(Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) EPFL chemical engineers have developed a new way to manufacture zeolitic membranes, state-of-the-art materials used for gas separation in harsh conditions.
(Princeton University, Engineering School) With implications for the transmission of diseases like COVID-19, researchers have found that ordinary conversation creates a conical 'jet-like' airflow that quickly carries a spray of tiny droplets from a speaker's mouth across meters of an interior space.
(CNRS) Humans have a hard time identifying individual birds just by looking at the patterns on their plumage. An international study involving scientists form the CNRS, Université de Montpellier and the University of Porto in Portugal, among others, has shown how computers can learn to differentiate individual birds of a same species. The results are published on 27 July 2020 in Methods in Ecology and Evolution.
This is one of the major events initiated by PolyU to foster closer collaborations and explore innovative technologies with top-notch universities and institutes around the world through forming strategic research and development alliances.In his welcome remarks, Professor Ping-kong Alexander WAI, Vice President (Research Development) of PolyU, said, "We are very pleased to work with robotics experts from different places to collaborate in the research, development, and deployment of marine robotics so that we can innovate ground-breaking applications of robotic systems to explore oceans in a new way."Experts speaking at the Forum included Dr. Ravi VAIDYANATHAN, Senior Lecturer in Bio-Mechatronics, Director of International Collaboration, Imperial Robotics Forum, Imperial College London, UK; Dr Ahmed CHEMORI, Senior Scientist in LIRMM-CNRS University of Montpellier, France; Proessor Shuo LI, Deputy Director of Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Professor David M LANE, Professor of Autonomous Systems Engineering, Director of Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, Heriot-Watt University, The University of Edinburgh.They shared themes that covered bio-mechatronic sensory motor control, autonomous underwater vehicles, marine robotics for deep-sea exploration and operation.The professionals exchanged valuable views and experiences on marine robotics technologies.Dr Xing-jian JING, Associate Professor of PolyU's Department of Mechanical Engineering and a seasoned researcher on bio-inspired dynamics, control and robotics, highlighted that, "Technologies related to underwater exploration and manipulation as well as new bio-inspired underwater robots would be two important areas to be explored in marine robotics.
Slimy, hard-to-clean bacterial mats called biofilms cause problems ranging from medical infections to clogged drains and fouled industrial equipment.By looking at the films from a mechanical engineering perspective, as well as a biological one, the researchers showed that water penetrating the junction between biofilms and surfaces, coupled with gentle peeling, can result in immaculate removals.That outcome contrasts with traditionally ineffective methods of scraping or mechanically dislodging biofilms, which sometimes leave behind still-adhered patches that regrow and re-contaminate."We have discovered an easy and effective way to remove nasty biofilms from a variety of surfaces," said Jing Yan, an associate research scholar working jointly in the Princeton labs of Howard Stone, the Donald R. Dixon '69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Bonnie Bassler, the Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.The work, bridging molecular biology, materials science and mechanical engineering, took advantage of the collaborative research communities between molecular biology and engineering.Yan is the co-lead author of the paper describing the results, published Oct. 8 in Advanced Materials, along with Alexis Moreau, who was a visiting student in Stone's lab and is now back at the University of Montpellier in France.
A new study has revealed how vultures use their very own social networks to work out the best way to take advantage of thermal updrafts to help them fly vast distances.The research, carried out by a team from Swansea University led by PhD student Hannah Williams, examined how the vultures seemed to make risky but efficient choices in flight when they observed the flight of other vultures in the network.Their paper Social eavesdropping allows for a more risky gliding strategy by thermal soaring birds has just been published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface and Hannah hopes it will help provide a better understanding about the strategies birds use to navigate the aerial landscape.She said: "Thermal updrafts are chaotic in their occurrence, so it makes sense for these heavy birds to 'eavesdrop' on the movements of other birds to find thermals, just as human pilots do when gliding."We worked with Dr Olivier Duriez, of the University of Montpellier, to track the movements of five vultures at a bird of prey centre in France, using special tag technology contained in backpacks worn by the birds."We hypothesised that birds would fly towards areas where other birds had been circling and that they would do so at fast speeds.