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Engineering News

What Every Engineer Should Know About Open Source Software Licenses and IP

Advocates for open source software tout its benefits, such as how the peer review nature of crowd-sourced development leads to reliability, and that transparent code enables developers to find and correct security flaws. Because many companies choose to use open source software, engineers who become expert in an open source project may find it easier to translate their skills into different working environments. Beyond these advantages, engineers engaged in open source software development appreciate the camaraderie they find in the…

New approach in VR redirected walking presented

The viewing behavior of a virtual reality user, including fixations (in green) and saccades (in red). A blink fully suppresses visual perception. Credit: Eike Langbehn In the burgeoning world of virtual reality (VR) technology, it remains a challenge to provide users with a realistic perception of infinite space and natural walking capabilities in the virtual environment. A team of computer scientists has introduced a new approach to address this problem by leveraging a natural human phenomenon: eye blinks. All humans…

A new, digitised era for European manufacturing

Credit: Suwin, Shutterstock Manufacturing in the EU is heading to another level that will make it more competitive than ever, thanks to better service models and to innovations such as digitisation, Big Data and the Internet of Things. In the face of Asian competition and cheaper labour abroad, Europe’s manufacturing industry must stay ahead of the game and remain competitive by offering superior value and services. The EU-funded PSYMBIOSYS project worked on revolutionising the product-service engineering environment through better intelligence…

An exoskeleton for paraplegics

Credit: Herman van der Kooij Robotic devices are increasingly being used to assist patients with impaired motor functions. Through a novel adaptable exoskeleton, the Symbitron project hopes to revolutionise rehabilitation of patients. Spinal cord injury (SCI) can lead to paraplegia, the loss of movement in the lower part of the body. Recent research efforts to treat SCI and restore partial movement have resulted in the development of assistive exoskeletons. Considering that active recruitment of the neuromuscular system in SCI patients…

Engineering Ethics Blog: Hacking Nuclear Weapons

Until I saw the title of Andrew Futter’s Hacking the Bomb:  Cyber Threats and Nuclear Weapons in the new-books shelf of my university library, I had never given any thought to what the new threat of cyber warfare means to the old threat of nuclear war.  Quite a lot, it turns out.  Futter is associate professor of history at the University of Leicester in the UK, and has gathered whatever public-domain information he could find on what the world’s major…

Radio reporter regains a voice with new technology

In this Aug. 2, 2017 photo released by Jamie Dupree, Dupree, a Cox Media Group radio reporter, poses in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Two years ago, Dupree encountered what others in his profession might see as an unsurmountable challenge: He lost his voice. Now he may have found a solution. A Scottish company that creates text-to-speech technology has crafted a new “voice” for Dupree: software turns his typed sentences into spoken words. (Jamie Dupree via AP) Two…

Waste essential oil can be blended with diesel for comparable performance to all-diesel fuel — ScienceDaily

QUT PhD researcher Ashrafur Rahman tested each of the waste oils for performance and emissions as a 10 per cent oil/90per cent diesel blend in a 6-cylinder, 5.9l diesel engine. “As only therapeutic grade oil can be used, there is a substantial volume of low-value waste oil that currently is stored, awaiting a use,” Mr Rahman said. “Our tests found essential oil blends produced almost the same power as neat diesel with a slight increase in fuel consumption. “Diesel particulate…

Detecting image similarity using Spark, LSH and TensorFlow

Andrey Gusev, Pinterest engineer, Content Quality As a visual platform, the ability to learn from images to understand our content is important. In order to detect near-duplicate images we use the NearDup system, a Spark- and TensorFlow-based pipeline. At the core of the pipeline is a Spark implementation of batch LSH (locality-sensitive hashing) search and a TensorFlow-based classifier. Every day, the pipeline compares billions of items and incrementally updates clusters. In this post, we’ll explain how we use this technology…

How Trip Inferences and Machine Learning Optimize Delivery Times on Uber Eats

In Uber’s ride-hailing business, a driver picks up a user from a curbside or other location, and then drops them off at their destination, completing a trip. Uber Eats, our food delivery service, faces a more complex trip model. When a user requests a food order in the app, the specified restaurant begins preparing the order. When that order is ready, we dispatch a delivery-partner to pick it up and bring it to the eater. Modeling the real world logistics…

How A/B Testing Powers Pedagogy on Coursera – Coursera Engineering – Medium

A/B testing is used throughout the tech world to build more engaging and valuable products. By randomizing users into either the current baseline experience (control) or a new experience (treatment), companies can measure the causal effect of the new experience on the outcomes they care most about. Coursera’s platform enables instructors and researchers to bring that same technology and methodology to pedagogy. We do this by randomizing enrollees into different versions of the same course … … and then observing the…