Issue #64

In this issue – bionic arms, enhancing humans and its consequences, a 3D printed soft robot, Amazon tests delivery drones on a farm somewhere in England, CRISPR, haptic gloves and more!


More Than A Human

Yuval Noah Harari: “We are probably one of the last generations of Homo sapiens.”

Historian and author of the international bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari predicts the future of humanity (either we destroy or augment ourselves) on BBC Radio.

The World’s First Bionic Knee Brace Makes Its Debut

It’s called Levitation and it enhances your knee strength and mobility by storing energy when you bend your knee and releasing it when you need it.

What If We Become Superhuman?

Here’s a panel discussion from World Economic Forum about using pharmacology, genetic engineering and robotics to enhance humans and give them superpowers. How will it change the world? How will it change the job market, when being enhanced might be mandatory to get a job? You can get a glimpse of the future from this hour-long talk exploring the possible, plausible and probable impacts of human enhancement.

This Mind-Controlled Bionic Arm Can Touch and Feel

Motherboard visited the laboratory developing a bionic arm that isn’t just controlled by its user’s mind, but can also provide sensory feedback. They show how it works, talk with the people who build it, but also with people using it.

New Startup to Solve Memory Loss With Brain Prosthetics

In order to help solve problems associated with memory loss, a new startup called Kernel is aiming to create a brain prosthesis that mimics the way that neurons fire.

Augmented Reality Or Augmented Humanity?

The makers of the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided video game host a bioethics conference focusing on the problem of augmenting humans by using prosthetic limbs, inserting electronics into bodies or by using biotechnology.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence or Humanity: Which Is a Greater Threat to Our Survival?

Our technologies may be more powerful than ever, but what is the real threat to our future? Here, Oxford Artificial Intelligence professor Nigel Shadbolt investigates.

We don’t understand AI because we don’t understand intelligence

Both sides of the AI eventually getting a consciousness think that it is inevitable. With enough processing power and right algorithm, the mind will emerge. But they might miss the point that there isn’t even a clear definition of consciousness and there is more than one type of intelligence. This article argues that reverse-engineering the brain is only half of the equation. We don’t know exactly what is the second half.

The next wave of AI is rooted in human culture and history

An interesting interview with an anthropologist and a futurist at the same time. It gives you a different perspective on technology, AI and human interaction with both through the lens of anthropology.

Robotics

The first autonomous, entirely soft robot

Made by guys at Harvard, Octobot is powered by a chemical reaction controlled by microfluidics. This 3D-printed has no electronics and could pave the way for a new generation of completely soft, autonomous machines.

Roborace reveals a working prototype of its self-driving racecar

About a year ago, the Roborace, a racing series of autonomous cars, has been announced. Now, Roborace have shown DevBot, a test car for the teams to have something to work on and to polish their artificial intelligence drivers.

Amazon Has Begun Testing Drones At This English Farm

Somewhere south of Cambridge in England, Amazon has started testing its delivery drones.

Festo’s Fantastical Flying Robots

Festo is a German robotics company known for their beautiful bioinspired robots. Here’s a video of three of their flying robots – a butterfly, a flying jelly and a penguin.

Tiny, Soft Robotic Caterpillar Creeps, Climbs, And Crawls

This tiny bioinspired robotic caterpillar is so small that you could have problems to spot it, but it’s powerful, able to push objects ten times its size.

Biotechnology

Aubrey de Grey Announces Progress in MitoSENS

Aubrey de Grey was quite excited to share the news that his team made a progress in researching mitochondrial mutations. More details about it you can find here.

CRISPR: gene editing is just the beginning

Here, Nature examines five ways in which CRISPR–Cas9 is changing how biologists can tinker with cells.

A Defense of Genetic Enhancement

Nicely laid pros and cons of the genetically enhanced humans and why we should not be afraid of going the path of taking control of our genes.

Virtual Worlds

Dexta Shows Off Latest Exoskeleton Gloves That Let You Touch VR

Dexta is back with their newest exoskeleton glove that allows you to feel and touch objects in virtual reality. This article explains in details how the glove works plus it includes an interview with Dexta’s CEO.

PowerClaw is a Haptic Glove Ready To Freeze, Burn, and Shock You (Virtually)

And here’s a glove that allows you to feel a virtual flame, ice or electricity.

VR, AR, And MR: What’s The Difference?

If you were confused by the terms virtual, augmented and mixed reality, then this infographic should put everything on their place.

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