May 18/25, 2005   

   Machine reproduces itself
Reproduction is no longer the sole province of living things. A simple robot made from motorized cubes points to a future where machines reproduce and repair themselves. Each stack of cubes begets a stack of cubes, which begets a stack of cubes, which begets a stack of cubes...
Full story
Conference system makes shared space
Videoconferencing systems let remote groups of people see and hear each other, but they don't do a very good job of creating a sense of shared space. A relatively inexpensive system promises appropriate, life-size eye-to-eye views for all. The reflective material used in road signs and safety vests makes the difference.

Nanotube memory scheme is magnetic
The latest scheme to use carbon nanotubes to store vast amounts of data on a chip borrows a page from disk drives. The design could one day lead to fast, low-power memory devices with capacities measured in the millions of gigabytes.

How It Works
Robot navigation: getting from point A to point B

Robots take different approaches to finding their way in the world based on how much they know of the world.


Nanoparticles drive display
Nanoparticles that act like microscopic magnets could provide a route to cheap, color electronic paper.

Thin silver sheet makes superlens
A microscopically thin layer of silver focuses light more finely than any ordinary lens.

Catalyst boosts gasoline fuel cells
A catalyst material promises to make gasoline fuel cells more efficient.

Virtual DNA makes material
A simulation shows that mimicking DNA could lead to machines that assemble themselves.

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