Page 21«..10..20212223..3040..»

Ipswich civil engineering firm named Large Business of the Year – Yahoo News UK

The winners of the EADT Business Awards 2024 have been announced and Jackson Civil Engineeringhas been named winner of the Large Business of the Year award, sponsored by Larking Gowen.

Jackson Civil Engineering employs around 320 staff, operating out of seven offices across England, with around half that number working from its head office in Ipswich.

Founded in 1952, the firm undertakes civil engineering projects ranging from 500,000 to 50 million in value.

It works with some major clients, including the Environment Agency, National Highways, Canal & River Trust and Anglian Water, as well as many private clients and local authorities.

Recent projects in East Anglia include the infrastructure for the Gateway 14 business park in Stowmarket, upgrades to the Ipswich Tidal Barrier and flood defences at Woodbridge, and the construction of the Beccles Southern Relief Road.

Jacksons values run through every aspect of the business, with some of its core values being collaboration, health and safety and environment. The company looks to reduce its impact on the environment using new methods and materials, and is aiming to be net zero by 2035.

The judges said it was great to see that Jackson has such an emphasis on reducing its carbon footprint, something all businesses should be aspiring to.

They were also impressed by the companys leadership and growth. Clearly this is due to delivering value and quality through solid leadership and clearly defined values which are visibly being met, they added.

Commenting on the award, Brian Crofton, contracts director at Jackson Civil Engineering, said: It means so much to us. Were a Suffolk-based business thats been here for 70-odd years and to get this award means we really now are represented as a Suffolk business.

We want to be a regional business with national influence, and the award really emphasises that the impact were having on the local community is really being recognised by people around us, which is great.

Claire Finbow, HR and training director, added: Its an amazing achievement for us.

Bacton Transport Services

Bacton Transport Services, based just outside Bury St Edmunds, is a family-owned business that aims to deliver exceptional service across its range of distribution and logistics services, as it consistently invests in its fleet.

The judges called its sustainability and driver training remarkable, with a willingness to try new ways of doing things.

DPL Group

Ipswich-based DPL Group is a family-run business, working in design, installation and maintenance of building services.

The company collaborates with local councils and more, covering all aspects of its industry.

The judges said that DPL is ahead of its market, with a clear focus on sustainability, and that staff care in its core beliefs.

Spectra Packaging

Spectra Packaging in Holton is a leading UK manufacturer of plastic bottles and caps for the personal care sectors.

Its core values are rooted in sustainability, with its product offerings made using recycled materials.

The judges called its knowledge on sustainability world class, and the company culture wonderful and inspiring.

Larking Gowen is a local, independent UK top 50 accountancy firm operating in Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.

The firms values are centred around service and commitment to its clients, as well as its people and local community.

It builds strong, dedicated teams that share knowledge and expertise for the benefit of all clients, delivering a friendly one-to-one service you can count on.

With a team comprising specialists in audit, tax, VAT, private client, corporate transactions, tourism and leisure, medical, not for profit and more, whatever your financial needs, Larking Gowen is committed to securing your future and helping you reach your goals.

Find out more about all of the winners here.

For more information on next year's EADT Business Awards, please keep your eyes peeled for updates at eadtbusinessawards.co.uk

Visit link:

Ipswich civil engineering firm named Large Business of the Year - Yahoo News UK

Read More..

China developing twice as much wind, solar power as the rest of the world – Interesting Engineering

China continues to lead the world in renewable energy growth, as per a new report from the Global Energy Monitor (GEM), a San Franciscobased non-governmental organization.

According to the findings published on Thursday, China has 180 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar power and 15GW of wind power currently under construction.

This reportedly brings the nations total wind and solar capacity under construction to a staggering 339GW, nearly twice as much as the rest of the world combined. By comparison, the United States has only 40GW under construction.

The researchers focused on solar farms with a capacity of 20 megawatts (MW) or more, which directly feed into the power grid. This methodology means the actual volume of solar power in China could be significantly higher, considering that small-scale solar farms contribute around 40% of the countrys solar capacity.

This highlights Chinas leading role in global renewable energy production. Meanwhile, the U.S. is growing more worried about Chinas excess capacity and market dumping, especially in the solar industry.

China has witnessed a remarkable surge in renewable energy development in recent years, driven by the governments support. President Xi Jinping has stressed the need for new quality productive forces, meaning a move towards more technology and innovation in the economy. His plan includes making green manufacturing a key part of these new productive forces.

