The Next Level in Robots Monkey See Monkey Do Monkey Create

first_img The Japanese, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology is working on a project wherein machines can learn and teach themselves what to do. Presently, robots are tethered to human commands or guided by programs in advance that operate in real time. The new level of robot will take cues from gestures and operate more autonomously through a learning process.The Institutes’s Spoken Language Division is in the development stage of creating a robot that measure 155 cm and weighs 85 kg that learns through gestures, thereby creating a more autonomous robot. The Spoken Language Group´s main focus is to develop an information communication system that understands when people talk correctly and automatically takes appropriate actions to people and other machines. The actions are based on the knowledge they receive from the talk by people in their presence. According to the Institute, the current research is involved in producing stress-free unambiguous communication that a machine understands immediately and tells its understanding immediately to a person or another machine. Its primary goal is to establish a technology to give messages to network terminals by people’s natural expressions, such as gestures, hand signals and body language that transcend language differences and allow for approximations. As of this writing, the prototype of this next level of robot has not made its public debut. There are reports of its development. According to Digital World Tokyo, the work in progress robot can understand the gesture of pointing a finger at an object. It can possibly understand the traditional Japanese bow indicating a respectful greeting. In addition, the new robot can repeat the same gestures in the appropriate circumstances. Specifically it can pointing out a direction and then move in that direction. This indicates the robot has formed its own learning process without being programmed to do so or by a formal teaching command. Citation: The Next Level in Robots: Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Create (2007, October 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-10-robots-monkey.html The next level of robot is currently in the research and development stage in Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communication Technology. The next level of robot untethered by human omnipresence allows it to take cues from gestures and make immediate and appropriate responses. Ancient Japanese Three Wise Monkeys – Photo Credit: Wikipedia 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: Social robots can benefit hospitalized children Explore furtherlast_img read more


Silicon nanohole solar cells aim to make photovoltaics costcompetitive

first_img Citation: Silicon nanohole solar cells aim to make photovoltaics cost-competitive (2010, May 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-05-silicon-nanohole-solar-cells-aim.html These scanning electron microscope images show the silicon nanoholes at different scales, and (d) shows a cross-sectional view. Image credit: Peng, et al. ©2010 American Chemical Society. In an attempt to change this, scientists have recently developed a novel silicon solar cell that has a unique geometry of nanoholes with diameters of about 500-600 nanometers. By achieving a power conversion efficiency of 9.5%, the new design boasts a superior performance compared with its silicon counterparts, such as solar cells that incorporate nanowires, nanotubes, and other optically active nanostructures. The best of these designs has an efficiency of a little more than 5%. The researchers of the new study, Kui-Qing Peng of Beijing Normal University, Shuit-Tong Lee of the City University of Hong Kong, and their coworkers, have published their results in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. In their experiments, the scientists used a combination of deep ultraviolet lithograpy and metal-catalyzed electroless etching of silicon to fabricate the nanoholes on silicon wafers.As the researchers explain, the key to the improved performance of the nanohole solar cell is that the nanohole arrays have better absorption than nanowires. Particularly, the vertically configured radial p-n junctions enable the electric current to travel only short distances between junctions for efficient current flow. In addition, the nanohole solar cell has shown to have superior mechanical robustness compared with the fragile structures of solar cells that have free-standing nanowire p-n junctions. In the past, this fragility problem has caused serious setbacks for manufacturing photovoltaic applications.“The nanohole geometry solar cells possesses a robust structure compared with fragile free-standing nanowire geometry, a better ability for capturing sunlight than nanowire arrays, and radial p-n junctions allowing for enhanced carrier collection,” Lee summarized to PhysOrg.com.Overall, the results demonstrate that the nanohole geometry has the potential for energy-efficient and cost-efficient photovoltaic solar energy conversion. The scientists plan to further improve the performance in several ways, such as by improving the coupling of light into the device, employing surface passivation to minimize surface recombination, and incorporating better electrical contacts. “High optical absorption plus better carrier collection efficiency in nanohole geometry solar cells can be fabricated with less silicon materials and lower quality silicon,” Lee said. “These benefits would lead to efficient and less expensive solar cells, offering potentially competitive performance with traditional silicon-wafer cells, as well as cost-competitiveness with fossil fuels in the future.” More information: Kui-Qing Peng, et al. “High-Performance Silicon Nanohole Solar Cells.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. Doi:10.1021/ja910082y 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. (PhysOrg.com) — Due to the increasing demand for renewable energy sources, photovoltaic solar cells have advanced significantly over the past decade. Since 2002, photovoltaic production worldwide has been doubling every two years, making it the world’s fastest-growing energy technology. However, the overall energy conversion efficiency of photovoltaics is still too low to be cost-competitive with fossil fuels, and so it has not been widely deployed. Trapping Sunlight with Silicon Nanowires Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.last_img read more


