Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Computing

Wind power is getting a lot of attention in the U.S. (it’s long been used as a significant source of energy in other parts of the globe!)  This isn’t a story about windmills – picturesque as they are.  This is a story about the other extreme – a much more concentrated forced jet of air….and the cost savings to be had through making use of it!!!

Researchers invent

 

Coin-Sized Turbine

 

Micro turbine

Researchers at the International Institute of Technology in Genoa have developed a 14-mm microturbine that can produce up to 30 watts of electrical power, exploiting fluid pressure coming from the environment or from industrial plants.

 

See the Award Recognition for INNOVATION this invention has already garnered!  What other applications can you envision from this tiny power source???

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October 28th, 2014
11:28
 

Take a look around you right now. You may be sitting in front of a computer and, chances are, there’s a phone or some other “smart” device in your vicinity. There have been plenty of conversations about whether or not robots could – or should – be entrusted with life and death decisions.  The United States Office of Naval Research announced a five year, $7.5 million grant to study the possibilities for creating moral robots. The five year program includes researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Tufts, Brown, Georgetown, and Yale Universities.

blog moral robot

BEAR, or Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot, is designed to help soldiers in need. But other robots could take on roles as combatants.

Besides all of the many technological challenges, the prospect of creating robots with morals raises an intriguing question:  whose morals?

The basic idea is to create an infantile robot capable of acquiring moral sensibilities. That might result in a more human-like morality, but engineers have less control over the end result and there are risks in that, as well.

There are many questions about the ethicality of building moral robots, moral dilemmas which we have yet to work out. What’s your take?

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3D Printing is going off-roading – or, more accurately, off-Earth-ing! Thanks to some really intense work done by Made In Space for NASA, the

First Zero-G 3D Printer Is On Its Way To The Space Station

Credit:  Made In Space

Credit: Made In Space

While there are many unique challenges inherent in this endeavor, the aim is to provide a means for parts replication, food production, and other ‘manufactured’ items on-site in space to lessen the weight of the provisions which astronauts have been carrying from necessity in previous space missions.

Here are some other articles from various sources about the topic:

Space.com       NASA       Nature.com

Can you offer your skills to address some of the hurdles that must be overcome to make this a viable reality for space travel?  And maybe take a trip among the stars yourself??

 

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October 10th, 2014
11:18
 

Here’s the info.

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Programming has come a long way since I barely passed my required course in COBOL as an undergrad.  Learn about a new language that’s been added to the many already out there in this article from Wired online:

 

The Next Big Programming Language You’ve Never Heard Of

 

D language

Click the pic for interesting coding info!

 

You may want to add this one to your courseload…

“…judging from D activity on various online developer services—from GitHub to Stackoverflow—the language is now among the 20 to 30 most popular in the world.  D is a compiled language, meaning that you must take time to transform it into executable software before running it. Unlike with interpreted languages, you can’t run your code as soon as you write it. But it compiles unusually quickly.”

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