The scale of Chinas renewable energy expansion is remarkable. Between March 2023 and March 2024, China installed more solar power than it had in the previous three years combined and more than the rest of the world combined for 2023.

GEM analysts have projected that China is on track to reach 1,200GW of installed wind and solar capacity by the end of 2024, which is six years ahead of the governments target.

The unabated wave of construction guarantees that China will continue leading in wind and solar installation in the near future, far ahead of the rest of the world, the report stated.

However, achieving these impressive numbers is only part of the challenge.

Analysts warn that even more renewable capacity will be required for China to meet its ambitious target of reducing the carbon intensity of its economy by 18%. Carbon intensity measures the amount of CO2 emissions produced per kilowatt hour of electricity generated.

Earlier studies suggest that China will need to install between 1,600GW and 1,800GW of wind and solar energy by 2030 to achieve its goal of sourcing 25% of all energy from non-fossil sources. From 2020 to 2023, only 30% of the growth in energy consumption was met by renewable sources, falling short of the 50% target.

As quoted by The Guardian, Li Shuo, the director of the China Climate Hub at the Asia Policy Institute in Washington, DC, highlighted the complexity of this transition, It is obviously important for China to keep on adding more renewable energy to meet its targets. But its not as simple as you just keep building and it will be solved [because] there is no sign that the country is trying to steer away from its coal consumption.

Despite the rapid growth in renewables, China faces significant challenges. A previous analysis by GEM and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air revealed that approvals for new coal power plants increased fourfold from 2022 to 2023 compared to the previous five-year period from 2016 to 2020.

This surge in coal power plant approvals occurred despite a 2021 pledge to strictly control new coal power projects. Additionally, total coal consumption growth increased from an average of 0.5% per year to 3.8% per year between these periods.

Geopolitical tensions, such as the war in Ukraine, have heightened concerns about energy security worldwide. Major power cuts in parts of China in recent years have also fueled these concerns, leading officials to view coal as a reliable energy source to address the intermittency of renewable energy.

Although clean energy sectors have become the primary driver of Chinas economic growth, accounting for 40% of GDP expansion in 2023, coal remains a crucial component of the countrys energy strategy.

To efficiently utilize the increasing volume of clean energy generated by Chinas wind and solar farms, analysts stress the need for better storage solutions and grid flexibility. Recognizing this challenge, the Chinese government has identified lithium-ion batteries as one of the new three technologies essential for high-quality growth, alongside electric vehicles and solar panels.

In 2023, China invested $11 billion in grid-connected batteries, a 364% increase over 2022.

The GEM report also highlighted Chinas efficiency in building planned renewable energy infrastructure. The 339GW of wind and solar projects that have reached the construction stage represent one-third of the proposed projects, vastly surpassing the global construction rate of 7%.

Chinas renewable energy pipeline is two times larger than the rest of the world, Li Shuo pointed out. But the question we should increasingly ask ourselves is, how come the rest of the world is so slow?

NEWSLETTER

Stay up-to-date on engineering, tech, space, and science news with The Blueprint.

Read more:

China developing twice as much wind, solar power as the rest of the world - Interesting Engineering

Read More..

Eat fossil fuels: Bill Gates-backed company makes butter out of thin air – Interesting Engineering

A Bill Gates-backed startup may have cracked the biggest puzzle of the food industryhow to make good-tasting food without harming the planet. California-based Savor is using carbon dioxide from the air and turning it into butter right in the lab, and thats just one of the many other fat-based products it can make.

The livestock industry contributes 14.5 percent of global greenhouse emissions. With a burgeoning population, demand for animal-based products is only expected to rise, warming the planet further.

In recent years, plant-based alternatives have arrived in the markets. However, the products do not resemble the texture and taste of animal-derived products. Moreover, using palm oil in these products is also a cause of concern, with the palm oil industry engaging in heavy deforestation in various parts of the world.

This is why Savors premise sounds so good.

The Californian startup has gone to the basics of chemistry to build its product. According to its website, like any molecule, fat also has a fixed chemical formula. It uses carbon dioxide as a starting point to build fat molecules using heat and hydrogen.

Fats and oils are made from chain-like arrangements of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and Savors technology helps combine these elements in an animal-free manner.

