Seaswarm MIT unveils robots capable of cleaning up oil spills w Video

first_img Explore further Citation: Seaswarm: MIT unveils robots capable of cleaning up oil spills (w/ Video) (2010, August 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2010 More information: — “Sea Swarm,” Senseable City Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Available online:– John D. Sutter, “MIT unveils swimming, oil-cleaning robots,” (August 26, 2010). Available online: … 08/26/mit.oil.robot/– “MIT to debut oil-slick absorbing robot,” MSNBC (August 26, 2010). Available online: … _science-innovation/. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. MIT calls its group of robots Seaswarm. Seaswarm is a floating system of robots that looks like a conveyor belt sticking out of a boxy contraption bearing a resemblance to a cooler. The belt, though, is covered by a fabric made from nanowire mesh. The mesh absorbs the oil, while repelling the ocean water. There are two things that Seaswarm can do with the oil once it is collected: Burn it: The boxy part of Seaswarm is actually a heater, and can burn off the oil right there. Save it for later: A Seaswarm robot can also bag the oil, leaving it on the surface of the water. It can then be picked up and used for something else.Each robot costs approximately $20,000, and is designed to work in a swarm with other robots. MIT’s Senseable City Lab offers this explanation of how the swarm works:Seaswarm is intended to work as a fleet, or “swarm” of vehicles, which communicate their location through GPS and WiFi in order to create an organized system for collection that can work continuously without human support. Because they are smaller than commercial skimmers attached to large fishing vessels, they are able to navigate hard to reach places like estuaries and coast lines. Seaswarm works by detecting the edge of a spill and moving inward until it has removed the oil from a single site before joining other vehicles that are still cleaning. Oil is “digested” locally so that Seaswarm does not need to make repeated trips back to shore, which would dramatically slow collection time.Even if you had a fleet of these robots, costing $20,000 apiece, it should still be possible to reduce the cost and time involved in cleaning up ocean oil spills. CNN reports that the BP oil spill would have been cleaned up in two months, with a cost of between $100 million and $200 million — an outcome much more desirable than the current reality.Seaswarm is set to be unveiled on Saturday in Venice at the Biennale, whose current theme is how nanotechnology will change our lifestyle by 2050. Clean-up tools may help protect wetlands from Gulf of Mexico oil spill The Deepwater Horizon debacle has once again illustrated the difficulties we face when it comes to mopping oil spills. However, MIT thinks that it has found an answer to the problem: Tiny robots that can assess the situation and then clean it up. Seaswarm robot.last_img read more

