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subjectComputer Applications
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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.


Robotic Elephant Trunk Can Learn Tasks on Its Own
From ACM TechNews

Robotic Elephant Trunk Can Learn Tasks on Its Own

Researchers  used three-dimensional printing to create a robotic elephant trunk that uses artificial intelligence to emulate how sensory input triggers synaptic ...

Robot Lizard Can Quickly Climb a Wall, Just Like the Real Thing
From ACM TechNews

Robot Lizard Can Quickly Climb a Wall, Just Like the Real Thing

A robot built by researchers at Australia's University of the Sunshine Coast has legs and feet programmed to mimic the gait of climbing lizards.

Robot Learns to Tie Knots Using Only Two Fingers on Each Hand
From ACM TechNews

Robot Learns to Tie Knots Using Only Two Fingers on Each Hand

Tetsuya Ogata and colleagues at Japan's Waseda University have taught an artificial intelligence-powered robot to tie knots around a box using just two fingers...

Fire Safety App Simulates Wildfires, Shows Route to Avoid Them
From ACM TechNews

Fire Safety App Simulates Wildfires, Shows Route to Avoid Them

Researchers have built a mobile wildfire simulation application that provides personalized evacuation routes to anyone in the path of a fire.

AI Can Use the Veins on Your Hand Like Fingerprints to Identify You
From ACM TechNews

AI Can Use the Veins on Your Hand Like Fingerprints to Identify You

Researchers at the University of New South Wales trained a neural network to identify individuals using the unique pattern of veins on the back of their hands. ...

Flying Robots Suggest Bees Can't Rely on Instinct to Land on Flowers
From ACM TechNews

Flying Robots Suggest Bees Can't Rely on Instinct to Land on Flowers

Researchers used small drones to study how bees land on a flower.

AI Could Train Your Dog How to Sit
From ACM TechNews

AI Could Train Your Dog How to Sit

A prototype artificial intelligence developed by Colorado State University researchers could train dogs while their owners are out.

First-Ever Quantum Chess Tournament Won by Amazon Researcher
From ACM TechNews

First-Ever Quantum Chess Tournament Won by Amazon Researcher

Amazon researcher Aleksander Kubica won the world's first quantum chess tournament during the virtual Practical Quantum Computing (Q2B) conference.

Robots Now Can Understand What You Are Saying to Follow Commands
From ACM TechNews

Robots Now Can Understand What You Are Saying to Follow Commands

University of Michigan researchers have developed a model that simplifies robots' ability to follow commands by allowing them to understand what people are saying...

Army of a Million Microscopic Robots Created to Explore on Tiny Scale
From ACM TechNews

Army of a Million Microscopic Robots Created to Explore on Tiny Scale

University of Pennsylvania  researchers have developed microscopic robots that move by themselves, using an actuator fashioned from a thin layer of platinum.

AI Can Search Satellite Data to Find Plastic Floating in the Sea
From ACM TechNews

AI Can Search Satellite Data to Find Plastic Floating in the Sea

Researchers have developed an artificial intelligence system that can identify sea plastic in satellite imagery.

Cyborg Grasshoppers Engineered to Sniff Out Explosives
From ACM TechNews

Cyborg Grasshoppers Engineered to Sniff Out Explosives

Washington University researchers converted grasshoppers into bomb-sniffing tools by implanting electrodes in the insects' antenna lobes to tap into the capabilities...

China is Using Mass Surveillance Tech to Fight Coronavirus Spread
From ACM TechNews

China is Using Mass Surveillance Tech to Fight Coronavirus Spread

The Chinese government is working with technology companies to monitor citizens and track confirmed cases of people infected with the coronavirus.

Turn Any Object Into a Robot Using This Program and a 3D Printer
From ACM TechNews

Turn Any Object Into a Robot Using This Program and a 3D Printer

Researchers created a program to render household items into hand-activated robots using a three-dimensional (3D) printer. 

AI Could Help Count How Many People are in Large Crowds
From ACM TechNews

AI Could Help Count How Many People are in Large Crowds

German Aerospace Center researchers have developed an artificial intelligence system that can accurately count the number of people in large crowds.

DeepMind AI Beats Humans at Deciphering Damaged Ancient Greek Tablets
From ACM TechNews

DeepMind AI Beats Humans at Deciphering Damaged Ancient Greek Tablets

Researchers at DeepMind trained an artificial intelligence algorithm to guess missing words or characters from Greek inscriptions up to 2,600 years old. 

AIs That Deblur Faces Could Make People on CCTV Easier to Identify
From ACM TechNews

AIs That Deblur Faces Could Make People on CCTV Easier to Identify

A new artificial intelligence system can automatically deblur photographs of people's faces.

Robot Pilot That Can Grab the Controls Gets Its License
From ACM TechNews

Robot Pilot That Can Grab the Controls Gets Its License

The ROBOpilot Unmanned Aircraft Conversion System passed the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Practical Test for piloting light aircraft and completed...

Smartphone App Can Detect Tiny Amounts of Norovirus in Water
From ACM TechNews

Smartphone App Can Detect Tiny Amounts of Norovirus in Water

A new smartphone app can detect extremely small amounts of norovirus (the most common cause of gastroenteritis) in water, when used with a microscope attachment...

Artificial Skin Can Sense 1,000 Times Faster Than Human Nerves
From ACM TechNews

Artificial Skin Can Sense 1,000 Times Faster Than Human Nerves

Researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed artificial skin containing physical sensors that can detect pressure, bending, and temperature...
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