According to a paper published in 2023, chemical synthesis of dietary fats using such an approach can be achieved with emissions of less than 0.8 g CO2 equivalent per kilogram. Similarly, palm oil produced in Brazil or Indonesia emits more than 1.5 g CO2 equivalent per kg.

This could disrupt agriculture and help meet the demand for food with fewer emissions.

Savor is confident that its technology can be used to make butter and multiple other animal-derived fats, such as milk and cheese. The company also plans to use this approach to make ice cream and edible oils.

Another highlight of this tech is that it is highly scalable and could rapidly be deployed to replace animal-derived fats. The only hurdle would be convincing people to adopt a product made using revolutionary tech into their daily lives.

This is where Gates is hopeful he can make a difference. The idea of switching to lab-made fats and oils may seem strange at first, Gates wrote in a blog post earlier this year. But their potential to significantly reduce our carbon footprint is immense. By harnessing proven technologies and processes, we get one step closer to achieving our climate goals.

The answer perhaps lies in the same reason that makes animal-derived fats hard to beat todayprice. Despite all its emissions, livestock farming is inexpensive and can feed many people at affordable costs.

If companies like Savor aim to disrupt food as we consume it, they need to do so at prices that are impossible to beat. With only chemistry to solve and a far lesser need for extensive land and resources, Savor may have a good chance at doing so after all.

NEWSLETTER

Stay up-to-date on engineering, tech, space, and science news with The Blueprint.

Ameya Paleja Ameya is a science writer based in Hyderabad, India. A Molecular Biologist at heart, he traded the micropipette to write about science during the pandemic and does not want to go back. He likes to write about genetics, microbes, technology, and public policy.

Read more:

Eat fossil fuels: Bill Gates-backed company makes butter out of thin air - Interesting Engineering

Read More..

Engineering The Trade – tastylive

tastylive content is created, produced, and provided solely by tastylive, Inc. (tastylive) and is for informational and educational purposes only.It is not, nor is it intended to be, trading or investment advice or a recommendation that any security, futures contract, digital asset, other product, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any person. Trading securities, futures products, and digital assets involve risk and may result in a loss greater than the original amount invested.tastylive, through its content, financial programming or otherwise, does not provide investment or financial advice or make investment recommendations. Investment information provided may not be appropriate for all investors and is provided without respect to individual investor financial sophistication, financial situation, investing time horizon or risk tolerance. tastylive is not in the business of transacting securities trades, nor does it direct client commodity accounts or give commodity trading advice tailored to any particular clients situation or investment objectives. Supporting documentation for any claims (including claims made on behalf of options programs), comparisons, statistics, or other technical data, if applicable, will be supplied upon request.tastylive is not a licensed financial adviser, registered investment adviser, or a registered broker-dealer. Options, futures, and futures options are not suitable for all investors. Prior to trading securities, options, futures, or futures options, please read the applicable risk disclosures, including, but not limited to, the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options Disclosure and the Futures and Exchange-Traded Options Risk Disclosure found on tastytrade.com/disclosures.

tastytrade, Inc. ("tastytrade) is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA, NFA, and SIPC.tastytrade was previously known as tastyworks, Inc. (tastyworks). tastytrade offers self-directed brokerage accounts to its customers. tastytrade does not give financial or trading advice, nor does it make investment recommendations.You alone are responsible for making your investment and trading decisions and for evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of tastytrades systems, services or products. tastytrade is a wholly-owned subsidiary of tastylive, Inc.

tastytrade has entered into a Marketing Agreement with tastylive (Marketing Agent) whereby tastytrade pays compensation to Marketing Agent to recommend tastytrades brokerage services. The existence of this Marketing Agreement should not be deemed as an endorsement or recommendation of Marketing Agent by tastytrade. tastytrade and Marketing Agent are separate entities with their own products and services. tastylive is the parent company of tastytrade.

tastycrypto is provided solely by tasty Software Solutions, LLC. tasty Software Solutions, LLC is a separate but affiliate company of tastylive, Inc. Neither tastylive nor any of its affiliates are responsible for the products or services provided by tasty Software Solutions, LLC. Cryptocurrency trading is not suitable for all investors due to the number of risks involved. The value of any cryptocurrency, including digital assets pegged to fiat currency, commodities, or any other asset, may go to zero.

View original post here:

Engineering The Trade - tastylive

Read More..

