Benjamin Chang: Might technology tip the global scales?

The United States and China seem locked in an ever-tightening embrace, superpowers entangled in a web of economic and military concerns. “Every issue critical to world order — whether climate change, terrorism, or trade — is clearly and closely intertwined with U.S.-China relations,” says Benjamin Chang, a fourth-year PhD candidate in political science concentrating in international relations and security studies. “Competition between these nations will shape all outcomes anyone cares about in the next 50 years or more.” Little surprise, then, that Chang is homing in on this relationship for his thesis, which broadly examines the impact of artificial intelligence on military power. As China and the United States circle each other as rivals and uneasy partners on the global stage, Chang hopes to learn what the integration of artificial intelligence in different domains might mean for the balance of power. “There is a set of questions related to how Continue reading Benjamin Chang: Might technology tip the global scales?

‘Flapping wings’ powered by the sun

In ancient Greek mythology, Icarus’ wax wings melted when he dared to fly too close to the sun. Now, researchers have made artificial wings that are actually powered by the sun. The tiny wings, which can flap even faster than those of butterflies, could someday be used in robots or devices for solar energy harvesting, the researchers say. More details

How Robotics Teams Prepared for DARPA’s SubT Challenge: Urban Circuit

Six months ago, 11 teams and their robots took on the NIOSH research mine in the Tunnel Circuit of the DARPA Subterranean Challenge. Next week, those 11 teams will travel to Washington State, where they’ll compete in the SubT Urban Circuit at Satsop Business Park just outside of Olympia. A six-month break between events is not a lot of time, and from what we’ve heard, teams have been working feverishly take everything they learned during the Tunnel Circuit and prepare themselves for the Urban Circuit. But the urban underground is very different from a mine, and teams’ strategy (and hardware) will have to adapt to this new environment. Over the last few weeks, we sent each team three questions about what lessons they took away from the Tunnel Circuit, how they’ve been getting ready for the next challenge, and how they expect things to be different this time around. The Continue reading How Robotics Teams Prepared for DARPA’s SubT Challenge: Urban Circuit