IBM creates first-ever artificial neurons that behave like the real thing

August 4, 2016 by  
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IBM researchers in Switzerland have created an artificial neuron that behaves just like the real thing . For the first time in history, artificial phase-change neurons have been grouped together (in a population of 500 synthesized in a lab) to process a neurological signal in more or less the same way that biological neurons transmit messages. They can be made exceptionally small and are similar in power and energy usage to biological neurons, and can even produce results with random variations, also just like biological neurons. For non-scientists, the importance of this discovery may not be immediately apparent. IBM ’s artificial neuron , developed by a research team in Zurich, is quite literally the next best thing to a naturally created biological neuron. The lab-created version has all the same components of a biological neuron, including inputs (dendrites), a neuronal membrane (lipid bilayer) around the spike generator (soma, nucleus), and an output (axon). Likewise, its functions mimic those of its biological counterpart. Related: Scientists create the world’s first enzymes using synthetic biology In addition to all that, the artificial neurons are durable, made from well-known materials that can withstand trillions of switching cycles. They are tiny (around 90 nanometers) and researchers believe they can make them even smaller, possibly as minuscule as 14nm. The researchers started by creating 500 artificial neurons together in a chain capable of sending signals, which means the IBM team has created the closest artificial version of a biological neuron. In the next phase of research, the team will create a much larger population of artificial neurons, with thousands of individual units, and write software to push their capabilities to the limit. The study results were published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Via Ars Technica Images via IBM

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IBM creates first-ever artificial neurons that behave like the real thing

Switzerland unveils cloud-like pavilion at Venice Biennale

July 26, 2016 by  
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Kerez’s pavilion is an attempt to think about, construct, and experience architecture differently. This experimental work designed for a specific location and occasion is an autonomous piece that, trying to avoid a conventional design framework, seeks greater innovation. Done to stand only for itself, and not to represent any other work of architecture nor a tendency or any other specific construction or design method, the Swiss pavilion is an abstract experience that boldly stands out from other Biennale participants showcasing conventional models, drawings and photographs. Related: Thousands of keys strung from blood-red yarn evoke Japan’s Great Tohoku Earthquake The interior of the artificially formed cloud realized in fiber cement evokes a natural geological structure. In addition to resembling a real cloud, the Swiss pavilion is itself a huge cloud of data – the result of coupling and sequencing craftsmanship and digital processes to create a complex architectonic space. + Christian Kerez + Venice Biennale Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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Switzerland unveils cloud-like pavilion at Venice Biennale

The Armadillo Vault’s hundreds of limestone slabs are held together without glue

June 7, 2016 by  
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ETH Zurich’s Block Research Group worked in collaboration with engineering firm Ochsendorf DeJong & Block and masonry specialist The Escobedo Group to bring the structure to life using expertly designed compression techniques. 399 limestone slabs were brought together after mapping out the technique on RhinoVAULT , a design plugin licensed by the group. Philippe Block and Tom Van Mele of the research group said, “Without any glue or mortar, with perfectly dry connections, this is really a milestone for stone engineering.” Related: 26 years, 9 tons of limestone, and a whole lot of love went into this magical fairytale house The Armadillo Vault spans 16 meters (about 20 feet), yet some sections are only as thick as five centimeters. Proportionally, the structure is half the thickness of an eggshell and remarkably strong. Each slab of limestone was left unfinished on the bottom side for time’s sake, creating an exterior resembling an armadillo shell and an underbelly of textured stripes. The intentional choice of finicky limestone demonstrates how the “relationship between geometry and forces” can be achieved with precision and respect for the materials. Once the Venice Biennale ends, the Armadillo Vault will be moved to a different location. Described as an “intricate 3D puzzle ” by the team, the structure can be disassembled and put back together while still maintaining its stability. +ETH Zurich Via  Dezeen Images via Iwan Baan , David Escobedo ,  Anna Maragkoudaki

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The Armadillo Vault’s hundreds of limestone slabs are held together without glue

Historic viaduct arches are transformed into a trendy shopping district in Zurich

April 14, 2016 by  
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Historic viaduct arches are transformed into a trendy shopping district in Zurich

11 maps to mark the COP21 climate talks

December 8, 2015 by  
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No more words. From Aberdeen to Zurich, these maps display a world of activity at the U.N. climate talks in Paris.

