Artificial Intelligence Google has learned how to successfully overcome obstacle course

So-called reinforcement learning is a technique of training artificial intelligence, where the algorithm is rewarded for making correct decisions and being punished for making wrong decisions based on the results obtained earlier. According to this idea, with the right amount of time and effort, the system finally sets itself the best course of action for itself. For some time it has been a common practice in training artificial intelligence. She recently used Google’s DeepMind, for example. With her help she taught artificial intelligence how to successfully overcome obstacle course.

It is clear that the artificial intelligence from DeepMind uses creative solutions to overcome the obstacles that are on its way. However, it is worth noting that most of the time these solutions do not look natural, although they provide the best results. This shows how potential future artificial intelligence can be – since robots in terms of mobility will not necessarily be as limited as humans.

The Uranus planet is even more weird than was thought

It is impossible to hide that Uranus is a planet enough strange. The axis of rotation of this planet is strongly inclined – up to 98 degrees, and is located almost in the plane of its orbit.  A new study by Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that Uranus’s peculiar axis of rotation may be responsible for another strange feature of this planet. Uranus magnetosphere – the magnetic field that surrounds it – “turns on and off” every day as it rotates with the planet.

The magnetic field of the Earth is quite regular and stretches between the north and south poles. Because Uranus is a “drunken planet”, its magnetosphere is much more chaotic and the magnetic field’s dipole axis is inclined at an angle of 60 degrees to the axis of rotation of the planet. Because of this, the magnetosphere is sometimes “open” and sometimes “closed,” depending on its orientation. Researchers have been able to simulate the Uranus magnetosphere and discover some of its secrets using numerical models based on data collected by Voyager 2.

NASA has discovered 10 new candidates for earth-like planets

Kepler Space Telescope again does not disappoint. On Monday, during a press conference at the Joseph Ames Research Center, NASA announced the discovery of 219 new candidates for the planet. Even more exciting is the fact that 10 of them seem to resemble Earth in size and be in the ecosphere of their stars. This means that on their surface there may be water, and consequently, life.

In total, the Kepler Space Telescope identified 4034 candidates for the planet, of which 2335 were officially recognized as exoplanets. The telescope found them, observing as many as 200,000 stars. About 50 of the observed planets resemble Earth.

Mutations in space

During experiments conducted with the use of flatworms at the International Space Station, the researchers observed an unexpected regenerative effect. One of the 15 fragments of the creature sent back into space has returned with two heads. The purpose of the experiment was to test how life in space can affect cell activity. Researchers have decided to do so in microgravity and fluctuations in the magnetic field by sending a group of flatworms to the International Space Station (ISS).

They are closely related to the tapeworm, but are not parasites. They belong to the rotor class and reach a length of up to 20 mm. Their regenerative capabilities have long fascinated scientists. As soon as the conditions are right, these worms can rebuild damaged or even half-body parts. In this way two individuals with the same genetic material are born. Worms can regenerate every piece of their body by the pluripotent stem cells present in their body.

Researchers have sent a set of whole and healthy flat worms to the ISS and amputated fragments of their bodies, from which new individuals would appear in the earth. Scientists sealed worms inside tubes with different ratios of air and water and then watched the animals.

At first glance these little worms do not have much in common with the astronauts on board the ISS. But the experience at ISS offers valuable tips on how life in space can affect the body. This can help scientists understand the impact of space travel on human bodies.

Source: Live Science, photo by Junji Morokuma / Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA Can’t Explain What Made This Strange, Deep Hole on Mars

You’d think NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has seen everything there is to see on the Martian surface in the 11 years it’s orbited our nearest neighbour, but a snapshot taken over the planet’s South Pole has revealed something we can’t explain.

While the planet’s entire surface is pocked with various depressions and craters, a vast pit spotted among the “Swiss cheese terrain” of melting frozen carbon dioxide appears to be a bit deeper than your average hole, leaving astronomers to try and figure out what made it.

A lot of things can make holes in Mars’ rocky terrain: more than half a million meteorite impacts have left craters; collapsing lava tubes have created deep pits; ancient floods have gouged out giant chasms; and volcanic activity has melted ice to leave funnels.

Occasionally the MRO will come across an odd feature that poses a fun mystery to solve, such as this shallow, circular depression seen earlier this year.