Model shows how scientific paradigms rise and fall

first_img The researchers, Stefan Bornholdt from the University of Bremen in Bremen, Germany, and Mogens Høgh Jensen and Kim Sneppen from the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, have published their study called “Emergence and Decline of Scientific Paradigms” in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.“Our model addresses the interplay between a new idea and the difficulty it has in displacing old ideas in a world where alignment of interests is dominating,” Bornholdt told models of opinion formation already exist, but the new model differs from earlier models in a few important ways. Unlike previous models, the new model allows for an infinite variety of ideas, although each idea has a small probability of being initiated. Also, each idea can appear only once, and an agent (or individual) cannot return to any of the ideas that they have previously held, reflecting scientists’ ongoing hunt for new ideas.In the model, which is defined on a 2D square lattice, ideas spread in two possible ways. In the first way, an agent adopts a new idea held by its neighbors, with a probability proportional to how many agents already hold this particular idea. In the second way, an agent randomly gets a new idea that does not appear anywhere else in the system with a probability that depends on the “innovation rate.” The first way represents cooperative effects in social systems, while the second way represents innovation.The model shows how a system with one dominating scientific paradigm transitions into a system with small clusters of ideas, some of which continue to grow until one dominates, and the process repeats with new ideas. The dynamics of the rise and fall of scientific paradigms depends on the system’s innovation rate. Systems with high innovation rates tend to contain a high degree of noise, along with many small domains of ideas that are constantly generated and replaced. In contrast, systems with low innovation rates tend to have low noise and a state that remains dominant for a long time until a single event replaces it.In addition to providing a theoretical understanding of how scientific paradigms rise and fall, the model also provides insight that helps explain some observations in real life. For instance, the model shows how small systems have the potential to be more dynamic than large systems, which explains why large companies sometimes acquire small start-up firms as a source of innovation. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. “Our model indicates that social cooperation makes it more difficult for new ideas to nucleate because of social pressure,” Bornholdt said. “Accordingly, our model finds a ‘winner take all’ dynamic, suggesting a fashion-like dynamic for the prevailing focus of contemporary science. “Even though our model is extremely simplified and does not deal with right and wrong, it explores the effect of herd mentality in the propagation of ideas,” he added. “Our model suggests that herd mentality makes a larger system less innovative than several smaller ones. In short, for innovation it’s better to listen to yourself than to others.”Overall, the model shows how new paradigms have a tendency to quickly rise to dominance, to decline slowly, and to quickly be replaced by other paradigms. When the innovation rate is high, the takeover process is chaotic, with many new ideas competing for dominance. Regardless of the idea itself, the model shows that the pattern of paradigm shifts remains fairly consistent over time.The results could have implications for science philosophy and science policy, as the model suggests that scientific diversity may need special attention. In addition, the researchers are applying the model to the study of the spread of epidemics.“We are currently studying the ideas of ‘new’ and ‘old’ in epidemics modeling,” Bornholdt said, “where the ‘never-return-policy’ of ideas in the above model is associated with immunity of infected hosts: A host that has been infected by a particular virus in the past will be immune to this virus in the future and, thus, will never acquire the same infection twice.” More information: S. Bornholdt, M. H. Jensen, and K. Sneppen. “Emergence and Decline of Scientific Paradigms.” Physical Review Letters 106, 058701 (2011). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.058701 ( — Scientific concepts such as climate change, nanotechnology, and chaos theory can sometimes spring up and capture the attention of both the scientific and public communities, only to be replaced by new ideas later on. Although many factors influence the emergence and decline of such scientific paradigms, a new model has captured how these ideas spread, providing a better understanding of paradigm shifts and the culture of innovation.center_img This figure shows 12 consecutive states of a system driven by the model, with one unit of time equaling one update for every agent. In the first picture, a new idea is dominating but small specks of color represent a finite innovation rate. A new state dominates between the third and fourth pictures, and in the fourth, fifth, and sixth pictures, two coherent states coexist. New individual dominant states arise in pictures nine and twelve. Image credit: S. Bornholdt, et al. ©2011 American Physical Society. Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Citation: Model shows how scientific paradigms rise and fall (2011, February 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Evolution’s revolution was the naturalist’s, though initial idea wasn’tlast_img read more

Study shows students find personal tweets from professors makes them more credible

first_img Citation: Study shows students find personal tweets from professors makes them more credible (2011, March 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Study: Seasoned profs prepare students for advanced learning In their study, 120 students were split into three groups and all were sent 22 tweets with hyperlinks that were purportedly sent by a professor; one group was sent tweets that were considered all business, or scholarly, another group received tweets that were all of a personal or social nature, while the third group received tweets that were a mix of the two. After receiving the tweets, the students were then asked to rate the degree of credibility they ascribed to the faux professor. Johnson reports that the group that received the social or personal tweets rated the professor as having the highest credibility of the three groups.Johnson, a professor of communications, chose to undertake the study, apparently, to better understand not only how students perceive their professors, but also to offer a guide for professors seeking to make their way in world where the technology around them likely changes faster than any material they may be covering in their lectures.While the report does seem to support prior research that has suggested that students respond better to instructors who are more open or personable, as Johnson maintains in the paper, there are detractors that suggest that such a study doesn’t take into account other personality factors that would occur naturally were the students in the group actually exposed to an instructor by sitting in his or her classroom. Also, the fact that the professors in the study were all presented as female, might have skewed the results. This along with the fact that older students that participated in the study tended to sway the opposite way, and in fact felt inclined at some points to suggest that professors tweeting about personal stuff was in fact unprofessional, which caused them to grade them as less credible.It’s clear that before any grand assumptions can be made regarding what professors should or shouldn’t be tweeting to their students, far more research is needed on the subject; and until then, professors would be wise to be cautious, as the line between divulging personal information to engender credibility, and inappropriate behavior, could be to closer for comfort.last_img read more