New metamaterial device solves the cocktail party problem

first_img © 2015 Tech Xplore Explore further (Phys.org)—A team of researchers at Duke University has found a way to solve what is known as the cocktail party problem, getting a computer to pick out different human voices among multiple speakers in a single room. In their paper, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences they describe the device they constructed and the algorithm that goes along with it. Soda can array revisited: It may not beat the diffraction limit after all In testing their system, which the team describes as combining acoustic metamaterials and compressive sensing, they found it to be 96.7 percent accurate when run with three overlapping sound sources. They believe their device could be used in speech recognition applications and perhaps sensing or acoustic scenarios as well—and with some modifications, even in hearing aids. More information: Single-sensor multispeaker listening with acoustic metamaterials, Yangbo Xie, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1502276112AbstractDesigning a “cocktail party listener” that functionally mimics the selective perception of a human auditory system has been pursued over the past decades. By exploiting acoustic metamaterials and compressive sensing, we present here a single-sensor listening device that separates simultaneous overlapping sounds from different sources. The device with a compact array of resonant metamaterials is demonstrated to distinguish three overlapping and independent sources with 96.67% correct audio recognition. Segregation of the audio signals is achieved using physical layer encoding without relying on source characteristics. This hardware approach to multichannel source separation can be applied to robust speech recognition and hearing aids and may be extended to other acoustic imaging and sensing applications.Press release Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Most people have the uncanny ability to stand among a group of people, many of whom are talking, and pick out the words that are being spoken by any given individual, at will—our brains are somehow able to combine all the necessary ingredients—pitch, tone, distance, etc. and perhaps most importantly, filtering, to allow us to process only the words being spoken by the person we are focusing our attention on. Getting a computer to accomplish the same feat has been difficult—most solutions rely on the placement of multiple microphones, though some newer approaches have relied on artificial intelligence systems. Unfortunately, most such efforts have not led to a computer being anywhere near as accurate as a human being, until now.The device developed by the team at Duke is made of plastic and is approximately pizza sized and shaped, thought it is a bit thicker—it was also constructed using a 3D printer. It is made up of 36 pie slices, or wedges, each made of a honeycombed structured acoustic metamaterial. Openings around the edges channel the sound toward a microphone that is fixed in the center of the hub. The wedges cause sound that passes through to be modified slightly in a beneficial way (attenuating certain frequencies). The sound that is captured by the microphone is then processed by an algorithm running on a computer that is able to localize what has been heard and assign words to a given speaker. The prototype sensor is tested in a sound-dampening room to eliminate echoes and unwanted background noise. Credit: Steve Cummer, Duke University (A) Measurement performed in an anechoic chamber. (Left) Photo of the metamaterial listener in the chamber. (Right) Schematic of the setup and two examples of synthesized word. (B) Measured transfer functions for the location of three speakers. Credit: Yangbo Xie, PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1502276112 Citation: New metamaterial device solves the cocktail party problem (2015, August 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-08-metamaterial-device-cocktail-party-problem.html This prototype sensor can separate simultaneous sounds coming from different directions using a unique distortion given by the slice of “pie” that it passes through. Credit: Steve Cummer, Duke University 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.last_img read more


Now thats funny

first_imgOxford Bookstore Connaught Place hosted an evening with a very talented group of illustrators, animation film-makers and comic book artists. The evening curated by Yodakin began with Graphic Readings by Prayas Abhinav, Priya Kuriyan, Dyuti Mittal and Shohei Emura from their comics, followed by an interesting conversation between DOGS! co-editor, Vidyun Sabhaney and Manjula Narayan on compiling this comics anthology.DOGS! an anthology of comics dedicated to life’s canine companions, is a self published project via authorsupfront.com. It features artists and writers from both India and the U.S. DOGS! is the second endeavour of Captain Bijli Comics, a comics publishing project based in New Delhi which Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’aims to promote collaboration amongst comics creators and develop new content and dialogue in comics.Experience the life of dogs through a series of comics by some of the popular artists and writers from India and abroad. DOGS aims to highlight the life of the canine companions by the comics’ creator’s vision. Some of the contributors of this series are Aditya Dipankar, Aniruddha Sen Gupta, Cristina Mezuk, Dyuti Mittal, Jack Zaloga, Jeremy Stoll, Mindy Indy, Orijit Sen, Patrick Goussy, Prayas Abhinav, Priya Kuriyan, Pia Hazarika, Shohei Emura, Vidyun Sabhaney. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn this collection you will encounter dogs that are post-apocalyptic, self-reflective, murderous, environmentally-conscious-and much more! The collection of comics was conceived after a series of meandering conversations with artists revealed a shared admiration for dogs amongst comics-wallahs, as well as a collective desire to explore what the world would look like from the other end of a snout.  Proceeds from the sales of this comic go to Sai Ashram Animal Shelter and Red Paws Rescue based in New Delhi.last_img read more


