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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


Qubits With Staying Power
From ACM TechNews

Qubits With Staying Power

Researchers say they have developed a new technique that could enable the indefinite extension of quantum-secured communication links. 

Optimizing Optimization Algorithms
From ACM News

Optimizing Optimization Algorithms

Optimization algorithms, which try to find the minimum values of mathematical functions, are everywhere in engineering. Among other things, they're used to evaluate...

Vision System For Household Robots
From ACM News

Vision System For Household Robots

For household robots ever to be practical, they'll need to be able to recognize the objects they're supposed to manipulate.

New Way to Turn Genes On
From ACM News

New Way to Turn Genes On

Using a gene-editing system originally developed to delete specific genes, MIT researchers have now shown that they can reliably turn on any gene of their choosing...

Detecting Gases Wirelessly and Cheaply
From ACM News

Detecting Gases Wirelessly and Cheaply

MIT chemists have devised a new way to wirelessly detect hazardous gases and environmental pollutants, using a simple sensor that can be read by a smartphone.

New Device Could Make Large Biological Circuits Practical
From ACM TechNews

New Device Could Make Large Biological Circuits Practical

Researchers have developed a new kind of load driver that could enable biological circuits to behave almost as predictably as electronic circuits. 

Harnessing Error-Prone Chips
From ACM TechNews

Harnessing Error-Prone Chips

Chisel is a new system that lets programmers identify sections of their code that can tolerate small errors.

Superconducting Circuits, Simplified
From ACM TechNews

Superconducting Circuits, Simplified

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a nanocryotron , a computing circuit based on the cryotron.

Solid Nanoparticles Can Deform Like a Liquid
From ACM News

Solid Nanoparticles Can Deform Like a Liquid

A surprising phenomenon has been found in metal nanoparticles: They appear, from the outside, to be liquid droplets, wobbling and readily changing shape, while...

­nderwater Robot For Port Security
From ACM TechNews

­nderwater Robot For Port Security

A new submersible robot has a flattened panel on one side so it can slide along an underwater surface to perform ultrasound scans. 

Fingertip Sensor Gives Robot ­nprecedented Dexterity
From ACM TechNews

Fingertip Sensor Gives Robot ­nprecedented Dexterity

Researchers have developed a robot equipped with tactile sensors that enable it to grasp a USB cable draped over a hook and insert it into a USB port. 

Will Tomorrow's Robots Move Like Snakes?
From ACM TechNews

Will Tomorrow's Robots Move Like Snakes?

Researchers have developed a soft robotic arm, inspired by octopus tentacles, that can snake through a pipelike environment without a human operator. 

Where to Grab Space Debris
From ACM News

Where to Grab Space Debris

Objects in space tend to spin—and spin in a way that's totally different from the way they spin on earth.

Origami Robot Folds Itself ­p, Crawls Away
From ACM News

Origami Robot Folds Itself ­p, Crawls Away

For years, a team of researchers at MIT and Harvard University has been working on origami robots—reconfigurable robots that would be able to fold themselves into...

Squishy Robots
From ACM TechNews

Squishy Robots

A new phase-change material built from wax and foam, that is capable of switching between hard and soft states, could be used to construct inexpensive robots. 

Drone Lighting: Autonomous Vehicles Could Automatically Assume the Right Positions for Photographic Lighting
From ACM TechNews

Drone Lighting: Autonomous Vehicles Could Automatically Assume the Right Positions for Photographic Lighting

A team of researchers is developing algorithms to let photographers use camera-mounted controls to guide drone-mounted lights into just the right position. 

Harnessing the Speed of Light
From ACM Opinion

Harnessing the Speed of Light

The fields of data communication, fabrication, and ultrasound imaging share a common challenge when it comes to improving speed and efficiency: light's diffraction...

Researchers ­nveil Experimental 36-Core Chip
From ACM News

Researchers ­nveil Experimental 36-Core Chip

The more cores—or processing units—a computer chip has, the bigger the problem of communication between cores becomes.

Think Fast, Robot
From ACM News

Think Fast, Robot

One of the reasons we don't yet have self-driving cars and mini-helicopters delivering online purchases is that autonomous vehicles tend not to perform well under...

Bake Your Own Robot
From ACM TechNews

Bake Your Own Robot

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers recently introduced the concept of "bakable robots." 
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