Week in Tech (26 Feb – 4 Mar 2021)

Weekly Tech News related to Robot Healthcare Helpers, NASA’s Latest Mars Rover’s Processor, Paytm Claiming Top Spot in India’s Mobile Payments Market, Soft Tactile Sensor with Skin-Comparable Characteristics, ‘Cybervetting’ Job Candidates, Efficient OLED Active Matrix Displays, The Future of Green Computing, A New Generation of Tiny and Agile Drones, Quantum Internet Being Closer to Reality, China Overtaking US in AI Journal Citations, Optical Quantum Computing Chips

Note: None of the news bits (and cover picture) given here are written/owned by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.


*Cover picture credit: Lucas Schweickert, KTH, Royal Institute of Technology*

1. Sensing Robot Healthcare Helpers


Source: Simon Fraser University 26 Feb 2021


Robots that could take on basic healthcare tasks to support the work of doctors and nurses may be the way of the future. A medical robot that can even prescribe your medicine someday. That’s the idea behind 3D structural-sensing robots being developed and tested by a team of researchers.

2. NASA’s Latest Mars Rover Has the Same Processor as an iMac from 1998


Source: The Verge 26 Feb 2021


NASA’s brand-new Perseverance rover is the most advanced machine that’s ever landed on Mars. But when it comes to rovers, “state of the art” is a subjective term. Perseverance is running on none other than a PowerPC 750, a single-core, 233MHz processor with just 6 million transistors that’s most famous for powering the original “Bondi blue” iMac from 1998. It’s the same type of processor that NASA already uses in its Curiosity rover.


Original written by: Chaim Gartenberg

3. Paytm Claims Top Spot in India’s Mobile Payments Market With 1.2B Monthly Transactions


Source: TechCrunch 1 Mar 2021


Paytm, India’s most valuable startup, said on Monday it processed 1.2 billion transactions in the month of February, illustrating the level of penetration it has made in one of the world’s fastest-growing payments markets where it competes with Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Flipkart-backed PhonePe.


Original written by: Manish Singh

4. Novel Soft Tactile Sensor with Skin-Comparable Characteristics for Robots


Source: City University of Hong Kong 1 Mar 2021


A research team has developed a new soft tactile sensor with skin-comparable characteristics. A robotic gripper with the sensor mounted at the fingertip could accomplish challenging tasks such as stably grasping fragile objects and threading a needle. Their research provided new insight into tactile sensor design and could contribute to various applications in the robotics field, such as smart prosthetics and human-robot interaction.

5. Pitfalls Associated With ‘Cybervetting’ Job Candidates


Source: North Carolina State University 2 Mar 2021


A recent study of how human resources professionals review online information and social media profiles of job candidates, highlights the ways in which so-called “cybervetting” can introduce bias and moral judgment into the hiring process.


Original written by: Matt Shipman

6. New Strategy for Efficient OLED Active Matrix Displays


Source: Technische Universität Dresden 2 Mar 2021


In a new publication, researchers have introduced a novel device concept towards high-efficient and low-voltage vertical organic lighting-emitting transistors. With the new device architecture and fabrication technology, the team paves the way for a broad application of efficient OLED active matrix displays.

7. Environmental Impact of Computation and The Future of Green Computing


Source: Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 2 Mar 2021


Every aspect of modern computing, from the smallest chip to the largest data center comes with a carbon price tag. For the better part of a century, the tech industry and the field of computation as a whole have focused on building smaller, faster, more powerful devices — but few have considered their overall environmental impact. Researchers are trying to change that by challenging the field to add carbon footprint to the list of metrics when designing new processes, new computing systems, new hardware, and new ways to use devices.


Original written by: Leah Burrows

8. Researchers Introduce A New Generation of Tiny, Agile Drones


Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2 Mar 2021


Researchers have developed insect-sized drones with unprecedented dexterity and resilience. The aerial robots are powered by a new class of soft actuator, which allows them to withstand the physical travails of real-world flight. They hope the robots could one day aid humans by pollinating crops or performing machinery inspections in cramped spaces.


Original written by: Daniel Ackerman

9. A Quantum Internet Is Closer to Reality, Thanks To This Switch


Source: Purdue University 2 Mar 2021


When quantum computers become more powerful and widespread, they will need a robust quantum internet to communicate. Engineers have addressed an issue barring the development of quantum networks that are big enough to reliably support more than a handful of users. The method could help lay the groundwork for when a large number of quantum computers, quantum sensors, and other quantum technology are ready to go online and communicate with each other.


Original written by: Kayla Wiles

10. Artificial Intelligence Research Continues to Grow as China Overtakes US in AI Journal Citations


Source: The Verge 3 Mar 2021


The artificial intelligence boom isn’t slowing yet, with new figures showing a 34.5 percent increase in the publication of AI research from 2019 to 2020. That’s a higher percentage growth than 2018 to 2019 when the volume of publications increased by 19.6 percent.


Original written by: James Vincent

11. Heat-Free Optical Switch Would Enable Optical Quantum Computing Chips


Source: KTH, Royal Institute of Technology 3 Mar 2021


In a potential boost for quantum computing and communication, a research team reported a new method of controlling and manipulating single photons without generating heat. The solution makes it possible to integrate optical switches and single-photon detectors in a single chip. The team reported to have developed an optical switch that is reconfigured with microscopic mechanical movement rather than heat, making the switch compatible with heat-sensitive single-photon detectors.


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