Cornell Creates Technology Future

By WBNG News

September 30, 2010 Updated Sep 30, 2010 at 6:23 PM EDT

Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) - Cornell University is developing the technology of tomorrow.

Students and professors are joining together to create smarter electronics that range from robots to microscopic x-ray machines.

Imagine a world where a robot can pour you a martini.

That dream, and others are within reach thanks to these students and their professors at Cornell who hope to make robots like this an affordable household pet within the next decade.

"The key innovation in our work is not to specifically tell the robot step by step how to do things, but rather just like you teach a human being or a kid, the way we teach those people how to do things is by showing them examples, if you want to hold a pen, do it this way," said Ashutosh Saxena, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University.

And on the other side of campus, a bigger machine is discovering the materials that future robots might be made of.

And by bigger, we're talking massive.

This half-mile long x-ray machine runs under the campus.

The National Science Foundation awarded the college 2 grants totaling $109 million to continue operating its Synchrotron Xray facility, and begin expanding it.

"What we're hoping to do in the future is to be able to add an extension to this underground facility by building into the side of the hill and building an underground tunnel here so that this forms one much larger machine, and that would provide the capability to produce very intense x-rays," said Sol M. Gruner, Director of Cornell High-Energy Synchrotron Source, or CHESS.

This would be first ever ERL, or Energy-Recovery Linear Accelerator.

The entire addition to the x-ray machine will cost about half a billion dollars.

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