Next Gen Bipedal Robot Cassie – Behold The Future

Unlike most robotics creations, Cassie’s agile legs and light weight keep it stable while walking across various terrains and even in bad weather conditions…

Behold The Future…Agility Robotics evolves from OSU research, aims to revolutionize robot mobility CORVALLIS, Ore. – The rapidly expanding robotics program in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University has spun off one of its first businesses, a company focused on legged locomotion that may revolutionize robot mobility and enable robots to go anywhere people can go…

Cassie the walking robot? This model was originally created to explain animal running and walking gaits by Agility Robotics, based in the city of Albany, Oregon, US. Soon, such robots could be applied in various industries and perform different jobs, such as military service, delivery, telepresence and search and rescue operations.

Cassie has a natural gait, similar to our own. Just like ostriches and humans, this bipedal bot has three degrees of freedom in its hips and flexible, powered ankles, but its knees flex one way only. Quick and careful placement of the feet makes Cassie resistant to slips and stumbles…

Video Credit: UPHIGH Productions

 

The Lilium Jet – The world’s first all-electric VTOL jet

The Lilium Jet successfully completed its maiden test flight series in the skies above Bavaria. The 2-seater Eagle prototype executed a range of complex maneuvers, including its signature mid-air transition from hover mode to wing-borne forward flight…

German startup Lilium Aviation has completed test flights on the world’s first electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) jet at a private airfield in Bavaria. Controlled remotely by a pilot on the ground, the two-seater prototype performed a successful vertical takeoff and transition between its hover mode and forward flight mode…

“There is a growing need for transport solutions that are emission free due to worsening urban pollution and global climate change,” Wiegand said. “Congestion and noise pollution are also making our cities harder to live in. The Lilium jet is less harmful on the environment than other existing modes of transport. The jet is a zero-emissions aircraft and requires minimal ground infrastructure.”

The most intriguing aspect of Lilium’s electric VTOL is its potential to transform transportation,  like Tesla has transformed the automotive industry, by providing a clean and energy-efficient alternative…

Video Credit: Lilium

Russia has a Terminator Humanoid Robot “FEDOR” it can Shoot With Both Hands!

Russian military research videos usually deliver something to behold, whether it’s tanks on parade or just Vladimir Putin totally not worried that this sub is going to sink. Take a moment to watch this clip, which features a humanoid robot mowing down targets with a pistol in each hand like some movie bad-ass…

Russia’s space-bound humanoid robot FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) is being trained to shoot guns from both of its hands. The activity will help improve the android’s motor skills and decision-making, according to its creators, who have also tried to address concerns that they’re developing a real-life Terminator

While the video clip does make one feel like the Terminator apocalypse is nigh, the purposes of FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) are more benign, for now. Once its non-militant motor skills are refined, it will embark on a mission to space in 2021, possibly alone. Stay clear of this cosmonaut, E.T…

Video Credit: Roberto Leones Masini

 

Is Having Sex With A Robot Considered“Cheating”?

Long gone are the days when sexual intercourse took place between two human beings. Now, if you have hidden desires – just tap in your details online and have sex delivered direct to your door step. Recently there have been untold advances in virtual reality technology and a wave of new liberation is sweeping the world, to the point where the thought of intimacy with a loved one appears practically medieval to many…

Here is what Neil deGrasse Tyson said to Andy Samberg about having sex with robots and cheating…

Virtual affairs could also present a problem in the future, with some partners seeing sex with a machine as similar to sex with another person.  When the anatomically correct, customizable, touch-responsive, personality-changing sexbot named Roxxxy was unveiled at the Adult Entertainment Expo it was a sensation despite the assumption that only losers and perverts would be interested in shelling out $7,000 for a glorified sex toy.

David Levy, author of Love and Sex With Robots  believes that the “availability of regular sex with a robot will dramatically reduce the incidence of infidelity as we know it today,” he also acknowledges there may be some potential sticky points. “some human spouses and lovers might consider robot sex to be just as unfaithful as sex with another person.”

People who have lost their partner or who live alone are the people who might benefit the most, psychologically, from a virtual sexual relationship. ‘After all, a virtual partner is surely better than no partner at all…

Video Credit:  The Late Late Show with James Corden

 

The simulation hypothesis, or are we living in the Matrix?

