Japanese Firms Start Testing Robots In Office Buildings

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — It may not be too long before visitors are greeted by a robotic receptionist in Japanese Smart Office Buildings. Shimizu Corp and Yasukawa Electric Corp have opened the “Smart Showroom” that is part of the Smart Robotics Building Project, which will demonstrate the use of Smart Robots in intelligent buildings. Cool new wearable devices can do miracles for your health Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Japanese Firms Start Testing Robots In Office Buildings (2009, February 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-02-japanese-firms-robots-office.html Smart Guide robot developed by Yasukawa Electric Corp. The project is designed to provide various services by combining building infrastructure technologies and robot technologies. Robots will take on the role of receptionist, guards, office cleaners, etc and replace humans. For example, in the role of a receptionist, they will greet visitors, attend to them and show them to their destination. In the first step of the project, Shimizu Corp is responsible for the infrastructure technologies and Yasukawa Electric Corp developed the Smart Guide. In the Smart Showroom both companies, utilizing their technologies, demonstrates how the robot attends to visitors, takes care of all their needs, and sees them off. This concept is not meant to rely on robots for all functions but would be a combination of all technologies with the intervention of humans for device control, information and telecommunication technologies. All this will be centrally located within the building so that the robots, operating in the building, can be tracked so that multiple robots can share work load in a large area.© 2009 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

DSC recipe brings good news to solar cell economics

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further A discovery in how to make solar cells cheap enough to boost the use of solar energy looks promising according to experts. The design represents an inexpensive process making use of an organic, printed dye to absorb sunlight. The study, reported in Science magazine, is seen as a welcome step forward in the search for cheaper, efficient, solutions for solar energy. New type of solar cell retains high efficiency for long periods © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: DSC recipe brings good news to solar cell economics (2011, November 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-11-dsc-recipe-good-news-solar.html Electrochemist Michael Graetzel at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, who back in 1991 had devised a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC),and his team are credited with sidestepping a roadblock that prevented DSCs from becoming commercially viable. Researchers and manufacturers were using the rare and expensive metal ruthenium (ru)in the dyes and could get only low voltages in the cells Graetzel invented back in 1991. Between both issues of lower cell efficiency and higher costs of ruthenium, there was work to be done. Now Graetzel and his colleagues believe they have found sound alternatives to the expensive dyes and iodide mediators limiting voltage.They chose a zinc-bearing compound similar to chlorophyll to build a newer type of solar cell. For dyes, they use molecules consisting of a group that loses electrons, a group that accepts them, and a unit that has a light-absorbing group similar to that in chlorophyll. DSCs in their current design enable an efficiency of 12.3 percent. They hope to achieve efficiencies of 15 percent. That would render a more realistic alternative to semiconductor-based photovoltaics.Graetzel says he is working on these and other improvements. He is adapting the dyes to capture more of the red component of sunlight, and testing new cobalt mediators to boost the voltage.Meanwhile, according to a report in Scientific American, scientific interest continues in the potential of inexpensive thin-film photovoltaic cells made from organic plastics, as a way to boost the production of solar power. Organic photovoltaics do not require any liquids and they can be made using existing machines. Engineers Vasilis Fthenakis and Annick Anctil of the Brookhaven National Laboratory commented on this approach in an e-mail to the magazine.A separate report late last month said Belgian research institute Imec will lead a consortium of 17 organizations and companies to develop a commercially-viable organic photovoltaic technology. TheX10D project is funded by the European Commission(EC). The project carries the twin purpose of achieving efficiency of organic solar cells while keeping down manufacturing costs. “By applying new designs and architectures, materials and manufacturing technologies, the X10D project aims at increasing the power conversion efficiency to achieve at least a 12% on cell level (1cm²), and 9% on module level (100 cm²),” according to Imec.last_img read more

