Study: COVID Tech Took a Toll on Work-from-Home Moms

Research by UNLV communications expert Natalie Pennington finds that texts, video calls burdened the mental health of working moms during pandemic.

Engineering Researchers Receive $1 Million NSF Grant for First Networked-AI Testbed

Just like humans, autonomous robots need to communicate with one another to learn together and to accomplish a team mission such as search and rescue. Researchers are developing the nation’s first-of-its-kind testbed platform that connects robots using high-frequency radio waves (30 to 300 gigahertz). The robots will be able communicate at ultra-high speeds of gigabits per second by forming and directing ‘beams’ toward each other that also will enable them to see through objects as needed. They will see what the other robots are sensing in real-time, resulting in five times the eyes thanks to the nearly instantaneous exchange of high volumes of data.

Cat’s Meow: Robotic Pet Boosts Mood, Behavior and Cognition in Adults with Dementia

Researchers tested the effectiveness of affordable, interactive robotic pet cats to improve mood, behavior and cognition in older adults with mild to moderate dementia.

NIST Awards $2.99M to Commercialize DHS S&T-Developed Interoperable Public Safety Communications System

NIST awarded $2,988,950 in a new round of funding for new interoperable communication systems for public safety through its SBIR program, Catalyst Communications Technologies of Forest, Virginia, was provided this Phase III award for commercialization of its interoperable communications solution.

3D-Printed Smart Gel Changes Shape When Exposed to Light

Inspired by the color-changing skin of cuttlefish, octopuses and squids, Rutgers engineers have created a 3D-printed smart gel that changes shape when exposed to light, becomes “artificial muscle” and may lead to new military camouflage, soft robotics and flexible displays. The engineers also developed a 3D-printed stretchy material that can reveal colors when light changes, according to their study in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Face Masks Provide Additional Communication Barrier for Nonnative Speech

Though face masks are important and necessary for controlling the spread of the new coronavirus, they result in muffled speech and a loss of visual cues during communication. Sandie Keerstock, Rajka Smiljanic, and their colleagues examine how this loss of visual information impacts speech intelligibility and memory for native and nonnative speech. They will discuss these communication challenges and how to address them at the 179th ASA Meeting, Dec. 7-10

What Makes COVID Misinformation So Tough to Stop on Social Media

A recent study highlights two of the reasons that misinformation about COVID-19 is so difficult to tackle on social media: most people think they’re above average at spotting misinformation; and misinformation often triggers negative emotions that resonate with people.

‘Honey bee, it’s me’

For a honey bee, few things are more important than recognizing your nestmates. Being able to tell a nestmate from an invader could mean the difference between a honey-stocked hive and a long, lean winter. New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that honey bees rely on chemical cues related to their shared gut microbial communities, instead of genetic relatedness, to identify members of their colony.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Communicating About COVID-19 Vaccine

New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 17, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor William Hallman is available for interviews on how to communicate with the public about a potential COVID-19 vaccine. “For a COVID-19 vaccine to be embraced by the public, officials can’t…

Communication should be a vital sign, researchers argue

In an editorial published June 19 in the journal Critical Care Medicine, Lance Patak, an assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and two faculty partners with The Ohio State University College of Nursing suggest that patient communications should be as standard and routine as any other vital sign

Extreme High-Frequency Signals Enable Terabits-Per-Second Data Links

Using the same technology that allows high-frequency signals to travel on regular phone lines, researchers tested sending extremely high-frequency, 200 GHz signals through a pair of copper wires. The result is a link that can move data at rates of terabits per second, significantly faster than currently available channels. In Applied Physics Letters, the scientists discuss their work using experimental measurements and mathematical modeling to characterize the input and output signals in a waveguide.

What are You Looking At? ‘Virtual’ Communication in the Age of Social Distancing

When discussions occur face-to-face, people know where their conversational partner is looking and vice versa. With “virtual” communication due to COVID-19 and the expansive use of mobile and video devices, now more than ever, it’s important to understand how these technologies impact communication. Where do people focus their attention? The eyes, mouth, the whole face? And how do they encode conversation? A first-of-its-kind study set out to determine whether being observed affects people’s behavior during online communication.

Conversing About Coronavirus: How to Talk to Your Children About the Pandemic

As K-12 schools across America have closed their doors to help stop the spread of coronavirus, parents have had to step into the role of teacher, guiding their children through lessons in mathematics, social studies, art, English, and perhaps even…

Social Media While Social Distancing: A How-To Guide

With calls from elected and health officials to self-isolate to prevent the spread of coronavirus, more and more people are turning to social media as their primary means of entertainment and connection with friends and the outside world. But can too much social media while social distancing take a toll on your mental and even physical health? We checked in with Natalie Pennington — a UNLV communication studies professor who researches the benefits and harms of social media — to get her take on the best ways to make your online experience work for you.