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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.


'This is Certainly Different': Astronauts on Controlling the Dragon Spacecraft Via Touchscreen
From ACM TechNews

'This is Certainly Different': Astronauts on Controlling the Dragon Spacecraft Via Touchscreen

The astronauts manning SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) later this month will control the capsule using a touchscreen...

The Evolution of Brick and Mortar
From ACM News

The Evolution of Brick and Mortar

New technologies are transforming the future of in-person retail.

Shopping Robots Come Into Their Own in Locked-Down English Town
From ACM TechNews

Shopping Robots Come Into Their Own in Locked-Down English Town

A fleet of six-wheeled robots that deliver retail purchases is becoming increasingly popular in the British town of Milton Keynes during the coronavirus lockdown...

Reducing the Carbon Footprint of AI
From ACM TechNews

Reducing the Carbon Footprint of AI

Researchers have developed an automated artificial intelligence system for training and running certain types of neural networks, which has a small carbon footprint...

Footstep Sensors Identify People by Gait
From ACM TechNews

Footstep Sensors Identify People by Gait

Researchers have developed sensors that analyze footsteps by measuring minute floor vibrations.

Singapore's First Drone Delivery Service Takes Flight
From ACM TechNews

Singapore's First Drone Delivery Service Takes Flight

Singapore launched its first aerial drone delivery service on April 19, with a parcel of vitamins dropped onto a ship anchored off the island.

It’s the 50th Anniversary of Humanity’s Favorite Activity: Staring at an LCD
From ACM News

It’s the 50th Anniversary of Humanity’s Favorite Activity: Staring at an LCD

Americans invented liquid crystal displays but couldn't capitalize on them. On the technology's golden jubilee, it's time to reflect on the value of research and...

Electronic Skin Powered by Sweat Can Monitor Health, Serve as Human-Machine Interface
From ACM TechNews

Electronic Skin Powered by Sweat Can Monitor Health, Serve as Human-Machine Interface

California Institute of Technology's Wei Gao has developed a perspiration-powered electronic skin twith embedded sensors to monitor the wearer’s vital signs.

UPS to Fly Medications by Drone to Florida Retirement Area
From ACM TechNews

UPS to Fly Medications by Drone to Florida Retirement Area

UPS will use drones to make prescription deliveries to residents of The Villages in Florida, one of the biggest retirement communities in the U.S.

Mind-Controlled Prostheses That 'Feel' for Real
From ACM TechNews

Mind-Controlled Prostheses That 'Feel' for Real

Researchers have developed mind-controlled arm prostheses that several amputees already are using.

New Design Could Make Fiber Communications More Energy Efficient
From ACM TechNews

New Design Could Make Fiber Communications More Energy Efficient

A new optical device emits light in one direction, to make fiber communications more efficient.

Device Simulates Feel of Walls, Solid Objects in VR
From ACM TechNews

Device Simulates Feel of Walls, Solid Objects in VR

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have created a device to help simulate the feel of objects in virtual reality.

NTU Singapore Researchers Build Disinfection Robot to Aid Cleaners in COVID-19 Outbreak
From ACM TechNews

NTU Singapore Researchers Build Disinfection Robot to Aid Cleaners in COVID-19 Outbreak

Researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, have developed a semi-autonomous robot that can quickly disinfect large surfaces.

Annealing Processor Excels at Solving Combinatorial Optimization Problems
From ACM TechNews

Annealing Processor Excels at Solving Combinatorial Optimization Problems

Researchers in Japan have developed a new annealer architecture to handle combinatorial optimization problems.

Commercial Quantum Computing Made Possible
From ACM News

Commercial Quantum Computing Made Possible

Intel is chipping away at quantum computing with its Horse Ridge cryogenic control chip.

The Pandemic is Bringing Us Closer to Our Robot Takeout Future
From ACM News

The Pandemic is Bringing Us Closer to Our Robot Takeout Future

"We saw that business double overnight," startup says of UK grocery deliveries.

Sensors Woven Into a Shirt Can Monitor Vital Signs
From ACM TechNews

Sensors Woven Into a Shirt Can Monitor Vital Signs

Researchers have developed a method of incorporating electronic sensors into stretchy fabrics to create clothes that monitor vital signs.

Connecticut City Testing Drone That Detects Fevers, Coughs
From ACM TechNews

Connecticut City Testing Drone That Detects Fevers, Coughs

A "pandemic drone" is being tested by police in Westport, CT,

This Robot Is Helping Astronauts on the Space Station With Tasks, Stress, Isolation
From ACM TechNews

This Robot Is Helping Astronauts on the Space Station With Tasks, Stress, Isolation

A ball-shaped robot is helping astronauts on the International Space Station manage tasks, stress, and the isolation of living 200 miles above our planet’s surface...

Optical Labs Set Terabit Transmission Records
From ACM TechNews

Optical Labs Set Terabit Transmission Records

Researchers were able to send 172 terabits per second of data through a single multicore fiber.
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