Google selfdriving cars pass 300000 mile mark

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Google looking to make driverless cars legal in Nevada Explore further Google is not saying just how many of those miles have been driven on public roads versus those driven on its private track, but it’s likely a lot due to its fleet having legal access in Nevada. Last year the state issued a license to one of the vehicles.Google’s aim in building self-driving cars is to replace human drivers with a computer, because humans have proven to be so fallible. Company head Eric Schmidt has been quoted recently as saying that his goal in creating self driving cars is to bring down the number of traffic fatalities due to human error, most particularly, by those who have been drinking alcohol based beverages, noting that some thirty five thousand people are killed in such accidents each year in the United States alone.The company also says that it has given the go-ahead to some of its employees to begin riding in the vehicles solo, at least on their commute to work. Up till now, company policy has dictated that two people sit in the vehicle when the car is doing the driving. In this instance, the one person would sit in the driver’s seat and take over should the need arise.Looking towards the future, the company says it needs to work out how to get the cars to operate safely under less than optimal conditions, such as during snowy weather or when dealing with road construction. The sensors and computer system installed on the cars were designed to read and respond to normal road signs, which unfortunately aren’t always what are posted when road crews begin working, making it difficult for the systems to figure out what to do. The company also noted that they have added a Lexus RX450h hybrid to its fleet. Citation: Google self-driving cars pass 300,000 mile mark (2012, August 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — Google has just released an update on its blog boasting about how its fleet of self-driving cars which the company has designed and is operating on public roads, have collectively racked up over 300,000 miles of driving operations, with nary a single accident, at least while being driven by the computer. In the same announcement the company acknowledges that its autonomous vehicles still have a long way to go before being sold as a consumer product. © 2012 Phys.orglast_img read more

Possible first sighting of an exomoon

first_img(—A team led by David Kipping of Columbia University has spotted what might be the first evidence of an exomoon. They have written a paper describing their findings and have uploaded it to the arXiv preprint server. An exomoon is a moon orbiting an exoplanet. Many moons have been found in our solar system and many planets outside of it, but to date, no one has captured evidence of a moon orbiting one of those exoplanets. This might change, as the team studying data from the Kepler Space Telescope believe they have found strong evidence for a moon orbiting a planet which is itself orbiting a star called Kepler-1625.Exoplanets are found by noting the dimming of stars that occurs as a planet passes between Earth and the star. A moon would be found in roughly the same way, the researchers note, by looking for dimming that occurs in the light reflected from a planet caused by the transit of a moon. Kipping and his team report that they recorded three such dippings as the planet made three trips around its star. They have given their find a statistical confidence of slightly above 4 sigma, noting that the dipping they observed could be chalked up to a fluke in the data—there also exists the possibility that the dimming has another cause. They note that the star system is approximately 4000 light years away, which means the light from the planet is extremely dim to begin with.The team expects their finding to be verified (or quashed) by data from the Hubble Space Telescope, which offers much better data, sometime in the near future. But while they wait, they are already developing theories about the exomoon—if it truly exists, it would have to be much larger than our moon in order to detect it, perhaps as large as Neptune. That would mean the planet it is orbiting wis also quite large, likely as large as Jupiter. If that is the case, its size suggests that it would likely have formed later than moons in our solar system. It would also make the first observed exomoon the largest moon ever observed. Citation: Possible first sighting of an exomoon (2017, July 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2017 Journal information: arXiv This artist’s concept depicts a planetary system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltechlast_img read more

