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Water and Shale Gas

New drilling techniques have increased the amount of gas that’s accessible, but whether it’s truly recoverable may hinge on whether concerns about water are addressed convincingly

12 min read
Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images
Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Dimock, PA

Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Inevitably, the cliché that experts use to describe what’s going on in natural gas is “game changer.” The discovery in the last decade that new drilling techniques could open up vast reserves of fossil energy trapped in shale rock formations has produced what ordinarily cautious experts are calling a “natural gas revolution.” That revolution “is already changing the national energy dialogue and overall energy outlook in the United States—and could change the global natural gas balance,” as Robert Ineson and Daniel Yergin, two such experts, put it late last year in The Wall Street Journal.

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Video Friday: Humanoid Soccer

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
Humans and human-size humanoid robots stand together on an indoor soccer field at the beginning of a game

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Array of devices on a chip

This analog electrochemical memory (ECRAM) array provides a prototype for artificial synapses in AI training.

IBM research

How far away could an artificial brain be? Perhaps a very long way off still, but a working analogue to the essential element of the brain’s networks, the synapse, appears closer at hand now.

That’s because a device that draws inspiration from batteries now appears surprisingly well suited to run artificial neural networks. Called electrochemical RAM (ECRAM), it is giving traditional transistor-based AI an unexpected run for its money—and is quickly moving toward the head of the pack in the race to develop the perfect artificial synapse. Researchers recently reported a string of advances at this week’s IEEE International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM 2022) and elsewhere, including ECRAM devices that use less energy, hold memory longer, and take up less space.

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Designing Fuel Cell Systems Using System-Level Design

Modeling and simulation in Simulink and Simscape

1 min read
Designing Fuel Cell Systems Using System-Level Design

Design and simulate a fuel cell system for electric mobility. See by example how Simulink® and Simscape™ support multidomain physical modeling and simulation of fuel cell systems including thermal, gas, and liquid systems. Learn how to select levels of modeling fidelities to meet your needs at different development stages.