The simulation hypothesis is the idea that reality is a digital simulation. Technological advances will inevitably produce automated artificial superintelligence that will, in turn, create simulations to better understand the universe. This opens the door for the idea that superintelligence already exists and created simulations now occupied by humans. At first blush the notion that reality is pure simulacra seems preposterous, but the hypothesis springs from decades of scientific research and is taken seriously by academics, scientists, and entrepreneurs like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk

For Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson, there’s a good chance that our entire existence is a program on someone else’s hard drive, that we’re the playthings of our technologically advanced future descendants. “I think the likelihood may be very high,” Tyson said. “We would be drooling, blithering idiots in their presence.” As Musk put it, “There’s a billion to one chance we’re living in base reality.”

In 2003 Bostrom presented a paper that proposed a trilemma, a decision between three challenging options, related to the potential of future superintelligence to develop simulations. Bostrom argues this likelihood is nonzero, meaning the odds of a simulated reality are astronomically small, but because percentage likelihood is not zero we must consider rational possibilities that include a simulated reality. Bostrom does not propose that humans occupy a simulation. Rather, he argues that massive computational ability developed by posthuman superintelligence will likely develop simulations to better understand that nature of reality…

Simulation hypothesis has many critics, namely those in academic communities who question an overreliance on anthropic reasoning and scientific detractors who point out simulations need not be conscious to be studied by future superintelligence. But as artificial intelligence and machine learning emerge as powerful business and cultural trends, many of Bostrom’s ideas are going mainstream…

Video Credit: Schizo Qubit

 

 

Real Life Batmobile: Man Spends Two Years Building Iconic 1989 Car

The Batmobile was Batman‘s primary mode of transportation. At first, Batman often simply referred to that Batmobile as “the car”, and he later called it the Batmobile. The Batmobile was one of the most daunting components in Batman’s vast arsenal, and he kept it stored in the Batcave when it was not in use…

A REAL-LIFE superhero has turned down six-figure offers for his home-made Batmobile – so he can continue helping sick children. Batman fanatic Zac Mihajlovic, from Camden, Australia, hand-built his very own street legal version of the car from the 1989 film starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. The 29-year-old turned his comic book fantasies into a high-octane reality by constructing a replica of the iconic vehicle. And the car has whipped up a reaction wherever it has been seen. Businessmen from across the world, including a Sheik in Dubai, have offered Zac big bucks for the Batmobile – and he has also seen his share of bizarre requests. And rather than cash-in on his dream machine, Zac decided to use his powers for good by teaming up with the Make-A-Wish foundation, who make dream’s come true for terminally-ill children…

Video Credit: Barcroft Cars

Videographer / Director: Tony Prescott
Producer: John Balson
Editor: Kyle Waters

If consciousness is ours to give, should we give it to AI?

If consciousness is ours to give, should we give it to AI?  This is the question on the mind of the very sentient Daniel Dennett. The emerging trend in AI and AGI is to humanize our robot creations: they look ever more like us, emote as we do, and even imitate our flaws through machine learning. None of this makes the AI smarter, only more marketable. Dennett suggests remembering what AIs are: tools and systems built to organize our information and streamline our societies. He has no hesitation in saying that they are slaves built for us, and we can treat them as such because they have no feelings. If we eventually understand consciousness enough to install it into a robot, it would be unwise. It won’t make them more intelligent, he says, only more anxious. Daniel Dennett’s most recent book is From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds…

Dennett thinks a lot of people just assume that the way to make AIs more intelligent is to make them more human. But I think that’s a very dubious assumption…

Dennett thinks we’re much better off with tools than with colleagues. We can make tools that are smart as the dickens, and use them and understand what their limitations are without giving them ulterior motives, purposes, a drive to exist and to compete and to beat the others. those are features that don’t play any crucial role in the competences of artificial intelligence. So for heaven sakes don’t bother putting them in…

Leave all that out, and what we have is very smart “thingies” that we can treat like slaves, and it’s quite all right to treat them as slaves because they don’t have feelings, they’re not conscious. You can turn them off; you can tear them apart the same way you can with an automobile and that’s the way we should keep it…

Now that we’re in the age of intelligent design—lots of intelligent designers around—a lot of them are intelligent enough to realize that Orgel’s Second Rule is true: “Evolution is cleverer than you are.” That’s Francis Crick’s famous quip. And so what they’re doing is harnessing evolutionary processes to do the heavy lifting without human help. So we have all these deep learning systems and they come in varieties. There’s Bayesian networks and reinforcement learning of various sorts, deep learning neural networks… And what these computer systems have in common is that they are competent without comprehension. Google translate doesn’t know what it’s talking about when it translates a bit of Turkish into a bit of English. It doesn’t have to. It’s not as good as the translation that a bilingual can do, but it’s good enough for most purposes…

And what’s happening in many fields in this new wave of AI is the creation of systems, black boxes, where you know that the probability of getting the right answer is very high; they are extremely good, they’re better than human beings at churning through the data and coming up with the right answer. But they don’t understand how they do it. Nobody understands in detail how they do it and nobody has to…