Meditating through abstracts

first_imgColourist Niti Jain has exhibited her works representing meditative abstracts at Gallerie Ganesha. Her exhibition titled Meditative Hues will continue till 27 March.Colour has always dominated Jain’s colossal canvases – the largest one in the current show is about 6 feet by 6 feet. She has been been exploring colour and her work from the very beginning and her recent works are the result of that search.Niti, who studied art at Slade School of Fine Art and also trained under veteran artist Rameshwar Broota for ten years grew up in the city of Jaipur whose myriad colours never fail to charm, and it is that obsession with colour that marks her solo show of abstract paintings in oil on canvas titled Meditative Hues. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Explaining her journey and her initial contact with art, Niti said, ‘I was born in Jaipur and my mother was extremely fond of the local crafts. She incorporated them in our home in her own way, so I grew up appreciating both colour and Indian craftsmanship.A further impetus came when I learnt the traditional blue pottery at my school’s arts and crafts department.  Later, I took up the same as a hobby at Shilpi Kala Kendra. Looking back, I realize it wasn’t the pottery as much as the colour blue and how it could be played with that really fascinated me.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixJust like her fascination with colour, Jain has also remained loyal to the genre of abstraction, one which is often sidelined in the blitzkrieg of new media and figurative-narrative images.However, there has been a marked evolution in her work. For her previous show, she had created abstracts whose colours were louder, strokes more vigorous and the movement of the brush more pronounced.  Meditative Hues, in contrast, is a calmer rendition with a subtlety that speaks of an inherent spirituality that comes with age and experience. ‘Perhaps this change has also come about because I have been working closely with an NGO for many years and the satisfaction that comes with it gets transferred into the peace you see on my canvases. Plus I have been reading a lot of philosophy lately.’Since Jain is a colourist, any visual stimuli works as an inspiration for her – from the colour of wet mud to peeling plaster, from the paintings of American artist Cy Twombly renowned for large-scale, freely scribbled, calligraphic works to Mark Rothko’s abstract expressionism.Not something that art lovers should miss over. Mark the dates and head over to see her works up close and make your own observations about the magic she creates.WHEN: On till 27 MarchWHERE: Gallerie Ganesha, E-557, Greater Kailash IIlast_img read more

India should aim USD 40bn gold jewellery exports by 2020 WGC

first_imgIndia, the world’s largest gold consumer, should target five-folds increase in gold jewellery exports to USD 40 billion by 2020 from the current level of USD 8 billion, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).The country should also put to use about 22,000 tonnes of gold lying idle with households and temples and reduce its dependence on imports in the next five years, it said.Besides, it should aim creation of 5 million new jobs across the gold value chain – manufacturing, retailing, assaying and recycling areas, it added. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cash‘Our vision for gold is that it should be put to work for the economy, creating jobs, developing skills, generating exports and revenues – an essential part of the financial, economic and social structure of the country,’ WGC said in its Vision 2020 for the country.In the next five years, India should target to be ‘jeweller to the world’ and gold jewellery exports from here should increase five-fold to USD 40 billion from the current level of USD 8 billion, it said in a statement. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsWGC said that the country should meet 40 per cent of gold demand from its domestic stocks and the rest 60 per cent through imports and mining. That apart, India should target 75 per cent of gold sold to be standardised and hallmarked in the next five years. It should also provide higher loan to value ratio for hallmarked jewellery and ensure mandatory hallmarking for pieces above a designated selling price, WGC said.WGC also suggested the government launch ?Karigar welfare scheme? towards skill development and training of artisans and promotion of Gold tourism circuit, showcasing handcrafted Indian jewellery. ‘This vision is to outline objectives for the industry that address the savings habit underpinning gold demand, support value addition, increase employment opportunities and benefit the industry in an organised way without curbing supply or impacting the current account deficit,’ it said.last_img read more

