Issue #18

In this issue – drones, driveless cars in different parts of the world are rolling out, is kicking a robot a damage to property or injury, an AI having intelligence of a four-year-old child, Disney’s augmented colour book and more!


More Than Human

Eugenics, Ready or Not

Despite warnings by moral conservatives, advances in genetics and reproductive technology have created the conditions for a consumer-driven mass eugenics industry. Like it or not, science is about to pose a slather of moral, ethical and societal dilemmas

Aubrey de Grey interviewed by Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil asks a couple of questions to Aubrey de Grey – the leading scientist fighting with aging. Very interesting interview in which Dr de Grey how he is going to cure aging, ethics of his work, how his work can impact the world and posthumans (because Kurzweil). Very interesting interview, worth watching.

Neural lace has been invented to organically connect your brain with a computer

Scientists from China and the US have found a pioneering way to inject a tiny electronic mesh sensor into the brain that fully integrates with cerebral matter and enables computers to monitor brain activity. Researchers from Harvard and the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology in Beijing have succeeded in inventing a flexible electrical circuit that fits inside a 0.1mm- diameter glass syringe in a water-based solution, which then was connected to mouse’s brain.

Realistic Robot Arm: Meet the Modular Prosthetic Limb!

Guys from Tested had chance to play with Modular Prosthetic Limb during DARPA Robotics Challenge and had a chance to speak with Michael McLoughlin, Chief Engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to learn more about the challenges of building a modular prosthetic limb that has the same dexterity as a human hand, and its potential applications.

Artificial Intelligence

When Robots Come To Pray

This post starts with admiring current state of AI, including deep learning and builds up to ask a quite interesting question – “What happens when a robot wants to join our church, synagogue or temple?” and then tries to answer.

AI Machine Has Same IQ As Four-Year-Old Child

An AI system from MIT was given a verbal reasoning examination calibrated for four-year-old children, and it passed it.

Robotics

The FAA Issued a $1.9 Million Fine to a Company for Illegal Drone Flights

If you are a company using drones be careful where are you flying, because someone might don’t like it, complain to FAA and then FAA will issue you a $1.9 million fine.

Drones Could Soon Be Used To Deliver The Mail In Singapore

Coming soon to Singapore: robotic mail carriers in the skies! SingPost, the country’s postal service provider, has just revealed its interest in handling some mail deliveries using drones. The company said it completed a trial to deliver mail and packages to recipients using a drone developed by IDA Labs, the nation’s organization in charge of developing smart city technology.

We Are Living in a Robot Moment — Rejoice, Cower, and Copulate?

An article that explores our relation with robots and then jumps into the hot topic of last week – sex with robots.

Our robot sky

The drone delivery system might be heavily used not in USA, Japan or China, but in… Africa. J.M. Ledgard and Lord Norman Foster are predicting how an idea of droneports might lift off in Africa.

Incident of drunk man kicking humanoid robot raises legal questions

A drunk man kicked Pepper, a humanoid robot in Japan. He has arrested and he will be charged with damage to property, but not injury, since injury is a charge reserved for humans. But what if it was a sentient robot? Would that man be still charged with damage to property or would the charge be changed to injury?

Robot dog can navigate unknown terrain with the help of a flying drone

Autonomous Systems Lab created a rather curious duo of robots. The first one is a four-legged dog-like robot. The second one is a drone, which is deployed by the dog to scout the terrain ahead.

Origami Drone, Ping Pong Robot Show Off in Japan

A ping-pong playing robot, a flying origami bird and a mirror that some might find a little too honest for comfort were on display at a huge tech show in Japan on Wednesday. The gadgets are all part of this year’s Cutting-edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC), Asia’s largest electronics fair, outside Tokyo.

Meet the US’s First Autonomous Buses

Driveless shuttles arrived to US. The shuttles, which are designed by a company called EasyMile, will zip through Bishop Ranch in San Ramon, a 500-acre office park that’s home to the headquarters of companies like AT&T and General Electric. The shuttles will travel at very slow speeds along dedicated routes, and the pilot program will start with only two buses.

Self-driving taxis will begin trials in Japan next year

The taxi drivers who survive Uber will have to face another threat – autonomous taxis. Now that threat is materializing in Japan, where Robot Taxi will begin offering autonomous rides to 50 people in Kanagawa prefecture, just outside Tokyo.

Daimler tests self-driving truck on German highway

German automaker Daimler said it trialed a self-driving truck under real traffic conditions for the first time Friday, on a motorway in southern Germany. The standard Mercedes-Benz Actros, fitted with the intelligent “Highway Pilot” system, travelled 14 kilometres (about nine miles) on the A8 motorway, with a driver in the cabin but his hands off the wheel.

China’s Self-Driving Bus Shows Autonomous Tech’s Real Potential

Chinese manufacturer Yutong announced that its autonomous bus handled 26 traffic signals, several lane changes and at least one passing maneuver during a 20-mile drive between Zhengzhou and Kaifeng.

The Robotics Revolution: The Next Great Leap in Manufacturing

The real robotics revolution is ready to begin. Thanks to advancements in technology and dropping prices of hardware and software, many industries are reaching an inflection point at which, for the first time, an attractive return on investment is possible for replacing manual labor with machines on a wide scale.

This Robotic Bee Can Swim (Unlike It’s Real-Life Counterpart)

Robobee, a robotic bee from Harvard just learned a new skill. It can now swim in water using the same motions it uses to fly.

Robot Cheats At Rock Paper Scissors

Actually, the robot doesn’t cheat. It just uses a high-speed camera and knows what you are going to show before you even open your hand.

Biotechnology

The World’s First Fully Robotic Farm Opens In 2017

A company in Japan is building an indoor lettuce farm that will be completely tended by robots and computers. The company, named Spread, expects the factory to open in 2017, and the fully automated farming process could make the lettuce cheaper and better for the environment.

Virtual Worlds

Disney’s Crazy New Tech Brings Colouring Books To Life

What will happen when you combine colouring books with augmented reality? Magic!

Other

Reading minds | Marvin Chun | TEDxYale

Can psychologists read dreams? Watch Marvin Chun’s fascinating talk to find out more.

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