So we’ve created entities, which are as inscrutable to us as a bird or a mammal considered as a collection of cells is includable; there’s still a lot we don’t understand about what makes them tick…

But these entities instead of being excellent flyers or fish catchers or whatever they’re excellent pattern detectors, excellent statistical analysts, and we can use these products, these intellectual products without knowing quite how they’re generated but knowing having good responsible reasons for believing that they will generate the truth most of the time…

No existing computer system no matter how good it is at answering questions like Watson on Jeopardy or categorizing pictures, for instance, no such system is conscious today, not close. And although I think it’s possible in principle to make a conscious android, a conscious robot, I don’t think it’s desirable; I don’t think there would be great benefits to doing this; and there would be some significant harms and dangers too…

You could at tremendous expense, but you’d have to have in fact quite a revolution in computer design, which would take you right down to the very base of the hardware…

Video Credit: Big Think 

Star Trek’s Tricorder Now Officially Exists Thanks To A Global Competition

Oscar Wilde once said that life imitates art, and science and engineering is often no exception to this. Science fiction certainly provides science types with plenty of inspiration for inventions, including holograms, teleportation, and even sonic screwdrivers.

Star Trek’s all-purpose medical device, the Tricorder, has also inspired a fair few people to recreate its near-magical ability to instantly diagnose a patient. As it happens, the non-profit X-Prize Foundation were so keen to get one invented that they started a global competition to see if any mavericks would succeed.

Rather remarkably, one team has emerged victorious in their endeavor. A family-led team from Pennsylvania, appropriately named Final Frontier Medical Devices, have bagged themselves a sum of $2.5 million, with a second-place prize of $1 million going to the Taiwan-based Dynamical Biomarkers Group.

The objective of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition was to create a lightweight, non-invasive, handheld device that can identify 13 health conditions (12 diseases, and the very absence of disease) in 90 minutes to 24 hours with no additional help or counsel from medical professionals. Five vital health metrics, like heartbeat and respiratory function, were also required to be constantly monitored.

The team behind the winning design was headed by brothers Dr Basil Harris, an emergency physician, and George Harris, a network engineer. They came up with “DxtER,” a device infused with artificial intelligence, entire funded by themselves and two other siblings of theirs.

Concluding that one device alone was not sufficient to accurately and quickly diagnose various medical conditions in a patient, the team realized that they needed to link it up to a wealth of medical data.

Technology puts ‘touch’ into long-distance relationships

Long-distance couples can share a walk, watch movies together, and even give each other a massage, using new technologies being developed in Carman Neustaedter’s Simon Fraser University lab.  It’s all about feeling connected.

Researchers have designed a pair of interconnected gloves called Flex-N-Feel. When fingers ‘flex’ in one glove, the actions are transmitted to a remote partner wearing the other. The glove’s tactile sensors allow the wearer to ‘feel’ the movements…

To capture the flex actions, the sensors are attached to a microcontroller. The sensors provide a value for each bend, and are transmitted to the ‘feel’ glove using a WiFi module…

The sensors are also placed strategically on the palm side of the fingers in order to better feel the touch. A soft-switch on both gloves also allows either partner to initiate the touch…

“Users can make intimate gestures such as touching the face, holding hands, and giving a hug,” says Neustaedter. “The act of bending or flexing one’s finger is a gentle and subtle way to mimic touch.”

Flex-N-Feel: Remote Touch over Distance from Connections Lab on Vimeo.

The gloves are currently a prototype and testing continues. While one set of gloves enables one-way remote touch between partners, Neustaedter says a second set could allow both to share touches at the same time….

We Are Already Cyborgs

“If human history is the story of a creature who molts from ape to
angel – or, as Nietzsche claimed, from beast to Superman – then
somewhere along the way it seems that we must become machines” -Erik Davis.

Video Credit: Shots of Awe & Jason Silva 

We’re already a cyborg.  You have a digital version of yourself, a partial version of yourself online in the form of your emails, your social media, and all the things that you do.  We already have “super powers” access to smartphones and personal computers. You have more power than the president of the United States had 20 years ago. You can answer any question, you can video conference with anyone, anywhere. You can send messages to millions of people instantly.  We can do incredible things.  But that’s only the start.  “Implanted via injection, a grid of wires only a few millimeters across can insinuate itself with living neurons and eavesdrop on their chatter, offering a way for electronics to interface with your brain activity.”

If we don’t continue to advance in to cyborgs, we might as well get use to being pets for A.I. that continues it’s path towards world domination…