The open-source programming language Julia is getting a boost from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The foundation has announced a U.S.$600,000 grant to help bring the programming language out of beta and to version 1.0. Julia is designed to eliminate the need for researchers to use multiple programming languages to perform computational analyses and surrounding tasks.

“Scientists today are limited by current practices to extract useful information which can hamper research,” said Chris Mentzel, director of the Moore Foundation’s Data-Driven Discovery Initiative. “We need new tools that can make it easier. The Julia Language offers significant benefits to data-driven researchers and should help speed the pace of discovery.”

Google announces API 23 SDK for Android Wear


Android 6.0 Marshmallow is ready to run on smartwatches, and to help developers implement the new features Google is releasing API 23 SDK for Android Wear. API 23 features a new runtime permissions model for phones and watches; aims to make it easier to build apps for round and square Android Wear watches; includes Intel x86 support; and provides an updated emulator.

Currently, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE is the only smartwatch to run Android 6.0, but Google says developers can expect a OTA update for API 23 in the next coming months. Once the OTA update is in place, developers will have to make sure their apps are compatible with both API 23 and 22 watches.

NASA’s humanoid robots go to college


Humanoid robots are going to college. NASA has announced it is sending two robots to two universities for advanced research and development upgrades. NASA has been looking into humanoid robots to help or take place of astronauts working in extreme space environments.

“Advances in robotics, including human-robotic collaboration, are critical to developing the capabilities required for our journey to Mars,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We are excited to engage these university research groups to help NASA with this next big step in robotics technology development.”

MIT will look at robust autonomy for extreme space environments while Northeastern University will focus on accessible testing on humanoid robots.