Issue #165

This week – mind-controlled third arm; cutting through AutoML hype; how Japanese see robots; dexterous robotic hands; and more!


More than a human

This Mind-Controlled Robotic Limb Lets You Multitask With Three Arms

Have you ever thought it would be nice to have a third arm? A recent study from Japan has proven that it is possible for the human brain to learn to use a third, robotic arm just like the biological arms, using brain-computer interfaces.

 

Why Do Prosthetic Limbs Feel Way Heavier Than Biological Ones?

Because biological limbs are connected to our skeletons, we don’t notice that they weigh a lot. This video explains how osseointegration can be used to connect prosthetic directly to human bone and make them feel more natural.

 

Aubrey De Grey – How we can finally win the fight against aging

In this talk (18 minutes long), Aubrey De Grey explains his motives to work on preventing age-related diseases and his idea to cure them and make us live much longer.

 

Artificial Intelligence

Google’s AutoML: Cutting Through the Hype

Google’s AutoML system to automatically create neural networks got a lot of attention in the media when it was announced at recent Google I/O conference. This blog post takes a look at AutoML with a sceptical eye and points out that AutoML is solving the problem in a wrong way.

 

The Future of Machine Intelligence – Nick Bostrom

Machine learning is currently advancing at a rapid rate. In this lecture (42 minutes long), Nick Bostrom looks at some current capabilities and considers some longer-term prospects of artificial intelligence.

 

Robotics

How Robot Hands Are Evolving to Do What Ours Can

Robotic hands could only do what vast teams of engineers programmed them to do. Now, thanks to advances in machine learning and robotics, they can learn to be more dexterous, just like these five robots described in details in this article.

 

Why Westerners Fear Robots and the Japanese Do Not

When it comes to how we see robots and AI, there is a big difference between Western and Eastern philosophies. In the West, people are afraid of robots. In the East, they embraced them. This article describes how Shinto shaped Japanese view on robots in society and what West can learn from it.

 

Robots Can’t Hold Stuff Very Well, But You Can Help

UC Berkeley and Siemens researchers have launched something called Dex-Net as a Service, a beta program that computes how and where a robot should grip objects like vases and turbine housings. You can even upload designs of your own objects. The goal: to one day get the robot in your home to call up to the cloud for tips on how to manipulate novel objects.

 

Army researchers teaching robots to be more reliable teammates for soldiers

Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University developed a new technique to quickly teach robots novel traversal behaviors with minimal human oversight. The technique allows mobile robot platforms to navigate autonomously in environments while carrying out actions a human would expect of the robot in a given situation.