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December 15, 2020

Purdue, West Point to Build Autonomous Race Car

Purdue University is partnering with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to build an autonomous race car for the Indy Autonomous Challenge in 2021. The partners have formed Black & Gold Autonomous Racing and will debut the car alongside other collegiate teams next October at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
December 11, 2020

Engineers design transistor that disguises key computer chip hardware from hackers

Engineers design transistor that disguises key computer chip hardware from hackers
A hacker can reproduce a circuit on a chip by discovering what key transistors are doing in a circuit – but not if the transistor “type” is undetectable.

transistor types

Purdue University engineers have demonstrated a way to disguise which transistor is which by building them out of a sheet-like material called black phosphorus. This built-in security measure would prevent hackers from getting enough information about the circuit to reverse engineer it.

Reverse engineering chips is a common practice – both for hackers and companies investigating intellectual property infringement. Researchers also are developing x-ray imaging techniques that wouldn’t require actually touching a chip to reverse engineer it.
December 2, 2020

Turning the Body Into a Wire

In 2007, U.S. vice president Dick Cheney ordered his doctors to disable all wireless signals to and from his Internet-connected pacemaker. Cheney later said that the decision was motivated by his desire to prevent terrorists from being able to hack his pacemaker and use it to lethally shock his heart. Cheney’s command to his doctors might seem to some to be overly cautious, but wirelessly connected medical devices have a history of exploitable vulnerabilities. At a series of conferences in 2011 and 2012, for example, New Zealand hacker Barnaby Jack showed that connected medical devices could be remotely attacked. Jack used a high-gain antenna to capture the unencrypted electromagnetic signals transmitted by an insulin pump on a mannequin 90 meters away. He then used those signals to hack into the pump and adjust the level of insulin the pump delivered. He also hacked a pacemaker and made it deliver deadly electric shocks.
November 11, 2020

Radiative cooling boosts solar cell voltage by as much as 25 percent

Cheap and simple radiative cooling technologies can significantly increase the performance and lifespan of concentrated photovoltaic systems, according to researchers in the US. They found that a simple radiative cooling structure can increase the voltage produced by the solar cells by around 25 percent. It also reduced operating temperatures by as much as 36 degrees C and the scientists claim this could dramatically extend the lifetime of photovoltaic systems.
November 11, 2020

Spoofing the Spoofers

Researchers at various universities have come up with cybersecurity software that tricks hackers into revealing the tactics they use to penetrate and control computer systems. Instead of blocking hackers, the software ingeniously invites hackers in, routes them to a decoy Web site or network, and then studies their behavior as they reveal their nefarious methods.

For example, the DEEP-Dig ((DEcEPtion DIGging) software transforms hackers into "a source of free labor," says Kevin Hamlen, a member of the research team and Eugene McDermott Professor of Computer Science professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.
October 29, 2020

Innovation spins spider web architecture into 3D imaging technology

Innovators are taking cues from nature to develop 3D photodetectors for biomedical imaging.

Purdue University researchers used architectural features from spider webs to develop the technology. Spider webs provide mechanical adaptability and damage-tolerance against various mechanical loads such as storms, the scientists said.
October 20, 2020

Is that video real?

Manipulated videos, audio and images have been around for years, but the rise of artificial intelligence and advanced editing software have made them much, much harder to spot. It's a dangerous new world, where our very sense of reality can be thrown into doubt.
October 2, 2020

Purdue Researching Smartwatch Algorithms

Researchers at Purdue University have begun a study they say will help determine if smartwatch data could be used to reliably and accurately detect symptoms of COVID-19 early. The university says the data could indicate that a potentially asymptomatic user should get tested for COVID-19.
September 16, 2020

Blending Artificial Intelligence and Physical Sciences: What Can We Expect?

From virtual assistants like Siri to self-driving cars and computer-aided medical diagnoses, artificial intelligence (AI) is affecting our lives with unprecedented speed. Slowly but steadily, scientists in a broad range of fields have started to embrace AI in their research, hoping to significantly reduce the time needed to achieve new discoveries. This trend has become more obvious in the physical sciences, and in the field of materials science in particular, which is focused on the discovery and production of new, advanced materials imbued with desirable properties or functions. Think: screens of foldable smartphones; batteries that power electric cars; or materials that bend light around them, rendering them invisible.
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