Making the invisible visible with terahertz imaging chips – Interesting Engineering

In our recent podcast, we sat down with Dr. Kenneth O. and Dr. Wooyeol Choi, two pioneering researchers who have developed an innovative terahertz imaging chip. Like Supermans X-ray vision, this breakthrough technology could revolutionize various industries by allowing us to see through objects such as walls, packages, and certain materials.

Dr. Kenneth O is a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas and the director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE). TxACE is a hub for cutting-edge integrated circuit technology advancements funded by the Semiconductor Research Corporation, a consortium of semiconductor companies. Dr. Wooyeol Choi, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seoul National University in Korea, has been an integral part of this research since his time as a postdoctoral researcher at UT Dallas.

The terahertz imaging chip was inspired by X-ray vision, though it utilizes terahertz frequencies instead of harmful X-rays. As Dr. Kenneth O explained, Our work is inspired by X-ray vision, instead of X-rays that can be harmful. That can be harmful to humans. Instead, the chip operates within the electromagnetic spectrums 200 to 400 gigahertz range, which is safe for human exposure.

When asked what inspired the chip, Dr. Kenneth explained that the journey to develop this technology has been long and complex. Dr. O and his team have spent over 15 years refining the chip, improving pixel performance by 100 million times, and incorporating digital signal processing techniques.

This painstaking research has led to a chip that is small enough to be integrated into mobile devices while still providing high-quality images.

The basic principle behind terahertz imaging is the emission and detection of high-frequency signals. As Dr. O described, We have a 300 gigahertz signal source that generates the signals to illuminate whatever object you want to see, and then we pick up the reflected signal to create images. We typically refer to this capability as terahertz imaging.

Dr. Choi added, This frequency can be a sweet spot. It is low enough frequency so that you can still go through walls and some nonmetallic materials, but it has a short enough wavelength so that humans or computers can interpret or process it easily.

The terahertz frequency range allows the waves to penetrate materials like walls and envelopes, providing images without bulky optics. This makes the technology highly suitable for integration into compact devices such as smartphones.

The potential applications of terahertz imaging are vast and varied. One of the most immediate uses is in package inspection. Dr. O noted, This technology will allow you to see through walls to locate wires, pipes, and studs. It can also inspect packages, detect hidden defects in materials, and even authenticate documents and currencies.

The chip could revolutionize the way we handle everyday tasks. Imagine being able to verify the contents of a package without opening it or ensuring that walls are free of hidden defects before renovation work. The implications are significant for the construction, logistics, and security industries.

While the technology has some limitations in the medical field due to its shallow penetration depth into tissues, it can still offer valuable applications. Dr. O mentioned, One of the areas that Im excited about is its sensitivity to water in the skin, which can be used to monitor hydration levels. This could be a wonderful capability, especially in medical settings where hydration monitoring is challenging.

With the ability to see through objects comes the responsibility of ensuring privacy. Dr. O emphasized, Privacy is of utmost importance because this kind of technology cannot be utilized broadly on mobile devices if you cannot ensure that privacy can be protected. To address this, the current technology is designed to operate at a very close range, typically up to about 1.18 inches (3 centimeters). This makes unauthorized scanning difficult, as it would be noticeable.

Future iterations aim to extend this range to about 7.87 inches (20 centimeters), which would still be manageable regarding privacy concerns. The technologys physical limitations also help protect privacy, as creating devices with much longer ranges is technically challenging.

The journey of this technology is far from over. The researchers are working on increasing the number of pixels in the chip and improving the resolution. Dr. Choi explained, We are certainly going toward the wider field of view and more pixels. Our ongoing goals are improving signal-to-noise ratio, range, resolution, and power consumption.

The team is also exploring various applications beyond mobile devices. For example, terahertz imaging could be integrated into smart glasses, providing users with augmented vision capabilities. In the automotive industry, the technology could enhance safety features by detecting objects on the road in adverse weather conditions.

While commercialization plans are still in development, the researchers are focused on creating prototypes that can demonstrate the technologys full potential. Dr. O remarked, We believe that these are the necessary critical steps to really excite the investment community so that we can take another step toward commercialization.

The terahertz imaging chip represents a significant leap forward in imaging technology. By harnessing the unique properties of terahertz frequencies, Dr. Kenneth O, Dr. Wooyeol Choi, and their teams have created a tool that can see through everyday obstacles, opening up new possibilities across various fields.

As development continues, we can look forward to a future where this innovative technology becomes integral to our daily lives, making the invisible visible in ways we never thought possible.

