Category Archives: Uncategorized

First steps for Hector the robot stick insect

A research team at Bielefeld University has succeeded in teaching the only robot of its kind in the world how to walk. Its first steps have been recorded in a video. You can watch them in Bielefeld University’s latest posting on ‘research_tv’. The robot is called Hector, and its construction is modelled on a stick insect. Inspired by the insect, Hector has passive elastic joints and an ultralight exoskeleton. What makes it unique is that it is also equipped with a great number of sensors and it functions according to a biologically inspired decentralized reactive control concept: the Walknet. The walking robot has been built by the Biomechatronics research group. In the future, Hector should serve as a platform for biologists and roboticists to test hypotheses about animal locomotion. One major aspect will be the fusion of large amounts of data from sensors so that the robot can walk more autonomously than before. A further key issue will be the optimal coordination of movements by a robot with elastic drives.

Astronomers may have detected the first direct evidence of dark matter

Scientists in the UK may have finally found direct evidence for dark matter pouring out of our Sun.

Dark matter is an invisible mass of unknown origin, that is believed to make up 85 percent of the Universe. But despite that, scientists have never been able to directly detect it – they only know it’s there because of its gravitational effect on regular light and matter.

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Now scientists at the University of Leicester have identified a signal on the X-ray spectrum which appears to be a signature of ‘axions’ – a hypothetical dark matter particle that’s never been detected before.

While we can’t get too excited just yet – it will take years to confirm whether this signal really is dark matter – the discovery would completely change our understanding of how the Universe works. After all, dark matter is the force that holds our galaxies together, so learning more about it is pretty important.

The researchers first detected the signal while searching through 15 years of measurements taking

Scientists discover brain’s anti-distraction system

Two Simon Fraser University psychologists have made a brain-related discovery that could revolutionize doctors’ perception and treatment of attention-deficit disorders.

This discovery opens up the possibility that environmental and/or genetic factors may hinder or suppress a specific brain activity that the researchers have identified as helping