EU plans supporting technologies to get driverless cars on the road
Europe should pioneer connected and automated driving, according to Günther Oettinger, EU commissioner for digital economy and society, as he unveiled plans for an EU-wide rollout of supporting technologies to representatives of the car and telecoms industries at the World Mobile Congress this week.
Source: Science Business
Doctors implant "world's first" 3D-printed vertebrae
Ralph Mobbs, a neurosurgeon at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, successfully replaced two vertebrae with custom made 3D prostheses. The patient required 3D printed vertebrae because a virulent form of cancer threatened to cinch off his spinal cord as it grew, and would have left him a quadriplegic.
Google's machine works out the location of almost any photo
Tobias Weyand, a computer vision specialist at Google, has trained a deep-learning machine to work out the location of almost any photo using only the pixels it contains. The machine can also determine the location of indoor images and pictures of specific things such as pets, food, and so on that have no location cues.
Source: MIT Technology Review
Metal replicates the strength and dexterity of human muscles
HRL Laboratories has announced it has replicated the reactions of human muscle in metal. The new material can change from stiff to soft by a factor of 100 in milliseconds, independent of how much mechanical force is applied. The company said the metal will be used to create more human-like robots.
Journeying to Mars in only three days with photonic propulsion
If rocket-propelled spacecraft will only take us so far then what will the next generation of propulsion technology look like? NASA has funded a study that is exploring the possibility of using photonic-laser thrust to propel spacecraft to relativistic speeds, allowing them to travel farther than ever before.
Source: Popular Mechanics
Bill Gates predicts an energy miracle in the next 15 years
Bill Gates believes an energy miracle is coming, and it's going to change the world. In his 2016 annual letter, Gates speculates on the coming clean-energy revolution, and says If he could help the world's poorest people in any way "it would be to find a cheap, clean source of energy to power our world".