Press Clips from 2020

February 5, 2020

A Bionic Jellyfish Swims With Manic Speed (for a Jellyfish)

No disrespect, but roboticists have got nothing on the animal kingdom. Birds cut through the air with ease, while our drones plummet out of the sky. Humans balance elegantly on two legs, while humanoid robots fall on their faces. It takes roboticists a whole lot of work to even begin to approach the wonders of evolution. But maybe if you can?t beat ?em, hack ?em. Writing today in the journal Science Advances, researchers from Caltech and Stanford describe how they?ve equipped jellyfish with microchips and electrodes to turbocharge their swimming pace, Full Story

January 9, 2020

Study Finds TuSimple Trucks At Least 10% More Fuel Efficient Than Traditional Trucks

Autonomous trucking companies have long argued that self-driving technology will not only make trucking safer and more cost efficient but that it will also help reduce the amount of pollution commercial vehicles emit. Now a University of California San Diego study has substantiated some of those claims, with findings showing that autonomous trucks operated by self-driving startup TuSimple reduce fuel consumption of heavy-duty trucks by at least 10% and up to 20%. "We were surprised by the data," Henrik Christensen, director of the UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute Full Story

January 9, 2020

UC San Diego Rolls Out Self-Driving Mail Delivery Cars

These days, getting your snail mail at the University of California San Diego is pretty high-tech. For months, UC San Diego has been using self-driving cars to deliver mail on campus. Here's how it works: each morning, the car -- which has seating for four -- is loaded up with mail. The car's computer is programmed with the information that tells it where to go. Then - as a safety precaution - a driver hops on board, just in case anything goes wrong. Full Story

January 9, 2020

Hand-Tracking Tech Watches Riders in Self-Driving Cars to See If They're Ready to Take the Wheel

Researchers have developed a new technique for tracking the hand movements of a non-attentive driver, to calculate how long it would take the driver to assume control of a self-driving car in an emergency. If manufacturers can overcome the final legal hurdles, cars with Level 3 autonomous vehicle technology will one day be chauffeuring people from A to B. These cars allow a driver to have his or her eyes off the road and the freedom to do minor tasks (such as texting or watching a movie). However, these cars need a way of knowing how quickly--or slowly-- Full Story

January 9, 2020

Expect faster cell phones, better weather forecasts and cashier-less stores in 2020

Better weather forecasts. Faster cellular service. Quicker wildfire detection. Easier ways to buy MTS passes. And speedy, cashier-free convenience stores. They're all coming in 2020, brought along by advances in science and technology, including many innovations that were made or shaped in San Diego, a mecca for research. The focal point is UC San Diego, which recently began using self-driving carts to deliver mail. It's also improving weather forecasting. And early next year, the school will open a retail store that doesn't need or use cashiers. Full Story