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Space shuttle robot comes to life with help from RPI student

robots__oface_killah.jpg
oFace Killah
/
via Flickr
If this is what robots get up to on the space shuttle, we're in big trouble.

A Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student helped build a robot that's heading into space with the space shuttle Discovery, reports Scott Waldman at the Times Union:

The robot essentially looks like the top half of a person, or the video game character Metroid. It combines human dexterity with mechanical strength, and could eventually work outside the space station or on other risky jobs now performed by astronauts. "As humans, we can be vulnerable to space and time," [RPI student Nathaniel] Quillin said. "If we have a robot capable of doing everything a human can do, we can send a robot to do that exploration for us."

RIT joins environment scan
Tim Louis Macaluso
has a piece about the Rochester Institute of Technology's involvement in the "National Ecological Observatory Network" (NEON) at City Newspaper:

Understanding environmental change is crucial to the sustainable use and management of the planet's natural resources, says Jan van Aardt, an associate professor with RIT's Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. Scientists want to know, he says, the impact that changes in climate, land use, and invasive species have over time on water, air, and soil quality. And what the response should be. When fully operational in 2016, NEON will consist of 62 data-gathering stations in 20 climate zones across the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The stations will examine the changes occurring in diverse ecosystems including the Great Lakes and the prairies of central US. The stations will use sophisticated hyperspectral camera systems combined with highly sensitive light detection and ranging equipment that can be flown over targeted sites.

URMC in Buffalo
The University of Rochester Medical Center is opening an HIV vaccine clinic in Buffalo, reports Buffalo Business First.  The goal is to make it easier for Buffalonians to participate in trials of the vaccine.

Cornell makes an ear
Cornell researchers have figured out how to use 3-D printing to manufacturing skin.  So they made an ear, reports Lin Edwards at PhysOrg.com.  And here's the BBC's video about the "printer."

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