Friday, July 13, 2012

LANL smartening danger-zone throwbots

Los Alamos National Laboratory is going to help make tiny military and police robots smarter and better. Recon robotics already has hundreds of its throwbot micro robots working for troops in Afghanistan and for police elsewhere. They can easily be thrown into a dangerous area and be driven by remote control. They can also transmit live video (full story).

ReconRobotics invests in R&D with Los Alamos National Laboratory

ReconRobotics announced today a partnership with the high-profile Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that should lead to exciting new developments in autonomous reconnaissance robots.

The companies have signed a cooperative research and development agreement to “identify, evaluate and develop a range of mutually beneficial technologies,” efforts that will assist LANL in its mission-related activities for the U.S. Department of Energy and create value for ReconRobotics shareholders. Among the areas of research are systems related to sensing technologies, communications and autonomy (full story).

World record neutron beam at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Using a one-of-a-kind laser system at Los Alamos National Laboratory, scientists have created the largest neutronbeam ever made by a short-pulse laser, breaking a world record. Neutron beams are usually made with particle accelerators or nuclear reactors and are commonly used in a wide variety of scientific research, particularly in advanced materials science (full story).

This story also appeared in R&D Magazine
Metamolecules switch handedness at light speed

A multi-institutional team of researchers that included scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory has created the first artificial molecules whosechirality can be rapidly switched from a right-handed to a left-handed orientation with a  beam of light.

“The switchable chirality we can engineer into our metamaterials provides a viable approach towards creating high performance polarimetric devices that are largely not available at terahertz frequencies,” says LANL co-author Antoinette Taylor (full story).

This story also appeared in Laser Focus World

Quantum cryptography for security challenges to be topic of Frontiers in Science lectures

LANL scientist Richard Hughes discusses the basics of cryptography and quantum physics and the ways LANL researchers use them to address security challenges in an increasingly networked world at a Frontiers in Science series talk.

“Anyone who uses a credit card, computer or smartphone relies on cryptography,” said Hughes, of LANL’s Applied Modern Physics Group (full story).

Paint-on lithium-ion batteries put your walls to good use

One day, your walls might be able to power your laptop: Researchers at Rice University have developed a new type of spray-on lithium-ion battery that can be literally painted on nearly any surface.

The team’s research appears in a paper published in Nature co-authored by Rice University’s Charudatta Galande, Akshay Mathkar, Arava Leela, Mohana Reddy, Andrea Miranda, and Alexandru Vlad, and Los Alamos National Laboratory postdoctoral researcher Wei Gao.

LANL and Sandia scientists collaborate with Artists

Scientists/Artists Research Collaborations (SARC) will match artists with scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Sandia to explore how a creative approach can inform scientific discovery and make the science accessible to a broader audience. The collaborations will also investigate the aesthetics of their respective research areas (full story).

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