Robot Sweats to Cool Off

Over the years, scientists and researchers have created robots that abilities range from being able to vacuum your living room carpet, to detecting human emotions. Kengoro is a new robot built by a group of Japanese researchers from the University of Tokyo’s JSK lab. The robot is defined as a humanoid; having an appearance or character that is similar to that of a human. Kengoro’s stamina is incomparable to that of other two-legged machines.

Humans generate heat when they preform tasks, so to cool off, their bodies perspire. In robots, overheating can lead to failure. Kengoro can move almost exactly the way humans can with its motors of which it has over a hundred. With these motors generating a lot of heat, the researchers were determined to find a way to cool the robot off. Some common ways were using water pumps, fans, radiators, and heat sinks. However, they wanted a energy conserving, efficient cooling system.

The University of Tokyo lab presented the machine at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Robotics Society of Japan International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, under the title “Skeletal Structure with Artificial Perspiration for Cooling by Latent Heat for Musculoskeletal Humanoid Kengoro.” University of Tokyo’s Toyotaka Kozuki said in an interview with IEEE, “Our concept was adding more functions to the frame, using it to transfer water, release heat, and at the same time support forces.” In order to do this, the team built a water circulation system into the robot’s skull. This system allowed the water to go around the motors to cool them. The water would then evaporate from the heat.

Scientists are now exploring ways to apply this research to clothing. The tiny holes could be used to develop a new type of fabric for increased breathability.

Will Robots Replace Your Job?


Factory workers in the early 1900’s feared their jobs would be replaced when Ford invented the assembly line, and a lot of them did. Many factory jobs are now becoming obsolete. Few people work in factories except for the people who fix the machines and the drivers who transport the finished goods. But now that machines are becoming more and more advanced and Google is developing a self-driving car, will those jobs exist in 50 years?

Lots of other jobs are being replaced by machines all over the world, such as the ATM you get your money from, vending machines, or the machine answering customer calls for a big company. Robots are now being used in hospitals to transport goods and run errands. Nurses and staff now working in hospitals with the TUG robots report that they now have more time to work with patients and that having more time results in better patient care.

How can robots replace people if they can’t act exactly like people? As of now at least robots are made to follow a specific set of instructions. They can’t recognize facial expressions, detect sarcasm, or be creative. Will people want to watch robots act in plays and movies or have machines clean their teeth? Many people are opposed to change and wouldn’t want to support a robot-based future. Will big companies like Honda and Google still want to make robots accessible to everyone if they think there is a market that wont buy them?

It’s safe to say that for now your job is probably safe. However, looking several years into the future, some might gain popularity among robots and machines. When thinking about what you might want to do for the rest of your life, consider looking into something technology related if you want a steady income.

Data on an Unusual Star: KIC 8462852

Scientists looking at past data of a certain patch of the night sky have noticed something strange: a star, named KIC 8462852, seems to have dimmed in overall brightness by a significant factor, over 20% since 1890. This may seem like a long time, but in the life cycle of a star, this is faster than anything scientists have ever seen before. Intriguingly, the star has also been dimming and brightening erratically, sometimes by as much as 22%. Both of these are things that have never been seen before. Scientists initially hypothesized that a cloud of comets or large planets could be causing the dimming, but before long this was ruled out, as the dimming was too erratic. Another, even less credible theory, is that the star is home to a high level Kardashev civilization, one which has harnessed the energy of its sun by building a large solar panel-like structure around it. If this theory sounds far out to you, then you are with good company. It is a concept straight out of science fiction, and most of the scientific community (ancient alien theorists aside) does not believe in this “Dyson Sphere” theory. Even if life did exist in the KIC 8462852 system, harnessing energy on this scale is entirely hypothetical and may not be possible.

The technology being used to look for signs of this star is a mix of old photographic plates from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and the Kepler Telescope. The data gathered from these sources was compiled, and the new data from Kepler supported the older data, painting a picture of the star’s unprecedented dimming. Questions of the reliability of the plates have been brought up, as the old technology could hold less accurate data. However, this is unlikely, as the plates are backed up by Kepler, with modern technology.

If any of this sounds interesting, I have provided some links to additional reading in the text above.

Can Video Gaming Make a Better World?


Gaming has become more common in households and amongst children ever since technology has began. We might assume that gaming is bad because it can be violent and doesn’t help you develop skills for the real world by defeating Mario Bros. But, that is not the case. According to Jane McGonigal,  game designer she encourages the world to play even more games online. This is probably very convincing for those who spend hours staring at the screen.

According to her statistics, right now we spend three billion hours a week playing online games. Surprisingly she says this is not enough because these games can really help your brain easy into solving problems more efficiently and quicker. Personally, I’m not a gamer and would rather spend my days outside in fresh air. But, for people who don’t have time to game including myself, you can always do exercises on brain training apps such as Luminosity and Fit Brains which help the brain create new neuronal cells while trying to perform a task. Continue reading “Can Video Gaming Make a Better World?”

Information – Stuff you should know.



Information is the raw material powering our modern digital world. We think and talk about it frequently, whether in reference to information technology, ‘big data’ analytics, or just complaining about our smartphone’s monthly data limit. Few of us, however, really understand what information is or how we could measure it. Or come to it, charge money for an ‘amount’ of information. This post attempts to explain a little bit of the mathematical reasoning behind information theory and how that reasoning is used to design digital information systems. Continue reading “Information – Stuff you should know.”

New Study Allows Secure Data To Be Sent Through Body Instead of Wifi


Researchers have developed a new system that allows secure information, such as passwords, to be sent through a person’s body rather than “easy to hack” Wifi or Bluetooth signal.

“Computer scientist and electrical engineers have found a way to broadcast signals from a fingerprint scanner or touchpad through the body to a receiving device that is also in contact with the user.” This systems allows for a secure means of transporting information that does not require a password.

Continue reading “New Study Allows Secure Data To Be Sent Through Body Instead of Wifi”

Messaging’s never-ending expansion

alloIn late September of 2016, Google officially unveiled its latest product to add to their arsenal.  It’s their messaging app entitled “Allo”.

To separate themselves from the rest of the pack, Google infused artificial intelligence into Allo to chat and make plans.  When combined with the never-ending list of products from Google (Google Hangouts, docs, slides, sites, classroom, etc), it is intriguing to think about the possibilities when combining all of these applications together.  However, that might not be as simple as it seems.  When compared to the iMessage capabilities of Apple, WhatsApp’s solidness from Facebook, and Facebook’s main messaging app, Messenger, where exactly does Allo stand?

Google announced the app in May of this year, aiming to further their use of artificial intelligence.   Continue reading “Messaging’s never-ending expansion”