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Soft robotics: what the octopus has taught us
Soft robotics: what the octopus has taught us “If you think about a robot, how do you picture it from the back of your mind? Perhaps it looks something like a humanoid, built with rigid materials such as metals.
The revolution of plantoids
The revolution of plantoids The grapevines of the Italian region of Tuscany gave food for thought to researchers based in Pontedera, near Pisa, who developed the first soft robot that mimics the behaviour of tendrils .
Terrorism recruitment on the dark web
Terrorism recruitment on the dark web What kind of person is susceptible to being recruited into joining a terrorist group? How do internet users become involved in online markets selling weapons, drugs and other contraband? These are some of the questions security expert Michael Osborne is working on as part of the European project PROTON to understand criminal behaviour online.
Smart city: enthusiasm but caution on new 5G technology
Smart city: enthusiasm but caution on new 5G technology Long-touted advances of smart cities may finally become reality with the increases to wireless network speeds and bandwidths promised by the switch to 5G .
Plant roots inspire 3D-printed automotive sensors
Plant roots inspire 3D-printed automotive sensors Soil is much more than just the dirt beneath our feet. Essential for agriculture, a source of undiscovered pharmaceuticals and a filtering system for ecosystems, it’s surprising that the automotive research vehicles, which cruise through air or water, have not yet penetrated the ground.
When citizen engagement makes the difference
When citizen engagement makes the difference Thirty-one apartment buildings comprising 140,000 m 2 of floor space: Europe’s most ambitious energy-saving renovation project is transforming Torrelago, a residential district of Valladolid in central Spain.
Superfast all-RAM processors could bring high-performance computers to the masses
Superfast all-RAM processors could bring high-performance computers to the masses Today’s computer processors are pretty fast. Under optimal conditions, a desktop can come close to teraflop speeds, which is a million million operations per second .
Fighting terrorism online: prevention is better than cure
Fighting terrorism online: prevention is better than cure To what extent do internet and social media help to spread terrorist propaganda and recruiting? EU officials seem to think that they actually contribute a lot.
Are smart cities ready for Europe's new privacy measures?
Are smart cities ready for Europe's new privacy measures? As the number of smart cities increases, the heavier are their responsibilities towards citizens.
Levitation becomes a reality
Levitation becomes a reality Levitation is an old dream of humankind. For centuries, magicians gave audiences the illusion of defying gravity, seemingly making objects of people float into the air. Now European scientists are turning this into reality.
When science challenges terrorism
When science challenges terrorism Can science become central to combating terrorism and organised crime? Predictive policing uses mathematical and analytical tools to identify potentially dangerous people and forecast crimes.
Lizard skins and bark bugs inspire energy saving materials
Lizard skins and bark bugs inspire energy saving materials Biomimicry , also called bionics, uses structures found in nature to solve everyday problems. A well-known example is the Velcro strip , which a Swiss engineer, Georges de Mestral copied from the burdocks that stuck to his dog and clothes on a walk through the fields.
Meet the skyrmions: exotic quasiparticles could revolutionise computing
Meet the skyrmions: exotic quasiparticles could revolutionise computing For most of us, any concerns about computing speed or data storage are usually to make it go faster while storing more. We hardly ever think about the enormous amounts of energy already required to power Internet servers or charge the increasing number of devices we own.
How machines can learn from human behaviour
How machines can learn from human behaviour Could a human behaviour simulator be embedded into a robot or online avatar to the point that it’s hard to distinguish between a real person or artificial intelligence? Scientists have been upping the stakes in this “ Turing test ” for years, to the point that human-mimicking programmes are ready to answer tricky questions, assist people with online shopping or be companions.
How can smart cities finance their transformation?
How can smart cities finance their transformation? Local governments in Europe are notoriously risk averse, city council officials and industry leaders won’t hesitate to tell you.
Science-based civic projects
Science-based civic projects “Are we all on the same page? Singing from the same hymn sheet?” For anyone working with groups of people in policy areas, the answer is nearly always “yes”.
High-risk research returns
High-risk research returns “When I grab something hard, then I can feel it in the fingertips, which is strange, as I don’t have them anymore. It’s amazing,” said Robin af Ekenstam , who lost his hand when an aggressive tumour was discovered on his right wrist.
Financing the next generation of “deep-tech” research innovators
Financing the next generation of “deep-tech” research innovators Remember the cassette Walkman? With streaming services, even MP3 players like the iPod look distinctly  passé . Car Sat-Navs used to drop jaws in amazement, but now driverless cars and flying drone taxis are on the horizon.
Beyond the Godfather
Beyond the Godfather In the early 1990s, a series of initiatives were set about fighting organised crime on a European level. However, the killing of “ndrangheta” members in the German city of Duisburg in 2007 acted as a wake-up call.
Life is LiFi in smart buildings
Life is LiFi in smart buildings Just imagine: you get back home one evening, unlocking your door with the torch light of your mobile. You sit down on your sofa, download a film 100 times faster than currently possible and enjoy the movie on a fully secure wireless connection.
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