News of the week selected by Impactscool – October 26th
26 October 2020 | Written by La redazione
Knowing precisely how many trees there are on our planet allows us to better estimate what their impacts are on the climate issue and not only that, even habitat preservation and repopulation efforts in degraded areas would benefit enormously from these data. Counting trees is expensive and almost impossible to do “manually”, but researchers at New Mexico State University have trained artificial intelligence to do it more effectively and quickly. Using satellite images, they showed the AI how to recognize the distinctive shape of the affected vegetation, manually mapping 90,000 trees, based on the shape of the canopy, color and other characteristics. To date, the system has managed to map 1.8 billion trees in the Sahel and Sahara regions of West Africa, but researchers are confident that with further training, AI will be able to work across the entire surface of our planet.
It’s called the Open-Source Leg and it’s a project carried out by some engineers of the Neurobionics Lab at the University of Michigan that fully embodies the concept of Open Source. In fact, the team has set itself the goal of developing a motorized lower limb prosthesis whose designs are available to anyone, creating a simple, portable, economical, scalable and customizable design. The projects for the Open-Source Leg are available online and the lab is able to build and ship one in case those who need it don’t have the skills. The project seeks to achieve three objectives. The first is to identify a design that can be used for low-cost, $ 10,000-20,000, high-performance, open source systems. Second, to understand how separate prosthetic control strategies can be combined to benefit from amputated gait. Finally, the Open-Source Leg project wants to validate its proposed open-source system as a tool for research on prosthetic control.
How would agriculture change if every single plant could be monitored and provided with exactly the nutrition it needs? Scientists and engineers of the Alphabet Mineral project have tried to answer by developing robots able to walk the cultivated fields and inspecting, thanks to cameras guided by artificial intelligence systems, the plants to identify needs and problems. for each individual plant. Furthermore, the data collected by the robots can be used to improve the system, increasing its efficiency and therefore the yield of crops.
Popeye had seen us long. Spinach really contains a lot of energy, but maybe not in the sense that the cartoon has always wanted us to believe. Research recently published in ACS Omega has shown that simple spinach, the same that we can buy at the supermarket, if salted, chopped, frozen and then dried at high temperatures in the form of thin sheets, are more efficient than platinum as catalysts to the interior of fuel cells. The way to go before they can be seen, possibly in the future, in operation within greener electronic systems such as electric car batteries.