Humans were born to run. Exoskeletons might make us better at it.

New research on ankle exoskeletons show promising results.

Photo: Getty Images
  • New research from Stanford finds that motor-powered ankle exoskeletons conserve 15 percent of energy expenditure when running.
  • Spring-powered exoskeletons without motors actually made running harder.
  • The researchers hope to develop better spring-powered models moving forward.
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The tech shift: Push politicians for answers, and develop your digital literacy

Tech is rising and America's middle class is vanishing. Here's what to do.

  • The rise of new technologies is making the United States more economically unequal, says Professor Ramesh Srinivasan. Americans should be pushing the current presidential candidates hard for answers on how they will bring economic security and how they will ensure that technological transitions benefit all of us.
  • "We are at an inflection point when it comes to top-down control over very many different aspects of our lives through privatized corporate power over technology," says Srinivasan. Now is the time to debate solutions like basic income and worker-owned cooperatives.
  • Concurrently, individuals should develop digital literacy and get educated on the potential solutions. Srinivasan recommends taking free online and open courses from universities like Stanford and MIT, and reading books and quality journalism on these issues.
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Attempting to track COVID-19 with smart rings for responders

Medical researchers put a ring on it to learn more about the onset of COVID-19.

Oura
  • Smart rings are being tested on San Francisco ER workers to track symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The rings, designed by a company called Oura, detect heart rate, temperature, and respiration.
  • The researchers hope to build a diagnostic algorithm from the collected data.
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    Want to help design a moon robot? NASA needs you.

    A NASA-sponsored competition asks participants to improve the design of a bucket drum for moon excavation.

    • NASA wants your help redesigning the bucket drum system for its RASSOR excavator.
    • The Moon's weaker gravity and the excavator's light weight pose unique design challenges.
    • RASSOR will one day excavate regolith so it can be processed into the resources necessary for sustainable lunar exploration.
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    New nuclear fusion reactor design may be a breakthrough

    Using permanent magnets may help to make nuclear fusion reactors simpler and more affordable.

    Credit: C. Zhu/PPPL
    • Nuclear fusion is the process of fusing atomic nuclei, which can unleash vast amounts of energy.
    • Nuclear fusion reactors have existed for years, but none of them are able to sustainably produce energy.
    • A new paper describes how permanent magnets can be used on stellarators to control the flow of super-hot plasma.

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