News of the week selected by Impactscool – August 27th, 2018
27 August 2018 | Written by La redazione
An artificial retina made of graphene, Kalashnikov presents his new military robot, the first tennis match in space. The most important news on technology and the future, selected from all over the web for Impactscool’s readers.
Artificial retina: graphene can also restore sight
Graphene is a “super material”, strong, flexible and light, capable of conducting electricity and biodegradable. From today, however, thanks to a team of scientists, it will have a new use: create artificial retinas. The retina is the light-sensitive cell layer located at the back of the eye and is responsible for converting images into impulses, send to the brain to be interpreted. Without a functioning retina, therefore, we cannot see. The new artificial retina, made with this material, exceeds the limits of previous implants, which are flat and rigid and therefore do not allow the creation of precise and in-focus images. Using a combination of graphene, molybdenum disulfide (another 2D material), gold, alumina and silicon nitrate, researchers at the University of Texas and Seoul National University have built a better artificial retina than existing, biocompatible and able to imitate the characteristics of the human eye. If the next tests will be as hoped we can add a new superpower to this, equally super, material: give back sight to the partially sighted.
Kalashnikov invests in robotics
The Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov, one of the best known in the world, presented his war robot at the Moscow International Army-2018 forum. For now, there isn’t much information about the robot, still has limited capabilities that will be improved and implemented in view of the 2020 edition of the Forum. About four meters tall, the robot weighs about 45 tons and, as mentioned, is not completely autonomous: an operator will maneuverer it, sitting in a large cockpit, protected by darkened bulletproof glass. From there, the operator will be able to move the robot through the cloche, controlling its claw, designed also to support weapons. The world of robotics, from researchers to the big giants of the technology industry, has recently lined up against lethal autonomous weapons. These Kalashnikov robots, for the time, will be driven by human beings, but their degree of danger and their destructive abilities can elevate conflicts to a level that has never been reached until today.
The first tennis match in space
US Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon? None of the three, we will play the tennis of the future in the International Space Station. It is not recognized as an Olympic sport but the “tennis in space” has experienced its first game, right entry into history. While the US Open was about to kick off on Earth, one of the Grand Slam tournaments, Drew Feustel, commander of the 56th expedition, and colleagues Ricky Arnold and Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the ESA, battled an unusual double, played on the “central field” of the ISS, also challenging microgravity. It is since last December that the United States Tennis Association was organizing the game, together with the commander Feustel, a great fan of this sport, with the aim of bringing young tennis players closer to space exploration. We are certainly not at the level of a Federer – Nadal match, but Feustel and his colleagues had fun and attracted the attention of the whole world, including that of some tennis champions who have exchanged with the astronauts some message on social media. This is only the beginning: what could be the prelude to the 2050 space Olympics?