NEWSLETTER

Stay up-to-date on engineering, tech, space, and science news with The Blueprint.

Christopher McFadden Christopher graduated from Cardiff University in 2004 with a Masters Degree in Geology. Since then, he has worked exclusively within the Built Environment, Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Consultancy industries. He is a qualified and accredited Energy Consultant, Green Deal Assessor and Practitioner member of IEMA. Chris’s main interests range from Science and Engineering, Military and Ancient History to Politics and Philosophy.

Visit link:

Making the invisible visible with terahertz imaging chips - Interesting Engineering

Read More..

No one cares about you? This emotional robot will make you feel better – Interesting Engineering

Fudan University in Shanghai has unveiled an emotional humanoid robot. The researchers created it to provide elderly care and healthcare services.

The robot was unveiled at the 2024 World Artificial Intelligence Conference on Thursday. Called Guanghua No 1, its one of its kind and displays facial expressions.

Guanghua No 1 is around 165 cm tall and weighs about 62 kg. It is the only humanoid robot developed by the university, among the 18 humanoid robots which were showcased at WAIC this year.

This humanoid robot is emotionally responsive, flexible, and sophisticated. It comes with 45 intelligent joints that have a hierarchical generative embodied brain model. This allows the robot to move its hands properly and walk with an upright posture.

Its also equipped to handle four emotions happiness, anger, sadness, and joy on its facial screen. The makers of the robot shared they developed it to meet the growing demands of Chinas ageing population.

Gan Zhongxue, deputy dean of the Academy for Engineering & Technology of Fudan University said, Our market research indicated that elderly care and health services are the most pressing areas for humanoid robot application. He noted that their vision is to create a health companion capable of providing personalized and empathetic care for the elderly.

The primary cause of developing this robot was to address the emotional needs of the elderly. Providing care with an emotionless, mechanical entity would fail to offer the warmth akin to that of a family member. Genuine care necessitates emotional intelligence Gan added.

Most institutions have been researching now to understand the emotional needs of humans, especially the elderly, and cater to them. In order to achieve this, they must design robots which must be equipped with sophisticated algorithms and sensors. These would help the robots perceive and interpret human emotions with a greater accuracy.

In the case of Guanghua No 1, its emotional intelligence has been inspired by a brain-inspired motivation and dopamine reward mechanism. It also utilizes multilevel coordinated incentive algorithms that generate humanlike perceptions and behaviors.

However, sometimes the challenge lies in predicting the complexity and nuance of human emotions. Emotions can get really subjective and vary in most of the cases. This has led many institutions and scientists to train robots on diverse datasets and adapt new inputs continuously.

There have been immense practical implications for emotionally intelligent robots as of now. It has been mostly leveraged by the healthcare industry. Several hospitals are already in talks to deploy humanoid robotic services that can provide companionship and support to patients.

The Guanghua No 1 robot has been in the development phase for the last two years and has been developed by experts from mechanics, biology, engineering, computer science, and big data.

They are already planning to release a trial version by this years end, and are now conducting extensive tests in provinces like Jiangsu and Zhejiang. They are also testing the robots for improved accuracy, safety, and tasks like assisting the elderly out of bed or taking them to the restroom.

Finally, robots may not ultimately replicate human emotional depth, but they can significantly come to their aid, especially the elderly.

NEWSLETTER

Stay up-to-date on engineering, tech, space, and science news with The Blueprint.

Gairika Mitra Gairika is a technology nerd, an introvert, and an avid reader. Lock her up in a room full of books, and you'll never hear her complain.

Follow this link:

No one cares about you? This emotional robot will make you feel better - Interesting Engineering

Read More..

How Building a Platform as a Product Empowered Software Engineers – InfoQ.com

Platform engineering is about accelerating and empowering developers to deliver more product value faster over time. According to Jessica Andersson, most companies dont invest in platform engineering until they reach a certain size. At QCon London she presented how their startup adopted platform engineering, what strategy they took, and what they have done to gain platform adoption from developers.

Andersson mentioned that they launched their platform engineering team when the company was two years old and already had software running in production. As soon as you have software in production, you have an implicit platform, regardless if you know it or not, she said. This implicit platform is built in bits and pieces to solve whatever need the teams have at the moment and once it works well enough, whoever built it goes back to building the product, she added.