A winters tale

first_imgAs the weather flaunts its coldness at best in the Capital, we got something for you to add to it. The Winter Saga an exhibition which is obsessed with the goal of displaying art works by renowned as well as emerging artistes from across the country is organised in the Capital. The exhibition is on till 23 January at Gurgaon.For art lovers, this is an opportunity to appreciate and buy some outstanding works of art that are a celebration of life and joy.The participant artists of the show are – Ananda Das, Anantakrishnan, Anjeneyulu Gundu, Ankit Sharma, Madhu Venugopal, Sandeep Jigzung, Sachin Kharat, Sekhar Khar, Subrata Das and  Sukanta Das.last_img

Young words

first_imgFestival of Letters 2015 continued for the third day at Rabindra Bhawan complex on March 11 in the Capital. Day three started with the second edition of the Face to Face programme in which five Award winning writers,  Arupa Kalita (Assames), Ramesh Chandra Shah (Hindi), Jayant Vishnu Narlikar (Marathi), Jaswinder (Punjabi) and RachaplemChandrasekhara Reddy (Telugu) were in conversation with eminent scholars of their language. They spoke about their life, creative writing, society and challenges ahead in their conversations with scholars. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The second programme of the day, YuvaSahiti: Young Writers’ Meet, was inaugurated by distinguished Hindi writer and scholar, Prof Giriraj Kishore.  Chitra Mudgal was the chief guest.  K Sreenivasarao, Secretary,  Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, President and Chandrasekhar Kambar, Vice President, Sahitya Akademi also spoke. In all eighteen young poets recited their poems and three young fiction writers read out their recent stories in this day long programme. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixInaugurating the meet, Prof Giriraj Kishore, who has more than 40 titles to his credit talked about the value of youth writings for a country. He appealed to young writers not to be merely selfish and work hard and hard for higher ideals and nation, for the benefit of many is the real benefit. He recalled the role of and ideals with which the founding fathers established the Akademi 60 years ago and felt that not only the institution but writers also should play a bigger role in keeping alive the spirit. He appealed to the President of Sahitya Akademi to create and operate a TV channel given that almost all the electronic media in all the languages of India have neglected literature and it is the duty of Sahitya Akademi, being India’s premiere institution of Letters. In the evening there was a Bharatanatyam classical dance performance by eminent dancer Geeta Chandran.last_img read more

CESC helplines for Puja organisers to address power problems

first_imgKolkata: CESC will start a dedicated helpline from Friday to address the problem of the Durga organisers with utmost priority. The Puja organisers will be given necessary assistance regarding application for power connection, problem with power supply or for any other exigency. The helpline numbers will be 9831079666 and 9831083700.Addressing a press conference in the city, Avijit Ghosh, vice-president (Distribution) said the CESC is taking all necessary measures for a safe and bright Durga Puja. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”As per our estimates, the demand will be the highest on the day of Shashti and is expected to go up to 1,860 MW and on the day of Saptami, it may reach 1,650 MW. We are ready to meet the extra demand for power during the festival,” Ghosh reiterated.According to him, the demand is highest on the day of Shashti as most of the offices remain open on that day.It may be mentioned that on June 18 this year, the CESC has been able to cater to a demand of 2131 MW. On June 19 in the year 2017, the CESC had met the demand of 2,159 MW successfully. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe added that the CESC is giving special emphasis on electrical safety to avoid any unfortunate incident. “We will be conducting regular surveillance at the Puja pandals to ensure that there is no hooking or attempts to procure power in illegal manner,” a senior CESC official said.CESC has asked the Puja organisers to use fire-resistant low-smoke cables within the pandals to reduce the risk of electrical fire. They have been directed to avoid old/frayed wires as well.”The joints in wirings should be avoided as far as possible. In case this is unavoidable, the joints should be carefully insulated/taped,” the official added.The electricians have been informed about the importance of all electrical connections being earthed properly.It may be mentioned that last year more than 77 percent of the applications from Puja organisers came online and all of them were processed in quick time.last_img read more