Petrol diesel rates likely to be cut by Rs 1L

first_imgPetrol and diesel prices are likely to be cut by close to Re 1 per litre this weekend on sliding global oil rates.This would be the seventh reduction in petrol prices since August and the third in rates of diesel since its decontrol last month.State-owned fuel retailers Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) following the fortnightly review practice, are due to revise rates of petrol and diesel on Saturday.In all probability, rates will be reduced if the current trend of declining international oil prices continue, industry sources said.last_img read more


St Pauls Cathedral Mission College student alleges ragging

first_imgKolkata: A student of St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College in Amherst Street has complained of ragging by some senior students inside the union room of the college after he had enquired about the functioning of the college union fund. The student was allegedly compelled to parade naked inside the union room of the college and was threatened that the video would be circulated through social networking sites if he narrated the incident to anybody. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be mentioned that some days back, the victim had asked president of the college unit Arnab Ghosh about the functioning of the union fund. Following this, a heated verbal exchange ensued between the two and soon some other senior students took Ghosh’s side and then the student was allegedly beaten up by his associates and forced to parade naked. A video was also shot. ” I was in fear and did not tell anybody. But on Saturday, I found that the video has been circulated on social networking site,” the victim said further alleging that a college staff and another fellow students were also involved in the matter.last_img read more


SSKM performs rare surgery gives new life to 33yearold

first_imgKolkata: In a rare surgery, SSKM Hospital has given a fresh lease of life to a 33-year-old man from Burdwan by removing a malignant chest wall tumour with intra-thoracic extension, weighing around 7 kgs.The tumour was encompassing his lungs, nerve bundle innervating the hand, Subclavain vessels (vein & artery) and other vital organs.According to the doctors in India, there was no such case reported earlier. There was a high possibility of patient dying on the operation table as the malignant tumor, situated on the chest wall had been encompassing the lungs, exerting pressure and preventing its expansion, thereby limiting entry of air and oxygen. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe patient, Sk Abdullah was suffering from Neurofibromatosis type 2 with intra thoracic and extra thoracic extension, encasing the Subclavian vessels and the nerves around the hand (Brachial Plexus) when the tumor had a rapid growth in last one year.According to the doctors, it was rare case Neurofibromatosis which underwent sarcomatous change (rapid malignant change characterized by invasion and infiltration of the surrounding structures). Only nine such sarcomatious change in neurofibroma with both intra-thoracic and extra-thoracic extension have been reported across the globe. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedDr Sandeep Kumar Kar, Assistant Professor, Cardiac Anaesthesiology, IPGME&R, who was a part of the team said incidents of type 2 Neurofibromatosis, which is a generalised form of Neurofibromatosis termed as Von Recklinghausen’s Disease, has an incidence rate of one in 4,000.The team of doctors comprised of Dr Santanu Dutta, Prof Anupam Goswami, Dr Sandeep Kumar Kar and Dr Riya Sonam. There was a high risk during the operation as it could affect the lungs, brachial plexus, subclavian vessels and other organs. The doctors had difficulties during the operation due to the size of the tumor on the chest wall.The patient had also been facing difficulties in his air passage. A resident of Pangacha village of Raina in East Burdwan, Abdullah was initially taken to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital where the doctors expressed their inability to perform the surgery.The patient was also taken to the Cardiothoracic vascular surgery (CTVS) outdoor a month ago.After going through all necessary tests, the surgery was conducted and the malignant tumor was removed from his body successfully. Four units of whole blood and 3 units of ringer lactate and one unit of plasma expander was infused to compensate the fluid loss in this extensive surgery.last_img read more