Issue #11

This week – Boston Dynamics took its robot for a walk, an AI with a sense of humour, dancing robo-spiders, the first actually useful robot and more!


More Than Human

Top 10 Superpowers Science Will Soon Give us

You don’t need to be bit by a spider or expose yourself to cosmic radiation to became a superhero. All you need is science and technology! Invisibility, super-strength, super-vision, and more.

Artificial Intelligence

And the New Yorker Cartoon Contest Winner Is … a Computer

The magazine’s cartoon editor collaborated with Microsoft researchers on an artificial intelligence project that aims to teach machines what’s funny.

Who’s to blame when artificial intelligence systems go wrong?

Imagine your robot did something bad. Who’s now responsible for the mess caused by the robot? You, because it was your robot? The robot manufacturer? Or maybe the robot itself?

Myth Busting Artificial Intelligence

Wired explains what really stands behind the buzzwords such as artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and deep learning.

Stop Fearing Artificial Intelligence

Or why AI won’t kill us or be the last human invention.

Move over, Turing. Let Rorschach have a turn

What will happen if you give some AI systems a Rorschach image and ask “what do you see”?

Robotics

Boston Dynamics’ Atlas Robot Tested Outside

Next time, when you see a humanoid robot in the woods, keep calm. It’s not Terminator scenario becoming a reality. It’s just Boston Dynamics taking its robot for a walk. That video is a short fragment of a longer presentation Making Robots , which you can watch here.

Is a Cambrian Explosion Coming for Robotics?

Gill A. Pratt explains in his article compares The Cambrian Explosion of life to current state of robotics. Definitely worth reading.

Intel shows off dancing robot spiders

Enough said.

UK councillor wants armed drones to kill seagulls

Actually the drones would be used stop eggs from hatching, which would slowly cut back the population of birds. And all because of one boy whose ice-cream was stolen by the seagulls.

Drones Stress Out Bears Just As Much As Humans

A new study shows that black bears are stressing out when a flying buzzing annoying thing flights above them.

Meet MIT’s Beer Delivery Bots

Finally someone built a useful robot!

Teach Your Robot to Do the Dishes

Speaking of useful robots, here’s one that can do the dishes after party with beer carrying robots. It’s learning how to do so by observing humans doing the same thing and represents a new way of programming machines – not by code, but by example.

Ping Pong death robot will teach you to serve (its dystopian needs)

Just watch how this ping pong “death robot” looks like. You will either like it or be afraid of it.

Robots Will Take Fast-Food Jobs, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

The wage hikes have given the restaurant industry new incentive to upgrade its 2.4 million servers, 3 million cooks, and 3.3 million cashiers, and replace the fast-food restaurant’s staff with robots.

Robots Discover How Cooperative Behavior Evolved in Insects

Researchers had shown how a swarm of robots created complex cooperation methods using evolving algorithms based on simple principles.

Robots Attend School Alongside Aussie Kids

Schoolchildren in Australia will soon have new classroom companions: robots. A Swinburne University of Technology research project will send humanoid robots into two primary and secondary schools each semester for the next three years. Why? To learn more about human-robot interactions.

194 Chinese robot companies

An article that puts numbers into Chinese robotics revolution and explains the scale of the revolution.

Aloft hotel robot butler that brings you room service

The Botlr is the first of its fleet and is still in testing. But you might meet it one day in a hotel, when it will bring you some extra stuff you’ve requested.

Here Comes the World’s First International Drone Film Fest

It had to happen. With more and more outstanding films made by drones it was a matter of time when someone decides to make a drone film festival.

Bionics

Youbionic Releases Plans for 3D Printed Bionic Exo-Arms

Sometimes it would be helpful to have another arm. Or two. Italian startup Youbionic is actually thinking how to build this kind of crazy exoskeleton, which will give you two extra arms.

A brain-computer interface for controlling an exoskeleton

Scientists working at Korea University, Korea, and TU Berlin, Germany have developed a brain-computer control interface for a lower limb exoskeleton by decoding specific signals from within the user’s brain.

Biotechnology

First 3D-Printed Drug Ushers in Era of Downloadable Medicine

With the green light from FDA, pharmaceutical companies now can start invest time and money into developing new kind of drugs, which were impossible to manufacture with traditional techniques. It’s a big step forward for the pharmaceutical industry and for 3d printing.

Genetically Modified Algae Could Replace Oil for Plastic

It’s not only a new technology to produce ethylene, but it can also help us reduce the level of CO2 in atmosphere.

Something To Watch

Guy Hoffman: Robots with “soul”

What kind of robots does an animator / jazz musician / roboticist make? Playful, reactive, curious ones. Guy Hoffman shows demo film of his family of unusual robots — including two musical bots that like to jam with humans.

Tested In-Depth: Structure Sensor 3D Scanner

Will and Norm sit down to discuss the current state of consumer 3D scanning technologies, including the Structure Sensor 3D scanner. I saw one in action – quite awesome device.

No Job is Safe from Technology, with Andrew McAfee

Automation is a major threat to the median American worker who specializes in what is called “routine knowledge work.” Andrew McAfee of the MIT Sloan School of Management explains that this is the sweet spot where technology is making its greatest inroads.

Human torch drone

Drone doing cosplay. One of the best things which was inspired by that thing called The Fantastic Four movie.

How to Control Someone Else’s Arm with Your Brain | Greg Gage | TED Talks

Greg Gage is on a mission to make brain science accessible to all. In this fun, kind of creepy demo, the neuroscientist and TED Senior Fellow uses a simple, inexpensive DIY kit to take away the free will of an audience member.

Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans: “Evolving Ourselves” | Authors at Google

Juan Enriquez and Steve Guillans stopped by Google’s Cambridge, MA office to discuss their book “Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth”.

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