Move Over, Dolly: Scientists Clone Two Monkeys

For the first time, researchers have used the cloning method that produced Dolly the sheep to create two healthy monkeys, bringing science an important step closer to being able to do the same with humans…

The years-long effort, led by Chinese Academy of Sciences postdoctoral fellow Zhen Liu, culminated in the recent birth of two female macaques, Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua. The macaques’ names are drawn from the word zhonghua, an adjective for the Chinese people…

The two big-eyed primates were created in a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer. In this method, researchers take an egg cell, or oocyte, and remove its nucleus (which holds its DNA). Then, they take a body, or somatic, cell from the individual they’d like to clone and remove its nucleus, transferring that nucleus into the empty egg. The cell is then allowed to divide and grow for several days to reach a multicell blastocyst stage. The blastocyst is then implanted in the uterus of a surrogate mother monkey to develop into a fetus and, hopefully, a baby…

“For the cloning of primate species, including humans, the technical barrier is now broken,” says study coauthor Mu-Ming Poo, who directs the Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “However, the reason we chose to break this barrier is to produce animal models that are useful for human medicine. There’s no intention to apply this method to humans.”

The researchers hope to produce gene-edited macaque clones for use in this kind of research within a year…

Video CreditAssociated Press

 

 

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Robots Have Begun Replacing Humans in China’s Factories

China’s automation ambitions are to reboot its manufacturing industry by replacing millions of workers with machines…

China is one country leading the charge when it comes to embracing robotics and artificial intelligence. Recently, the country saw the first robot dentist successfully operate on a patient, and there are plans to build an unmanned, AI-powered police station in a capital city. Both developments show signs of China’s progress to becoming a global leader in AI by 2030

China has begun replacing the workers in factories with robots. The move will reduce the number of accidents suffered by human workers, and has already increased it’s productivity in the country…

It’s true that automation can improve productivity and have positive impacts on society, but experts caution that we should also be wary about how far we take automation without proper plans. This is something Jon Wolfsthal, a non-resident fellow at Harvard University’s Managing the Atom project, suggested society be cautious of, saying, “the possible advantages … are endless, but so too are the risks.”

VIDEO CREDIT: MIT Technology Review

 

 

 

Sex Robot Needs Emergency Repairs After Trade Show Attendees Badly Assault Her

Samantha the sex doll has fallen victim to foul play after being man handled at an electronics fair in Austria. the model which was being exhibited at the ars electronica was left in need of cleaning and repairs after visitors experienced the latest development in artificial intimacy…

  Samantha the Sex Doll is an interactive robot designed with one specific purpose: that purpose is pleasure.  Samantha is the latest development in a growing trend which has seen brothel customers preferring robots over sexual intercourse with a human. During a display at the Ars Electronica Festival in the city of Linz, Samantha shows off her ‘skills’, which include reacting to touch, hugging and moaning – and remembering individuals she has ‘interacted’ with…

  In a curious, if not completely disturbing, technological development, it appears that attendees at the recent electronics trade show were a little TOO impressed by Samantha the Sex Doll .  The robotics developers at Synthea Amatus were disturbed to learn that their creation had been abused and assaulted by convention goers at this year’s gathering. While ordinary this would sound like the work of some childish pranksters, the truth here is a little more upsetting when you learn that it was the work of adult males…

 

VIDEO CREDIT: Rocking Views

 

 

A Bionic Hand That Can Feel…

What a woman with a bionic hand can feel. Scientists have unveiled the first bionic hand with a sense of touch that can be worn outside the laboratory. Almerina Mascarello’s bionic hand provides sensory feedback to her brain via electrodes in her upper arm…

Scientists in Rome unveiled the first portable bionic hand that allows users to regain a sense of touch. While there have been past experiments in the development of similar artificial limbs, none have left the lab as they required extensive external sensory and computer equipment to function. The technology progressed quickly enough though  that it can now fit in a backpack…

The prosthetic hand has sensors that detect whether objects are soft or hard.  The messages, sent back to a computer, are turned into signals the human brain Understands.Data is relayed to Almernia’s brain using tiny electrode implants in her  arm nerves.  She proved the gadget worked by telling whether objects were soft or hard while wearing a blindfold…