Starting out with platform engineering they first identified their implicit platform and then started to turn it into an intentional platform:

Basically we took existing things and streamlined, upgraded, and secured them. Its important here to acknowledge that the implicit platform was built with the best knowledge available at the time and to remember that this was not the main focus for those building it.

Its important to avoid replacing all tools just because they would not have been your first choice; replace the ones that are insecure or hinder your platform, Andersson said.

The main goal of the platform engineering team is to increase the ability to deliver product value, Andersson said. You can do this through removing bottlenecks and reducing pain points and time sinks:

Some indicators we look for in order to identify where we need to spend more effort are:

There are always trade offs you need to make; being a small team we definitely cant take on everything, Andersson said, but we aim to solve the most common and urgent needs.

Treating your platform as a product means building it like you would any other software product. The platform has users, problems that it solves, and a lifespan throughout which you need to take care of both the software and your users, as Andersson explained:

I often see platform teams forgetting about the users when it comes to migrations or switching to new tools, and they deprecate the old thing without providing a seamless transition to the new thing.

Andersson mentioned that you need to keep a focus on what your product is. Working with a product manager in the team is important to maintain that focus:

I try to focus a lot on solving the right problems as well. As a platform engineering team in a cloud native environment there are infinitely interesting problems you can work on; the question is whether you should. So finding out what are the right problems for your organisation and your users is important in order to spend time on those problems.

Platform engineering aims to improve the developers experience, Andersson said. Internal developer platforms can help you build a good foundation for good developer experience, helping your teams focus on building excellent products, she concluded.

InfoQ interviewed Jessica Andersson about platform adoption and building trust.

InfoQ: What have you done to gain platform adoption from developers?

Jessica Andersson: Some activities weve seen that build trust and thus encourage adoption from our teams are:

InfoQ: What role does trust play in supporting a platform?

Andersson: Trust is important as everything builds on it. Adoptions, information, communication: it all comes back to trust.

I believe that as a platform team its very important to build a high level of trust with the product teams as it will determine how successful your platform will be.

Follow this link:

How Building a Platform as a Product Empowered Software Engineers - InfoQ.com

Read More..

Humanoid robot learns to dance, high-five, hug to work with humans – Interesting Engineering

Aiming to reshape public perception of robots, a group of engineers have trained a humanoid to learn and execute a variety of expressive actions.

The University of California researchers taught the robot how to perform basic dancing moves and hand motions, including waving, high-fiving, and hugging, while keeping a steady stride over various surfaces.

According to the team, the enhanced expressiveness and agility of this humanoid robot open new avenues for improving human-robot interactions in various settings.

These include factory assembly lines, hospitals, and homes, where robots could safely work alongside humans or replace them in hazardous environments like laboratories or disaster sites.

Through expressive and more human-like body motions, we aim to build trust and showcase the potential for robots to co-exist in harmony with humans, said Xiaolong Wang, a professor at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, in a statement.

The objective of the study was to enable humanoid robots to generate rich, diverse, and expressive motions in the real world. The proposal involves learning a whole-body control policy for a human-sized robot to mimic human motions as realistically as possible.

To train the robot, researchers use large-scale human motion capture data in a reinforcement learning framework. However, directly applying this data to the robot doesnt work due to differences in movement abilities.

The teams Expressive Whole-Body Control (ExBody) solves this by making the robots upper body imitate human motions while allowing its legs to simply follow a given speed.

According to researchers, the humanoid robots expressiveness comes from its training in a wide range of human body movements, allowing it to effortlessly mimic and generalize new motions. Similar to a quick-learning dance student, the robot swiftly learns new routines and gestures.

The team trained the robot using an extensive collection of motion capture data and dance videos. Their unique technique trained the robots upper and lower body separately.

According to the team, the robots upper body was trained to replicate various reference motions, such as dancing and high-fiving, while its legs focused on maintaining balance and navigating different terrains with a steady stepping motion.

The main goal here is to show the ability of the robot to do different things while its walking from place to place without falling, said Wang.

The robots whole structure is governed by a single policy, even though its upper and bottom bodies were trained separately. The coordinated policy guarantees the robots ability to walk steadily on surfaces such as grass, gravel, dirt, wood chips, and sloping concrete roads while also enabling it to execute intricate upper-body movements.

A virtual humanoid robot was used for simulations before being moved to a real robot. The robot showed that it could perform both novel and trained actions in practical settings.

