The duty of a flight controller at JPL is fairly straight-forward; we possess absolute command and control authority of the spacecraft when tracking it through the Deep-Space Network. more> https://goo.gl/aAU76G
- Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance Receives $51 Million NIH Grant
- Rogue Wave Analysis Supports Investigation of the El Faro Sinking, John Toon
- Running Roaches, Flapping Moths Create a New Physics of Organisms, John Toon
- As ‘Flesh-Eating’ Leishmania Come Closer, a Vaccine Against Them Does, Too, Ben Brumfield
- Engineering Research Center Will Help Expand Use of Therapies Based on Living Cells, John Toon
- NSF Supports New Mentoring Initiative for Underrepresented Minority Faculty, John Toon
- New Research May Improve Communications During Natural Disasters, Albert Snedeker
- Was the Primordial Soup a Hearty Pre-Protein Stew? Ben Brumfield
- Tech in DC: Intersecting Science and Policy, Victor Rogers
Posted in Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Nature, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Ecology, Georgia Tech, Health, Industrial economy, Physics, Skills, Technology
By Paulina Gomez – In today’s world of ever-increasing security threats and breaches, encryption is a common technique used to protect critical information from getting into the wrong hands. In cryptography, encryption is the process of encoding a plaintext message in such a way that only authorized parties can access it. The result of this process is encrypted information, also known as ciphertext. But how is this done exactly? The plaintext message is transformed using an algorithm (or cipher) to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing special knowledge, which is referred to as the key.
Today’s state-of-art secure communications use advanced mathematics to protect in-flight data leveraging highly secure algorithms, such as in Ciena’s WaveLogic Encryption solution. Even though many cryptographic algorithms used today are publicly available, such as the popular Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), they are very difficult to crack in a reasonable amount of time given the computational power of today’s computers. In fact, the keys used in modern cryptography are so large that breaking the AES-256 standard would require “fifty supercomputers that could check a billion billion (1018) AES keys per second [and] would, in theory, require about 3×1051 years.”
The field of Quantum Cryptography is an area of security research and development focused on the introduction of new technologies that will offer more resistance to the computing power of quantum computers. Quantum cryptography draws its strength from the unpredictable nature of photons – the smallest particles in the universe. more> https://goo.gl/FTh77p
Posted in Business, Communication industry, Economy, Education, Nature, Net, Product, Science, Technology, Telecom industry
Tagged Broadband, Cryptography, Internet, Physics, Quantum Computing, Technology
By Zeeya Merali – There’s an established principle in quantum theory that pairs of particles can spontaneously, momentarily pop out of empty space. Alex Vilenkin took this notion a step further, arguing that quantum rules could also enable a minuscule bubble of space itself to burst into being from nothing, with the impetus to then inflate to astronomical scales.
Our cosmos could thus have been burped into being by the laws of physics alone. Many cosmologists have made peace with the notion of a universe without a prime mover, divine or otherwise.
.. flipping the problem around, I started to wonder: what are the implications of humans even considering the possibility of one day making a universe that could become inhabited by intelligent life? As I discuss in my book A Big Bang in a Little Room (2017), current theory suggests that, once we have created a new universe, we would have little ability to control its evolution or the potential suffering of any of its residents. Wouldn’t that make us irresponsible and reckless deities?
We will not be creating baby universes anytime soon, but scientists in all areas of research must feel able to freely articulate the implications of their work without concern for causing offence. Cosmogenesis is an extreme example that tests the principle.
Parallel ethical issues are at stake in the more near-term prospects of creating artificial intelligence or developing new kinds of weapons, for instance.
As Anders Sandberg put it, although it is understandable that scientists shy away from philosophy, afraid of being thought weird for veering beyond their comfort zone, the unwanted result is that many of them keep quiet on things that really matter. more> https://goo.gl/GjCJpd
Posted in Book review, Education, Energy, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Black hole, Cosmogenesis, Physics, Theology, Universe, Wormhole
Posted in Economic development, Education, Energy & emissions, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Copper X-ray emission spectrum, Electronics, Industrial economy, NIST, Physics, Technology, Test & measurement
Surprising twist in confined liquid crystals: A simple route to developing new sensors
By Karthik Nayani, Jinxin Fu, Rui Chang, Jung Ok Park, and Mohan Srinivasarao – To answer some fundamental questions pertaining to the material’s phase behavior, the researchers used the microscopes to observe the molecules’ textures when they were confined to droplets known as tactoids.
“Surprisingly, we found a configuration that hasn’t been seen before in the 70 years that people have been studying liquid crystals,” said Mohan Srinivasarao, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering. “Historically, liquid crystals in tactoids conform to what is known as a bipolar and a bipolar configuration with a twist. At lower concentrations, we found that these liquid crystals arrange in a concentric fashion, but one that appears to be free of a singular defect.”
The researchers then used a simple model of the aggregation behavior of these molecules to explain these surprising results. Further, spectroscopic experiments using polarized Raman microscopy were performed to confirm their findings.
These new findings add to the growing understanding of how chromonic liquid crystals could be used in sensing applications, Srinivasarao said. more> https://goo.gl/YVq0TE
- “First Arrival” Hypothesis in Darwin’s Finches Gets Some Caveats, John Toon.
- Controlling a Robot is Now as Simple as Point and Click, Jason Maderer
- Swarms of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles Test New Dogfighting Skills, John Toon
- Siemens Opens Innovation Center in Tech Square, Laura Diamond
- Behind the Iron Curtain: How Methane-Making Microbes Kept the Early Earth Warm, John Toon
- Georgia Tech Researcher Honored with Alan T. Waterman Award, John Toon
- When It Comes to Size, Sound Matters in Ads, Josh Brown
- New 3-D Printing Method Creates Shape-Shifting Objects, Josh Brown
- Women of Robotics, Jason Maderer
- Major League Machines
- Creating the Next in Robotics, Jason Maderer
- Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, UVA Win at ACC InVenture Prize, Laura Diamond
- Warped Reality: virtual Trip to Hyperbolic Space, John Toon
- Hair Spacing Keeps Honeybees Clean During Pollination, Jason Maderer
- Exosomes Have a Sense of Urgency, Jerry Grillo
- Georgia Tech Launches Big IDEaS in Data Science, Jennifer Salazar
- The Perfect Patient, Stacy Braukman