Unfortunately, Almerina was only able to keep the hand for six months, as it was a prototype, but there’s hope the technology will make it to the market soon. It’s not the teams only goal though, as researchers have stated that ultimately they’ll be able to make a prosthetic that surpasses the human hand. Once motor control and the sense of touch has been perfected, we could start seeing limbs with more than five digits…

Video Credit:  BBC News

 

 

 

Disney Star Wars land, AKA Nerd Heaven

Disney has finally given a first glimpse into its highly anticipated Star Wars lands currently being built in California and Florida, unveiling a 50-foot-wide 3D model of the area that will eventually cover about 14 acres. The Star Wars-themed attractions are due to open in 2019 at Disneyland in Anaheim, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Disney World in Orlando…

WATCH – STAR WARS LAND MODEL UP-CLOSE TOUR

Both Star Wars-inspired lands will take guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port, and “one of the last stops before Wild Space.” The unveiling came at the D23 expo, currently being held in Anaheim, California, where the models are on display through the weekend…

WATCH – STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE MODEL FLY-THROUGH

There will be two main attractions: one that lets guests captain the Millennium Falcon on a secret mission, while the other places thrill-seekers in the middle of a “climatic battle” between the First Order and the Resistance. The images released show rugged terrain, lush forests reminiscent of scenes on Endor in Return of the Jedi, and metal cantina structures. According to Bloomberg, the new Star Wars lands will cost about $1 billion each…

WATCH – STAR WARS BOOTH TOUR

“This is the most ambitious land we’ve built to date,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney’s parks division at the unveiling. Plans for Star Wars lands were announced two years ago and promised “total immersion” that would see guests walk around and interact with random characters…

As you move through the areas, you might be recruited to join one side or the other, Are you a spy? Are you part of the Resistance or willing to join the First Order? It’s up to you. And your role inside of that will be defined by how you choose…

VIDEO CREDIT: Inside the Magic

This Sex Robot Will Love You. Really.

RealDoll, as the name suggests, make incredibly life-like sex dolls.  While most AI personal assistants we chat to today—Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Echo—hire writers to ensure their responses are charming but always professional, RealDoll is trying to exploit the developments in speech recognition to create an AI whose main aim is to get you mentally and physically excited. A doll that can think for itself and will learn more about you as your relationship develops, while also satisfying your sexual urges…

Trying to build on top of the basic personal assistant AI architecture you see elsewhere to create something similar to The Sims, where the AI has a needs system and the experience is game-ified. So the AI has desire—or at least the illusion of desire—and there are goals, and if you meet them you’re going to get some kind of reward, be that verbal, visual, or in sexual movements.

People are only designing AIs to be support systems—they’re not trying to make them entertaining or a lover, like RealDoll is.  It’s far more than sexual entertainment. They are making a robot that can have sex.  Although it’s a very different, very intimate way that you can connect with something that is robotic and has AI technology built in…

3D-Printed Robotic Spider Dress keeps strangers at bay

This terrifying new design takes wearable tech to a whole new level, one that basically makes Iron Man’s famous suit a reality. Netherlands-based fashion-tech designer Anouk Wipprecht is seamlessly blending fashion with technology to keep strangers out of your personal space bubble.

Among her creations is the recent Spider Dress 2.0 which is actually an update of her design ‘Sinister robotic spider dress’ released back in January 2013. The outfit was terrific with robotic epaulets that resembled spider legs. The dress responds to external stimuli by coyly dancing around the wearer’s body while at the same time defending her if a stranger approaches too fast or comes too close. The post on Fashioning tech describes the outfit as “The creepy Robotic dress deals with themes of ‘personal space’ and raises questions concerning control and privacy.”

Robotic Spider Dress [Intel Edison based] // 2015 teaser from Anouk Wipprecht on Vimeo.

