Famous Scientists

Amazing Breakthroughs in Robotics

Author: Heather Brown

Probably one of the most exciting branches of science, robotics has gone a long way from being a mere concept presented in Hollywood to a steadily developing reality. From the name itself, robotics deals with the development of robots, as well as other factors that contribute to their operation such as control systems and information processing. It combines different concepts from different branches such as electronic engineering, computer science, and mechanical engineering.

Amazing Breakthroughs in Robotics

A Brief History

Robotics actually started as early as 1023 to 957 BC when an engineer named Yan Shi started visualizing automata (a self-operating machine) and presented to King Mu of the Zhou dynasty a life-sized figure of what he was imagining. From there, a number of other descriptions of machines were written by Heron of Alexandria during 1st century AD. All these progressed to further experimentation with machines which would later on be the foundation for modern robotics.

In 1495, actual sketches were created by Leonardo da Vinci for a humanoid robot. In the period between 1700 and 1900, Jacques de Vaucanson came up with a mechanical duck that could actually move. It had the ability to flap its wings and crane its neck. It even had the ability to swallow food! More machines were built in the following years, including Henry Ford’s assembly line that assembled a car in 93 minutes.

It was Japan that produced the first robot toy that moved. Standing 15cm tall, it was a wind-up toy that had the ability to walk on its own. In 1954, the first industrial robot was created by Joe Engleberger and George Devol. It was a programmable robotic arm that was capable of completing repetitive tasks. It was eventually used for General Motors’ assembly line in 1962.

Throughout this period, movies, plays and books were already starting to discuss the possibility of having robots within the midst of the human race.

Modern Robotics

Today, robotics has evolved into something both entertaining and useful. In 2009, a project done by the University of Cambridge and the Aberystwyth University resulted in a “robot scientist” called Adam which was able to hypothesize and design experiments on its own. In 2012, two stroke victims were implanted with computer chips, allowing them to control a robotic arm to do simple tasks for them. Other designs are still being developed to help those who have disabilities such as a wearable device playing the role of muscles, ligaments and tendons that could help in foot rehabilitation. This is currently being developed in the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Robotics.

Food Technology in the New Year

Author: Heather Brown

Is there anything as simple as food? To most people, dinner means simply popping some food or soup in the microwave and having some grub. To others it might mean a few hours of slowly cooking beef but either way, it basically involves putting food on a source of heat and waiting for it to cook. However, as technology advances so do the way people prepare their food. Check out the latest food technology and trends for the year!

3-D Print Your Food

3-D Print Your Food

Are you hankering for a home-cooked meal made from the finest fresh ingredients? Now there is a way to enjoy it with just the press of a button. A company called Foodini has come up with a plug-and-play food printer that may just be a gift from the heavens to all the home chefs out there. All that needs to be done is to prep the fresh food ahead of time using a blender or food processor and load the processed food into the food capsules. The printer will use the food in the capsules to follow your recipe. Such machines are expected to retail at around $1300.

Don’t Waste Your Food – Give it to Strangers

Do you remember your parents telling you to finish the food on your plate since there are starving children in other parts of the world? Now you do not have to finish your food since a stranger can do it for you! Many companies are trying to find ways to reduce food wastage and one highly-useful but also highly-controversial technology is something called LeftoverSwap. They offer an online database where people can list their leftovers in the database and strangers can trade or just take the food. There are a lot of hazards that might arise from this but the site says it hinges on trust like other successful sites such as Feastly, AirBnB, etc.

Plant-based Protein For Mass Consumption

The race is on to look for protein substitutes that will feed the masses and Hampton Creek Foods is in the lead. It is backed by the likes of Bill Gates, Peter Thiel, and Khosla Ventures. It produced a mayo substitute that hit whole food shelves just this year and retails for the same price as the real thing. They say their product is better for the environment since it produces fewer emissions and needs much less resources which makes it more affordable to produce as compared to chicken and other types of meat.

Unexplained Natural Phenomenon

Author: Heather Brown

Despite the efforts of scientists, there are still some unexplained natural phenomenon that can captivate or sometimes scare the people who see or experience them. While science is powerful and has been the source of many different enlightening answers, here are some of the unexplained natural phenomenon which can boggle your mind:

Taos hum

•  Taos hum – Some residents as well as visitors in the city of Taos in New Mexico hear a faint humming or whirring sound from the surrounding desert air. Only 2% of the population can hear it, and to this day, the origin of the sound is still unknown.

Toads in coal

•  Toads in coal – There have been over 90 recorded cases of some amphibians being found alive inside stone geodes or coal pockets. The frogs have something in common—they are surrounded by mucus, and have turned pale or white in color. They also usually die within 24-2 hours if not quickly returned to a pond or body of water.

•  Will O’ the Wisps – Something recently featured in one animation, will O’ the wisps are also known as marsh lights and appear as bright orbs of lights which are also sometimes called as faeri fires or pixy lights.

