• New Low-Tech Innovation for Emergency Squad Communication

    Researchers developed a web-based automated dialing solution enabling civil defense units to communicate with each other during emergencies without Internet service. This low-tech ability is critical for times when connectivity is down; for squads comprised of ultra-Orthodox (haredi) Jews, who often do not have smartphones; and for older first responders who may be less technologically savvy.

  • Commercial Advanced Nuclear Fuel Arrives in Idaho Lab for Testing

    For the first time in two decades, Idaho National Laboratory, the nation’s nuclear energy laboratory, has received a shipment of used next-generation light water reactor fuel from a commercial nuclear power plant to support research and testing.

  • A Non-Proliferation Solution: Using Antineutrinos to Surveil Nuclear Reactors

    Antineutrinos generated in nuclear fission can be measured to remotely monitor the operation of nuclear reactors and verify that they are not being used to produce nuclear weapons, scientists report. Thanks to a newly developed method, it is now possible to estimate a reactor’s operation status, fuel burnup, and fuel composition based entirely on its antineutrino emissions. This technique could contribute massively to nuclear non-proliferation efforts and, in turn, safer nuclear energy.

  • The Challenge of Cheap Drones: Finding an Even Cheaper Way to Destroy Them

    The sudden proliferation of inexpensive drones in Ukraine is a revolution in warfare. While they vary in size and capability, the  economics of defense are particularly stressed by the very cheapest ones, those adapted from civilian models or made with commercially available components.

  • Hydrogen Power Takes Drones to the Next Level

    Most drones run on electric batteries and can stay aloft no more than about 45 minutes when carrying just a few kilograms. HevenDrones has another solution.

  • 5 Technologies Keeping Cargo Ships Safe in Turbulent Times

    Due to Houthi attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea, worldwide shipping is in trouble and the global supply chain faltering. These technologies can help.

  • Creating the Self-Healing Grid of the Future

    Self-healing electrical grids: It may sound like a concept from science fiction, with tiny robots or some sentient tech crawling around fixing power lines, but in a reality not far from fiction, a team of researchers is bringing this idea to life. What’s not hard to imagine is the potential value of a self-healing grid, one able to adapt and bounce back to life, ensuring uninterrupted power even when assailed by a hurricane or a group of bad guys.

  • A Drone with Ears

    When a region is hit by a natural disaster, searching for survivors is complex work as buildings and roads may be damaged. The use of drones equipped with daylight cameras and thermal imaging cameras is therefore becoming increasingly widespread – except that if victims are trapped under rubble, they cannot be seen by these imaging sensors. Equipping drones with acoustic sensors allows rescue teams to identify and locate cries for help, clapping, or knocking signals.

  • Using Idle Trucks to Power the Grid with Clean Energy

    After analyzing energy demand on Alberta’s power grid during rush hour, researchers propose an innovative way to replenish electrical grids with power generated from fuel cells in trucks. Idled electric vehicles can act as mobile generators and help power overworked and aging electricity grids.

  • Fake Biden Robocall to New Hampshire Voters Highlights How Easy It Is to Make Deepfakes − and How Hard It Is to Defend Against AI-Generated Disinformation

    Robocalls in elections are nothing new and not illegal; many are simply efforts to get out the vote. But they have also been used in voter suppression campaigns. Compounding this problem in this case is what I believe to be the application of AI to clone Biden’s voice.

  • Military AI: New Book Anticipates a World of “Killer Robots” — and the Need to Regulate Them

    As artificial intelligence advances, the weapons of war grow evermore capable of killing people without meaningful human oversight, raising troubling questions about the manner today’s and tomorrow’s wars will be carried out, and how autonomous weapons systems could weaken accountability when it comes to the potential violations of international law that attend their deployment. 

  • Taking Robots and AI to War at Sea

    Emphasizing that combination of AI and autonomous systems working in concert with crewed platforms—and with critical human oversight ‘on the loop’—is the logical path to meet a potential challenge of a much more capable and assertive adversary with ambitious plans across the Indo-pacific, and with a potential ability to interfere with Australia’s critical maritime trade.

  • Cobalt-Free Batteries Could Power Cars of the Future

    Many electric vehicles are powered by batteries that contain cobalt — a metal that carries high financial, environmental, and social costs. MIT chemists developed a battery cathode based on organic materials, which could reduce the EV industry’s reliance on scarce metals.

  • Diving into Nuclear Submarines

    In 2021, the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia formed a partnership, dubbed AUKUS, which will allow the Royal Australian Navy to purchase several nuclear-powered submarines in an effort to modernize their fleet. Building a nuclear submarine program from scratch is anything but easy, so the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering has created a course for the Australian Submarine Agency.

  • Argonne National Laboratory to Work Closely with Companies on Nuclear Innovation Projects

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) awarded seven new vouchers to companies and national laboratories working to develop and commercialize clean nuclear energy projects. Nuclear energy is considered central to efforts to minimize carbon emissions and still reliably meet rising demand for electricity. Argonne received four vouchers to work closely with companies on nuclear innovation projects.