Week in Review: 2/28/16 – 3/5/16

March 3, 2016

Light-up skin stretches boundaries of robotics

A team of Cornell graduate students – led by Rob Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering – has developed an electroluminescent “skin” that stretches to more than six times its original size while still emitting light. The discovery could lead to significant advances in health care, transportation, electronic communication and other areas. http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2016/03/light-skin-stretches-boundaries-robotics

February 29, 2016

In Emergencies, Should You Trust a Robot?

In emergencies, people may trust robots too much for their own safety, a new study suggests. In a mock building fire, test subjects followed instructions from an “Emergency Guide Robot” even after the machine had proven itself unreliable – and after some participants were told that robot had broken down. http://www.news.gatech.edu/2016/02/29/emergencies-should-you-trust-robot

Chemists Combine Biology, Nanotechnology to Create Alternate Energy Source

Associate Professor Mathew Maye and a team of researchers from the University, along with collaborators from Connecticut College, have recently demonstrated high-efficiency energy transfer between semiconductor quantum rods and luciferase enzymes. Quantum rods and luciferase enzymes are nanomaterials and biomaterials, respectively. When combined correctly, these materials produce bioluminescence—except, instead of coming from a biomaterial, such as a firefly enzyme, the light eminates from a nanomaterial, and is green, orange, red or near-infrared in color. http://news.syr.edu/chemists-combine-biology-nanotechnology-to-create-alternate-energy-source-30765/