•  Déjà vu – A French phrase which translates to “already seen,” déjà vu is something that happens to a lot of people wherethey feel as if they have already been in the same set of circumstance before. Some even attribute this as something which is related to the person’s past life, and that these occurrences may be glimpses of who he was before.

•  Animal migrations – While the weather and feeding as well as breeding patterns may come into play when it comes to animal migrations, there is still a sense of wonder at how these animals can travel the same distances for different generations—following the same route! Take for example how turtles birth at the same shores they were born in, or how monarch butterflies gather as a very large group to reproduce their next generation! What’s amazing is how despite the more simple mental functions they have, they still find their way.

Scientists have tried to explain the scientific principles behind these seemingly unexplainable natural phenomena, but so far, none of the explanations seem to completely explain how these things happen. While there are theories and possible as well as attractive explanations just to settle them, there is still that lack of conclusive evidence to completely believe these explanations.

Awesome Inventions You Haven’t Heard About

Author: Heather Brown

Each year, scientists and even just hobbyists or science aficionados come up with new inventions to meet different needs and purposes. However, you won’t always hear of these inventions since not all of them make it to the mainstream market. Read on to learn a bit more about some awesome inventions you may not have heard about yet:

Pencil pusher

 Pencil pusher – A nifty device which can make use of old paper to come up with new pencil, the pencil pusher is a recycling solution which can help reduce wasted paper and the need to cut trees down for actual pencil production. This was a 2010 finalist of the Lite-On Awards.

•  PrePeat – Imagine being able to use the same sheet of “paper” over and over for your printing needs. “Gyricon” is the thin sheet of “paper” which is actually plastic which is fed to the PrePeat printer which would then send voltages to the surface of the plastic to change its color. The printout will remain until it goes through the printer again.

•  Samarai micro-drone – Lockheed Martin invented the Samarai micro-drone, a kind of nano air vehicle which can be remote controlled and used by the military. It has only a 12-inch wingspan and is reminiscent of a maple seed—the main different being that it has a jet engine to set it to flight.

The BIOME

•  The BIOME – Mercedes Benz has their BIOME concept car which grows from an organic environment. When out on the road, the car will only emit oxygen and when it is no longer used, it can be composted or even used as a building material.

•  Transcranial pulse ultrasound helmets – Although you may be psyched at the thought of mind control for the military, the transcranial pulse ultrasound helmets deliver the high-frequency sound waves to different targeted regions of the brain. This may help affect the alertness of the soldier wearing it, or may even be used to help alleviate stress or pain.

•  The Bodyguard – If you are a fan of the Batman movies, the Bodyguard is basically kind of what Batman wears. It has its own built in stun gun, flashlight, and even a cameraphone charger. It is armored with Kevlar and plastic, and it is seen as a potentially powerful tool which policemen can use for keeping the peace.

These products are yet to hit the main market, but with the potential they show for addressing unique needs on these changing times, who knows—after a little more time, they can be yours!

Probiotics and Its Benefits to Newborns

Author: Heather Brown

Colic is every new mother’s nightmare, as their babies incessantly whine and wail because of this. A condition regularly experienced by babies, colic is a fluctuating pain felt around the abdominal area. It is usually caused by intestinal gas, or when any form of obstruction is present in the intestines. Traditionally, colic would mean changing the milk formula that a baby takes, or asking a breastfeeding mom to take herbal supplements. Some products in the market also promise to keep newborns colic-free, such as nipples used on baby bottles. Basically, no clear remedy has been proven to be 100% effective, with different styles working on different sets of babies as well. Recent studies show however, that there might be a clearer and better option in easing and reducing the chances of your baby suffering from colic.

What are Probiotics?

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live organisms that are said to help improve overall health and addresses specific problems suffered by some bodily functions. Our digestive system in particular, has a lot to gain with the help of probiotics. According to research, a lot of digestive disorders happen when the good kind of bacteria inside our intestines are disturbed. Yes, our intestines are actually home to over 500 different kinds of bacteria that keep our intestines clean and healthy and help the digestive process run smoothly. These bacteria lose their balance when we experience infections, or when we take antibiotics.

This is where probiotics come in. Probiotics help restore the balance inside our digestive system, helping our resident bacteria return to their daily routine. They are even capable in fighting against the bad bacteria that causes other stomach disorders such as diarrhea. Probiotics are also seen as effective in helping you maintain a strong immune system.

Probiotics and Your Baby

 

Probiotics and Your Baby

Because of the great benefits that probiotics has especially involving the digestive system, continuous research is done on how it can help babies get over their colic, which is considered to be a functional gastrointestinal disease. Testing the theory on over 500 infants, it has been proven that those who were administered with lactobacillus reuteri, a probiotic form, spent significantly less time crying and had more regular bowel movement compared to others. This means that the babies had improved digestive functions compared to those who were not administered with probiotics. These results show great promise, and continuous testing is done to further show just how much potential probiotics have in solving digestive problems for newborn and adults alike.



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