Cougar 20-H surveillance robot

that sees through walls

and detects breathing up to 300 foot

By Darren Quick

21:59 February 6, 2011

The Cougar20-H is a remote-controlled surveillance robot that is so sensitive it can not only detect motion through walls but, to ensure no one goes unnoticed, it can also detect the breathing of a stationary person. Packing a fine beam ultra-wideband (UWB), multi-Gigahertz radio frequency (RF) sensor array as well as multiple integrated cameras for day and night time visibility, the Cougar20-H was designed by surveillance imaging specialist TiaLinx to provide improved situational awareness to soldiers while keeping them out of harm’s way.

The lightweight and agile robot travels on caterpillar tracks and is remotely controlled via a laptop that can be located more than 300 feet (91 m) away. An RF scanner mounted on the robot’s lightweight arm transmits highly directional wideband signals that are able to penetrate reinforced concrete walls at an extended range. Reflections from the targets are captured by a signal detector circuit in the receiver and amplitude and delay information is then processed in an integrated signal processor to track the targets in real time.

“Cougar20-H has the capability to sense-through-the-wall (STTW) at farther distances than Cougar10-L that was launched last month,” said Dr. Fred Mohamadi, Founder and CEO of TiaLinx. “Cougar20-H can also be remotely programmed at multiple way points to scan the desired premise in a multi-story building and provide its layout. In contrast only Cougar10-L is capable of scanning a premise horizontally for unexploded ordnance (UXO) as well as vertically to STTW.”

TiaLinx developed the Cougar20-H’s real-time UWB RF Imaging technology with funding from the U.S. Army. In addition to military applications, the robot, which ships next month, could also allow law enforcement agencies to detect potential targets within buildings or allow firefighters to locate people inside burning buildings.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Mathematics and computers ‘solve’ Rubik’s Cube

PALO ALTO, Calif. (UPI) — U.S. mathematicians say they’ve solved the riddle of the minimum number of moves it takes to solve the Rubik’s Cube puzzle, a figure they call “God’s number.”

A team from Palo Alto, Calif., says every possible scrambled arrangement of the puzzle can be solved in no more than 20 moves, reported Wednesday.

They combined computing power with mathematical insights to check all 43 quintillion possible jumbled positions the cube can take, says Tomas Rokicki, a programmer who has spent 15 years looking for the least number of moves guaranteed to solve any configuration of the Rubik’s cube.

“The primary breakthrough was figuring out a way to solve so many positions, all at once, at such a fast rate,” Rokicki says.

Previous computer methods solved around 4,000 possible cubes a second by attempting a set of starting moves, then determining if the resulting position was closer to the solution. If not, the computer would throw out those moves and start again.

Rokicki’s key insight was to realize these dead-end moves are actually solutions to a different starting position, which led him to a computer algorithm that could try out 1 billion cubes per second.

The team has dubbed the 20-moves solution “God’s number,” the assumption being that even the Almighty couldn’t solve the puzzle faster, NewScientist said.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

Sourced & published by Henry sapiecha