DNA evidence offers proof of North American native population decline due to

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Most history books report that Native American populations in North America declined significantly after European colonizers appeared, subsequent to the “discovery” of the new world by Christopher Columbus in 1492, reducing their numbers by half or more in some cases. Most attribute this decline in population to the introduction of new diseases, primarily smallpox and warfare. To back up such claims, historians have relied on archaeological evidence and written documents by new world settlers. Up to now however, no physical evidence has been available to nail down specifics regarding population declines, such as when they actually occurred and what caused it to occur. Now however, three researchers with various backgrounds in anthropological and genome sciences have banded together to undertake a study based on mitochondrial DNA evidence, and have found, as they report in their study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that native populations in North America did indeed decline by roughly fifty percent, some five hundred years ago. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences What’s perhaps most interesting in the study, is the implication that the sudden drop in population appeared to occur almost right after the arrival of Europeans, which means before settlement began. This means that the decline would have come about almost exclusively as a result of disease sweeping naturally through native communities, rather than from warfare, or mass slaughter as some have suggested and that stories of settlers using smallpox as a weapon may be exaggerated.Also of interest is that the researchers found that the native population peaked some 5,000 years ago, and held steady, or even declined slightly, until the arrival of Europeans, and that the population decline that occurred was transient, meaning that it gradually rebounded as those Native Americans that survived the initial wave of smallpox passed on their hearty genes to the next generation.The results of this research also seem to settle the argument of whether the massive loss of life due to disease was regional, as some historians have argued, or widespread as others have claimed; siding firmly with the latter.In studying the DNA, of both pre-European arrival native population samples and that of their ancestors alive today, the researchers noted that those alive today are more genetically similar to one another than were their ancestors, which suggests a population decline and then resurgence, and that is how, by backtracking, they came to conclude that the decline occurred half a century ago. The authors are quick to point out however that the margin of error in their work does allow for the possibility that the population decline occurred somewhat later than their results showed and note that further research will need to be done to create a more precise timeline of events. Explore further Citation: DNA evidence offers proof of North American native population decline due to arrival of Europeans (2011, December 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-dna-evidence-proof-north-american.html More information: Native Americans experienced a strong population bottleneck coincident with European contact, PNAS, Published online before print December 5, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1112563108AbstractThe genetic and demographic impact of European contact with Native Americans has remained unclear despite recent interest. Whereas archeological and historical records indicate that European contact resulted in widespread mortality from various sources, genetic studies have found little evidence of a recent contraction in Native American population size. In this study we use a large dataset including both ancient and contemporary mitochondrial DNA to construct a high-resolution portrait of the Holocene and late Pleistocene population size of indigenous Americans. Our reconstruction suggests that Native Americans suffered a significant, although transient, contraction in population size some 500 y before the present, during which female effective size was reduced by ∼50%. These results support analyses of historical records indicating that European colonization induced widespread mortality among indigenous Americans. Native Americans modified American landscape years prior to arrival of Europeans: study © 2011 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Best of Last Week–Can space travel faster than light another planet behind

first_img Citation: Best of Last Week–Can space travel faster than light, another planet behind the Sun and should we allow head transplants (2015, March 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-weekcan-space-faster-planet-sun.html Physicists offer a solution to the puzzle of the origin of matter in the universe In space news, a team of researchers wondered if there could be another planet behind the sun. More aptly, they used science to put the sci-fi myth to rest once and for all—no, there is not another planet just like ours hiding behind the sun. Period. Meanwhile, another team discussed Earth’s other “moon” and how its crazy orbit could reveal mysteries of the solar system—3753 Cruithne orbits our planet in a horseshoe quasi-orbit, wobbling and swaying. Also, another team announced a monster black hole discovered at cosmic dawn—the brightest quasar in the early universe.In other news, officials in California announced that construction will begin on a five mile stretch of the Hyperloop next year—it is the project conceived by Elon Musk that seeks to put passenger pods inside tubes and push them using fans and magnets at speeds up to 200mph. Also, a team of researchers found that a widely used food additive promotes colitis, obesity and metabolic syndrome—it is the emulsifiers that are used to enhance texture and prolong shelf life. And scientists in Russia announced that several “new” craters have been found in Siberia—believed to be related to global warming, the sudden appearance of such craters is causing officials to be worried about public safety.And finally, if you have grown tired of your body, then perhaps someday soon you could get a new one as a surgeon offered ideas on a way to do human head transplants—Sergio Canavero suggests the technology may be at hand so we might want to start considering whether we ever really want to do such a thing. Explore further (Phys.org)—It was an interesting week for physics research—most of the big news was centered around space, the cosmos or how things came to be as they are. One team of physicists offered a solution to the puzzle of the origin of matter in the universe—suggesting that matter-antimatter asymmetry could be related to the Higgs boson particle. Another team wondered, how can space travel faster than the speed of light? If nothing can travel faster than light, they asked, how is it possible that there are parts of spacetime where the photons that make up light are forever out of our reach? And yet another team wondered if classical theory could be just as weird as quantum theory—they showed that objectivity, determinism, and independence are mutually incompatible with any theory.center_img © 2015 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. An illustration of the delayed-choice experiment, which shows that a photon exhibits both particle and wave behaviors. The physicists used this experiment to show that seemingly reasonable classical assumptions may not be so reasonable after all. Credit: Ionicioiu, et al. ©2015 American Physical Societylast_img read more

Thai couture goes Indian

first_imgThe Royal Thai Embassy recently hosted a fashion show to strengthen relations between India and Thailand. Models showed off ensembles by Bina Modi. The gala was attended by the likes of Hemi Bawa, Sharan Apparao, Sangeeta Mehra, Tarun Tahiliani among others at the Ambassador’s Residence. It celebrated the 80th birthday anniversary of  Queen Sirikit of Thailand.last_img

