what's the buzz

what's the buzz

An intelligent robot that recycles waste

Finnish technology company ZenRobotics has created a recycling robot that could help address the escalating global waste problem.

The ZenRobotics Recycler is an intelligent robot which separates construction materials on a conveyer belt, plucking out recyclable materials and depositing them in bins for collection.

The robot is designed to replace manual sorting, which can be dangerous and frequently prohibitively expensive.

 Worldwide, the construction and demolition sector is thought to contribute over one third of all waste.

The US alone contributes a staggering 325 million tons of waste every year, and the UK produces another 120 million tons.

While household and municipal waste has fallen in recent years across the developed world, Waste Watch -- a not-for-profit sustainability organization based in the UK -- suggests that over 80 percent of all human waste that potentially could be recycled currently goes into landfill.

Tiny airplanes, submarines next hurricane hunters

A scientist at the University of Florida has developed tiny airplanes and submarines, which can swarm over, under and through hurricanes to help predict the strength and path of the storms.

The tiny, autonomous craft — some fly, others dart under the waves — can spy on hurricanes at close range without getting blown willy-nilly, while sensors onboard collect and send in real time the data scientists need to predict the intensity and trajectory of storms: pressure, temperature, humidity, location and time.

Kamran Mohseni, director of UF’s new Institute for Networked Autonomous Systems, said people always ask him how the miniature flying machines — just 6 inches long and about the weight of an iPod Nano — can take on one of the monster storms.

“Our vehicles don’t fight the hurricane; we use the hurricane to take us places,” said Mohseni, the W.P. Bushnell Endowed Professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the department of electrical and computer engineering.

Eating mangoes linked to low blood sugar levels

A new study has revealed that consumption of mangoes may have a positive effect on blood sugar in obese individuals and reduce cancer risk.

The study led by Oklahoma State University’s Nutritional Sciences Associate Professor Edralin Lucas examined the effects of daily mango consumption on clinical parameters and body composition in obese subjects.

According to the researcher, mango contains many nutrients and other bioactive compounds that can provide various health benefits, the Daily Times reported.

“It is high in fibre, vitamins A and C, as well as other minerals. In addition to the positive effects on body fat, blood lipids and glucose, it is not associated with serious side-effects such as negative effects on bone that is linked with the use of rosiglitazone, a drug commonly used to lower blood sugar,” he said.

Blood sugar levels at the conclusion of the study were significantly lower than the baseline in both male and female subjects.

These findings are the result of a single study and more research is needed on the effects of mango consumption on human health and reduction in cancer risk.

Another research led by Institute for Obesity Research and Program Evaluation of Texas A ‘n’ M University Assistant Professor and Research Director Susanne Mertens-Talcott examined the effects of polyphenols found in fresh mangoes cancerous and non-cancerous breast cells.