Now, the Spider Dress 2.0 gets better than ever. It has been created utilizing 3D printing, which resembles a species of alien skeleton, rather than hardware mounted on shoulders. The fearsome outfit is equipped with Intel’s Edison computer chip that uses biosignals and learned threat detection to drive strangers away. Needles to say, the crazy epaulets that extend from the shoulders resemble more of alien epaulettes.

The mechanized legs are linked to a proximity sensor and a respiration sensor. When they detect the wearer breathing heavily coupled with a nearing experience, the arms will act in a more aggressive posture while calmer circumstances will allow the arms to act in a friendlier manner.

The Spider dress also features black shells embedded with LEDs resembling spider eyes that flash warning signals or glow steadily in welcome based on how a wearer feels like their personal space is being threatened…

Exoskeleton Robot Suits That Exist NOW

There are an increasing amount of applications for an exoskeleton, such as decreased fatigue and increased productivity whilst unloading supplies or enabling a soldier to carry heavy objects (80–300 kg) while running or climbing stairs. Not only could a soldier potentially carry more weight, they could presumably wield heavier armor and weapons while lowering their metabolic rate or maintaining the same rate with more carry capacity. Some models use a hydraulic system controlled by an on-board computer. They could be powered by an internal combustion engine, batteries or potentially fuel cells

Watch here: 5 Exoskeleton Robot Suit That Exist NOWbionic 2

One of the main applications would be medical — improving the quality of life of persons who have, for example, lost the use of their legs, by providing assistive technology to enable system-assisted walking or restoration of other motor controls lost due to illness or accidental injury.

Another area of application could be medical care, nursing in particular. Faced with the impending shortage of medical professionals and the increasing number of people in elderly care, several teams of Japanese engineers have developed exoskeletons designed to help nurses lift and carry patients.

Exoskeletons can also be applied in the area of rehabilitation of stroke or spinal cord injury patients. Such exoskeletons are sometimes also called Step Rehabilitation Robots. An exoskeleton could reduce the number of therapists needed by allowing even the most impaired patient to be trained by one therapist, whereas several are currently needed. Also training would be more uniform, easier to analyze retrospectively and can be specifically customized for each patient. At this time there are several projects designing training aids for rehabilitation centers (LOPES exoskeleton, Lokomat, Modular robotic exoskeleton UniExo, CAPIO and the gait trainer, HAL 5.)[8][9]

German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence developed two general purpose powered exoskeletons CAPIO and VI-Bot.[9][10] They also considered human force sensitivities in the design and operation phases.[11]Teleoperation and power amplification were said to be the first applications, but after recent technological advances the range of application fields is said to have widened. Increasing recognition from the scientific community means that this technology is now employed in telemanipulation, man-amplification, neuromotor control research and rehabilitation, and to assist with impaired human motor control (Wearable Robots: Biomechatronic Exoskeletons).[12]

In civilian areas, exoskeletons could be used to help firefighters and other rescue workers survive dangerous environments…

THE PHILOSOPHY OF RICK AND MORTY

The Adult Swim series defies the idea that cartoons are for kids. The animated series is hilariously funny, yes, but it’s also unexpectedly insightful, wise, and philosophical, offering thoughtful commentary on everything from the human condition to love to just why we keep dogs as pets…

Watch the The Philosophy of Rick and Morty – Wisecrack Edition here: rick morty.gif

In these short, brutal lives, he argues, all we can really do is find joy in the simple things. Like television. Like Rick and Morty

“Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere.”

On School: “It’s not a place for smart people.”

“Existence is pain!”

“Sometimes science is more art than science.”

“Love is just a chemical reaction…”

“It’s your choice to take this personally.”

“…That’s how we grow as people.”

“Don’t think about it.”

“I thought the whole point of having a dog was to feel superior.”

“There’s always another pawn shop.”

What’s the future of virtual sex?

In the not too distant future, sex may not involve being in the same room as your partner. In fact, your partner may not even have to be a human. We’re talking virtual sex here. Couple VR with high tech, smart sex toys and intercourse as we know it may be a thing of the past. Except not really…

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Sex and relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman tells WSJ’s Tanya Rivero that the future of sex includes robots, virtual reality and drugs to address women’s sexual function…

Video Credit: Wall Street Journal