NUSwan: Robot Swans for Highly Advanced Water Monitoring


Fig 4spare A researcher placing a NUSwan in Padang Reservoir for advanced water monitoring. Credits: NUS Environmental Research Institute

Assistant Professor Dr Mandar Chitre and his team of researchers from NUS Environmental Research Institute (NERI) developed robot swans that conduct highly advanced water monitoring. They recently tested this new technology at Singapore’s Padang Reservoir. The robot swans move around areas of interest in water bodies and send data wirelessly via cloud computing. Operators and programmers can remotely control the robot swans. This invention is potentially a new paradigm for freshwater testing in Singapore and around the globe.

We conducted an interview with the NUS team behind the robotic swans, also known as NUSwan. Read our conversation below for exclusive insights into this new ground-breaking technology!

Fig 4C Researchers using a remote to control a NUSwan. Credits: NUS Environmental Research Institute

Describe NUSwan and share the different compounds NUSwan measures.

This is a research project…

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Indian scientist receives European award for biomedical research


Dr. Vijay Tiwari (photo: Thomas Hartmann, JGU) Dr. Vijay Tiwari (photo: Thomas Hartmann, JGU)

Dr Vijay Tiwari, a Indian scientist, was recently honoured with Wilhelm Sander Award in recognition of his outstanding research in the biomedicine field. He received this award at a ceremony in Munich with Prof. Dr Harald zur Hausen as a chief guest, who received the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine 2008 for his research on cancer of the cervix.

Dr Tiwari currently heads a team of international scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Germany where he and his team are researching the cellular processes underlying development and cancer. Ordinarily, cells in the body have a clear identity, e.g., a cell in the skin belongs in the skin and is different to a nerve cell in the brain. In metastatic cancers, tumorous cells have lost this tissue identity, and are able to move to other parts of the body, where they…

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Panasonic Medical Robots, HOSPI aid Hospital Operations at Changi General Hospital


In line with the country’s goal of becoming a Smart Nation, Panasonic System Solutions Asia Pacific (Panasonic) and Changi General Hospital (CGH) are implementing assistive robotics technology to improve operational efficiency of a hospital. Experimental use of the Panasonic autonomous delivery robots, HOSPI, began in February 2015 and they are being implemented in phases. CGH is the first hospital outside of Japan to utilise HOSPI. As part of the hospital’s porter management system, the four HOSPI are able to deliver fragile and bulky medicine, medical specimens and patients’ case notes 24/7, easing manpower constraints.

HOSPI is equipped with security features to prevent tampering, theft and damage during delivery. The robot’s contents can only be accessed with ID cards. Automation enables HOSPI to move around using the lifts and between facilities in CGH’s Main Building and The Integrated Building on its own, delivering medicine and specimens.

Rubina Gan, Assistant General Manager…

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This Crazy Tree Grows 40 Kinds of Fruit!


Sam Van Aken, an artist and professor at Syracuse University, uses “chip grafting” to create trees that each bear 40 different varieties of stone fruits, or fruits with pits.

The grafting process involves slicing a bit of a branch with a bud from a tree of one of the varieties and inserting it into a slit in a branch on the “working tree,” then wrapping the wound with tape until it heals and the bud starts to grow into a new branch. Over several years he adds slices of branches from other varieties to the working tree. In the spring the “Tree of 40 Fruit” has blossoms in many hues of pink and purple, and in the summer it begins to bear the fruits in sequence—Van Aken says it’s both a work of art and a time line of the varieties’ blossoming and fruiting.

He’s created more than a dozen of the trees that have…

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