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Google employees in Zurich (Zooglers) have the world’s coolest repurposed office

February 15, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Google employees in Zurich (Zooglers) have the world’s coolest repurposed office Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adaptive reuse , collaborative space , daylight , Daylighting , eco design , glass-partitioning , Google , green design , green renovation , green space , sustainable design , Zooglers , Zurich

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Google employees in Zurich (Zooglers) have the world’s coolest repurposed office

Swiss Researchers Add 3D Scanning to Smartphones with a Simple App

December 6, 2013 by  
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3D scanning could completely change the way we see the world, improve robotic vision , and lead to a whole new 3D printing revolution . While there’s a lot of promise in 3D scanning, the technology still requires specialized equipment that only labs have or is otherwise too expensive. Marc Pollefeys, professor at the The Computer vision and geometry Lab of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and his group aim to change that by creating a smartphone app that enables any device to 3D scan like a pro. The software works with existing smartphone technology that allows users to scan a 3D model almost as easily as taking a photograph. Read the rest of Swiss Researchers Add 3D Scanning to Smartphones with a Simple App Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d images , 3D imaging , 3d modeling , 3d modeling comes to smartphones , 3d modeling on a smartphone , 3D printing , 3D scan , 3d scan smartphone app , 3d scanning , 3d scanning smartphone , ETH Zurich , Institute for Visual Computing , Marc Pollefeys , robot vision , smartphone apps , smartphones , The Computer vision and geometry Lab of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich        

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Swiss Researchers 3D-Print Self-Assembling Helicopter Drones

July 30, 2013 by  
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Drones are the subject of hot debate , but a research team from Switzerland recently developed hovering plastic robots that are not only 3D-printed, but can also assemble themselves into a single unit. The Distributed Flight Array (DFA) was developed at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control (IDSC) at ETH Zürich university in Switzerland as part of an experimental research project and public art installation. Read the rest of Swiss Researchers 3D-Print Self-Assembling Helicopter Drones Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printing technology , 3d-printed drones , 3d-printed Swiss technology , eco design , green design , hexagonal plastic drones , IDSC , self-assembling drones , self-assembling robots , sustainable design , The Distributed Flight Array        

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Swiss Researchers 3D-Print Self-Assembling Helicopter Drones

The Elysorium is a Former Factory Turned Into a Community Space for Shared-Resources

June 3, 2013 by  
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The Elysorium is a community of like-minded individuals that share a resourceful, anti-consumption attitude and a (messy) open living space. Located in a  former factory  site in the west of  Zurich , the Elysorium hosts residents that have made a commitment to exchanging and cultivating real friendships within the space provided to them. Showing the potential of  open plan  living, the layout changes constantly, adapting to new people or needs—but always promoting community. Read the rest of The Elysorium is a Former Factory Turned Into a Community Space for Shared-Resources Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adaptive architecture , Architecture , co-working , community , exchange , freegan , home working , old factory , Recycled Materials , sharing , The Elysorium , Zurich        

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Researchers Study Mountain Forests to Understand the Impact of Climate Change

March 15, 2013 by  
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We often focus on what impact climate change is having on the oceans and rainforests across the globe, but sometimes we forget to look at how it is affecting vital areas like mountain forests. Mountain forests are essential to our Earth’s ecosystem; they provide protection, host a myriad of species, and bind greenhouse gases. So as the planet warms, researchers wonder: what will happen to the forests? Read the rest of Researchers Study Mountain Forests to Understand the Impact of Climate Change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Alps climate change , Alps ecosystem , Climate Change , ETH Zurich Mountain study , ETH Zurich researchers , forest destruction , global warming , global warming impact , Mountain Forest Climate Change , Mountain Forest ecosystem , mountain forest global warming

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