USled airstrikes hit 4 Syrian provinces

first_imgThe Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the air raids overnight took place in four provinces: Aleppo, Raqqa, Hassakeh and Deir el-Zour. The entrance to Syria’s largest gas plant, Conoco in Deir el-Zour, was among the targets. The Observatory says there were casualties in the airstrikes, but that it has no concrete figures. A resident on the Turkish side of the Syria-Turkey frontier says strikes Monday morning also struck the Islamic State-controlled town of Tel Abyad. The town is home to a border crossing. The resident, Mehmet Ozer, says the strikes hit an abandoned military base and an empty school. Air raids believed to have been carried out by U.S.-led forces hit three makeshift oil refineries in northern Syria on Sunday as part of a campaign against Islamic State, a human rights group said. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenThe United States has been carrying out strikes in Iraq since Aug. 8 and in Syria, with the help of Arab allies, since Tuesday, with the aim of ‘degrading and destroying’ the militants who have captured large areas of both countries.Barack Obama has been seeking to build a wide coalition to weaken Islamic State, which has killed thousands and beheaded at least three Westerners. In a potential boost for the United States, a jihadist Twitter account said the leader of an al Qaeda-linked group had been killed in a U.S. air strike in Syria, the SITE service said.A U.S. official said on Sept. Also Read – Pak Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesman24 that the United States believed Mohsin al-Fadhli, leader of the Khorasan group, had been killed in a strike a day earlier, but the Pentagon said later it was still investigating.But in a tweet on Sept. 27, a jihadist offered condolences for the death of Fadhli, SITE, a U.S.-based organisation that monitors militant groups online, said on Sunday.In Washington, Tony Blinken, deputy White House national security adviser, said on Sunday that officials could not yet confirm the death.United States officials have described Khorasan as a network of al Qaeda fighters with battlefield experience mostly in Pakistan and Afghanistan that is now working with al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front.last_img read more

Court says cattle national wealth grants lifer to 7

first_imgAdditional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said the government should step in and draft a national policy to protect and take care of the rescued cattle which are being rampantly released on ‘superdari’ (undertaking) to those who are being booked for the violation of special laws relating to protection of animals.‘This they do by taking advantage of lacuna in existing law which is totally silent on how these rescued animals are required to be dealt with. Under no circumstances can these animals/cattle be handed over to the same persons from whose clutches they have been rescued.‘This lacuna in law, rather mischief in law needs an urgent attention of the law framers so that it is plugged at the earliest. Cattle wealth of the country has to be protected at any cost not only because it is connected to important issues of national health but also because its an issue which is closely knitted to religious beliefs and sentiments of a class of society which have to be respected,’ the court said.The court said that in order to fulfil the constitutional obligations, ‘it is desirable for the government of India to step in and seriously draft out a National Policy where the animals/cattle so rescued, particularly the milch cattle which are the national wealth of our country, are protected, preserved and taken care of’.The court’s 538-page judgement came in a case relating to an encounter between a gang of cattle lifters from Mewat, on the outskirts of the national capital, and the Delhi police in the Outer Delhi district on the intervening night of January 18-19, 2013, when the accused were trying to flee by taking away the animals for the purpose of slaughtering.It awarded the jail term to Uttar Pradesh residents Anwar, Ankur Kumar, Sanwar, Khalid, Tasleem, Hasrat and Asif for the offences of attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy, obstructing public servant in discharging duty, assaulting and voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from duty under the IPC.last_img read more

MCCI organises seminar on cyber security focuses on need of cyber audit

first_imgKolkata: Experts have pressed on the need of cyber audit by every business entities to avoid cyber crime related issues. Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised a seminar on “Cyber Security: Threats Towards Corporates” on Friday. Santanu Chattopadhyay, officer-in-charge of the city police’s Cyber Police Station and other experts from the area addressed the seminar. Chattopadhyay said: “Cyber crime is a business for the perpetrators and we are only creating vulnerabilities for them. He said that in 2017, one cyber attack was reported every 10 minutes. In India, 27,000 cases were recorded. He pointed out that the Cyber Police Station had been recording increasing number of cases, which increased from 6 in 2010 to 156 in 2016 and 148 in 2017.” Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAt the same time, he said every business entity should go for cyber audit every year to avoid the risk. At the same time it is also necessary to create awareness among people.The Kolkata Police has taken various steps in creating awareness amongst people on cyber security. Awareness camps were organised at schools and other educational institutions considering the effect of different social networking sites and online activities on them. Teachers and non-teaching staff were also brought under the purview of the awareness campaigns. The teachers are also asked to create similar awareness among parents of children of their school as well. At the same time, necessary infrastructure to fight against cyber crime has also been developed. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt may be recalled that in December 2017, the Cyber Police Station of the Kolkata Police has received the NASSCOM-Data Security Council of India (DSCI) Excellence Award for “Capacity Building of Law Enforcement”. A team of four senior officers of Kolkata Police went to Gurgaon and received the award during an all-India basis seminar on cyber security in which police personnel from different districts were present.last_img read more