18th September 2015

Issue #15

In this issue – the problem of sex robots, bionic hand that can feel, Matrix- style memory boosting brain implant and more!


More Than Human

Drummer with bionic arm

Georgia Tech has created a robotic drumming prosthesis with motors that power two drumsticks. The first stick is controlled both physically by the musicians’ arms and electronically using electromyography (EMG) muscle sensors. The other stick “listens” to the music being played and improvises.

I got a computer chip implanted into my hand. Here’s how it went.

A story of Dylan Matthews, who injected into his hand a tiny RFID device. He shares how it feels to have an implant, tells about biohacking communities and how he implanted chips in other people’s hands.

Matrix-style Brain Implant Could Boost Memory

DARPA (because who else) reported that small electrode arrays placed in brain regions known to be associated with memory were used to improve patients’ memories and also could help people learn new physical skills.

Personal Immortality Roadmap

Do you want to life forever? If so, here’s a handy immortality roadmap showing different options and their timelines.

Artificial Intelligence

If Your Robot Commits Murder, Should You Go to Jail?

Jerry Kaplan tries to answer this question. Right now the question sounds like from a science-fiction world, but as soon as first autonomous car hits someone we will have to answer it. So, in that case, who’s to blame – the owner, the manufacturer or the robot?

Get Ready to Entrust Your Retirement to a Bot

Companies looking to offer retirement plans will soon have a new alternative. Automated investment adviser Betterment said today that it will soon offer a 401(k) platform for employers. In other words, your retirement fund may one day be run by code.

Robotics

Call for a ban on robots designed as sex toys

Dr Kathleen Richardson, a robot ethicist at De Montfort University in Leicester, wants to raise awareness of the issue of sex robots and persuade those developing them to rethink how their technology is used. So she’s calling to ban sex robots.

Why trying to ban sex robots is wrong

And here’s response to previous news published on Phys.org arguing that we should not ban sex robots.

Robot can assess its situation and call a human for help when it needs assistance

Today’s industrial robots don’t know when they’re in trouble and should stop and get help—which limits their usefulness in manufacturing. Now University of Maryland Professor S. K. Gupta and his students have developed RoboSAM (ROBOtic Smart Assistant for Manufacturing), an industrial robot smart enough to know when something is wrong, to pause and to call a human for help.

Robotic Limbs Get a Sense of Touch

DARPA claimed that they have developed a prosthetic arm that is able to send a touch sensation directly to the patient’s brain. It’s so accurate that the patient is able to tell which prosthetic finger has been touched based only on touch sensation.

Robots Inspired By Animals

Another awesome video by Hank Green. This time, Hank speaks about biomimicry and how nature can be an inspiration for robot’s design.

The new, underground sport of first-person drone racing

David Stock shares on Ars Technica his story when he spent three months with UK’s drone racers. As he wrote: “I’ve found that there is much more to it than a bunch of geeks comparing voltage signals or PID settings in the woods on a Sunday.”

In Japan, the Rise of Machines Solves Labor Shortage

The robots will take our jobs! But not in Japan, where they are the solution for the labor shortage.

Robobarista

Students from Cornell University wanted to create a robot that would interact within household environments, so they developed a robot that will make you a coffee.

The UK has convicted a drone pilot

A resident of Nottingham has been convicted of illegally flying drones over football stadia and congested areas in London and other parts of the UK, marking the first prosecution of its kind in the country. The takeaway from this story – check the drone law in your country before you fly.

Biotechnology

Why We Should Embrace — Not Fear — the Biohacker Uprising

The biohacking movement is starting to become more and more visible and it’s gaining more attention, both good and bad. This article tells why we should not fear the rise of biohackers and what good, interesting and useful things can be developed by these people.

The World’s First 3D-Printed Titanium Rib Cage Is a Medical Marvel

Here are the photos of the first 3D-printed titanium rib cage. Looks beautiful.

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