NASA selects proposals for smallsats built to study deep space

NASA is expanding plans to use small satellites (aka smallsats) to explore the Solar System. The agency has picked two proposals for smallsat technology that would improve observations in deep space, where they could help improve models that predict...

Sticker sensor monitors your body using wireless power

Wearable body sensors have a common problem: they need power and antennas, and all that equipment leads to bulky devices that influence your behavior. Stanford researchers, however, have developed a system that could be almost imperceptible. Their Bo...

Supercomputer creates millions of virtual universes

How do you understand the development of galaxies when even the younger examples are frequently billions of years old? Simulate as many universes as you can, apparently. Researchers at the University of Arizona have used the school's Ocelote superc...

Scientists find the largest observed black hole to date

Astronomers aren't done with major black hole discoveries this year. The Max Planck Institute's Kianusch Mehrgan and colleagues have found the largest black hole ever observed at the center of Holm 15A, a galaxy about 700 million light-years away....

Faster algorithm could lead to more realistic sounds in VR

Producing realistic sound models in VR is tricky, even compared to conventional video games. You don't always know how objects will sound in a given environment or where the listener will be, and you don't have the luxury of waiting hours for conven...

Breakthrough searches for signs of alien life in ultra-fast light pulses

Internet investor Yuri Milner's search for extraterrestrial life now includes a hunt for, effectively, interstellar Morse code. Breakthrough Listen is teaming with the partners behind VERITAS (the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array Sys...

Tiny vibration-powered robots could repair your body from the inside

There are many challenges to developing robots that could operate within your body, not the least of which is finding a power source -- you can't exactly strap a big battery on them. That might not be an issue thanks to Georgia Tech researchers. Th...

Synthetic fiber ‘muscles’ could lead to brawny robots and prosthetics

Most attempts at giving robots muscles tend to be heavy, slow or both. Scientists might finally have a solution that's both light and nimble, though. They've developed fibers that can serve as artificial muscles for robots while remaining light, re...