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Autonomous learning puts human-like dexterity within robotic reach

The University of Washington’s robotic hand is able to autonomously learn how to better perform complex ...

Although humans perform intricate hand movements like rolling, pivoting, bending and grabbing different shaped objects without a second thought, such dexterity is still beyond the grasp of most robots. But a team of computer scientists at the University of Washington has upped the dexterity stat of a five-fingered robotic hand that can ape human movements and learn to improve on its own.

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Category: Robotics

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Foxconn said to be close to deal to build iPhone plant in India

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is close to signing a deal with the Indian government to open an iPhone manufacturing plant in the country, reports the Economic Times. More specifically, the company is looking for a 1,200-acre plot of land in Maharashtra. Today’s news comes nearly one year after we first heard of Foxconn’s interest in building facilities in India. If the […]

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Watch Blue Origin’s silky smooth landing from onboard rocket-cam

Had the engines failed to fire it would have brought the rocket crashing to the ground ...

Between SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, powered rocket landings are becoming almost commonplace. Last month, the latter's New Shepard rocket touched down for the third time in a row, and the company has now offered us a fresh (and pretty awesome) perspective from the side of the booster as it returned to Earth.

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Category: Space

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Apple begins notifying WWDC 2016 scholarship winners

Apple on Monday began notifying recipients of this year’s WWDC scholarship winners. A number of developers have taken to Twitter to announce they’ve received word from the company that they’ve been awarded a scholarship, and are invited to the conference. Applicants were required to submit an app demonstrating “creative use of Apple technologies,” as well as an essay...

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Invisible second skin is applied like gel to smooth out wrinkles

The XPL material is invisible once applied and has very similar elastic properties to healthy, young ...

Unless you possess the magical healing powers of a Hollywood celebrity, your skin is going to lose elasticity and gain wrinkles as you grow older. And the effects are not just cosmetic, with the skin's ability to guard against extreme temperatures, radiation and toxins diminishing over time. A new invisible polymer coating from MIT may offer a way to apply to brakes, however, by stretching over existing skin to smooth out wrinkles, act as a protective barrier and even slowly deliver drugs to treat eczema and other conditions.

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Category: Health & Wellbeing

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New low-cost Zika test looks good on paper

The paper-based test changes color to clearly show the presence of a virus: purple for positive, ...

Researchers have developed a low-cost, paper-based method of detecting viruses like Zika and Ebola in a biological sample, and which can even identify a specific strain. The team believes the test can be used in the field to quickly and easily detect the presence of a virus, and be used to help slow the spread of future outbreaks.

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Category: Medical

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Will we ever get an Elite Beat Agents sequel? We asked the creator

It's been nearly ten years since Nintendo and iNiS released Elite Beat Agents on Nintendo DS. The game, an English-language sequel to the Japan-only Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!, was well-received by critics and quickly ascended to cult classic status among fans of rhythm games. While its predecessor got a sequel in 2007 in the form of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2, EBA wasn't as lucky, and to date, it remains the first and only game in the series to release stateside.

Recently, we caught up with Ouendan and Elite Beat Agents creator Keiichi Yano — also responsible for the equally quirky, obscure and well-loved PlayStation 2 rhythm game Gitaroo Man — to ask him when, if ever, we'll see another game in the series.

"I have a great relationship with...

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Cactus-inspired membrane boosts fuel cell performance

Dr. Cara Doherty examining one of the membranes

Here's something that you might not know about the humble cactus: it has tiny cracks in its skin, which open up at night when conditions tend to be more humid. This allows it to take up moisture. During the day, those cracks close up, keeping the moisture inside. Now, scientists have applied that same principle to a membrane which could make fuel cells a more viable option for powering vehicles.

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Category: Energy

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