At the moment, a gaming controller used by a human operator controls the robots speed, direction, and certain maneuvers. In the future, the team plans to add a camera to a later model so that the robot can operate independently and navigate different types of terrain.

They are also now concentrating on refining the robots design to handle more intricate and detailed tasks. By extending the capabilities of the upper body, we can expand the range of motions and gestures the robot can perform, said Wang.

According to the study abstract, the team believes their method paves the way for the development of reliable and versatile humanoid robots, capable of performing multiple functions effectively.

NEWSLETTER

Stay up-to-date on engineering, tech, space, and science news with The Blueprint.

Jijo Malayil Jijo is an automotive and business journalist based in India. Armed with a BA in History (Honors) from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University, and a PG diploma in Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi, he has worked for news agencies, national newspapers, and automotive magazines. In his spare time, he likes to go off-roading, engage in political discourse, travel, and teach languages.

Continue reading here:

Humanoid robot learns to dance, high-five, hug to work with humans - Interesting Engineering

Read More..

NASA calculates how much faster time moves on the lunar surface – Interesting Engineering

With all eyes on upcoming crewed missions to the moon for the first time in decades, NASA engineers are finally getting around to figuring out how much faster time moves up there.

If that sounds strange, its because it is, but that doesnt make it any less real. According to general relativity, the passage of time can be different within two different gravitational contexts. Specifically, the more powerful the gravity, the slower time moves, and vice versa.

That means that the relatively wide difference in mass between the Earth and its natural satellite does mean that time moves slower here on Earth. Before now, weve never really needed to actually calculate that time difference, but with more crewed missions and the prospect of permanent settlement on the lunar surface, all sorts of communication and navigation systems going between the two will need to be synchronized to account for this difference.

Back in April, the US Office of Science and Technology Policy set a 2026 deadline for establishing a Lunar Coordinated Time (LTC), similar to how we measure Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) here on Earth.

Now, a new paper posted to the pre-print Arxiv server, a team from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech worked out the math to establish a more precise measure of how much faster time is moving on the moon relative to Earth. Their result, that time on the moon moves 0.0000575 seconds (57.50 microseconds) faster, is a key step toward establishing a standardized LTC that engineers and other researchers can use to coordinate activity on the moon.

One of the keys to calculating the difference in time between the Earth and moon is to also take the differences in time between the Earth, moon, and the solar systems barycenterthe gravitational center around which the entire solar system orbits (including the sun).

By establishing a synchronized frame of reference between the Earth and the barycenter, the research team then performed a number of mathematical transforms to refine the time difference between the Earth and the moon beyond what had already by estimated to come to our most precise result yet.

With this new figure established, future lunar missions will hopefully go much more smoothly than they otherwise would, ensuring the safety of everyone involved.

NEWSLETTER

Stay up-to-date on engineering, tech, space, and science news with The Blueprint.

John Loeffler John is a writer and programmer living in New York City. He writes about computers, gadgetry, gaming, VR/AR, and related consumer technologies. You can find him on Twitter @thisdotjohn

See the article here:

NASA calculates how much faster time moves on the lunar surface - Interesting Engineering

Read More..

Engineering and architecture institutions preparing graduates for international careers – Study International

Engineers and architects are at the forefront of creating eco-friendly solutions, from designing energy-efficient buildings to developing renewable energy systems. For instance, the Bullitt Center in Seattle, often hailed as the greenest commercial building in the world, showcases the innovative work of architects and engineers in creating a self-sustaining structure that significantly reduces its environmental impact.

These professioanls are also instrumental in large-scale projects like the Belt and Road Initiative, which spans continents and aims to enhance global trade and economic development. Such tasks require a deep understanding of diverse engineering practices and architectural styles.

However, whether one chooses to pursue engineering or architecture, each path offers unique opportunities to make a significant impact. Engineers might focus on creating advanced technologies that solve critical problems, such as developing clean energy solutions or improving transportation infrastructure. Architects, on the other hand, might concentrate on designing spaces that enhance community well-being and promote sustainability.

Each discipline, while distinct, contributes in essential ways to building a better world. Here are three universities that excel in both areas:

The Department of Engineering and Architecture is a scientific and educational division of the Universit di Parma. Source: Universit di Parma

Founded in 962 AD, the Universit di Parma is one of Europes oldest universities. Today, it is home to over 32,000 students and 960 faculty members. Its picturesque location in Parma, a city renowned for its cultural richness, is an instant draw that keeps these numbers growing. Beyond its artistic and culinary delights, Parma thrives on music and drama. Apart from boasting association with famed opera composer Giuseppe Verdi, it prides itself on having the highest number of quality-protected food products in Italy.