But there’s nothing so shallow about this newly discovered pit. Just take a look at it:

PIA21636 hires NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Being summer for Mars’ South Pole, the Sun is low enough in the sky to accentuate shadows over the landscape, making subtle features pop right out. Yet there a glint of light is still able to reveal ice at the bottom of the hole.

Surrounding the pit are patches frozen carbon dioxide. The circles in the ice is thought to where the dry ice has sublimated into gas in the summer sunshine, leaving what astronomers call “Swiss Cheese terrain“.

The image was taken using the MRO’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE camera, which allows researchers to see objects on Mars that are larger than one metre (about 3 feet) in size from about 200 to 400 kilometres (about 125 to 250 miles) above.

That means the pit isn’t tiny – at 50 centimetres (19.7 inches) per pixel, we’re looking at a feature hundreds of metres across. Take a look on NASA’s website for a hi-res version of the image.

So the question is, did something punch its way through, or is it a collapse of some sort?

Without more information, it’s hard to tell, but no doubt NASA will be discussing all of the possibilities.

The MRO has been in Martian orbit since March, 2006, sending back detailed images of the Red Planet’s surface that reveal a dynamic environment where dust devils roam, sand dunes crawl, and occasional bits of Earthling tech are left to gather dust.

After completing all of its primary goals in the first two years, and two mission extensions, the orbiter is still going strong – we’ll almost certainly be seeing more odd holes like this in the future.

5 JUN 2017

Scientists have created the illusion of touch in VR

Today, the equipment that allows us to enter the world of VR, affects only two of our senses – sight and hearing. Perhaps, using such devices someday we will be able to feel the flavors and smells, but rather will not happen until the virtual reality does not begin to simulate touch. Finally, the simulation of this sense seems to be another logical step for the VR. The question is how will it be implemented?

Researchers at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam have developed a device that uses neuromuscular stimulation (EMS) to simulate the feel of touching walls and other objects in virtual reality. At the moment we are dealing with his rather crude version, because the device is a backpack containing 8-channel muscle stimulator from which the wires and electrodes are discharged.

The device sends small electric impulses to create the feel of touching the object. Of course, at the moment, the device is definitely not a “small amount of hardware”, so it is therefore not ready for commercial use. Let us hope, however, that this will soon…

LHC and new Five Particles

Five new particles in one go! @LHCbExperiment observed an exceptionally large group of particles in a single analysis:


Over the coming months and years, the LHC will use its amazing amount of energy to open up the “dark sector of physics,” revealing currently unknown particles and helping solve some of our greatest cosmic mysteries (such as dark matter, parallel dimensions, and what happened during the earliest moments of the Big Bang). With new updates coming to the LHC, the team promises “even more impressive” physics opportunities.

Fast Radio Burst

First discovered them in the form of one-off flares, suggesting that their source may be destroyed as a result of the events which gave rise to this strong emissions. An example is the star explosion known as a supernova – are extremely powerful cosmic explosions, which can be several times brighter than the light emitted by the galaxy. However, about a little complicated at a time when in 2012 the powerful radio telescope called Arecibo, first reported FRB, which is regularly repeated. The name you assigned to the flashes comes from the date of their discovery: FRB 121,102th Later, another radio telescopes took to watching this event and were able to determine the location of its source, which was very satisfactory achievement, tossing a little bit of light on the mystery. It turned out that regular bursts of radio emission comes from the dwarf galaxy away from us by about 3 billion light-years. Mankind is certainly not able to create such a facility, but Loeb and Lingam point out that their idea is still within the laws of physics, ie. With appropriate technological advancement of its implementation is not excluded. If someone wondered about the reason for building such things, the researchers report that this could be used as a power source for light sails, that allow you to conduct review of their spaceships.

Abandoned Engineering

Over the years, emerged interesting ideas, you might want to check out this series.

“These are some of the most spectacular examples of abandoned engineering the world has ever known. The series explores how and why they were built, consider the financial and social costs of their failure and examine the environmental and ecological impacts. The series also explores how experts came up with plans to make something beautiful or useful from the ruins.” – text from producers

Xiaomi processors

Soon the market will be released two processors from Xiaomi. The first processor Xiaomi is to be named Pinacone. The Chinese company will present the V670 system with eight Cortex-A53 cores and graphics chip Mali-T860 MP4, probably too V970 with four core Cortex-A73 and four A53, juxtaposed with graphics Mali-G71 MP12.