Its also an apt location for students drawn to future-focused topics. Universit di Parmas Science and Technology Campus serves as a hub for innovation, accommodating five departments one of which is dedicated to Engineering and Architecture. Programmes span architecture and city sustainability, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical and electric vehicle engineering, and more.

The MS in Communication Engineering stands out for its competitive pricing (around 2,000 Euros annually). The best part? It is just as comprehensive as it is affordable. Delivered entirely in English by internationally renowned professors, it covers digital, wireless, and optical communications, networking, information theory, antennas, photonic devices, the Internet of Things, network security, and various other Information and Communication Technology topics.

This combination ensures students gain expertise in designing and managing complex telecom systems such as cellular networks 4G/LTE and emerging 5G and fibre-optic infrastructure critical to the Internets backbone. At the same time, they relish insights from the universitys cutting-edge research.

Such exposure explains why upon completing their studies, graduates are highly sought-after by research centres across Europe, including Nokia Bell Labs France and the European Space Agency. Dr. Matteo Lonardi, a 2016 graduate, is a prime example. He is currently working as a research scientist and product manager specialising in advanced analytics at Nokia Bell Labs. Learn more about following in his footsteps.

Chalmers University of Technologys Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering aims to address global challenges for the built environment in innovative and responsible ways. Source: Chalmers University of Technology/Facebook

Chalmers University of Technology, with roots dating back to 1829, houses a forward-thinking Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. It develops future architects and engineers by combining education and research across engineering, social sciences, architecture, and humanities.

To produce sustainable solutions for a thriving society, the department offers specialised programmes through comprehensive curricula at the Bachelors, Masters, and postgraduate levels. For architects, the focus is on responsible resource use and creating high-quality living spaces, from urban planning to intricate building details. Programmes integrate artistic methods, technical research, and socio-cultural considerations to cultivate a design-thinking mindset in students.

Civil Engineering programmes explore the vast spectrum of engineering disciplines crucial for sustainable community development. Recognising the building sectors profound impact on society, the department equips students with the knowledge to navigate the entire construction process, from planning and development to operation, while prioritising human needs, environmental impact, energy efficiency, and economic viability.

Masters programmes delve even deeper. Specialisations include Architecture and Urban Design, Planning Beyond Sustainability, Design and Construction Management, Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering, and more. Students benefit from the expertise of instructors who are actively engaged in both research and industry, ensuring cutting-edge knowledge.

Extensive experimental activities form the backbone of the departments approach, with cutting-edge labs like acoustics, building materials, geomechanics, and structures labs providing a hands-on environment that fuels both research and teaching.

The UCD School of Civil Engineering is home to a community of staff and students engaged in researching, teaching, and learning the various aspects of the built environment. Source: University College Dublin/Facebook

University College Dublin, Irelands global university with over 160 years of experience, is a leader in pursuing a sustainable and equitable future. This commitment is especially evident in the School of Civil Engineering, where the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are embedded into the curriculum.

The school fosters a vibrant community dedicated to research, teaching, and learning across the entire spectrum of the designed environment. From buildings and urban spaces to rural environments, transportation systems, water management, and historical preservation, their expertise is as diverse as it is impactful.

The school offers a comprehensive range of programmes, including Civil Engineering, Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering, Water, Waste & Environmental Engineering, and Structural Engineering. The best part? Regardless of the programme chosen, UCD graduates are empowered to pursue professional engineering careers globally thanks to international recognition of their degrees through agreements with Engineers Ireland. This recognition allows graduates to practise in numerous countries within the EU and those adhering to the Washington Accord.

Whats more, the school is a hub of impactful research, with nearly 60 PhD and research Masters students actively engaged in diverse fields. In recent years, significant investments have been made to modernise research capabilities across various sub-disciplines and establish world-class facilities. These include laboratories for structural testing, material analysis, hydraulics, and water treatment, alongside advanced computing resources and an engineering workshop. This infrastructure allows them to translate theoretical knowledge into practical solutions that shape a more sustainable future.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

Read the original here:

Engineering and architecture institutions preparing graduates for international careers - Study International

Read More..